Teen Choice Awards: the Strategic Design Behind Fox's All-Ages V.I.P. Tent

To accommodate families of sponsors and V.I.P.s, Fox created a space with a purposeful layout to equally serve kids' and adults' preferences.

By Alesandra Dubin August 24, 2015, 7:15 AM EDT

Photo: Sean Twomey/2Me Studios

Teen Choice Awards V.I.P. Tent
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Standard Hollywood events invite each guest with a “plus one,” with hosts traditionally expecting two adults to turn up. But Fox's invitations for the V.I.P. tent at its August 16 Teen Choice Awards were of a different stripe: Entire families of sponsors and Fox V.I.P.s were welcome—and expected.

Fox executive director of special events Karin Pofsky and manager of special events Veronica Kelley worked with YourBash for production, a partner on the project for the past seven years. The team’s idea for tricking out the space at the Galen Center was both design minded and strategic: First, it would take decor inspiration from the surfboard-style award itself. And second, it would need to be a space with a concept and layout that equally pleased the diverse, all-ages crowd.

“We were excited about the [award] design, which was definitely different this year,” Pofsky said. “It was a tribal, bohemian-inspired print. We were inspired to see something like that, as opposed to the traditional surf, beach, palm tree image” typically conjured by a surfboard motif.

To that end, the team set up a colorful space with a three-tier chandelier, handmade by the YourBash team from more than 200 yards of fabric. Bold colors and prints mixed with sophisticated seating pieces and accessories for a vibrant look that could appeal to multiple generations in the crowd. Candies and Sour Patch Kids sponsored, with their logos on branded pillows.

Kids scooped up autograph pillows and Teen Choice Awards notebooks for talent to sign. (The pop group Fifth Harmony stopped by for awhile, as did the cast of Dance Moms and other celebrities for photo ops.)

Aside from the all-ages-friendly design and decor, organizers chose a strategic layout that would accommodate all guests in comfort. “When we lay out the tent, we make sure to have an area in the back that’s comfortable, shaded, [with ample] seating, adult friendly,” Pofsky explained. “Because the adults are usually not in the front getting autographs.” She explained that the goal was to have as much autograph-getting space in the front as possible, “because we don’t see many of the kids sitting down.”

Recognizing another difference in adult versus kid guests, the team arranged for food that skewed younger; adults don’t tend to eat during the mid-day time slot. Cotton candy matched the colors of the surfboard—hot pink, orange, purple, and green—with different toppings, from sprinkles to bacon. A pretzel bar also offered various types: chocolate covered, yogurt, honey mustard, and more. And lemonade provided refreshment on the scorching day.

“It was things you can grab and go up and stand in the front, and things to keep people cool,” Pofsky said. “[The tent] is very family-oriented. You see whole families show up at this as opposed to other types of red carpet events where it’s a plus-one situation. We also have the only comfortable, covered space on the carpet. So it [makes] our sponsors and everyone comfortable.”

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