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Go Behind-the-Scenes to See How Event Professionals Plan Their Own Epic Company Anniversary Celebrations

design, décor, & floral: HMR Designs | photographer: Kent Drake Photography | venue: HMR property

Visionaries don’t often expend their creative energy on themselves — consider how Steve Jobs wore the same “uniform” daily to conserve his mental resources. But we’ve found five exceptions to the rule. Event professionals know how to create the perfect celebration for their clients, but these same professionals sometimes have their own reasons to celebrate. With no clients and no limits on their creativity, these over-the-top company anniversary parties wow with elements like video story-telling invitations, on-site tattoo artists, ballerinas, juggling bartenders and CBD-infused cocktails and skincare products. Read on to be inspired. 

TINSEL Experimental Design is renowned for creating epic celebrations. Their annual Eleventh House Party, named in honor of the zodiac sign shared by Tinsel’s three industry partners, was no exception. Partner & Chief Marketing Officer Erica Taylor Haskins tells us, “The Eleventh House represents Aquarius and not so coincidentally is honored as the house of friendship, community, and group celebrations. Every year, this experience gets bigger and better, allowing our talented team to really flex our creative muscles with no limitations.” 

To complete the “black magic” theme, TINSEL brought in Gothic-chic fringe chandeliers and witchy intention candles from Enchantments in the East Village. Tattoo artists were on-site to provide guests with eternal party favors, while Pinch Food Design provided a CBD cocktail station complete with hammered jewel-toned glassware from Party Rental Ltd. The dynamic video booth from The Bosco tempted guests off the dance floor for a photo experience as unique as the celebration.

To celebrate 40 years of consistently revolutionizing the art of décor and design, HMR Designs hosted an anniversary party at their own headquarters. Event Designer Nick Watts tells us, “We help every single one of our clients tell their story each and every day through countless celebrations. It was an interesting challenge and an honor to finally be able to tell our own story.” 

Clients and esteemed event professionals moved from one uniquely designed room to another— as curated by luxe rentals from Nuage Designs, Marquee Event Rentals, and Hall’s Rental Service, Inc. —  passing cherry blossom and lilac alcoves and a candle-lit hallways adorned with staghorn ferns and white phalaenopsis. Once in the main space, guests were greeted by striking metallic lighting from Frost Chicago and graceful ballerina dancers from Élan Artists. Additional spell-binding entertainment included a mariachi guitarist, live body-as-a-canvas painting, frozen-in-action models draped in greenery, and more. 

Kent Drake Photography captured thrilling performances by BeatMix Music and Entertaining Company. And nothing less than artistically-plated, delectable offerings from The Grand Bevy, Food For Thought and Blue Plate Catering would do for this grand vision; the food and cocktails were as mesmerizing as the glittering chandeliers and cascading orchid installations. A flock of experienced floral teams contributed to the unique vision, including: Delaware Valley Floral, AJF Wholesale, Fleurametz, Kenicott Brothers, and Hilverda De Boer.

For their one-year anniversary celebration, Meghan Bradley of LadidadiXM wanted to emphasize the extraordinary relationship with their clients. While LadidadiXM is in the business of helping their corporate clients host memorable branded events and incentive trips, this celebration allowed the planning team to express their own company’s vision and style. Sheri Whitko Photography captured the stunning architecture of House of Blues Chicago and colorful tropic-inspired florals by HMR Designs

Guests received elegantly-packaged samples of CBD-infused skincare products from Half Day. We especially love how LadidadiXM perfected their branding opportunities with a beautifully-branded bar counter by ER2 Image Group, cocktail napkins, and chic paper koozies. Railheart, a rock’n’roll rhythm and blues band, enthralled guests long into the night. The team had so much fun that they plan to make the soirée a yearly event and grow the guest list for next year’s celebration.

PartySlate had more than one reason to celebrate at Venue West this last September. In addition to fetéing their three-year anniversary, Co-Founder and CEO Julie Novack was ringing in a milestone birthday. Event planner Paulette Wolf Events and designer Erin McDonald created a vibrant backdrop of shimmering greens and soft florals in the chic industrial space. A dramatic pine-green balloon installation from Luft Balloons provided a unique focal point for the celebration while a central bar decked in gorgeous florals centered the space. Guests were encouraged to wear black — Novack’s favored wardrobe choice — which gave the celebration a chic vibe and allowed the décor to really shine.

For Novack, “It was an incredible celebration and important milestone for PartySlate. The anniversary party was a chance to connect and celebrate with our amazing event community and our talented, hard-working team. The people in the room that night have all supported PartySlate since day one.” Sensational performances by Flow Entertainment, Inc and Taylor Pace Orchestra, kept the dance floor filled and sumptuous food stations from a trio of Chicago iconic mainstays —  Gibsons Catering, Sunda New Asian, and RPM Steak — and delectable passed bites from J & L Catering kept guests full and happy. PartySlate will be celebrating its 4th Anniversary this November with a party in New York City.

Sonal J Shah, a world-renowned Indian wedding planner, celebrated Sonal J Shah Event Consultant’s 15th anniversary with a rebrand that sets a new standard for luxury wedding planning. Guests were invited to the celebration via a memorable video invitation from Engaging Invitations that featured clips of the planning team’s lovely, lavish celebrations. In honor of their own company anniversary, SJS celebrated at The Plaza New York with a stunning event featuring ethereal balloon installations, Cirque du Soleil-style performances, and juggling bartenders. Giant letters covered in greenery spelled out SJS, making for a chic, branded photo op. 

Clane Gessel Photography captured beautiful details like a dramatic hanging floral chandelier by Atlas Floral Decorators which kept guests looking upward, and lighting by Bentley Meeker Lighting & Staging, Inc. which created a sparkling backdrop of blue and purple hues. Throughout the evening, guests enjoyed molecular cocktail spheres from The Grand Bevy, liquid nitrogen cocktails from 321chillz, and custom-designed cocktails by Hermant Pathak Corp. DJ RAJ Entertainment & Event Lighting, along with electric violinist Sarah Charness, provided memorable entertainment for the premier planner’s guests.

David Beahm of David Beahm Experiences knows that “Art is something the world could use a lot more of.” For Beahm, his company’s 20th anniversary celebration was a way to bring more of that art into the world. Beahm says, “When I conceived this party, I knew what I wanted it to be, but I also knew that I wanted it to have a purpose.” That purpose came to life with a memorable fundraiser at IAC for Sing for Hope, an arts outreach program that uses the power of art to enhance healthcare, empower youth, and elevate communities.

Apotheosis Events worked with Luxe Event Rentals, Total Entertainment and many other event professionals to create a celebration infused with meaning for the well-known Beahm brand. Some of the evening’s entertainment included performances by Sing for Hope’s own co-founders and renowned sopranos Camille Zamora and Monica Yunus. The evening’s dress code — a riot of color — perfectly matched Sing for Hope’s artist-designed pianos stationed throughout the venue. Serving trays that doubled as limbo sticks and bubble-making machines were just some of the artistic details guests encountered at this heart-warming anniversary party.