Monday, January 29, 2018

Event Report: Prohibition Era Theme Highlights Historical Los Angeles

Event Date: Friday, December 1. 2017
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Vibiana, Downtown Los Angeles, CA
Guest Count: 600

The Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board and Marriott International wished to highlight the rich and illustrious history of Los Angeles at THE EXCHANGE – Corporate Partnership Conference, the annual corporate meeting professionals event for Marriott International.

We were honored to create a Prohibition era event with our friends at LATCB and Marriott, applying the theme to every aspect, from beginning - the guest departures from the meeting hotel - to the surprise end of the event.

We loved this assignment! It was a wonderful opportunity to use a historic venue, Vibiana, originally constructed as the Los Angeles cathedral in 1876, in the midst of the ultra-modern Downtown neighborhood, to bring a 1920s themed event to life.
We used all indoor and outdoor areas of this completely historic but technically ultra-modern venue.

We transported the guests back in time by surrounding them with interactive period elements throughout the soiree.

Costumed characters added excitement from the start.
We placed "Newsies Paper Boys" who distributed single-sided one page special edition newspapers next to the buses that transferred guests from the meeting hotel to Vibiana.
Mobsters and Molls welcomed guests outside the venue entrance.
Guests were invited to take photos with characters in our photo op booths. We offered both a prohibition era-style jail prop for interactive photo opportunities, and an Art Deco photo booth with 1920s themed props.

Our Champagne Glass Girl greeted guests as they entered the main hall - setting the Baz Luhrmann inspired over-the-top Great Gatsby mood.

Themed entertainment enhanced the Prohibition party atmosphere. A DJ spun electro swing. Our Molls turned into Busby Berkley Dancers for a stage performance. A solo guitarist performed Django Reinhardt and 1930s jazz in the Speakeasy Garden.
Two tap dancers entertained guests with vignette appearances in the courtyard.
Gambling stations in the courtyard gave guests a chance to mingle while they played.

LATCB created a menu and specialty cocktails inspired by iconic restaurants of the era as well. Clifton's, the Polo Lounge, Musso & Frank Grill, the Original Pantry, Warner Bros Commissary and the Del Monte Speakeasy hark back to the Jazz Age and have endured through all time to this day.

"Bathtub Gin" inspired cocktails were served during the event. Guests were also offered personal flasks containing cocktail mixers as a giveaway item at the end.

LATCB and Marriott wished to end the event with a bang and on the spot to transition all guests to the after party at an adjacent location.

We created a "raid", complete with 1920s sirens, lighting effects and costumed Keystone Cops. Guests loved this surprise ending and unexpected transition to an After Party near the venue.

Thank you for reading!
Kristen Rensch and Ted Bowers

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