May 21, 2016
When I first came into the industry we would spend days weeks, even months preparing and building for an event, making sure the environment would set the stage. Ironically, at the conclusion of our event our teams would come in and dismantle, pack up, and load the majority of of the items so meticulously prepared just hours before. With tractor-trailers filled with items no longer needed, we would send it off to the local dump, where an often substantial fee would have to be paid. At the time we did not think twice about it, it was just part of our process. Now, many years later I look back at this and think there probably could be a significant sized ski resort built on the mound of disregarded waste from the events industry alone.
Something happened along the way with the technical revolution, the concept of efficiency became elegant, the idea of entertaining and re-purposing the products for the betterment of something else became a cause worthy endeavor. Soon we were working with charitable food organizations, donation groups delivering flowers to hospitals and retirement homes, as well organizations that delivered the props and materials to small theater groups across the country. All of this was great, we were no longer building “Mount Event”. In 2008, in the midst of what was the greatest economic fall out of our country since the Great Depression, my industry the special events industry took a significant blow. Even though we were producing events and dispersing the items to be reused, we still were consuming an enormous amount of items. Consumers did not have the resources to afford these items required to produce these types of events, nor was it befitting, given the state of affairs and how many people were suffering. For years I had been creating environments, always with a strong element of nature as a backdrop.
One afternoon in Central Park, gazing upon the beautiful Bethesda fountain for which I had created a full scale replica of for a event I designed for L’Oreal Paris, hosted at the Waldorf Astoria. I thought to myself here we are trying to replicate these iconic locations that are already here and available for us to enjoy. This concept seemed almost ridiculously simple and so obvious, why hadn’t we thought of this before? By taking the happenings to the iconic locations and designing around them, we would resolve of excessive cost and excessive consumption. The technical revolution gateway to the concept of efficiency being elegant and the great recession led to new thinking that maybe he who spent the most didn’t win, but he who was the most creative did! This opened up a world of opportunities to create and find spectacular locations to host life altering events in. For the past eight years I have devoted my work to this endeavor! Ironically Bethesda Fountain was the venue for our first event, and the results were spectacular, with almost 0 environmental footprint. Since then we have spanned America from East to West, North to South, from beaches to mountains the opportunities appear to be endless! With all of our work we make a concentrated effort to not only have a minimal environmental impact but leave the environment better than we found it. We clean up, reserve and contribute to the betterment of the Beautiful world that we are in. This process has turned my focus 180° in the right direction. I started in the industry building an environment to set the stage, and now we use nature’s environment to set the stage for us to create our most significant memories. After all, most beautiful things in life to me are not man-made but rather God given, freely and available to all.
Let’s go out and enjoy the gifts together!