Starwood's Roaring Twenties Sales Event

June 4, 2001, 12:00 AM EDT

Performers from Gina Lennon Associates posed as the Marx Brothers at Starwood Hotels' Roaring Twenties-themed sales event at Cipriani 42nd Street.

Starwood Hotels Worldwide Spring Fling Cipriani 42nd Street Thursday, 05.24.01, 5:30 PM to 9 PM
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Well, you might expect that hotel people know how to throw a party. And Starwood Hotels' Roaring Twenties-themed sales event at Cipriani 42nd Street was a hoot from beginning to end. Dianne Devitt's DND Group--whose card promises “dynamic events"--really delivered by transforming the formal venue into a high-energy cornucopia of sights and sounds, without losing any of the space's elegance. This sales event for corporate meeting and event planners blended a quasi trade show that showed off 80 of the company's hotels with a very fun party.

The Roaring Twenties theme began when guests were greeted by celebrity look-alikes from Gina Lennon Associates. As W. C. Fields and Texas Guinan look-alikes strutted their stuff with the Marx Brothers in old silent movie herky-jerky movements, Cipriani waiters in white dinner jackets handed out Bellinis in teacups (it was the time of Prohibition, remember?). The beginning of the event also featured a performance from the Times Square BID Kidz, a group of child actors who sang a medley of songs from the 20's dressed as newspaper boys. Other fun touches: Classic cars (from Auto Film Club of America), a psychic (Sherry Lane), speakeasy-style gambling tables (from Casinos by Duro) and a group of shoeshine guys Devitt found at Port Authority.

The trade show.phpect was delightfully displayed with the help of good looking 20's-style signage by Morris Brothers. Devitt hired LilyGild and Neal Matticks to coordinate the decor, which featured a varied mix of floral arrangements that included both tiny table bouquets and glorious giant urns arranged near the entrance. And printed russet tablecloths on the tables were a beautiful backdrop for the trade pamphlets and photo albums promoting the hotels. (You might expect a hospitality company to host an event like this in one of its hotels, but Devitt told us the company's execs like to entice customers by using other non-hotel spaces.)

For food, Cipriani put out four well-placed Tuscan buffet tables with more than 20 hors d'oeuvres, three hot pastas and two slicing boards of turkey and roast beef.

Continuing entertainment on the dance floor was backed by the Walter Phillips Orchestra. Dancers from Opening Nite Entertainment did a Bob Fosse-style number, and an incredible tango couple--Theo and Ganine Derleth from the Fred Astaire Dance Studio--capped off the evening twirling around the floor, making everyone envious. Then they brought up some guests and managed to make them all feel like Fred and Ginger.even if they didn't all look like them.

--Susan Silver

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