World Economic Forum's Big Party

February 6, 2002, 12:00 AM EST

World Economic Forum gala party The New York Stock Exchange Saturday, 02.02.02
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Security was extraordinarily tight as the big V.I.P.s attending the World Economic Forum headed downtown to the conference's official Saturday night gala at the New York Stock Exchange. The bigwhigs needed to show their hologram identification tags to enter the bash, which incorporated the forum's international scope--with decor and entertainment inspired by different continents--as well as design elements that included a nod to the conference's move to New York.

Part of the design scheme was scrapped, though: In the original plan, guests were to enter a tent (from Ace Rental) on Broad Street decorated by Michael Owen Design to look like a New York subway station. The registration kiosks would look like subway booths, and guests would navigate the rooms of the Exchange by following colored tubes festooned above their heads that coordinated with the themes of the rooms. (A red tube designated as the 3 line would lead to the Africa-inspired room, for example.)

But at the last minute, that plan changed, and the decor was limited to the international touches added inside the venue, plus nods to New York like a Statue of Liberty replica that greeted guests near the venue's entrance.

Different areas of the party were designed to suggest different areas of the world, with appropriate food, decor and entertainment. The African-themed area was festooned with an Egyptian sarcophagus, for example. For fitting entertainment, Grammy winner Ladysmith Black Mambazo and The Lion King's Tsidii Le Loka peformed, and caterer Tentation's offerings included an African rum concoction made with wood chips.

--Chad Kaydo

(Photos by Jeff Thomas)

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