During the 2014 MEETING PROFESSIONALS INTERNATIONAL SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE (#MPISEC14), KONCEPT EVENTS was tasked with creating “WOW” factors that would appeal to a “hard to please” audience of professional planners and the local industry who’s-who. Hoping to represent the younger generation of “fresh-thinkers” in Broward County, Partner Hillary Smith, CMP, CSEP volunteered as a co-chair for the MPI SEC “WOW Committee.” A long time member and active “joiner,” Smith’s peers knew that by having her and her talented team on-board, the conference was sure to leave attendees feeling much more than just “WOWed.”
During an early committee brainstorming session, Smith along with Meredith Lasher from BOMBSHELL PRODUCTIONS and CVB representative, Christine Tascione-Roberts, birthed a very unique concept using the RIVERSIDE HOTEL LAWN on the infamous Las Olas Blvd as the base. The vision was to show planners what the “real” Fort Lauderdale had to offer. Inspired by the behind the scenes television show “ANTHONY BOURDAIN’S NO RESERVATIONS,” they came up with a unique festivity that provided a local’s look into the heartbeat of their city. They brought together the finest artisans and chefs to help showcase the best of Fort Lauderdale’s food, spirits, arts, design and entertainment. What resulted was nothing less and so much more!
The planning process took months and the combined efforts of many KE staffers and suppliers. KE handled securing the suppliers and sponsors as well as the overall logistics of the installation while Bombshell Productions used their connections within the FAT VILLAGE art community to secure a myriad of talented exhibitors. With over 50 volunteer vendors, this ended up as one epic event!
As the tents went up, tourists passing by were buzzing with anticipation. What was going to happen? Sorry folks; this event is private! Crammed with education sessions, attendees spent hours inside the icy cold ballrooms at the BONAVENTURE RESORT & SPA in WESTON, FLORIDA. This conference encourages sharing best practices and provides meeting professionals with an opportunity to learn new tips and tricks in order to stay at the top of their game; and competition. As Day 2 came to a close, the group was revived at the sight of this circus like creation outside in the fresh FLORIDA air! Shuttled over on luxury buses, hundreds of industry professionals funneled into the tents with jaws dropping. A feast for the eyes (and palate) – stunning décor hung from the ceiling, funky lounge furniture invited intimate networking and roving artistic entertainers made the perfect playground of fun for meeting planners to indulge. The performers of the night created a pulse of energy through the crowd with break dance crews, live body art and LED robotic dancers. Not a single guest could be persuaded to leave as the hours wore on…but they eventually conceded. Fortunately, the enjoyment did not end there. All guests were invited to “STACHE DRINKING DEN” located in the RIVERFRONT DISTRICT OF DOWNTOWN FORT LAUDERDALE for the official after-party. This speak-easy style bar offered guests a variety of decadent desserts including DIY s’mores and fresh made NUTELLA crepes as guests sipped on customized cocktails created with old-fashioned flair and mixology.
By the end of the night it was OFFICIAL. Fort Lauderdale was the must go-to city for meeting planners. As everyone clamored to book their up-coming events, the KE team couldn’t help but smile. It felt amazing to know their efforts had made such an impact on their hometown! KE was happy to showcase how incredibly progressive, unique, and cool the FTL is and as the phones ring off the hooks at the office…KE has already begun letting their imaginations run wild to blow the minds of these meeting planners in their events to come!