Road Trip: The Special Event Conference and Trade Show

Taylor Jenkins and I were recently privileged to have the opportunity to go to the Special Event Conference and Trade Show at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee. The purpose of our trip was to represent our fellow Syzygy team, at the International Special Event Awards Ceremony and Gala for our nomination in the category for an event valued over $250,000.00. For us, this was National Geographic’s 125th Anniversary at the National Building Museum. Our competition was tough, but our nerves couldn’t be rattled- we were confident in the spectacular event that we had produced.

Nat Geo Nat Geo On the evening of the Awards Ceremony and Gala, Taylor and I dressed in our finest and even took the time prior to primp, which included getting our nails done and hair perfect. Rested and relaxed, (an absolutely rare moment for an event designer) we headed to the cocktail party and awards ceremony.  We didn’t really know anyone as the audience for the gala drew people from all around the world. It was amazing to look around the room at people who had come from as far as Germany, China, Australia, Canada – all across the USA.  Taylor and I kept mental notes from other acceptance speeches to make sure we covered everything when and if we were to win. Finally, our award category came up and much to our sadness we did not win.  For a moment, I was a little sad and then realized that there was no reason to feel this way.

National Geographic’s 125th Anniversary was 100% a win for us in every single way – A true, over the top spectacle down to the smallest detail. The design team created the most beautiful schemes that encompassed digital mapping across the multiple tall columns of the National Building Museum to an extremely impressive reverse curved kabuki that measured over 80 feet tall and 80 feet wide; setting the precedence as a curve never done in the United States in that size or scale before. A bonus was the capability to use the tremendous film footage provided by National Geographic. Taylor took care of every desire of our clients, fulfilling every wish they could have ever dreamed of, for many months leading up to the event. In the end, they truly surpassed their clients’ expectations. Our manufacturing team created 80 custom tables which included custom etched compass tables and topography tables influenced and driven from actual National Geographic maps. In addition to the 80 custom tables, a custom stage of epic size was erected to hold an entire orchestra and 100 of National Geographic’s top explorers. I was responsible for all of the centerpieces which represented earthscapes varying in character from the oceans, desserts, bogs, icebergs and the jungle floor. Each centerpiece was unique with custom details to discover within each design.  And finally, last but not least, our installation managers and warehouse team were spectacular throughout the entire packing, loading, install and removal process.   Nat Geo

The moral to this story is simple: “It takes a village,” a famous quote from one of my favorite people alive.  It’s quite perfect in this circumstance.  No one person can ever create the magic that was achieved that evening, and we will ever more be thankful to our entire team for everything contributed by each and every person’s hands and hearts.

xo Julie

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Our First Look at Holiday 2013

We’re always thinking ahead.  In this case it means ignoring the heat and humidity and trying to imagine the end of the year.  Holiday Parties are some of our favorites of the year because we love helping companies and families celebrate the joys from the past year and the hope for the next!  We have been tossing around some new ideas to reinvent the classic “Winter Wonderland” Theme.  Here are some of our first few thoughts…

Hot Toddy Holiday

Tartan and Tree Trimming


A “Hot Toddy Holiday” would be great for a small seated dinner event.  Imagine coming in from the snow in your favorite sweater.  This party would evoke the same cozy feelings as a warm Hot Toddy after a long day on the slopes.

KEY ELEMENTS:  Tartan Plaids, Berries, Natural Textures

Mid – Century Mingle & Jingle

Mid Century


This version of a classic Winter Wonderland would feature lots of white and gold.  Imagine Clean lines and light-colored woods.  This would be a great option for a cocktail reception.  It’s the perfect occasion to show off creative cocktails.

KEY ELEMENTS:  White & Gold, Modern Woodland Creatures, Birch Wood

Faux Bois Fête

Faux Bois


We love this for a large seated dinner.  The combination the wood texture and the bold black (or bold color of your choice) creates a really dramatic yet subtle effect.  We love the idea of using this texture in your lighting to create amazing atmosphere on the walls or on the open floor.

KEY ELEMENTS:  Faux Bois Runners, Bold Table Pieces

Check out our Pinterest Page for the original source for all of these pics and more!

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Event Inspiration: Weather

It goes without saying that nature is a huge source of inspiration.  Everything from the colors of the flowers to the textures of a forrest can inspire our Event Designers to create truly magical spaces.  Over the last few months we’ve noticed a trend towards “weather” as inspiration.

Weather has this amazing ability to balance power and beauty.  Translating that into event space can create all different types of atmospheres for your guests.

Weather can be whimiscal… how great would a cloud be as a way to collect escort cards…

…weather can defy explanation…we’re obsessed with this rain room for it’s use of technology

…weather can bring awesome power and suspense to a stage.  Here are a few renderings we have come up with…



We love the potential this has to create some truly dramatic moments.

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