It Doesn’t Get Better Than This: Best of San Francisco Magazine’s Annual Bash!

1200 of the Bay Area’s Chicest Partygoers Celebrate the Annual Ultrasmart Insider’s Guide to the Year’s Newest and Buzziest Arrivals

(Photo: Drew Altizer Photography & Jasmin Van T)

It was the best kind of call to get. Our client Modern Luxury/San Francisco Magazine has seen Entire Productions put our best into everything we do, from the most intricate experiential marketing activation to the smallest detail. They’re not only a media sponsor of our annual, amazing spring showcase, they cover it in the magazine. So when they said they wanted us to revamp their signature event, Best of San Francisco Magazine 2018, a huge, high-profile party open to the public at the Palace of Fine Arts, we could not have been more thrilled.

A16, restaurant

(Photo: Drew Altizer Photography & Jasmin Van T)

A Head Start: The party was scheduled for Thursday, July 12, and we had a couple of months to plan. Many of the restaurant vendors were winners of the magazine’s awards, so we didn’t have to worry about catering and could focus on what the client came to us for: our creativity and fabulous entertainment. We started with a mood board, based on Pantone’s color of the year (ultra violet) and got right to work on the talent selections (more on those below).

The Nitty Gritty: This was the first year holding the event at the Palace of Fine Arts, and floorplans and load schedules to the venue to be approved by City Departments (including Fire, Police, etc.) thirty days before the event. The event was also the week after the 4th of July which meant some people would be out of the office, so we had to nail down all details ahead. To source Audio Visual needs and furniture, we were able to bring in our sister A/V company, Elevate Productions, and one of our treasured rental partners, AFR, at an incredibly low cost to the client, which was a huge win.

(Photo: Drew Altizer Photography & Jasmin Van T)

The Best Entertainment: Guests who purchased VIP tickets arrived at 6 p.m., and general admission started at 7 p.m. “Gold Glamazons” greeted guests as they entered the event. Body painted statues posed in the VIP lounge from 6-8 p.m. and then roamed throughout the venue. Our secret weapon was a quartet of lovely performers who did several acrobatic dance performances throughout the night. And The (415)s Band (their name is based on San Francisco’s area code) did what they do best for three sets, rocking the room and getting people dancing.

(Photo: Drew Altizer Photography & Jasmin Van T)

Cheers! Small bites and wine were provided by the restaurant and winery sponsors, including Asian Box, Beach Street Grill and Jacuzzi Family Vineyards. Cocktail activations like the Patron Tiki Hut, Kettle One Botanical Cart, and Lillet Cart were a bit hit. And the specialty drink menu below was featured at each open bar.

  • KARL THE FOG: Kettle One Vodka, Simple Syrup, Fresh Lemon Juice, Pressed Apple Juice, Raspberries and Mint
  • THE 1906: Brugal 1888 Rum, Soda Water, Angostura Bitters, and an Orange Slice for Garnish
  • LOMA PRIETA: Patron Tequila, Basil Leaves, Jalapeño, Lime Juice, and Grapefruit Soda
  • SAN FRANCISCO SOUR: Bulleit Bourbon, Simple Syrup, Mint Leaves, and Lemon
  • MARINE LAYER: Tanqueray Gin, Simple Syrup, Cucumber, Grapefruit, Lemon

(Photos: Drew Altizer Photography & Jasmin Van T)

A Sign of Improvisation: Signage was one of the biggest elements Modern Luxury spoke about when we got the contract – they wanted more visibility and branding than they’d had in the past. Because some sponsors came in at the last minute, we were unable to get proofs made in advance, which resulted in some last-minute troubleshooting. The floor decals representing directional signage and acknowledgment of major sponsors were cut with gaps in the center line. But our A/V team was able to come up with creative solutions. They tacked the stage backdrop, which was too small for the stands ordered, to the wall next to the bar using Command Strips! This ended up working really well and became a selfie-spot for guests, and they posted photos using the hashtag #bestofsfmag.

(Photo: Drew Altizer Photography & Jasmin Van T)

Staying Cool: The day before the event, we ordered 2,000 pounds of ice to be delivered on site. One of our newest partners is a company in San Francisco that only produces ice, and they require just four hours of advance notice. The more you know! 🙂

The Best Feedback: The biggest compliment we received was how incredibly hard-working and positive our on-site team was. Everyone gave it their all and worked together in a slightly challenging situation to bring a great event to life. For that to be noticed by the client was wonderfully reaffirming.

(Photo: Drew Altizer Photography & Jasmin Van T)

But That’s Not All: The best part about this amazing event, featuring award-winning food and drinks: It benefited Meals on Wheels.