Monday, November 17, 2008

A Week in the Hectic Event Life of David Monn

As some of you may have read in the press, this past weekend we created the largest event held in Florida since the 1920's. The celebration was the reopening of the Fontainebleau resort in Miami Beach. As you can imagine, it was a crazy and hectic week trying to get this colossal event organized. Because I am frequently asked what goes into putting such a large party together, I have chronicled my week to provide a glimpse into the meticulous planning that goes into the parties that we do.

Tuesday: I arrived in Miami early in the morning, after having completed the Guggenheim International Gala the night before. Our schedule had been delayed two days due to some permit and building issues, and the atmosphere was tense when I arrived. It was mostly a technical day; we set up the lighting, sound. and video. Working as efficiently as possible was key because of our tightened schedule and the number of elements required to create this event. If one thing was assembled incorrectly, it would create a domino effect.

The Stage

Our boxwood crew got to work, building thousands of feet of my signature boxwood hedges with 10,000 pounds of boxwood that had been trucked in from Virginia.

Wednesday: We started getting the large decor elements loaded in and finished the last minute technical items. The stage was installed for the guest artist, Mariah Carey. Due to our two-day work stoppage, we began to operate on a 24-hour schedule. Although we were under a massive time crunch, we knew we would get it done as we always do.

In the afternoon, I was invited to take a tour of the Victoria's Secret tent for the fashion show that was taking place at the hotel on Saturday. It was a logistical feat to coordinate these two huge events back to back.

Thursday: Things really started to take shape in the morning. Beautiful custom bars were put together and the seating risers in the main ballroom were set up. Mirrored screens were installed and at that point the rooms began to come to life.

Late Thursday night we did a sound check with Mariah Carey, and I started to get excited about how wonderful this party was going to be!

Friday: The day of the party!! With all of our large events, we like to get everything done the day before so we can spend the day of the party making sure that everything was the way I had envisioned it. Even with the time constraints, our team was able to meet the Friday morning deadline so that we could perfect every detail throughout the day.

Our florists got to work on the huge floral project of the day -- creating a curved rose wall above the iconic "Stairway to Nowhere" with 6,000 white roses. At 8:30 pm three models ascended to the top of a fountain we constructed in the main lobby of the resort, and the party began!

What a week! I'm feeling tired just writing about it. If you want to see more, stay tuned...on Friday I will post the final spectaular design.

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