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Tent covers unique, multi-themed awards gala

Project Briefs | August 1, 2008 | By:

A theater company gets something truly unique for its awards gala.

For its 2008 Pell Awards, Trinity Repertory Company of Providence, R.I., set aside $25,000 of its overall budget just for décor, and Perfect Surroundings Inc. was tasked with creating something completely out of the ordinary. “The client wanted to try something new and fresh—something other than a seated gala,” says Evan Carbotti, of Perfect Surroundings Inc., Newport, R.I.

Blackstone Catering came up with just the thing: Three separate themes, each with its own menu, to be housed under the 80-by-120-foot tent. Proper restaurant service would enhance the experience by allowing guests to gather together naturally and get food and drinks as they would if they were out on the town. The themes were diverse—Japanese, Latin, French—but Perfect Surroundings designed a cohesive look for the three areas. Catering staff were kept on the same page to ensure the three different menus were delivered without issue.

“When designing three areas you really have to treat it like three different events entirely, and find ways to transition each area into the next,” Carbotti says. “We used some soft seating and cocktail tables to soften the lines between the different areas.”

Designing the three areas was especially challenging due to an uneven surface in the parking lot where the event was held. “For the most part, the uneven ground was combated with creative placement of the large bar areas and lounges,” Carbotti says.

Despite the tent’s uneven floor surface, the event itself went off without a hitch. “This event might have been one of the smoothest in years from start to finish,” Carbotti says. “This is chiefly attributed to working with great and familiar vendors, as well as a client who had complete trust in our creative abilities. We were really able to showcase our talents and test some new ideas because we had an amazing client who shared our dramatic vision.”

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