Colin Cowie Shines at Tampa Bay MPI Event

A party planner to the stars shared his expertise with planners and suppliers in Tampa.

By Michelle Schumacher November 21, 2007, 11:27 AM EST

Colin Cowie shared with guests his experiences with event planning as well as advice on planning techniques and dealing with the unexpected.


When the Tampa Bay chapter of Meeting Professionals International decided to bring in a well-known planner to speak to their members, only the best would do-so they called Colin Cowie. Known for planning extravagant affairs for such celebrities as Oprah Winfrey and John Travolta, Cowie has channeled his talents into the creation of an empire that encompasses everything from the design of state-of-the-art ballroom spaces to a line of home-entertaining products sold through the Home Shopping Network.

Professional and novice planners, as well as suppliers, had the opportunity to enjoy an elegant champagne brunch at the Tampa Convention Center, where Cowie mingled and shared a few of his planning war stories. Following the brunch, guests moved to the adjacent ballroom for his presentation.

But Cowie's presentation was just one part of a full-scale event created by the Tampa Bay chapter's volunteer special events committee. In the convention center's main entry, Grand Events of Florida LLC and Grymes Cannon Floral Design created a chic lounge with black leather Art Deco couches and white acrylic cube tables accented by tall cylinder vases filled with green apples and palm fronds. In the back of the reception area, an S-curve of ottomans and sheer white draping adorned with chains of geometric silver circles separated the MPI event from others at the convention center.

Inside the V.I.P. ballroom, Atmospheres Events, along with other local vendors, donated its wares and talent to create an elegant setup. Espresso-colored Chiavari chairs accompanied the square banquet tables, which were draped in gold linens. Around the perimeter of the room, clear cylindrical vases of red Jamestown orchids were set atop sleek black pedestals, while black shoji-style bifold grids adorned with Chinese lanterns gave the room an Eastern ambience. Amber-colored LED lighting provided by Bay Stage Lighting added the final touch.

Inside the main presentation area, white chair covers-with just a touch of color from their randomly placed chocolate brown chair ties-added a clean crisp look to the traditional theater-style setup, with floral accents courtesy of Kabloom Florist.

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