How a New Pop-Up Dinner Simplified the Concept

Guests brought food and decor, but planners supplied the tables and dessert to the all-white event in Miami.

By Tracy Block December 23, 2014, 7:00 AM EST

The evening ended with a toast with sparklers.

Photo: Courtesy of Hand Made Events

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The pop-up dinner concept—people coming together at a secret location for an alfresco dinner—has proved venerable, with the all-white Dîner en Blanc series the most prominent example. But other groups have seized on the idea, tweaking it to put their own stamp on it. Hand Made Events has hosted its own version of a pop-up dinner at cities across the United States since 2011. This year, it expanded to Miami with an event co-produced with Vitamin C for 600 people on November 8. It benefited the Pérez Art Museum Miami.

“We were inspired by events that were similar to Dîner en Blanc, but wanted to make it easier for our guests and create more of a festival,” said Nicole Benjamin of Hand Made Events. “While the traditional events of this sort ask guests to bring their own tables and chairs, we provided those, making it easier for guests to concentrate more on their food and decor.”

Guests learned the location at 3 p.m. and were instructed to meet at Virginia Key Beach in Key Biscayne for the white-theme soiree beginning at 5 p.m. Equipped with coolers and decor, guests set up unique tables as part of the formal picnic under the stars, complete with a sparkler toast. Benjamin said Hand Made's approach was to simplify the concept for guests.

“We could widen the interest and watch the energy of the guests be spent on their amazing fashion, a creatively decorated table, and an incredible meal,” Benjamin said. “Using the color white as a theme provides an elegant, unifying aspect that brings the whole group together.”

Acura provided sponsor activations such as a photo booth inside an Acura TLX and gave a set of wine glasses to Acura owners who presented their keys. Whole Foods, promoting its soon-to-open downtown Miami location, served vanilla-iced cupcakes as dessert.

To comply with the city's open container law, guests were encouraged to buy bottles of wine from Korband Wines and Spirits on site, and after-dinner refreshments were provided by Digest Miami and Juan Valdez Café.

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