Archive for May, 2013

Nike Team “Just did it” Celebrating in Style at Pure Space

By: Kayse Dahl

Nike party-goers had a “just do it” attitude Thursday, May 23rd, at Pure Space, while celebrating the completion of a four year project. Signature Nike orange accented the space with orange up-lighting illuminating hung chiffon and gel screens, to orange throw pillows and linen.  West Coast’s lead account manager, Elizabeth Garcia, transformed Pure Space to convey a synergetic atmosphere of playful sophistication that so well represents the brand and Nike team members—many of which, were dressed in brightly colored clothing and sporting bow ties. Garcia accomplished this vision of playful sophistication by placing elements including sleek ultra-lounge furniture, next to Ping Pong Tables from WCEP’s quirky new Ping Pong venture, Pure Pong in the Pearl. Guests kept the Ping Pong tables occupied for the duration of the evening, and also tried their luck at Casino games furnished by Wild Bill’s.  The 175 Nike team members also fit in some cardio, and showed serious endurance on the dance floor while the DJ spun hit after hit!

A blue Halogen lit agam bar, and a custom built wood bar with sections of hammered metal detail stood in the center of the room to reiterate the fun, yet polished vibe. While most clients generally prefer to position the bar or focal point of the room near the perimeter of the space, this Nike floor plan proves that Pure Space offers extensive versatility as a venue. The playful nature of the event was amplified near the entrance, where Paparazzi Tonight constructed a custom photo booth with Nike orange props for guests to immortalize their silly side with coworkers. Images taken by Paparazzi Tonight were displayed overhead during the event through Pure Space’s state of the art AV equipment, including 10.5 by 14 foot AV screen, and 12 K lumen projector. Threats of blackmail at the next staff meeting ensued as photos began to be projected by Paparazzi Tonight on the big screen.

Many Nike guests approached Event Manager, Kayse Dahl, to express their gratitude for such a wonderful event. One guest even returned to Pure Space the following day to extend a “Thank You” for the rousing good time—a great way to recognize the hard work Nike contributed while completing the honorary four year project. Nike team members work hard, and West Coast Event Productions has been happy to help them play hard for multiple occasions over the years—proud to share in the success of the Nike brand and innovations through successful events.




Reed College Commencement Ceremony

By: Kayse Dahl

Optimism and pride filled the 26,000 square foot white tent at the Ninety-ninth Annual Commencement at Reed College. Identified as one of the most academically rigorous colleges in the nation, graduates and guests had much to be proud of. West Coast Event Productions is proud to have been part of the production and design of the prestigious ceremony for the past nine years. With various tents of all dimensions, extensive staging, set design, audio visual necessary for 12k image magnification, and a state of the art sound system necessary to ensure impeccable sound quality for the delivery of speeches that may forever be remembered, the ceremony is a grand production, which WCEP has continuously delivered. Beth Martin, Director of Conference and Events at Reed, described the head event production and Account Manager, DJ Smith, as a “rock star!” West Coast and Reed College have established a positive and efficient partnership for nearly a decade, as the majority of WCEP staff assisting with the event have been involved since 2005, when Reed first began trusting WCEP to execute the University’s commencement.

“It has been a pleasure working so closely with every member of the planning team at Reed College.  Reed’s full team is solidly grounded in supporting successful events – from the office of public affairs and president’s office, to the grounds crew and campus security detail team; everyone is a partner to each other in communicating event knowledge necessary to pull off the multi-faceted, multi-day, multi-location events we help produce at Reed College, like the commencement ceremony. This open discussion and collaboration between Reed’s different departments and West Coast, combined with a culture of creating a partnership rather than servitude, has allowed us to continually improve the coordination, design, management and execution of successful events together over the years. With each event, West Coast  and Reed College search for ways to better plan and execute in the future–ensuring a mutually beneficial relationship of growth to successfully serve Reed as an appreciated client. I look forward to working with the team at Reed College for years to come” said Smith about his experience with Reed.

On Monday, May 20th, students marched into the ceremony to the sound of bag pipes before receiving an inspiring message from the University president that could be heard articulately well beyond the tent—reaching students casually sunning themselves across campus.

Post ceremony, students and loved ones gathered on the opposite side of campus to enjoy celebratory champagne and lunch, while shaded beneath several tents custom-fit between buildings, trees and lamp-posts. Reed’s signature school color, Burgundy,  provided a decorative touch overhead, as the West Coast décor team installed multiple swags of fabric treatment for an added elegant touch in the 9200’ square feet of dinner tents, designed to accommodate up to 900 guests. The ceiling swagging helped ignite school spirit among the newly graduated alumni and guests. Adding fabric swagging is a great option for enhancing the decor element of any tent.

West Coast Event Productions would like to congratulate all the 2013 graduates from Reed College, and also offer some critical advice for their future endeavors; when planning an event in the Pacific Northwest, trust not the forecast, but West Coast Event Productions to supply a fabulous tent and full production.


Motown Gala

By: Kayse Dahl

It’s not as easy as “ABC, one, two, three” for many low-income students to attend higher education, which is why PCC Portland hosted a Motown themed benefit this past Saturday, May 18th, at the Portland Marriot Hotel.  The annual “Evening for Opportunity Gala Benefit” poses an opportunity for guests to bid on silent auction items and enjoy a fabulous evening, while providing low-income students in Oregon with the opportunity to further their education. This Motown gala was particularly special, as the event also honored the University’s retiring President, Preston Pulliams’, for his dedication to the cause, and PCC’s mission. Pulliams’ commitment to helping students achieve their dreams was returned with the selection Motown as the annual gala’s theme, as the president had always dreamed of joining the iconic Motown group, The Temptations!

Motown is a popular event theme that emulates the funk and soul music recorded at the Motown label in Detroit in the 1960’s. The 650 guests registered in the lobby among custom lit Motown signs before entering the ballroom to face 650 red stretch covered seats waiting to be filled. WCEP created various custom pieces to capture a groovy vibe for the event, including a Motown designed backdrop bar stationed in the prefunction room for the silent auction, and four additional custom bars that served guests hip cocktails—inspiring some original moves witnessed on the dance floor.

Naturally, incorporating music is a must for Motown events. WCEP created a custom Motown style glass DJ Booth, complete with gold records, and 8″x 10″ framed photos of various famous Motown artists. Every element was groovy, down to the three original glam centerpieces adorned with crystals and records. Crystals covered the stage as well, with a ceiling to floor crystal beaded backdrop that shimmered and emulated the star power of Motown musicians. It’s safe to say; Gladys Knight and Smokey Robinson would have felt right at home there in the Portland Marriot!

Get the Look- Great Gatsby Glam

This past month, West Coast Event Production’s industrial chic venue, Pure Space, has held two Great Gatsby inspired events, and a third at the Portland Art Museum—undoubtedly motivated by the release of the recent remake of the glamorous romantic tale. Set in the 1920’s, the film emulates an air of the carefree, extravagant party life of the time, and calls for equally extravagant and fabulous décor. Black chandeliers, ostrich plums, and cozy dark corners turned Pure Space into Gatsby’s mansion. Both of the Gatsby events at Pure Space happened to be proms, though according to the Huffington Post, the story has become a trendy wedding theme as well.

No matter the occasion there are some must-haves that are nonnegotiable to achieve the Gatsby glam. It seems this time, on the film’s 6th remake, filmmakers got it right, and you can too for your Gatsby-inspired event with these recommendations.

  1. A magnificent bar: The roaring twenties are known for having been just that—a roaring good time, and no good Gatsby time is complete without champagne and fabulous cocktails. Needless to say, the bar should be the focal point of the room. Parties and speakeasies during the era were centered around beverage service, as should your décor. We recommend an Agam bar with halogen lighting—any color is possible, just make it bright and complimentary to the rest of the décor.
  2. Chandeliers: A little sparkle is key. Chandeliers serve two purposes, which is excellent for a budget. Not only do they assist with lighting, chandeliers also contribute as a décor element. Black chandeliers have been popular at Pure Space Great Gatsby events, though a custom oversized chandelier like the one WCEP recently constructed for the Gerding Theatre Gala, would be an exceptional addition. Chandeliers also resemble 1920’s fashion—similar to the iconic beaded flapper dresses which helps develop the appropriate vibe.
  3. Dance floor: It is not necessary to do the Charleston, (though you should) however a dance floor is necessary to capture the carefree atmosphere enjoyed by the hopelessly magnificent characters in the Great Gatsby. Creating a visually designated space for dancing signifies that letting loose is acceptable, and encourages guests to dance and be the lively crowd fit for a Great Gatsby event. Black and white checkered, or an all white look is preferred.

By: Kayse Dahl

Gerding Theater Silver Anniversary Carnevale

For the past quarter century, the Gerding Theater has housed countless dazzling performances, and on the Theater’s 25th Anniversary, West Coast Event Productions set the stage for a gala equally as dazzling. A Venetian, masquerade inspired theme, the theater glistened silver from the rafters to the floor in honor of the silver anniversary. Chandeliers and hauntingly enchanting mannequins disguised in masquerade transformed the space into an unforgettable black tie affair.

Hundreds of guests first entered the Gerding Theater parking garage that, in true masquerade fashion, was unrecognizable—transformed into a gorgeous Venetian inspired cocktail hour. Jokers met guests at the door, who sipped cocktails by the gondola and Venetian Riviera backdrop before entering the theater.

West Coast Event Productions has produced the Gerding Theater Gala for several years. Past themes have included Blues Rendezvous: A Night on the Bayou, It’s a Mod, Mod, Mod, World, and Hooray for Bollywood.  While each gala has been fabulous, this years’ silver anniversary was truly magical with a custom chandelier hung in the center of theater—illuminating the romantically dark and mysterious space while guests dined and bid on extravagant auction items to their heart’s content.

Congratulations to 25 years of magical theater, may there be 25 magical galas more! Read about the gala on the Portland Society Page

By: Kayse Dahl