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Tent company transforms parking lot

December 1st, 2008 / By: / Project Briefs

Elite Productions dodges trees, planters and permit issues to pull off a fabulous two-night tented party.

Less than two months before Elite Productions was due to throw two evening parties for a finance company, the client finally decided on a venue: the parking lot of the hotel where the client’s conference would be held. The venue held many advantages, the best being that guests could walk from the hotel to the tent. To transform the parking lot into a tented spot that would wow the client’s top investors and customers, Elite Productions would have to engage in some creative orchestration.

“We only had four weeks for planning, but we were able to make it work,” says Lili Shadab, CEO of Elite Productions. The client had plenty of needs within that short time, but Elite met the client’s requests by working with efficient and flexible vendors, Shadab says.

“There were many limitations, such as city and county permit issues, a short pre-production timeline and budget [issues],” Shadab says. “We were dealing with a public facility in a residential area.” Elite Productions and tent provider Classic Party Rentals both coordinated with local officials to obtain the multiple permits needed.

The event team also faced the challenge of building a 100-by-195-foot tent in a parking lot that had parking pay stations, large trees and planters that had to be disguised. To help hide the lot’s existing planters, the event team finished the tent with wood flooring and carpet. The team covered the pay stations with hollow columns, and they dressed up the trees with lights — leading guests to believe the trees were an intentional design element.

One of the things Shadab took away from the experience was the absolute importance of schedules. “We realized how important an efficient production schedule was,” Shadab says. “We couldn’t have done it without one.” And in the end, the challenges of working with officials paid off, allowing Elite Productions to build good relationships with the city and county, Shadab says.

The event team didn’t let the limitations hinder the quality of the event. “The only request from the client was, ‘Wow me!’” Shadab says, adding that the client ended up satisfied. “They said we killed it!”

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