BizBash Florida Award Winners Include CITGO, Harry Potter, and Tampa Bay Heart Ball

April 13, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

Courtesy: Universal Orlando Meetings and Events

A venue based on a popular movie series, a circus-themed dinner, and a ballroom turned into a soccer field were among the winners of BizBash’s 2011 Florida Event Style Awards, announced on Tuesday at a ceremony following our annual expo at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center (and tweeted live at @BizBash_News). Here’s a look at the winning work.
Best Catering at an Event   
“Cirque du Corporate” USLAW Network Annual Company Appreciation Party
Submitted by A Joy Wallace Catering Production and Design Team
For an upscale circus-themed dinner for the USLAW Network, A Joy Wallace Catering Production and Design Team created food stations reminiscent of childhood but filled with adult indulgences. A snack bar included sun-dried tomato and Parmesan doughnuts with spinach dust and romesco sauce, while a popcorn station served popped corn with curry chicken bites, blackened shrimp, or tempura vegetables. The catering team gave cotton candy a new twist by serving it with Brie, Thai-glazed shrimp, or cherry-glazed duck.

Best Corporation or Association Event Concept (Budget Over $50,000)
CITGO 100th Anniversary
Submitted by Hello Florida!
CITGO’s 100th anniversary celebration highlighted the past while incorporating contemporary elements. Decor included a 1929 Packard car at the entrance. Inside, an awning in the middle of the room was converted into the awning of a CITGO gas station, the venue’s existing frescos were changed into images from the company’s history, and the fixed seating in the upper balcony was covered with custom covers depicting the “100 years of CITGO” license plate. Decorators used furniture from four rental companies to create a distinctive period look while still remaining hip and relevant.

Best Corporation or Association Event Concept (Budget Under $50,000)
Research in Motion Latin America-Wireless Enterprise Symposium Soccer Party
Submitted by Hello Florida!
For a party for Research in Motion’s Latin America division, Hello Florida! transformed a ballroom at the Orlando World Center Marriott into a soccer field. A professional soccer team played on a 36- by 50-foot Astroturf field with regulation-size goals at each end. Guests were invited to watch from bleachers or join the game on the field. Dancers dressed like referees took to the field every hour to perform. Soccer jerseys and flags of various Latin America countries decorated the room, and several televisions showed real soccer games for guests to watch.

Best Entertainment Program
CITGO 100th Anniversary
Submitted by Hello Florida!
For CITGO’s 100th anniversary celebration, Hello Florida! created an entertainment program that took guests from 1910 to 2010 through music, dance, and aerial cirque. The cast included 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators carrying trays of mini birthday cupcakes, four bands, and seven aerialists for a nonstop two-hour show.

Best Invitation Design
Hilton Orlando’s Wedding Writers’ Weekend Invitation
Submitted by Dragonfly Custom Design
For “Wedding Writers’ Weekend,” a promotion to bring writers from high-end bridal publications to the new Hilton Orlando, Dragonfly Custom Design created a three-part series of mailers of custom silk panels and boxes. The first was accented by a large faux engagement ring, the second was sent with a custom wedding cake truffle tower, and the third included a personalized room key bearing the recipient’s name. Unusual materials such as twine, palm fiber paper, and dupioni silk reflected elements of the hotel’s decor and color scheme.

Best Lighting Design
Nightly Lighting Extravaganza for the City of Tavares Wooton Park
Submitted by P.T.E. Productions
To draw attention and visitors to historic Wooton Park in Tavares, P.T.E. Productions designed a light show to highlight the park’s 300 oak trees and newly installed park features. The nightly light shows were choreographed to seasonal selections of music.

Best New Product
Wire-Free LED
Submitted by P.T.E. Productions
The Wire-Free LED line of products offers an inexpensive, battery-operated alternative to traditional lighting fixtures. The durable fixtures can cast light at a distance of 60 feet or more and have a minimum of six hours of battery life. A chargeable packing case allows for reduced storage and shipping weight.

Best New Venue
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort
Submitted by Universal Orlando Meetings & Events
Orlando’s newest theme park attraction, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, opened in June at Universal Orlando Resort’s Islands of Adventure. Private groups of 20 to 20,000 can experience immersive rides and attractions, the shops and eating establishments of Hogsmeade, and Universal Orlando’s customized entertainment and catering, including Harry Potter favorites such as shepherd’s pie, cauldron cakes, and butterbeer.

Best Nonprofit Event Concept
Tampa Bay Heart Ball for the American Heart Association
Submitted by Simply Divine Events
To inspire guests to take a proactive approach to improving their health, the Tampa Bay Heart Ball began with a high-energy dance production involving association staff and volunteers to the tune of the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling.” Throughout the night, live acts and videos demonstrated activities such as jumping rope, hula hooping, and acrobatics, while statistics about exercise and heart health flashed on screens around the room.

Best Overall Event Decor (Budget Over $50,000)
Grand Marnier’s Dinner en Rouge
Submitted by S.L.K. Creative
Decorators used Grand Marnier’s signature red throughout a private residence for an invitation-only event to introduce the company’s newest products during the 2010 South Beach Wine & Food Festival. A red carpet, rectangular custom-topped acrylic tables, faux leather seating, and a branded bar—all provided by Room Service, an AFR Event Furnishings Company—were accented with subtle lighting.

Best Overall Event Decor (Budget Under $50,000)
Room Service, an AFR Event Furnishings Company, Customer Appreciation Event at the Orlando Science Center
Submitted by S.L.K. Creative
At this vendor showcase hosted by A.F.R., lighted cylindrical and pedestal-based tables filled the Science Center’s terrace with color. Inside, purple and tangerine sofas and ottomans provided seating in the main room, which was filled with exhibits from partnering companies.

Best Staging and Set Design
Orange Drive South Beach New Year’s Festival
Submitted by Union Square Agency
Organizers built an amphitheater on the beach for this three-day New Year’s festival to generate tourism in the City of Miami Beach. More than 15,000 people from 36 countries attended events targeted at a range of age groups. The amphitheater, which could accommodate 5,000 people, included a 40- by 50-foot performance area and a 21- by 32-foot multiscreen video backdrop.

Best Use of Social Media for an Event
The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Awards
Submitted by Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce
At its annual award event, the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce used a variety of social media initiatives to raise awareness about Innovation Gainesville, a plan to position the community as a hub for green and health technologies. A pre-event Facebook campaign invited guests to “like” the chamber’s page and post amusing photos of themselves with their favorite technological device. During the event, guests accessed the Facebook page on their mobile devices to answer questions about Innovation Gainesville. The chamber also used Skype for a live videoconference with technology experts.

Best Use of Technology
The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Awards
Submitted by Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce
The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce incorporated technology throughout its award program to raise awareness of Innovation Gainesville, a plan to position the community as a hub for green and health technologies. The chamber invited the 380 guests to bring their own iPads, netbooks, and other mobile devices to participate in a game involving the chamber’s Facebook page. Using Skype, the chamber created a live videoconference with the founders of Livemocha, Mozilla, and the founder of online-based University of the People to share technology tips with attendees.

Best Green Initiative for an Event
“Light It Up Blue” at Marriott World Center Orlando
Submitted by P.T.E. Productions
To participate in United Nations’ World Autism Awareness Day “Light It Up Blue” campaign, the Marriott World Center hired P.T.E. Productions to illuminate the building with blue light. P.T.E. used just one 20-amp circuit and nine high-output LED fixtures to saturate the building in blue with minimal setup time and one twentieth of the power consumption of traditional lighting.  

Best PR Stunt or Guerilla Marketing Campaign
Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood's Winner's Way Parking Garage Grand Opening Guitar Smash
Submitted by Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
In the Hard Rock tradition of smashing guitars to celebrate the opening of a new property, the Hollywood hotel and casino created an event to set the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest guitar smash to draw attention to the facility’s new $50 million parking garage. The event began with an indoor reception and then moved outside for a performance from Huey Lewis and the News followed by the ceremonial smashing of nearly 2,000 non-musician quality acoustic guitars. In addition, the company donated $50,000 worth of guitars to local school music programs, and also donated the guitar pieces to a nonprofit that works with children and adults with disabilities so they could create original sculptures to sell.

The following two awards were chosen by Claudio Resnick of ARPI Group and Gladys Mezrahi of Indigo Events.

Best Creation and Innovation in Latin America
Enfasis Motivation: Hagamos Escuela
Best Design and Production in Latin America
Latam Pacific: Elab Tour 2010

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