Photos Courtesy of Harold Hutchinson Photography, HHclick
On Saturday, June 8th, 40 plus event planners and hospitality professionals from around the nation visited the Oregon Zoo as a potential travel destination as part of an Oregon Zoo and Travel Portland effort to increase tourism in the area through the Elevate Your Experience tour. The tour featured different locations and attractions in the area to host industry professionals, and highlight what Portland has to offer as a destination.
“The Zoo was looking to position their facilities as a unique, creative, and flexible venue for corporate gatherings to show it’s versatility” said April Severson, event planner and CEO of April Severson Events, of the Zoo’s intention to attract visitors to the site as an optimal venue with expansive potential.
A West Coast client for over ten years, Severson has trusted WCEP to help ensure her client’s vision is perfectly executed and inspired. Severson’s recent event with frequent client, the Oregon Zoo, was no exception.
Severson, along with West Coast Event Production’s account managers and designers Joe Garcia, Elizabeth Garcia, and Megan Davis, helped to develop an event theme to compliment the Oregon Zoo’s goal of creating a unique image of the site that integrated the raw nature and beauty of the wild outdoors, while planting the seed that the zoo was capable of sophistication. With the goal in mind, Severson, devised the theme of “glamping”—a hot button term used to describe glamorous camping. Seldom associated, glamorous camping served as the perfect theme to showcase the zoo as a unique and diverse site, as not often do people consider the zoo as a destination aside from youth and family focused activities.
Severson and West Coast accomplished the “glamping” theme by striking the right balance of incorporating elegant and sophisticated detail with elements of nature. West Coast Event Productions provided various aspects to convey Severson’s “glamping” concept, including a 40 by 40 foot white tent, with chiffon room dividers and plush lounge seating areas where event and hospitality professionals relaxed and enjoyed local Northwest inspired cuisine prepared by Chef Paul Bosch. Each course was paired with a specialty salt from The Meadows—a gourmet sea salt, chocolate, and specialty shop.
Shades of purple and indigo peppered the tent area as an accent to enhance the natural colors of the outdoor space. West Coast Event Productions created custom centerpieces that encapsulated the theme with natural greenery amongst purple meadow flowers—helping bring the décor down to earth among the luxurious chiffon and plush seating that put the “glam” in “glamping”. Severson also made use of WCEP’s natural wood bar. Originally made for the 2012 Olympic tryouts at the University of Oregon, the natural wood bar is popular among many clients for a range of occasions from elegant galas to casual outdoor events.
With the creativity and experience of April Severson Events and West Coast Event Productions, The Oregon Zoo certainly made an impression, as the zoo has already experienced further interest from event planners and industry professionals who went “glamping” at the exotic locale.
“Our clients were completely knocked out by the event” said Severson, “It (the “Glamping” event) surpassed their expectations.”
Severson brings unmatched energy, spirit, creativity and expertise to each and every event Severson produces, which is largely why West Coast Event Productions values collaboration with Severson and as always, enjoyed working with April Severson Events to glamorize this camping experience at the Oregon Zoo.
The concept of “glamping” can translate into any event, and is great theme for an upscale outdoor event, that simultaneously strives for a casual vibe that captures the beauty of a natural environment. Consider inviting your wedding, corporate, or any guest to go “glamping” at your event, and see what glamorous and earthy additions West Coast has to offer.
Find additional inspiration from Biz Bash: 12 Chic Summer Event Idea Inspired by “Glamping”