Do you ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at the elaborate food festivals you see around the country?
Hint: it’s a lot.
At most festivals, dozens of installation and event management teams work together to set up, run and take down an event, usually all over the course of 48-72 hours. Last month, Coloredge’s VP of New Business Development, Lisa Frey, helped the New York Times execute their first-ever New York Times Food Festival held in Bryant Park. It featured 26 restaurants, 12 sponsors, a workshop pavilion, a live performance theater, and a hospitality area. The event drew thousands of attendees in both ticketed and public areas. Our client was thrilled with what we produced for them and we were all proud of the end result.
Lisa worked with NYT and Empire Entertainment to create an immersive branded environment for this huge event, overseeing production of 300+ pieces of branded marketing collateral and signage, from wide-format to tiny.
So how did Coloredge create, deliver, install and take down all of this collateral within a few days? With Lisa’s expert management and with incredible teamwork from the Coloredge production & installation staff! Here’s what Lisa had to say about the event’s challenges and our solutions.
- Tight production timing: With multilayered approvals from event stakeholders required for everything, frequent last-minute changes led to a shortened production timeline.
- Color consistency: We needed to print the same critical logos and Pantone Matching System colors on several different materials for use across the festival.
- Unpredictable weather: Since the event was outside, weather was important to consider. Everything we produced and installed needed to be able to withstand variable conditions.
- Mounting on other vendors’ equipment: We were mounting signage to tents with many different configurations and to other vendors’ event and food-service equipment.
- Crowded, open-to-public installation: We were in a high-profile public park that remained open to the public (and crowds of tourists) during installation, which meant lots of rules.There were also 30+ other vendors using the same load-in and load-out area on 40th St.
- Event size: This was a huge event with tons of collateral and a very short time to get it all placed correctly.
- Tight production timing: I was in constant communication with the staff at Empire and other stakeholders, relaying updates between them and our production facilities, as well as personally working with Coloredge staff at all levels of the organization to ensure all materials were produced on deadline. Multiple members of our team stayed very late on nights and weekends to get everything done on time—our staff is awesome and we would not have been able to produce this project without the help of everyone at all levels of production.
- Color consistency: Coloredge was recently awarded a G7 Master Colorspace certification (which we’ve received many years in a row), meaning we’re at the top of our industry for color matching. With the experts in our production and pre-production staff overseeing every aspect of the printing process, we were successful in keeping color consistent across all materials.
- Unpredictable weather: We had to make everything both waterproof and safe for a public space. This dictated what materials we could and could not use. Since much of the signage we produced would be high over attendees’ heads, we had to work hard to secure everything to the tents and ensure that nothing would not fall. Friday and Sunday saw gusts of wind 20mph+ and we’re happy to say everything remained firmly in place!
- Mounting on other vendors’ equipment: Our mounting, finishing and installation teams are the best in the business, and they shouldered lots of the effort—both literally and figuratively—when it came to making this project work. We had to be nimble on site to create tether points for our signage in many different tents without creating holes or disrupting art. We were also asked not to put grommets through restaurant signs, meaning our production and installation teams had to come up with alternate hanging options. The client wanted rigid signs so that everything looked more upscale (typically overhead signs are either flex vinyl or flex mesh, which are easier to hang), so that added another layer of complexity. Finally, we were mounting to other vendors’ equipment, so we had to ensure that all of our graphics were permanent enough to last through the event, but removable enough to not leave any damage. With the help of Johnny, Francisco, Darrel, and the rest of the crew from our mounting and finishing departments, we were able to produce, install and take down signage that met ALL of these requirements!
- Crowded, open-to-public installation: The park remained open to the public during the build and takedown processes, so we had to be extra mindful of public safety. We also had to be careful not to do any damage to the park grounds. Our installation team took these directions in stride—they were able to get all of our materials in and out of the park with no safety issues and no damage. At times, we were slowed down waiting to get things on or off a truck, but our team was able to work cooperatively with other event partners (port-a-potties, cooking equipment, tent vendors, lighting and sound, etc) to ensure we got the space we needed.
- Event size: The event was giant, and we needed a lot of hands to get everything placed, mounted and assembled up to snuff. We were able to call on our reliable installation crews to help us with this! Assembly alone took 2 hardworking installation teams 21.5 hours to finish—we started on the Friday before the event at 5:30 AM and finished assembly at 2:30 AM on Saturday morning.”
Lisa knocked it out of the park with this event—the level of planning, cooperation and quality that she helped oversee for our clients exemplifies everything we strive to do at Coloredge. To learn more about our event environment capabilities or connect with Lisa to hear more about this event, email firstname.lastname@example.org.