Big Night 2020: Post-Event Q&A with Event Manager Danielle Gabai!

February 12, 2020

Over the weekend, Corinthian Events teamed with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts for their annual Big Night event – the night was incredible! We sat down with Danielle Gabai, the Event Manager from Corinthian Events who worked as the lead on Big Night, for a brief Q&A in the hopes of getting a little insight on the planning and execution of Saturday’s event.

Q1: Big Night is known for big name entertainment and fun themed décor – what was your favorite eye-catching décor element this year?

A1: “One of my favorite pieces was the central chandelier. We started with a vision of creating something completely unique that embodied the feel of beach towns and it turned out looking really cool. We took beachy elements like lobster traps, buoys, and a giant fishing net, and we strung lighting throughout it to elevate the installation for the event. We wanted it to embody the movement of the ocean current and it was a labor of love with our partners at Port Lighting but when it all came together it helped to completely transform the vibe of the space and tie the theme together. It was definitely a conversation starter!”

Q2: Were there any small décor items you especially enjoyed?

A2: “I truly believe that the small details matter in themed event design. We wove the feel of the event through everything from linens and florals to food stations and room accents. We got these white seashell vessels that held brightly colored flowers hand selected by Winston Flowers that really made the vibrant colors pop. Each food station had a different theme and reflected a beach scene that would look familiar to guests no matter where their home beach is. For example, we had a boardwalk beach souvenir shop and a classic New England lighthouse scene as two of the stations.”

Q3: It sounds like a lot of thought went into everything – big and small – what was the process like from start to finish?

A3: “It’s a long planning process but we work to be intentional with everything we choose. We spend a lot of time cultivating the theme that fits best with the bands and the mission of what the organization is doing. Not including the theme, décor, entertainment, and food, there are a lot of logistical obstacles to work through when planning an event for this many people on three different floors. As soon as one year’s event is over, we start the planning for the next year!”

Q4: How did your team help you with this?

A4: “The scale of the project is on the larger side and this big of an event can’t function without a solid team to help with planning and execution. The lead up to the event takes a team of strong planners and designers to create design, map out logistics, manage needs of all vendors involved and so on. Just as important though is the stellar day-of team that helped put everything together seamlessly on a tight timeline. Outside of our staff we also had a lot of amazing vendor partners that we work closely with that make this event happen. Without them we would not have been able to pull off the big vision we had.”

Q5: Going off that, how do you think you included the standards and ideals of Corinthian Events into this massive project?

A5: “It sounds cliché, but I felt like this event is a great showcase of our ability to balance creativity and design with precision logistics to put together a striking but seamless event that is memorable for all of the right reasons.”

Q6: For you personally, what stood out to you the most?

A6: “When you spend so much time planning an event like this, you sort of get a feel or an expectation for how things are going to go, so if all goes well, I shouldn’t really be ‘surprised’ by anything. This year, however, two things really stuck out. The program was incredibly powerful and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts did a phenomenal job highlighting their mission and the impact of the work they do. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house during the tribute! It was also a blast working with this year’s headline entertainment. We knew they were talented, but the way they worked the crowd and interacted with the attendees made the party incredible. They really tied a bow on the whole night.”