Thursday throwback: a Sunny Soiree in the ‘Party Palace’

Visit Florida wanted to deliver an event that put a modern spin on tradition, in a venue that would dazzle guests. Guests included overseas professionals who had made the journey from Florida as well as the UK & Ireland for the World Travel Market. Gosh PR were charged to created an innovative and cutting-edge event within Banqueting House. The designs were to ensure the palace history and beauty was admired and that the Visit Florida brand was strong throughout the evening.

Video Mapping and Imagery

Banqueting House was selected for its impressive history and its ability to present itself as a traditional venue that could transform into so much more. Gosh PR took inspiration from previous video mapping designs at the palace’s events to tell the Florida story. The result was unbelievable! The evening included a 19-minute video production piece which captured the audience and took them on an immersive journey around Florida, by boat, hot air balloon and pelican!

Gosh PR chose video mapping as a way to show the guests how diverse Florida is in an innovative way. When they saw that they could transport their audience from cold and rainy London to the sunshine state, on the 55 foot high walls of Banqueting House, they were absolutely sold.

Specific imagery was chosen to showcase each location and what it had to offer. Florida has beaches, boating, shopping, the Everglades, amazing food and really fun happy people. Their production team was sent to Florida to film prior to the event with the Presidents and CEOs of each destination.

This gave the opportunity for fresh and personalised content, created specifically for this event, which was very impressive. In order to deliver this state of the art technology within the 400 year old Palace, GOSH PR chose to work with Approved Supplier, Wise Productions. Wise utilised their 20 years experience to bring the incredible Palladian architecture of the Main Hall to life. The production was created by mixing the old with the new ensuring guests were delivered a visionary experience they wouldn’t forget. Together with sound design, lighting and a dramatic red carpet entrance, it was a spectacular event.

The Menu

The-Recipe devised a menu which brought the Florida warmth and fun to a cold November evening in London. A variety of dishes were offered so that the guests who came from America, Britain and Ireland could all indulge. Specifically, a British themed fish and chip handheld canapé was chosen as one of the dishes that greeted the guests. Following the call to dinner, an American short rib of beef accompanied with an oxtail pie was presented, but could tempt those to try a few more British and Irish delicacies, if they wanted. The dessert buffet concluded the American, British and Irish theme as miniature Eton Messes and decadent chocolate brownies were served. This allowed guests to network for the rest of the evening, as well as picking up second (and third!) helpings of their favourite desserts.

The Flowers

Since the mapping was the main feature of the night, everything else was to be as dynamic and sleek as the presentation. Pinstripes and Peonies provided a fantastic balance between classy and fun with a mix of low and tall floral arrangements in the Main Hall. Each arrangement had bright flowers and small coloured pineapples either in a mirrored small vase or a tall clear circular vase containing clear ‘bubbles’. The tall centrepieces were reminiscent of an ‘Under the Sea’ theme, which tied in nicely with the Florida beaches. As well as looking beautiful the designs worked so well because they caused no obstructions to the evenings presentations – practical!

The Palace Entertainment

Beginning the night with a DJ and saxophone player and ending the evening with ‘The London Essentials’ – we wanted to ensure the attendees had an interactive evening. The saxophone player wandered amongst the guests in the Undercroft during the drinks reception as the DJ played alongside her. When it was time to go upstairs, trumpeters and a Master of Ceremonies announced that it was time to go to the Main Hall for dinner. This was fun for the American demographic as the pageantry emphasised the historical relevance of the stunning venue.

A curator for Historic Royal Palaces gave a talk on the history of Banqueting House as soon as everyone was seated. Again, due to the nature of the event it was important to the client to give guests an insight into the rich and significant history of the palace. A string quartet played throughout dinner and an interactive digital media wall was illuminated for the remainder of the night. This allowed guests to share their experience at the palace across multiple social channels.

As soon as dinner was over ‘The London Essentials’, a five-piece acoustic party band, entertained with pop classics as they roamed around the space. Preferring to dance among the crowd instead of on a stage, this band made every person feel as if they were the star of the show. The group were excellent and able to get anyone out of their seats (literally!) and on their feet! They kept the party going until the very end.

Suppliers to note

Photographer: Steve Dunlop

Catering: The-Recipe

Planner/Stylist: Rachel Houston, GOSH PR

Production: Wise Production

Florist: Pinstripes and Peonies

Venue: Banqueting House

Entertainment: Prelude Entertainment

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