If you were in the Dallas event community on the unseasonably warm winter evening of Tuesday, February 1, chances are you were being wowed by the unique theming and experiential activations of PartySlate’s latest gathering at On The Levee.
“PartySlate Supermart” was the creative theme pitched by Macy Pulliam of Social Llama Events during an early planning session with PartySlate. Our team could never have imagined the execution of retro-yet-upscale whimsy that awaited.
Pulliam shared, “We have always wanted to execute this theme. As we started designing the concept, we couldn’t stop; the options are endless. Our amazing team of vendors really pushed the envelope for this one.”
And when she says “pushed the envelope,” she means mixing a doldrum task like grocery shopping with a glamorous gathering for seasoned event professionals who have seen it all. The result: a fun and Instagrammable-at-every-turn corporate event that guests will be talking about for a long time to come. Read on to see how the gathering wowed at every unconventional turn.
Upon arrival, guests entered through a towering 16-foot arch constructed by Social Llama Events with signage from AlphaGraphics welcoming them to the “PartySlate Supermart.” AlphaGraphics also decked out each step up to the Supermart with branded decals.
On their way into the modern-chic On The Levee space, guests passed the perfect photo spot: a cart return. While not usually a spot you’d want to stop and snap a pic, this particular grocery cart return was Instagram-worthy, featuring carts — hand-painted in the theme’s nostalgic hues of mint green, marigold, cotton candy, and sherbert — overflowing with gorgeous florals from Render Events Co.
At check-in, towers of milk crates (of course) displayed colorful signage featuring all of the event’s esteemed partners in retro style from Paper Planet. The team also designed the cool graphics, printed goods, and digital invitations for the innovative gathering), ensuring cohesiveness throughout.
Attendees stepped into the 12,000-square-foot space (with towering 22-foot ceilings) to see the swankiest “grocery store” they had ever encountered. The space was blanketed in colorful decals and signage from AlphaGraphics, indicating the store’s “aisles” (but also fun, themed sayings like “made fresh daily” and “locally-grown”). Each attendee had to choose a direction, and along with it, an experience.
To the right was the Nightowl Coffee Cart for caffeinated support to stay up late and enjoy the party, or perhaps a little something extra like the team’s maple bourbon latte or Fruity Pebble latte topped with foam art. The coffee in your grocer’s aisle never tasted this good.
On the left, guests could enjoy the floral department — a fresh floral installation from Render Events Co that allowed each attendee to create their own take-home bouquet (minus the grocery store filler flowers). Plus, the floral cart display made for another great photo opportunity.
Other guests ventured straight ahead toward the produce and deli departments. In produce, they found a bright display of fruits and vegetables (another photo op, perhaps?) along with fresh fare from Vestals Catering. Instead of pre-prepared supermarket snacks, the innovative Vestals Catering team elevated the PartySlate Supermart with kale Asian sesame salad, tequila lime jicama salad with orange segments and grilled shrimp, and much more.
The butcher offered freshly-sliced prosciutto and Central Texas smoked sausage, each with their own perfect accompaniment, as well as other delectable bites. And dare we say that the butcher counter — with its hip signage, hanging meats, and lit glass display — offered yet another fun photo spot?
Centering the massive space (comfortably filled with more than 350 members of the Dallas and Houston event community) was the epic dance floor. The custom-printed red-and-pink-checkered floor from AlphaGraphics featured elevated grocery items (like bottles of Champagne) displayed on its surface. The stage from Big D Party Rentals featured a chic black facade from Party! Dallas Rentals a long line of colorful florals at the feet of performers.
Guests were lucky enough to enjoy alternating performances by a live band and DJ. DJ Nate Nelson opened the set and set the mood for the evening. An engaging and mesmerizing performance from Stratosphere Band got guests to the dance floor, then DJ Nate took back over with totally-danceable tunes to keep them there. Media West Events ensured that the sound was on-point and provided party lighting and projections for a festive vibe (as we’ve learned time and time again, the right lighting is key).
Guests craving a dance break could relax on long black velvet banquets from Party! Dallas Rentals that took the party vibe from grocery glam to nightclub cool. The rental team also provided clear acrylic bar tables and stools, which allowed the totally-original décor to shine while also providing chic spots for attendees to connect with one another.
Meanwhile, Vestals Catering servers roamed the venue with mini burgers (truly one-bite wonders), Corn Flakes chicken tenders cleverly served in mini Pringles cans, and the can’t-miss Southern duo of deviled eggs (presented in egg cartons) and small, colorful pimento cheese sandwiches.
On the other side of the venue awaited more “departments” for guests to experience: pharmacy, bakery, and beauty. At the pharmacy, guests could cure their ills by handing in a prescription for a custom cocktail by Mama’s Medicine (which just happened to be an apt name for our theme). Cocktails with names like “Happy Pill” were served with fresh garnishes and the coolest stirrers with “PartySlate Supermart” branding and mini grocery carts from Acrylic Sticks.
Additional sips were offered courtesy of a custom vending machine filled with Loverboy. The sparkling hard teas and premium canned cocktails, with their colorful branding and TV cred, offered yet another photo op (by now we’ve lost count of the photographable moments at this party).
In addition to all of the colorful spots, innovative branding, and clever theming that created photo ops galore, the event also featured several areas set up for the express intent of capturing the fun, all courtesy of Plush Photo Booth.
First was the old-school enclosed photo booth that featured the newest technology to create picture strips in various styles. Next, guests could enjoy an immersive, themed spot, styled as the cold cargo area of a grocery store’s ice cream truck — if said truck was filled with popsicle props as tall as the posing guests, that is. Lastly, a 360-degree photo booth delighted partygoers with confetti moments captured in shareable GIFs.
Of course, there were also professional teams on hand to capture the festivities. The Brothers Martens snapped vibrant shots of guests laughing, dancing, and interacting with each other. Meanwhile, The Nostalgic (videographer David Le’s new brand) captured the colorful event in motion, as well as interviews with event luminaries.
Prior to the event, Brite Beauty decked out the PartySlate team with party-ready hair and makeup (including dramatic lashes that looked amazing in person and in photos). Those who wanted to look as glamorous as our team members, sauntered over to the beauty counter — also known as the “eye-cing” station — for a custom glitter treatment.
Another experiential moment came from the inventive team at BRAVO Entertainment. Their Edible Bubble Bar (yes, you read that right) had guests stepping right up to see the creation of giant candy bubbles attached to licorice stems. The confection was interactive — a quick inhale of its helium contents conjured the age-old, fun party-trick of talking in a squeaky voice (to the delight of all around).
Guests who needed a break from mingling (or simply wanted a showdown with a friend) enjoyed old-school arcade games from Big D Party Rentals.
Every evening needs a sweet ending, and the PartySlate Supermart was no exception. The bakery, from the team at Butterfly Cakery, featured a towering display of cakes, as well as sweets that made us want a to-go box. We were delighted by their homemade mixed berry pop-tarts, mini cinnamon peach crumble pies, and oh-so-much more.
As the music wound down — with one final sing-along courtesy of DJ Nate Nelson — On The Levee’s glass garage doors swung open into the night air. Partygoers exited through grocery-style express lanes to collect custom swag from PartySlate’s event partners, along with DIY balloon kits from Lushra. Pinky’s Valet ensured a seamless exit for guests, while Virgin Hotels Dallas made sure that the PartySlate team had a wonderful stay in the Big D.
photographer: The Brothers Martens
event planning, design & décor, & custom fabrication: Social Llama Events
florals: Render Events Co
venue: On The Levee
band: Stratosphere Band
dj: DJ Nate Nelson
custom vinyl & printed goods: AlphaGraphics
catering: Vestals Catering
cockails & bar: Mama’s Medicine
lighting & sound: Media West Events
rentals: Big D Party Rentals
graphic design & paper goods: Paper Planet
rentals and props: Shag Carpet Productions
lounge furniture & event rentals: Party! Dallas Rentals
diy balloon kits: Lushra
cocktail stirrers: Acrylic Sticks
edible balloons: Bravo Entertainment
hotel: Virgin Hotels Dallas
coffee aisle: Nightowl Coffee Cart
photo booths: Plush Photo Booth
bakery aisle: Butterfly Cakery
beauty aisle & PartySlate team glam: Brite Beauty
videography: The Nostalgic
valet: Pinky’s Valet
canned beverages: Loverboy