Three Day State-of-the-Art Incentive Program
February 2008. La Quinta, CA, La Quinta Resort
For the third consecutive year, Empire was chosen by one of the world's top corporations to produce their annual recognition event. Each year, the company's top researchers and scientists gather to network, spend time together and celebrate their achievements. This year's event took place at La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs, renowned since 1926 for its charm and serenity. Working within two separate ballrooms, Empire had the challenge of transforming the two ballrooms into three entirely different atmospheres that would change throughout the course of the weekend.
For the Friday night dinner, Empire took on the task of "bringing the outside in." In addition to the dozens of flowers and foliage brought into the room, custom blown glass flowers were created to adorn the stage, emulating the colors schemes of the surrounding resort grounds. After dinner, the audience was thrilled by a presentation by Bill Gates, who followed his presentation with an open Q&A session. After the uplifting presentation, guests were treated to a performance by internationally-acclaimed recording artist, Chris Isaak. Chris rocked all his hits including "Wicked Game," "San Francisco Days," and "Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing" and had the audience on their feet, especially during his encore when he and his dog came to the stage sporting matching mirror suits. For those not ready to go to bed, after-dinner activities started immediately following the concert. A poker tournament was available for guests looking for a quiet activity, while the Los Angeles-based band The Bonedaddys, entertained the guests with their blend of funk-infused world rock. The next morning at breakfast, the attendees got a new perspective on the universe.
Flying to Palm Springs amidst a tour in Europe, Harvard professor and internationally-proclaimed physicist, Lisa Randall, spoke about the hidden dimensions of space and time and the soon-to-be-operational Large Hadron Particle Collider in Geneva, Switzerland. As guests were participating in their afternoon offsite activities, a second ballroom was transformed into black and gold, styled after the resort's Art Deco galas of the 1930's. Over 50 black chandeliers and mirrors were installed, and a custom stage, complete with specially designed orchestra fronts, added to the room's elegance. As the dinner bell chimed that evening, guests entered the fully-transformed ballroom with the 11-piece Mirage Big Band Orchestra playing on stage. After dinner, Ann Hampton Callaway, a world-class cabaret singer best known for writing & singing "The Nanny" theme song, performed two custom songs backed by the big band. An elegant awards show recognizing the achievements of the company employees followed her performance.
After dinner, attendees were led into a different ballroom designed to resemble a Chicago blues nightclub, where a performance by The Blues Brothers, featuring Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi, surprised everyone. The Blues Brothers used their signature energy and charisma to keep people dancing throughout their set, culminating with their hit "Soul Man." Los Angeles' own, DJ Crash, finished the night by spinning modern dance hits until the early morning. After a long weekend, the attendees had one last opportunity to bask in the tranquility of the setting at the departure brunch. Guests relaxed outside on the main lawn with the melodious sound of live flamenco guitarists in the background.
Working in close collaboration with the client on every detail, Empire Entertainment served as the creative and technical production company for the entire program - developing, designing and delivering every aspect and component of the program. Empire also booked all speakers and entertainment and provided all staging, sound, lighting, and audiovisual services as well as décor, production management and onsite staffing.