Onyx Pharmaceuticals Transforms Airplane Hangar Into Tropical Forest for Award Banquet
After looking at several venues, Chambers said she chose the airplane hangar in part because it allowed her to create some mystery: Guests arrived on buses to find three airplanes on the tarmac with their doors open and lights on, giving guests the impression that they would be boarding the planes. Instead, the hangar door opened to reveal a foggy, 17-foot-tall zigzag tunnel densely lined with plants and trees. Three performers dressed like foliage moved in and out of the plants along the sides of the 20-foot tunnel, to signify that the garden was alive. To add to the sensory experience, Fernbacher Productions created a custom nature soundtrack that played throughout the event, and Koncept Events—the local company hired to coordinate the entire event—brought in a scent machine to permeate the venue with the scent of freesia.
At the end of the tunnel, two stiltwalkers covered in vines greeted guests as they stepped into the main event area, designed to look like a clearing in the forest. An 80- by 80-foot truss system covered in fiber optic drape gave the appearance of a starry night sky above, while emerald green turf flooring from American Turf and Carpet resembled grass below. The entire space was filled with more than 600 plants from Temporary Tropics—95 percent of them real—including a variety of palm trees, orchids, vines, and ferns. The decor also include two 5- by 9-foot ponds filled with plants, rocks, LED fireflies, and mechanical butterflies to provide movement and signify life in the water.
The evening’s program began with the first of two award ceremonies on a black lacquer stage from A.V. Rental Depot. A 12-foot-tall waterfall from Deco A.V. reflected on the stage, giving the appearance of a pond at night. Two large video screens on either side of the stage were surrounded by faux rock to give the impression of large mountains.
After the first awards, guests dined at 4- by 8-foot hand-carved oak tables with faux tree trunks as legs, provided by A Joy Wallace Catering Production and Design Team. The menu included heirloom tomato salad, dragon fruit sorbet, braised beef short ribs, and pan-seared halibut, all from Joy Wallace. For dessert, the company created milk and dark chocolate doughnuts finished with vanilla crème and salted caramel.
Correction: This story has been updated to more accurately reflect the role of Koncept Events as the company that coordinated the event and all of the local vendors.
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