We’ve been really, really blessed to be able, on certain occasions, to give back to the community that supports us by doing some events at a very cheap cost, or even for free. This past weekend, we did TWO such events. One for Hanalani School in Mililani, and the other for Star of the Sea School in Kahala. We’ll look at a bit of event analysis on each in today’s and tomorrow’s blog posts.
Hanalani had their 7th/8th grade banquet, and a friend of mine, who is their art teacher, asked me for some assistance. This year, their class theme for the entire year has been “A race through time and space”, so playing off of that concept, we proposed a Space Invaders/Galaxy Quest/Astro Blaster look. The venue was their sports gym, so we were tasked with transforming that into a cool event.
We used three elements to accomplish this: Lighting, Linens, and some Décor focal points to create a WOW factor.
First off, we turned off all the lights in the space. During the day, sunlight still streamed in, but at night (when the event took place) it was totally dark. That allowed us to focus lighting only on the important areas, blacking out the basketball banners, scoreboard, and other gym-features that didn’t fit the theme. We used minimal lighting, including specialty StarGazer lights when the guests first walked in, which imitate a galaxy with green laser light “stars” cast all over the check in and buffet area. To add a bit of excitement and fun, we did a custom step-and-repeat photobooth, with a 20′ black pipe-and-drape fronted by a full crystal curtain. We lit it with front-spotlights, and put a table filled with fun hats and other props so the guests could put those on, and take their own funny photos.
We installed four metal frames over the buffet and beverage areas, and put a single white plastic Acorn light over each buffet area, which lent itself to that raw, outer space, modern look. We used flashing LED lights inside the clear juice dispensers to give it more glow. We created a walkway leading to the guest seating with twinkle lights, giving a soft yet eye-catching overhead visual on where to enter. And we stopped the room divider at about 10′ off the ground (which is a full curtain that drops down from the ceiling) and hung more black curtain draping and crystal curtains from it to create a faux divider between the buffet space and the dining space.
In the dining space, we used bright neon colors on the tablecloths and napkins, invoking a 80’s style space age look, something much more fun than a more subdued silver and black look we used in the buffet area. The centerpieces were silver buckets with white curly willow branches stuck out of them like weird moon trees (if the moon did have trees). These we uplit with blue LED submersible pin lights. Finally, blue LED uplights accented the pillars around the edge of the gym, and white swirly gobo images cast some light down onto the guest seating, providing some ambient dining light.
All in all, it was a great success, and the school got an amazing visual experience for a great price.
Next year, we’re on to a different theme, but will build on this year’s success to create another impressive looking event!