When 800 guests arrived to celebrate Krones’ 50th Anniversary of its North American operations and annual Employee Appreciation event, they were probably expecting a pleasant evening in a fairly typical convention center setting. Nope! When Underwood Events is in charge, nothing is ever typical or simply pleasant. In fact, the event was designed with a flair for the dramatic, with attention-grabbing effects unveiled throughout the night that drew gasps and cheers from delighted guests.
Krones, a global leader in the beverage industry, originally considered hosting the evening at a hotel near the airport, but UE instead recommended the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee, and it handled all of the event details from contract negotiations, vendor selection and management, room design and staging, menu and entertainment choices, and the overall agenda and theming for the night.
When guests arrived at the convention center, they were welcomed into a cocktail area outside of the locked ballroom that was simple and unadorned. That was intentional. When the ballroom doors were finally thrown open, guests were ushered into a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of color. Electric blue is Krones' corporate color, and UE used it to great effect, bathing the room in its vibrant hue along with purple and white. Stark beams of light sliced through the softly lit space, their trails blazing through a subtle haze.
The impressive stage at the front of the room held the second surprise of the night. Behind a dark curtain, unbeknownst to guests, the nine-piece Chicago band, Front of House, was assembled, with its heady horn section and song list that spans Frank Sinatra to Taylor Swift. At the exact moment Krones President Holger Beckmann announced the evening entertainment, the kabuki curtain suddenly dropped, revealing the band as it launched into its first song. Shocked, surprised and excited, the crowd went wild!
Much of the event’s excitement was captured on selfie sticks handed out to guests as they arrived. Encouraged to capture photos, attendees were more than happy to oblige. The selfies were automatically downloaded and displayed in real-time on the ballroom projection screens, leading to lots of laughs and camaraderie. For those who wanted a more traditional photography experience, a photo booth, complete with accessories was busy with visitors all night.