OneWest Events Inc., Together We Rise

OneWest Events was contracted to produce the Closing Gala for 800 executive-level international employees and their spouses (1600 pax) attending a multi-day conference. design. Their guests would be travelling from all over the world, primarily Germany, and our first objective was to provide guests with a uniquely Canadian experience that still echoed the internal values of the company.

They won the bid with their creative approach to the design that spoke to one of the key elements the international client found most intriguing about Canada, that being our vast natural spaces and the value we place on sustainability.

The Rise Gala was an ode to BC translated through themes of sustainability, nature, and the freedom to explore.

Beyond creating an exceptional and unforgettable design the other main objective was to create a clear and defined strategic plan to manage the 4-hour window they had for the entire install. They needed to surpass previous experiences for this client, ensure seating for all 1600 guests, which would require a smart and creative layout to fit all elements in the room and not allow timelines to limit the One West designer’s creativity or mandate to be mindful and deliberate with every strategic element.

This Gala event was the only time all 1600 guests would be together in the same space and also, the only opportunity they would have during the week to navigate their own experience, whether that be engaging with large departments or seeking an intimate space to connect solely with their spouse.

Through meticulously designed event architecture, OneWest transformed 3 ballrooms into a jaw-dropping west coast oasis- but the catch is they only had four hours to flip the lunch space and 2 hours to flip and add on the conference space. This challenge required a clear and defined strategy from the initial design phase.

The strategic and creative approach included minimizing flip logistics by using communal tables and chairs already in the luncheon space. The tabletops were a white plexi surface, but unbeknownst to guests, the reverse side was already graphic wrapped for an efficient flip transformation.

The graphics for the communal and cocktail tables were custom-designed to replicate a “live edge” tabletop, where their designer hand-etched various BC rivers and lakes into the wood grain graphic.

To create a forest environment without compromising seating space, they custom constructed abstract tree structures that connected to the ends of the communal tables. Having access to Ballroom B 2 days prior to the event they built the most complex elements strategically into this space and used the remaining areas as prep zones for the flips. The focal point of the room was the 30’tallx32’wide scaffolding structure which gave the impression of nature reclaiming a man-made structure and used masses of eco-friendly and sustainable faux foliage to cover over 2,200 square feet of the surface. One side of the structure held the evening’s main stage, the other featured a stunning megabar. Video walls nestled into the structure displayed waterfall and forest-themed content, as well as photo booth photos. They built an epic tree fort into the structure which allowed the DJ to perform to both sides of the room. This feature allowed them to

transform the ballroom while the double-sided design maximized space.

Another complex feature in Ballroom B was the four rising earth pods. Each pod was anchored by a 6’ diameter fabric tree column rising towards the ceiling. Modern white lounge pods on grass-wrapped stage decks surrounded each tree. Due to the size of fabric required to create these trees (18.84’wide x 30’ tall) their graphic designer had to hand construct the tree graphic layering over 40 distinct images of moss, mushrooms, ferns, and bark to create a tree texture at our needed scale.

Ballroom C was the tightest flip, with only 2 hours to remove 800 chairs from the earlier presentations, install a floor-to-ceiling backdrop, construct our photo experience, and set up bars, food stations, lounges, and seating areas. They started with the backdrop, a continuous forest scene that expanded over 22 custom panels to create a 170’x30’ wall, and while the truss was lowered to install this feature, they constructed the bars and food stations so the caterer could begin food service.

Next, they built the Choose Your Own Adventure photo opp, a true highlight of the event. Not your typical photo booth, each studio offered a uniquely Canadian setting including Forest Feast, Mystic Meadow, Concert in the Woods, and Autumns Living Room. Each had its own host (fluent in English and German), a stylist, a photographer, and a print representative.

Food stations across all ballrooms utilized boxwood walls to add height to the room while also serving as functional wayfinding signage. The food signs were made in a graphic complementary to the live edge tabletops. The bars graphic was created to look like an abstract mountain range, with the layers of the mountains using BC Jade and ocean wave textures to create a Canadian representation of sea-to-sky.

Lastly, two waterfall lounges celebrated the water element of BC, each using lush west coast plants, green furnishings, and tall waterfall units to add dimension to the space.

The client loved the concept so much that they ended up theming the messaging of their entire conference around the word “Growing”, which would end in OneWest’s spectacular room filled with greenery, nature and imagery of growth.

Paying close attention to their initial strategic plan and laying out every single step ahead of time in a minute-by-minute logistical path they were able to predict where the obstacles would appear, identify threats to their timeline and ensure the install would go smoothly. And it did.

From the happy clients: “We loved your concept from the first moment on and it was impressive how close the result was to the first images we saw. The gala evening has been outstanding, everybody could feel the passion and love to detail of both you, your team, and the suppliers put into it.”

Learn more about the award-winning agency OneWest Events