Our client—a large medical insurance provider—brought their top producers to Palm Springs, California for their annual incentive trip. The goal was to provide the attendees with the ULTIMATE Palm Springs experience. For their final night event, we took the group 30 minutes out of town and into the hills of the desert to experience the “Celestial Mirage.” However, 24 hours prior to the event, Mother Nature decided to kick up her heels and bring us some strong winds, putting the event in jeopardy.
Let's Start at the Beginning
“Celestial Mirage” was the big finale after a week of iconic Palm Springs experiences. Our client wanted this event to be monumental compared to any of the past week’s events, putting an emphasis on the California desert and amazing view of the night sky. We accomplished this by transforming a blank space of dirt land into a beautiful desert oasis under the stars by utilizing event decor, entertainment, and activations to keep the outdoorsy atmosphere intact while also making sure guests were comfortable. To make guests feel as if they were among the stars rather than just under them, we found a variety of immersive ways to “bring the stars to life.” These interactive elements included a 3D mapped mountain with video projection and a custom drone show to end the night.
Keep Calm and Soldier On
Drone Show: We worked with a professional drone company to plan a completely customized show that would reveal the 2020 annual incentive trip’s destination. We started tracking the weather three months prior to the event since the typically reliable Santa Ana winds had not come that year. When did they decide to show? During our event, of course (35 mph!). After our team went to the event location to test the wind velocity, we determined that it would be too windy for the drone show to happen as planned. Talk about a frantic moment! Undeterred, our team and supplier partner were determined to find a solution. With just 24 hours to go, we worked hand-in-hand through the night to incorporate the drone show content into the hillside video projection.
Protecting Guests From the Elements: A big challenge we faced was keeping the essence of the outdoors alive while protecting the guests from nature’s elements. Thanks to the Santa Ana surprise, our team made the last-minute decision to put up clear tents in order to protect the food stations and guests from gusts of wind and dirt, but time was not on our side. Our client decided to proceed with the event, yet it was late in the day and we couldn’t source the tents locally. Luckily, our team had the perfect supplier in San Diego. Due to our valued partnership, despite them being two hours away, they were up to the challenge. The day of the event they sent four tents and a skeleton crew to set them up, but it was “all hands on deck”—every employee on site was focused on getting the tents up before showtime. We also had a team searching every craft and party store to buy 300 bandanas to protect the guests’ faces from the wind and dust along with 40 blankets to keep them warm.
The Final Exclamation
Our clients were “blown away” by our indomitable attitude and fast-thinking skills. They were ecstatic that we were able to continue with the event outside, but kept guests protected from the desert elements with the unforeseen winds. Being able to revise the video projection in a short amount of time and include the drone show to reveal the 2020 destination was the highlight of their night.
Mother Nature not on your side? Don’t worry, we are. It’s what we do!