Canadian Charisma Brings a Touch of Plaid to the Table

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The International Live Event Association – Denver Chapter hosted its 12th annual Designer Showcase on Feb. 21 at Lone Tree Golf Club & Hotel in Lone Tree. The event highlighted collaborative efforts of members and other event colleagues in the form of four trendsetting vignettes, each illustrating a city where an ILEA chapter is located. 

Attendees didn’t have to worry about voyaging through ice and snow to get to the great white north in one Canadian-themed vignette. After taking one last glance at a “You are now leaving the USA” sign, guests “crossed the border” and were greeted by a friendly “Welcome to Canada, Bienvenue” wooden plaque upon entering the room, where carefully curated details brought the theme to life.

Montreal native Donnah Phipps, owner of Denver-based Poised Events, coordinated the vignette with an insider’s idea of how to bring her home to Colorado. “What I found difficult is that a lot of Americans see Canada as a whole, and not as provinces that have their own differences and cultures like in the United States,” says Phipps. “So after brainstorming some ideas, a few sketches and many panic attacks, ‘O Canada’ started coming to life.”

Guests felt the first nip of cold with personalized snowflake name tags by Platypus Papers. Cabin ambience filled the room with snow boots, mittens and cozy winter hats strewn about to protect against the North’s icy chill. Prints of deer and bears brought a touch of nature inside, adding a glimpse of Canada’s wild side. 

Equally wild indulgences were offered at a rustic bar by CORT such as Canadian brews and specially crafted “Rock Shots” (Jägermeister, peach schnapps and vodka), a wink to one of Canada’s favorite sports: curling. French fries and cheese curds topped with gravy, better known as the Canadian dish poutine, were also a crowd favorite along with snow cones loaded with maple syrup supplied by Fun Productions.

A beautifully designed table served as the focal point of the room, adding elegance to the overall rustic atmosphere. “I took the outdoors of Alberta and brought chic to the cabin,” says Phipps. “Buffalo plaid was the first item to bring everything together and with my background in sewing it only made sense to make a runner and napkins!” The picnic table highlighted elegant place settings by Allwell Rents with log-cut chargers topped with gold and white plateware. Something Styled Events gave the table height with large log stumps filled with red-and-white florals, making the national colors a clear tribute to ILEA LIVE, hosted in Calgary, Alberta, in August. 

How much is too much? At many meetings and events, frazzled and fractured attention spans are put in hyperdrive with a wall-to-wall, dawnto-dusk agenda.

“Things are so rushed in today’s world,” says Angela Coleman, manager of events and meetings for KPMG, LLC in Denver. “Everybody’s got to do five things at once. We’re learning quickly that it doesn’t always benefit our attendees or conferencegoers.”

 

Denver’s McNichols Civic Center Building was decked out Willy Wonka style on June 20, 2017, for the ninth annual International Live Events Association (ILEA) Denver Excellence Awards. Members and guests celebrated the accomplishments of their peers and enjoyed cocktails, dinner and dancing. A team of judges from the Chicago chapter of ILEA selected the winners.

 

For the past five years, Destination Colorado has been switching up its Customer Appreciation Event from golf to experiential. This year, partner suppliers helped host planners for a private dinner reception at Red Rocks Amphitheatre followed by a 1964 Beatles tribute band performance. Nostalgic costume items, a photo booth and a roped-off seating section at Red Rocks were part of the fun.