International Live Event Association STAR Awards Event
I woke up Friday morning hearing about a spring blizzard that would hit Minnesota that night. Being a true Minnesotan, I thought little of the warnings and moved on with my day. It’s springtime after all. How much snow could we actually get this time of year…? Apparently, a lot! It ended up being a ridiculous blizzard dropping upwards of 22 inches of snow in parts of the state! How and why is this relevant to the ILEA’s annual STAR Awards event? Because this blizzard happened to become the most powerful during my drive to the awards show. I, along with many others, ended up being stranded at the event location, turning the one-night event into an all-night party/sleepover. At least it was at a casino!
Even though many people were unable to make it, many of us did. Some of us arrived a day or two before the snow, and some of us (like myself) had no idea we even arrived at the location until our GPS told us ‘You Have Arrived’. After almost two hours of white-knuckle driving the normally 35 min drive to the casino, I vowed to either book a room, sleep in my car, or stay up all night. None of the above happened. The hotel was booked solid, my car was way too cold, and I stopped staying up all night about 10 years ago when kids ruined my ability to stay awake when the sun goes down. Luckily, Minnesotans are super nice and I was offered to share rooms with many different people.
I made it to the casino by 2 pm but didn’t need to actually be onsite until around 430pm. So, instead of just chilling and possibly gambling for a little bit, I just did what I like to do best, and started taking photos. Needless to say, I ended up taking a lot of photos. Probably way more than necessary. Oh well. It helped pass the time, and it was fun. The crew of makers and creators really outdid themselves with the decor! It was fantastic! They modeled the whole event around a 007/spy theme. The cocktail area of the event reflected an airport, the awards room was decorated with the various spy-themed details, and the two after party rooms followed suit with a Russian spy room and Tokyo nightclub. My favorite detail was the light up cotton candy being delivered via model train. Who thinks of that? Someone super fantastic in my mind!!! I want them to decorate my house! I could use a cotton candy train on low energy days.
Check out all the fabulous detail that went into this event.
At the end of the night, everyone dispersed to their rooms, casino floor, or (frighteningly enough) back on the road home. I eventually left the following morning around 9 am when the storm had a lull (meaning I could see about 100 feet in front of me as opposed to 20 feet). The snow was now falling at a rate of .5-1 inches per hour instead of the 2-3 inches per hour from the day before.
Now it’s a week or so later, and the temp outside is 62 degrees and sunny. All the snow is gone and green grass is coming up. Oh, Minnesota, you bring bi-polar to a whole new level.
All Event Sponsors:
Apres Event Decor & Tent Rental, AV For You, BeThings, Blommonster, Champagne Press, Curtis Kennedy Films, D’Amico Catering, David Farr Magic, DJ Digie – Roosevelt Mansfield, DJ Omaur Bliss, Rhodey Stark Events, EMI, Enticing Entertainment, Event Lab, Farina Baking Company, Festivities, Fig. 2Design, Freestyle Productions, Fulton, Girl Friday, Ice Occasions, Joe Szurszewski, Kevin Hall Halls of Magic, Koehler & Dramm, Linen Effects, Liquid Motion, MN Ice, Mintahoe, Mystic Lake Event Center, Norseman Distillery, Phillips Wine, Playatta, Premier Transportation, Quest, Remy Martin, Rocket Science Events, Royal Turn Solutions LLC, Rudy’s Rustic Rentals & Events, The Brand Booth, The Seatery, Twin Cities Business Magazine, Uptown Valet, Urbane Aperture, Vinocopia, Wedding + Events Law