Kuoni Destination Management takes home 2011 Gala Award for “Best Décor”

February 3, 2012 2:30 am

Kuoni Destination Management and its partner EventWorks received the 2011 Gala Award for “Best Décor” in the $20,000-$49,999 spend category at The Special Event 2012, presented by Special Events Magazine.

The event that earned Kuoni and EventWorks the coveted award was an Alice in Wonderland-themed dinner event for the general managers of a large North American restaurant chain. “An Evening in Wonderland” took place at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. Kuoni’s client needed the 2011 event to top that of the year prior, and with decor inspired by Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland,” Kuoni and its partner, EventWorks, exceeded the client’s expectations considerably.

Audio-visual and design experts came together to achieve the client’s objectives. The team designed a low-lying fog entrance where guests followed a checkerboard path to enter the Red Queen’s “queendom,” which served as the reception area. Black cocktail napkins with “DRINK ME” imprinted on them were placed at all bars, and the “White Queen” served champagne from her living table. Live whimsical characters posed and came to life, including two ladies who together played the “Cheshire Cat,” and were body-painted with black light paint to accentuate their cat stripes.

Guests travelled through the face of the White Rabbit’s pocket watch into an illusion tunnel to the dining area, which was breathtakingly gorgeous and featured varying table designs, evoking the spirit and feel of the movie’s main characters. There was of course an “Alice” table, a “Mad Hatter” table, a “Jabberwocky” table, and so on. Each table and its immediate surroundings were no less than stunning in their creativity, vibrancy and intricate detail.

Kuoni and EventWorks had very tough competition in the Best Décor category. Hugely impressive events produced by AOO Events and MGM Resorts Events were nominated in the same spend category.

The Gala Awards have been given by Special Events Magazine, the premier industry publication, since 1986, when the awards honored the “Top 10 Events of 1985.” They recognize the finest work in special events worldwide. For the 2011 Gala Awards, the magazine received nearly 340 entries in 35 categories from Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Russia, Spain and the United States of America. The complete list of winners can be found here.

Members of the Special Events Magazine Advisory Board, made up of leaders in the event profession, spent two days in October at the magazine’s offices in Pacific Palisades (Los Angeles), California, to select the finalists. Nominated entries went through three rounds of judging.

The Gala Awards were presented on Jan. 27 at a black-tie gala ceremony in Tampa, FL, at The Special Event 2012. Teri Awwad, Regional Manager of Sales for Kuoni, and Kate Brack, Director of Floral and Event Design for EventWorks, jointly took the stage to accept the award.

“We are always very proud when we attain great heights, such as the execution of a groundbreaking, creative event like ‘An Evening in Wonderland’,” stated David Kahn, Vice President for Kuoni. “But to be acknowledged in this way for our work, especially when up against such noteworthy competition, is just so meaningful.”

For more information on The Special Event show, visit For more on the magazine, visit

The Destinations division within the Kuoni Group has a workforce of approximately 4,700 (full-time equivalent) employees worldwide. Its international network consists of some 125 wholly owned offices in Africa, Asia, Europe, India, Middle East, North America, South America and Oceania.

Kuoni Destination Management was voted “World’s Leading Destination Management Company” by the World Travel Awards in both 2011 and 2010.

In the USA: With 12 strategically located offices across the nation and a wealth of operationally skilled destination experts, Kuoni Destination Management USA is the largest, wholly-owned, multi-destination DMC group in the U.S.

Kuoni’s 12 wholly-owned U.S. office locations provide a unique range of services, from event development and strategy to creative direction and design; from budgeting and on-site execution to financial reconciliation. Kuoni Destination Management reveals each destination to you in ways that are both wonderfully authentic and perfectly tailored.

Setting Kuoni Destination Management apart from other DMC groups in the U.S. is its commitment to ‘Client Enculturation’ — a thorough understanding of each client’s needs and objectives. Additionally, Kuoni’s market-leading local knowledge and creative delivery, combined with its global, wholly-owned presence in 90+ locations worldwide, makes it the leading DMC provider of local, national and multinational destination management needs.


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