On April 18, 2017 hundreds of Chicago’s top event professionals gathered at the NICE Awards to recognize and be recognized for their accomplishments within the special events industry. Chicago area members of NACE (National Association for Catering and Events) and ILEA (International Live Events Association) submitted their amazing work for nomination at the NICE Awards. This year’s co-chairs – Erica Buss, Samantha Dockery, Nicole Hensley, Sarah Novosad Kojic, CSEP – took the event up a notch to bring a tropical evening to Chicago.
When guests stepped into The Geraghty they quickly slipped into a colorful, island-inspired soiree. Guests mingled and sipped on cocktails amid fabulous variations of greenery and banana leaf prints. As guests made their way into the award ceremony they were greeted by tropical tunes and a soothing beach backdrop. Becca Kaufman, emcee, introduced all of the category announcers and led us through this momentous evening. Award categories included Best Creative Cocktail or Beverage, Best Plated Presentation, Best Tabletop Design, Best Use of Tenting, Best Corporate Event and many more. As the awards came to a conclusion, both Karen Stefani, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Jeff Stitely, recipient of the Courage Award, delivered touching speeches to their industry peers and joined everyone in Havana for the after party.
After the awards it was time for partygoers to slip into the tropical and vibrant Havana scene. Joshua Jones, Event Producer at Kehoe Designs, designed the perfect soiree stating, “Havana NICE was inspired by the culture and vibrancy of Havana, Cuba. Hot youthful colors juxtaposed against aged, rusticated materials enriched the atmosphere with layers of whimsy and energy. Handsome pressed tin bars, towering palms, aged cabaret tables, and wooden cabanas with crackled leather chesterfields gave us a warm Havana vibe along with an interactive cigar rolling station. For a dash of whimsy, our talented art team created a building façade complete with a garage and vintage car, a festive street scene complete with iron lamps, festoon lighting, and custom food trucks.” Cuisine prepared by some of Chicago’s top caterers and entertainment from The Actors Gymnasium and Becca Kaufman Orchestra all brought the evening full swing.
Posted Photographer: Colin Lyons Wedding Photography
Venue: The Geraghty
Design & Decor: Kehoe Designs
Entertainment: Becca Kaufman Orchestra
Caterer: Blue Plate Catering
Caterer: J&L Catering
Caterer: Paramount Events
Desserts: Vanille Patisserie
Linens: BBJ Linen
Aerialist: The Actors Gymnasium
Photo Booth: Shutterbox Photo Entertainment
Entertainment: US Poker & Casino Rentals
Draping: Drape Kings
Rentals: Hall’s Rental Service, Inc.
Rentals: Arena Americas
Paper Goods: Studio M Creations
Video: Studio Q Production
Marketing: Idea Marketing Group
Popcorn: Garrett Popcorn
Valet: V.I.P. Valet Service Inc.
Photographer: TWA Photo