Groups of industry pros combined their collective brainpower to create vignettes that encapsulated famous couples at the annual International Live Event Association (ILEA) Denver Designer Showcase in April 2018. Competing teams chose Kim and Kanye VIP Backstage, Chip and Joanna’s Market, Finding Neverland – Peter Pan and Wendy, and Saif & Kareena’s Sangeet Night as their themes.
The groups transformed 20-foot-by-20-foot spaces into worlds that represented the couples. Finding Neverland won both the People’s Choice and President’s Choice awards. The team’s captain, Julie Gambrell, showroom manager for Chair Covers and Linens Denver, says the event was fun since “there were no limits on our imagination. Normally you have to cater to a client’s needs, but in this case we had complete creative liberty with project.”
Fun Productions designed the group’s shadow box booth, which included the use of luminescent paint and provided an opportunity to create a shadow wall. Visitors could pose for pictures in front of the paint, and the flash from the camera created a temporary silhouette, which reminded team members of Peter Pan and his mischievous shadow.
“The whole idea behind Finding Neverland is if Peter Pan and Wendy got married and went back to host a dinner party in Neverland at the Lost Boys’ tree house,” explains Gambrell. The vignette stood out because of the tiny and subtle details throughout the room, such as feather-shaped place cards at the table, small vials of Tinker Bell’s pixie dust, overgrown moss, and vintage pieces. The team believed that Wendy would have incorporated small touches into the boys’ hideout, creating a unique blend between playfulness and elegance.
The menu included cleverly named dishes such as Mr. Smee’s Sliders, Peter’s Pan (mini cast-iron skillets filled with vegetarian tikka masala), and Tink’s Tarts.
While the team was incredibly pleased with the outcome of the project, they agreed that the best part was being able to transport visitors not only to Neverland but back to their childhoods, too. “One woman even teared up and told me that she was going to go home to watch the movie again!” Gambrell reflects. “Knowing that our design was able to generate that kind of emotional response is so special.”
The 2019 Designer Showcase will be held on Jan. 15.