Curtain Up Events is the brainchild of Danielle Bobish, who discovered that her professional theater background was the perfect training ground for planning large affairs. Since its launch in 2005, Danielle has achieved numerous awards and editorial praise, including the 2011 and 2012 picks for The Knot Best of Weddings Award! This is Danielle’s third season with COUTURE and we got a chance to get a sneak peek into what she has in store!
COUTURE: Tell us about the “look of the show” and the inspiration behind your vision?
DANIELLE: The Knot Spring 2013 fashion story “The English Effect” (page 292) was a major inspiration. I loved the contrast of the feminine and ethereal fashions against the organic backdrop of the English countryside. The flooring we are having installed has a direct correlation to the wooden elements in the spread and the white fabrics we are draping represent the gorgeous gowns. These concepts then lead me to the idea of a wall of hedges in the Gallery of Gowns. From the entrance on we to take our attendees “down the rabbit hole,” a la Alice and Wonderland, and into a world where every turn has another surprise!
COUTURE: This is your third show at COUTURE! How have you seen the show evolve aesthetically over time?
DANIELLE: The physical space has significantly grown from when I joined the team at the Intercontinental. Consequently, my role expanded as well! In the past I was only in charge of the entrance and registration area but now my vision will be carried throughout the entire space.
COUTURE: Last year was our first time at the Hilton New York. What learning experiences did you take away from October and how did you approve them in April?
DANIELLE: Last market we were working with a new team and learning new venue regulations. Now that we have familiarity with the space, it makes the creative process much easier. I now know my overall limitations and I have had significant time to figure out how to overcome these obstacles. I don’t want to give too much away but I will say that I’m very excited to make the big reveal!
COUTURE: We service many audiences (i.e. retailers, designers, press)! Do you keep these audiences in mind when developing a design concept? Which aspect appeal to each?
DANIELLE: Audience is extremely important when conceptualizing any event. At COUTURE we are dealing with many different industry professionals that all have unique goals. Retailers are running around the city 24/7 so I wanted to provide opportunities for them to reflect and explore the space. Designers on the other hand by are much more visual by nature so my main focus for them was aesthetics. I wanted to give them a clean pallet that had visual impact without being distracting to their designs. Press attendees are basically looking for the best of both worlds. As much as they love decorative elements, they need space to photograph the gowns without too much visual distraction.
COUTURE: This is a high traffic event that requires both functionality and design. How did you marry the two? What were the biggest challenges?
DANIELLE: This is always a challenge, especially at an event of this stature. Everyone is clearly impressed by a visually stimulating space but if you don’t offer the proper comfort and necessities you will lose their support. Each market is a learning curve but I have a strong feeling that we mastered it this April. In addition to the fabulous décor we are offering more seating and services for attendees to enjoy. We are also more aware of the space and figured out how to maximize its functionality in a more strategic manner.
COUTURE: Design is important for every event but it can also get expensive. What aspects do you feel are important to splurge on and where are the best opportunities to save?
DANIELLE: I always tell my clients that lighting is a large investment but certainly worth the cost. Through the magic of lighting you can create fabulous colors and textures that will fill the entire room and transform the setting. Fine details are important for enhancement but it’s better to spread these items out and use them sparingly if you are looking to remain within a tight budget.
COUTURE: What is your favorite part of COUTURE and what brings you back each year?
DANIELLE: The opportunity to work with The Knot team is always a pleasure. Being in the wedding industry myself, it’s beneficial to take advantage of the extensive partnerships they have formed through their multimedia platform. They have access to a huge network of retailers, services, designers, press and of course brides! The COUTURE team specifically is always 110% committed to the event and I look forward to reconnecting with them each market!