One of the things that I think is so very important at conferences and tradeshows in our industry is really showcasing the new and extraordinary. In addition, the experience should really be there. This year, I think that TSE2012 really got it right! Every event that we attended this year was well done, and really put the spotlight on new products and creative ideas.
First off, the Opening Night Celebration at the Carte Event Pavilion was such an incredible event. From the moment of arrival until announcements were being made that the last coach was leaving every single minute was well done. Hats off to Showorks who designed the evening. Each of the areas was stunning, well thought out and so innovative. The ancillary entertainment only added to the fascination as the evening unfolded. The focal point in the main room was a beautiful tree that just took our breath away. Food was delicious, creatively styled and delicious. Drinks were imaginative and fun. The cirque entertainers that performed in the tree were just ahhhhmazing. The entertainment was well thought out and people danced all night long – on AND off the dance floor. (If you missed our blog on Professor D – you will want to check them out).. The evening of Tempation was just so well put together that I don’t really have much to say except BRAVO!
The Wedding Event was also a vision to behold. The wedding luncheon evolved into an evening event and WOWSA is it ever an event not to be missed. Take a look at this beautiful red carpet lady. She took the arrival to another level. Of course, with Sean Defritas of Designs by Sean at the helm, I wouldn’t expect anything less. His work is always surreal and full of beauty and innovation. This evening only served to underscore my admiration. Held at the Florida State Fairgrounds, it was magical from beginning to end.
Now what would a trip to TSE be without the GALA Awards. The Oscars of the event industry promises a night full of glamour and fairytales. This year, it was REALLY was glamorous and fairytale-esque. Held in three separate venues, the evening started off with the GALA Award show. Held in a separate all white theater tent, the stage set was simply elegant and well done. The show was to the point, and quick moving with entertainment that wowed in its raw talent and creativity. Personally the guitarist really pulled me to the seat of my chair. Don’t get me wrong, I loved all the acts but the raw talent of the guitarist and dancer was moving. After the show it was into GALA Park with outdoor lounges and bars where drinks flowed easily and guests could hold celebratory toasts before moving towards the two-story dinner tent. Yes, it was really two-story and it was magnificent both from the outside and the inside.
This year the GALA Dinner was serviced restaurant style which was both interesting and a challenging undertaking for the caterer for sure. The décor inside the tent was lovely and it was hard to believe that we weren’t inside a supper club. The entertainment only added to that feeling as the evening was in constant motion on stage, but not so overbearing that you couldn’t hold conversation and enjoy time with friends. Dinner was served as it would be at a restaurant, and we ordered off menus with choices. Loved it. After dinner, a burlesque show or you if you wanted a something different, you could head to the Gala Garden for a drink and quiet conversation or the Award tent, which had been turned into a smoking hot dance club.
The hours FLEW by that evening, and I couldn’t believe when it was all over. From beginning to end, it was an amazing and well done. Hats off to the Tampa team! In my humble opinion, you really outdid yourselves in demonstrating what producing extraordinary events exemplify.
I can’t wait to see how Chicago is going to raise the stakes next year! Start making your plans now, and we will see you there!