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A toast to portable bars

Trend Watch | August 1, 2011 | By:

Decor-infused portable bars make great showpieces for tented parties.

The event bar is no longer a wallflower. When designed especially for the event industry, portable bars pair well with decor trends, are easy to transport and offer lots of features that bartenders appreciate. Instead of relegating the bar to a corner or wall, think of them centerpieces for event design.

Stage the bar

“You can do a circular or square bar in the middle of the room and even embellish it with a great back bar display or tall fabric columns coming out of the middle of it,” says Jack Weiner of kool. Party Rentals, based in Phoenix, Ariz. “You can also ‘stage’ each bar by using creative props or draping to highlight an area.”

Weiner also notes that clients use the bars for other event needs, such as registration counters, product displays, buffets and food stations and swag bag pick-up areas. “This has led us to redesign the way we engineer our bars to make them visually appealing from all angles,” he says.

Hot trends

The bar and the band or DJ should always be focal points of an event, and a beautifully laid out back bar or custom designed bar such as PortaDecor’s Mod 5 will do the trick, says Andy Zaino of PortaDecor, a modular event furniture manufacturer based in Bellmore, N.Y. The Mod 5 can hold up to 1,000 pounds and is easily furnished with speed rails and other accessories.

The challenge of trendy event furniture, Zaino says, is that it can be hot one season and a faux pas the next. “The trick with staying in line with the latest rapidly moving trends is renting furniture that can quickly transform and change with the times, such as PortaDecor’s Mod or Q series.”

Set the mood

“When you take into account that many bars are in lower lighting areas of an event, it makes sense to have some gentle accent or mood lighting in the area,” says Andy Lakatos of BarChefs, an event furniture and accessory manufacturer based in Knoxville, Tenn. “Lighting helps make brand names show up, provides atmosphere and makes the bar stand out.”

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