And the Oscar goes to …

It’s officially Oscar month, and after a private preview of setups displayed for review by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences staff, I am confident several of the elements will transition into trends for hospitality! Event, design and food and beverage departments take note, because after one of the biggest nights in television, those fortunate enough to attend the Academy Awards ceremony will be escorted immediately into the coveted Governors Ball where many of the elements may very well end up in your hotel!

This will be my second Oscars Event where I am honored to transform into the role of creative director/designer of the green room and style lounge at one of the well-known pre-awards show events. A few days before the actual awards ceremony, hotel lounges and suites are transformed into an exclusive press opportunity as well as gifting atmosphere to honor the nominees, their peers and industry VIPs. Summoned to create an atmosphere that will assist in drawing Hollywood’s most powerful and elite, I have the opportunity of witnessing innovative products before they are technically launched as well as credentials to go behind the scenes to witness the preparations being made for the most sought-after parties.

I devote energy to this role because it’s a trend incubator for interior design, food and beverage and consumer products that undoubtedly will be adopted in hotels. (And I won’t deny that some amazing fashion observing can also be incorporated into the mix!) Corporations pay outrageous sums to display their latest innovations at these entertainment industry VIP events in order to get Hollywood’s talent to accept or simply hold their new product, idea or concept for a quick photo opp.

Although I am contractually obligated and can’t share the details of my space transformation, I can state it’s interactive and designed to engage one’s beauty and brains as well as some brew! I am also at liberty to share some of what will be taking place inside the Governors Ball following the February 24th telecast. Let’s review a few notes as well as some informal yet informative pictures I took at the preview. These might lead to some ideas you can take to your appropriate department heads to assure your property stays ahead of the trend curve!

*The centerpiece of the Governors Ball space will be an 18-ft (5.5-m) “gold” Oscar with a 120-ft (37-m) chandelier that will hang overhead.

*The ballroom color palette will be a trio of aubergine (think purple), champagne and chartreuse (a color between yellow and green).

*A variety of seating options including curved lounge seating and 423 custom furniture pieces will give the 1,500 after-party guests a chance to circulate in a relaxed setting instead of the formal ambiance of previous years. The event planners are going after an experience that resembles more of a cocktail party versus black-tie formal.

*The floral décor will incorporate the aubergine and chartreuse color theme into arrangements designed to look as though they’re growing out of glass cocktail tables paired with deep purple upholstered bar stools. Other tables will feature a natural earthy ambience using kale, artichokes, fern shoots, green anthurium and black ti leaves arranged in short concrete containers.

*Chef Wolfgang Puck and the Academy are ecstatic about abandoning a traditional seated dinner in favor of a more “energized” lounge format so his staff can focus on more than 50 small plates of easy-to-eat passed hors d’oeuvres such as spicy tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, mini kobe burgers and several vegan and vegetarian dishes to help ensure everyone will find something they like. 

The popular dessert table will include everyone’s Oscar favorite Peanut Butter Chocolate Pop Rock Pop, the General Lee Cookie, candied walnuts and milk chocolate chips as well as new buzzworthy “snowballs” made from sorbet, a yogurt whip macaroon confetti and blueberries.