One of my favorite things about being an event planner is how delightfully unexpected certain clients, venues, and assignments can be. Last summer, we were asked to help with on-site logistics for the Tessitura Conference — the largest gathering of arts and cultural professionals in the world. Joan and I have a unique connection to the conference; in our past lives as non-profit arts organization employees, we each attended a Tessitura Conference!
Our role was to act as the “right hand” to the head of the conference planning team, who had recently sustained an injury that made getting around the behemoth that is McCormick Place difficult. We dove in head-first, attending a week of pre-con meetings to get up-to-speed with the schedule of events and our role, then got ready to welcome the nearly 2,000 attendees.
The General Session space, where attendees gathered for conference updates and keynote speaker sessions, was set up in such a way as to create a strong viewing angle for each person. The screens and open stage structure really helped make the presentations accessible. The collaborative efforts from PRG and J&J Exhibitors ensured the set-up and audio/visual were up to par and within union standards.
Daily meals were provided by Savor, the in-house catering team at McCormick Place. Their service and quality was impressive, given the number of mouths they were feeding! We worked hand-in-hand with them before each meal to ensure all the dietary restrictions were represented and properly labeled, so attendees could quickly get their meals.
One of the highlights of the week for me was helping facilitate the 5K run from McCormick Place to Museum Campus. The combination of the beautiful weather, a stunning sunrise, and world-famous architecture along the route made me feel even more proud to call Chicago home. A couple Tessiturians even dressed up like the Blues Brothers to cheer the participants on! We worked with the team at RaceTime, a local company who set up the course and tracked participants’ times.
The Tessitura team hired CSI DMC to assist with transporting the thousands of attendees from McCormick Place and its neighboring hotels to Navy Pier for the final night’s festivities. The Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier was the perfect spot for celebrating the end to such a wonderful week! The weather was picture perfect, and the view of the fireworks simply couldn’t be beat.
As the Tessitura Network is a technology company that serves the Arts industry, it only made sense that there would be a band made up of Tessitura employees and attendees. The performances were wildly entertaining, and the dance floor was packed!
We truly enjoyed working with Tessitura’s conference planning team, and being involved in all the ins-and-outs of a large-scale, week-long conference.