Dining Innovation at The Phoenician
Innovation. It’s what excites us. It defines us as one of the leading DMCs in the country and it’s at the core of our Hello! Tomorrow series. This month we’re featuring our "Dining Innovation at The Phoenician" program, which is nominated for an Association of Destination Management Executives International (ADMEI) award for "Excellence in Technology Integration."
Hello! Arizona recently produced a dinner for members of a luxury-lifestyle magazine in the Canyon Suites at The Phoenician resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Canyon Suites were newly renovated, and The Phoenician wanted to showcase the new foyer and outdoor patio, highlight the on-property restaurants, and completely WOW their guests. We had to ask, "How do we create something that’s never been seen or done, for VIP guests who have seen and done almost everything?"
To create a dinner for elite guests that would highlight the contemporary luxury of the Canyon Suites, we thought outside the realm of a traditional dinner. Instead of using products already available, we wanted to innovate and produce something completely new. We decided to create an eight-course interactive dining experience featuring an LED table top that would display graphics to match each course of the dinner, along with a program that synchronized the graphic changes with white glove dinner service. The table featured LED screens that linked together to create seamless graphics. We finished the astonishing display with square mirrored vases that were filled with white hydrangea and various sized succulents to tie the very modern table into the desert landscape.
We worked with a production company and the resort to completely plan, design, and synchronize the dining experience. The opening video was The Phoenician logo and a scrolling message welcoming them to The Phoenician’s Canyon Suites. Chefs presented each course, after which the servers (in unison) would place the plate on the LED table and the animation for that course would begin. The animations were based on the placement of the plates—some swirled around, some grew like flourishes, and some were themed background for that course (such as smoke and flames for steak). The video graphics were inspired by the actual menu items, such as using a fire graphic with a Phoenician logo overlay for hot soup, then turning the fire into hot coals for the grilled prawns course, making it seem as if the prawns were being grilled on the spot. Once a course was cleared the table transitioned to a black screen with The Phoenician logo, allowing for a drastic change each time the next course was set. The dinner continued until the encore: a lollipop garden that was "celebrated" with graphics of fireworks. Since each course represented a specific department or restaurant at The Phoenician, to help differentiate them we used a local musician to play four genres of music that changed with each course: Contemporary, Rock ‘n Roll, Top 40, and Jazz. For the lollipop garden encore with the fireworks graphics, the musician closed with Katie Perry’s "Fireworks."
The event was an overall success. Through their ingenuity, Hello! Arizona was able to deliver something unexpected to guests who thought they’d seen everything. We’re honored to be nominated for an ADMEI award, and look forward to the awards gala in Chicago on February 10!