Benchmark at the Guggenheim!

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All Things Party, a Chicago boutique event design, production, and management  company, has been WOWing high end customers with great party experiences for 20 years. Its founder, Steve Valenti, was contracted by a prestigious national law firm to stage a reception. It had some pretty tough requirements, and Steve wanted Benchmark to work with him to help pull it off.

The Event

The concept for the event was to feature 4 top New York chefs who would personally present their signature gourmet creations to guests throughout the 3 hour evening. It was to be called “An Artful Palate” and held on the main floor of the central rotunda of the Guggenheim Art Museum. Steve would have only 1.5 hours to set up EVERYTHING before 350 guests arrived. Nothing could attach to the walls, floors, or ceilings. And when it was over, everything had to be off the premises as quickly as it had arrived. After he explained it to us we were thinking “Wait… he’s serious?!”

The Approach

Steve’s design called for a 64ft floor to ceiling wall beneath the spiraling walkway that forms the museum’s unique art display areas. It would have 4 eight foot openings with counters, one for each of the chefs, and 2 door way size openings that would allow servers and chefs to come and go with the food. The venue is noted for its smooth white clean lines. The wall we needed to create needed to harmonize with it. Additional requirements were to identify each of the chef’s areas by name, display the title of the event, and credit the distinguished law firm sponsoring the event.  We decided custom printed fabric would fulfill Steve’s vision,  But keep in mind, we needed to provide hardware structures that Steve’s crew could roll in, setup, install the chefs counters being custom built for the event, tear down, and roll out, all in 3 hours (not to mention the lighting, sound, and food service equipment he would need). We settled on an exhibit hall pipe and drape rental system. Using pockets and offsetting velcro attachments, we would construct the printed panels so they would tension between the 8ft open spans of the uprights quickly and simply and rise slowly, following the line of the ceiling, 11 feet high at one end, 15 at the other.

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The Results

“It all worked great!” said Steve when we got in touch after the event. The strategy we used for the fabric construction had performed exactly as intended. It had actually gone up and down faster than anticipated. We asked Steve if he had any comments for us regarding the production. “Yea, you put the right people together for a project and you wind up with the right results.”

Thanks Steve !

Click here to visit the All Things Party website

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