Water… Life giving. Powerful. Precious. And in many parts of the world, scarce. To address this vital issue, more than 250 attendees from 23 countries convened for the 2014 Water for Food Global Conference. For the first time, the event was held away from the client’s home city and took place in Seattle, at the invitation of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Underwood Events was asked to plan and orchestrate this three-day event that brought together the world’s most brilliant minds on water and food sustainability.
Set along the beautiful Washington coast, the new location, more than 1,600 miles across the country, required extensive event planning experience, ongoing communication, in-depth planning, and meticulous attention to every detail. Underwood Events spent more than a year in intense planning and conceptualization, selecting best-in-class vendor partners from five states, and orchestrating every aspect of the room layouts, décor, itineraries, and staffing of the event. In addition, Underwood Events served as the event’s travel concierge, coordinating the arrival and departure of more than 60 domestic and international speakers and key attendees.
To build the conference theme, Underwood Events chose crisp hues of blue for the décor and tied in visual elements representing globalization and technology to mirror the conference topic: how data impacts water usage policies. A careful balance was struck to ensure each aspect of the conference was of exquisite quality and provided a high-touch experience, yet allowed the organization to remain a good steward of its resources and donor generosity.
From the moment guests arrived, they were saturated in the event theme. Registration tables were splashed with conference visuals, and they were carried through in signage, handouts, and audiovisual elements. Low-thirst succulents placed throughout the venue provided interesting texture and form as well as a subtle reminder about the beauty of water conservation, in all of its forms.
A team of handpicked Underwood Events staff members, identified clearly in matching blue cardigans that were true to the conference’s color scheme, anticipated the guests’ every need and catered to their every request. The client received overwhelmingly positive feedback and noted that it would have never considered holding the conference in a city across the country without Underwood Events leading the way.