Event In Review: The Periodic Table with Beakerhead

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Project Brief: 

Beakerhead is a smash up of art, science and engineering for all ages.” As part of their week long experience of straight up cool stuff, Beakerhead hosted a pop up restaurant on top of a Ferris Wheel in a field in downtown Calgary.

The Biggest Challenge:

To feed 600 people on a Ferris Wheel in a field over three nights.

The Biggest Highlight:

Can I just take a moment to say; How cool is Beakerhead? This is an organization that takes the weirdest ideas and makes them into experiences. I can’t begin to describe the encouragement that I feel in life knowing that a group of people like this exist.

The biggest highlight working with Beakerhead was to come up with a totally wacky idea and make it worth the price of admission for our guests. When we first talked about the Ferris Wheel idea with the Beakerhead team it was clear that we needed to bring in a dynamite Chef to make this dining experience one to remember, and not just for the views 40 feet up of the city skyline. So we contacted our good friend rock star ,Chef Nicole Gomes, of Top Chef Canada fame. We knew that her out of the box menus and upscale style was just the ticket for this ride. With Nicole and her team on board, we took this concept from an dinner to a deliciously gastronomic spectacle complete with cocktail pairings and otherworldly hosts.

What I learned:

Boy Scouts spend a lot of time outside. I know that because they are the ones that came up with one of my favorite sayings; Always Be Prepared. While the big story for The Periodic Table still remains the exceptional experience that guests had, another event was wreaking havoc around us. In a totally unseasonal weather shift Calgary experienced a snow storm in the middle of September like nothing I have ever seen before.

Two days before our first dinner guests were due to arrive our 40 foot Ferris Wheel was being loaded in by Sustainival while a state of emergency was being declared by the City of Calgary. A heavy snow storm blanketed the city with almost two feet of snow that snapped branches off trees and made most roads impassible. While we were prepared for weather with tenting, heaters, and blankets, we were not expecting Christmas in September.

The biggest concern was the risk of some of our event elements not being able to make it to the site. We pulled up our rubber boots, rolled with the punches, and anxiously waited for news that the kitchen trailer had arrived. In the end, the Snowpocalypse was a huge pain in our ass, but as they say; the snow show must go on. And so it did. Just with lots more hot chocolate and parkas that I didn’t expect to see until November.

Recognition:

The Periodic Table has been nominated by the Canadian Event Industry  Star Awards for Outstanding Logistical Achievement and Best Event Solution by The International Special Events Society Esprit Awards.