Case Study in Determination: [firmness of purpose; resoluteness]
Event: Gold Bar Gala
Objectives: To host a VIP Grand Opening, celebrate 50 years in business and launch a new product
Result: Multi-award winning event with rave reviews from Audi Canada President, Daniel Weissland
Creating an engaging, entertaining and interactive Gold Bar Gala themed event is always top-of-mind when a client chooses us to produce their event. But this important aspect is just the first step. For our company, understanding the goals and objectives behind the decision to host an event must be considered and achieved. With ‘Gold Bar Gala’, we created an evening that delivered in every respect.
Upon arrival to the event, guests were greeted with a unique LED red carpet and offered a welcome champagne drink by Golden Girls with giant gold wings. In the background, contortionists performed in front of a 20’ ice bar, adorned with gorgeous white Phalaenopsis orchids.
The second and third floors of the event space held more surprises that carried on the ice and orchid theme. Highlights on the 2nd floor were a 50’ ice bar and a solid ice Audi R8 car made 50% to scale. The third floor was the favorite, as many guests swarmed to the Bubble Tea stations and visited the world’s longest long dessert bar (102’ feet long – Guinness World Record pending).
There is no doubt in my mind that we achieved all of our objectives and surpassed expectations with the ‘Gold Bar Gala’. Our approach to every aspect of the event; from working with their creative ideas and keeping them ‘in the loop’ throughout the planning stages, to the flawless execution of the event, and the close eye on budgetary constraints, gave them the outstanding event they were seeking.
The Gold Bar Gala celebrated the opening of a brand new auto sales showroom for a local Audi dealership. Along with our client, we identified that there were 2 main objectives that needed to be achieved; one was to showcase the Entire Building, and the second objective was to ‘Celebrate 50 Years in Business’. The third objective was to launch a new car, the Audi Velar.
We decided that, although the technical and décor components would be focused in the guest-facing areas of the new building, guests needed to see everything. This included all of the back-of-house areas such as Parts, Maintenance, and the Car Wash bays. A team of 12 model hostesses dressed in the same gold sequin evening gowns, collected small groups of guests and escorted them around all of the back-of-house areas. Talking points had been prepared by our client and the builder, and several training sessions and site inspections were hosted specifically for the Hostesses to become familiar with the venue, its architectural features, and the history of the dealership.
Via these talking points we were also able to touch on the second objective of ‘Celebrating 50 Years in Business’. Milestone events throughout the client’s business growth were outlined during each guided tour. But we also incorporated a visual element by rotating our client’s anniversary wordmark logo across all programmable surfaces. From the moment guests arrived and entered the event by walking along the LED Red Carpet, to the LED screen on the stage and the 20 foot ice bar on the first floor, to the LED DJ booth on the second floor, to the Video Wall installed on the wall between the second and third floors, guests couldn’t help but be reminded of our client’s huge special occasion that coincided with the Grand Opening of this new building.
The Gold Bar Gala had three main Objectives:
Objective #1 – Host a VIP Grand Opening
Solution – we identified that we needed to ‘Let the New Building Shine’ by highlighting its architectural and structural features, all 100,000 square feet of it, surrounded by World Class décor.
Objective #2 – Celebrate 50 years in business
Solution – gold, as an element that represented both ‘50th anniversary’ and ‘luxury,’ was a clear pillar of this event design.
Objective #3 – Launch a new product
Solution – integrate the reveal of the Velar into the event design. Our event design absolutely had to be equal to the luxury status of Audi.
Bright Ideas was contracted by a local Audi dealership to produce a high-end VIP Grand Opening event that also needed to highlight the company’s 50th Anniversary. They invited their top clientele and wanted them and the Audi representatives to feel valued by hosting an evening of Most Outstanding quality.
First and foremost, we wanted this event to be innovative to respect Audi’s heritage of sleek German automobile engineering. Considering the precedent, no one in Vancouver was planning Grand Openings for car dealerships with full-blown event design and supportive A/V installations. By doing both, we have raised the bar, innovating what customarily was a 3 hour cocktail party to an outstanding event worth attending and remembering!
For the design, we started with gold because it clearly announced both ‘50’ and ‘luxury’ while offering plenty of room for creativity and uniqueness. The Gold Bar Gala was born!
Then, we added two more design materials that together became our three event design pillars: Gold, Ice and White Orchids. Together, these elements represented everything we needed: sleek, luxury, modern, and show-stopping. We designed giant ice bars, one 20 feet long and one 50 feet long, etched with the client’s anniversary wordmark, embedded orchids, and shone red light to represent the Audi Sport brand.
But planning all of this throughout 100,000 square feet of construction zone (spread across 3 floors) that changed design on a weekly basis and having only opened 3 days before the event, presented its challenges. The building was so brand new that power hadn’t been wired to all rooms, including one where a show-stopping up-lit Ice Sculpture had been planned. Just hours before doors, electricians were installing wiring so our design would be realized as planned.
When three floors can only be accessed by a single loading bay and freight elevator, logistical planning was not just a challenge, but key to the success of the event. Nearly 25 suppliers all needed to load in, so delivery windows for each one were established based on the logical progression of installation. For example, all of the crystal chandeliers and truss lighting needed to be installed before the stage and rotating platform, before the custom white sintra stage veneer would be mounted, before the food stations and giant ice bars could be installed under the flown lighting. And ice melts! All of this had to be timed so the ice installations were in place for no longer than 2 hours prior to doors. Considering the dealership was open for business the entire time, this was surely a challenging set-up for a corporate event.
Even a World Class, innovative Grand Opening needs to have the staples, but we strived to elevate these elements whenever possible. Customized valet signs outside the Red Carpet experience, which was updated by including LED floor panels rotating the evening’s brands, and a photographer-attended Step & Repeat wall stated right off the bat that guests should expect all the basics but with modern twists.
Food & Beverages
Canapes were passed by sixty servers all wearing black tops, gold ties and white gloves. Several food stations using Lucite countertops emanating a red glow topped with dozens of orchids ensured that no guest had an empty hand at any point throughout the evening. Stilt walkers served guests appetizers as they took the escalator to tour floors. This was a novel idea.
And the World’s Longest Dessert Bar (102’ long) on the third floor (Guinness World Record pending) with customized phone charging stations offered dessert squares with edible logos beside a Bubble Tea café that ensured that guests finished the evening with traditional features (desserts and coffee). Elevated and reinvented to reflect the stature of both this World Class auto icon and the experience, this is exactly what the select clientele wanted.
Audi R8 Ice Car
And, remarking on his favorite moments such as the replica Audi R8 Ice Car that rotated and changed colours, and using the same scissors that cut the ribbon for the original opening 50 years ago, our minds are still ringing by the way the special guest, Daniel Weissland, summarized the Gold Bar Gala’s outstanding caliber by stating, “This event ranks among the top five Audi openings I’ve ever attended globally”!
The Gold Bar Gala was the VIP Grand Opening of an Audi showroom, coinciding with their 50th anniversary. Highlighting 100,000 square feet across three floors offered challenge after challenge. The event was visually stunning, a memorable experience for all of our guests and a resounding success on all fronts for our client!
Event Photos: Gold Bar Gala