June 16, 2011, Ad Lounge, Toronto
Lianne Gravitis, canadianspecialevents.com OnSite Reporter
Ad Lounge turned an impressive 10 years old this year, and to celebrate (a thing they certainly do best), a birthday party was thrown June 16th at the Arta Gallery within the trendy Distillery District in Toronto, ON. Organized in only 4 short weeks by committee members and creative partner SPOKE Agency, more than 270 Ad Lounge members and their guests gathered to mix, mingle, and sing a whooping Happy Birthday to the over 5000 strong organization. Starting as a “college project” in 2001, says co-founder and event manager, Trina Boos, Ad Lounge is a community initiative that was formed to help students network and perhaps find employment within the fields of advertising, communications, design, and marketing. By holding industry events (such as Conversuasion or the Next Gen Dinner Series), people are able to converse with industry professionals, socialize, and become inspired by the many successful people attending the events. This particular event gave partial proceeds to SKETCH, which is an organization that provides an artistic outlet for street kids or homeless individuals.
Selecting a cocktail party theme and choosing a colour palette of bright fuschia, black and white for the evening, Arta Gallery was abuzz as guests excitedly filtered into the large space. Upon arrival, guests were treated to a special cocktail sponsored by eBay, playfully named Fashion Fruit Surprise (a mix of Lichee cactus pear juice, bartlett pear juice and prickly pear juice), to kick off the evening. Being a party full of creative minds, it’s only natural to see many creative elements infused within the event. Additions such as the Add Mirror located at the front door (donated by digital sponsor Add Mirror), displayed the evolution of the Ad Lounge logo throughout its 10 year history. Studio M, also located in the lobby area, donated their time and equipment to interview guests about their experience with Ad Lounge, setting up a small make shift studio area in the corner. The interviews were edited into a short 3 minute video and was distributed only days following the event. And furthermore, to ensure the creative content didn’t stop there, an awards presentation was held to recognize key individuals within the different creative industries.
Gorgeous black and ivory cameos (created by SPOKE Agency), each with an award category plaqued on the front, hung on the back wall beside the presentation stage for guests to review before the results were revealed. A short video and speech by Boos, was presented for each category, which included such comedic names as Best Multi-tasking CEO, Most Dynamic Personality, and Best Ad Lounge Serenade. Umbra donated wine decanters for each of the evening’s victors. Jacqueline Cyr, the winner of The Best Multi-tasking CEO and CEO of Espresso (an integrated branding company) had nothing but high regard for Ad Lounge. She herself uses the organization to recruit talent for her own business and said “the network that they have built is really incredible for the industry.” Joallore Alon, of Clickflick.ca, who was asked to attend the event due to his avid twitter usage, shared Cyr’s sentiments and has seen the Ad Lounge grow from a “small group of students” gathering at a pub, to what it is today.
As the evening rolled on, guests were serenaded by the sounds of DJ Shingo Shimizu (provided by SPOKE Agency), as they munched on such things as caprese skewers, mini-grilled provolone cheese sandwiches, Thai chicken skewers and smoked salmon on toastini’s from caterer Blazing Kitchen. And to satisfy one’s sweet tooth, decadent chocolate rum butter or vanilla almond cherry cupcakes baked by A Little Sweet, were being offered and were sponsored by Rogers. Steam Whistle beer, Iceberg Vodka, and Prospect Winery wines (all of which were generously donated) were readily available to wash down those treats if guests chose to forgo the yummy cocktail. Chasers Fresh Juices (which supplies high end restaurants around Toronto), also donated their freshly squeezed juices for the occasion.
And to keep with the birthday party theme, a birthday message wall was set-up in the back gallery and was donated by one of the events major sponsors, Networked Insights. Guests were encouraged to write creative birthday messages on post-it notes and stick them on the message wall, as well as drop off their business cards to win a Blackberry Playbook. Ad Lounge was fortunate to have all signage, and branding of the event donated by SPOKE Agency, while the execution of the digital party invitations was donated by Ad Lounge’s wonderful web partner, Communicate New Media. Media partner, Ad Buzz, advertised the event on their website which created some awareness and hype for the 10 year celebration. Additionally, 8 to 10 people were employed to just “tweet” during the event under hashtag, #adloungebday, to create buzz about Ad Lounge through Twitter. Guests were also encouraged to tweet about their own experiences as well.
To find out more about Ad Lounge and to perhaps become a member, please visit www.adlounge.ca for more information. If you would like more information regarding the SKETCH organization please visit www.sketch.ca.
To see what went down that evening, please watch the post-event video.
A Little Sweet – www.alittlesweet.ca – Jackie Boos
Networked Insights – http://networkedinsights.com/
Communicate New Media – www.communicatenewmedia.com
Spoke Agency – http://www.spokeagency.com/
Add Mirror – http://addmirror.ca/
Event Manager: Trina Boos, Founder – Ad Lounge, firstname.lastname@example.org