Client: Ice Space
Event: Launch party
Venue: Ice Space
If ever the signs were ominous that things weren't shaping up quite as planned for Ice Space, then the late opening of its launch party could be deemed as a clear indication of things to come.
Eventually closing some six weeks earlier than expected, the City-based temporary structure's opening party saw organisers still painting and cleaning as the first guests began to arrive. This left the ever so slightly embarrassed public relations executives appeasing the growing crowd as the finishing touches took the whole concept of last-minute party planning a bit too far.
Even though The Rouge Partnership director Nathan Homan was brought on site at about 2pm on the day of the launch party, he believes everything worked well. However, Homan openly admits that when he first arrived at the venue in central London he was a little concerned things wouldn't be ready. "At least the structure was up and it hadn't melted," he jokes. "In all seriousness, most events are always a little last minute, and many guests are used to it. This was no different. It was just a case of some hoovering, painting and positioning of cushions that had to be sorted."
Once the doors to the venue opened, a queue that included celebrities and other invitees quickly built up. Inside, guests roamed the gallery and marvelled at performance art, but a lack of signage meant that many never found the food being served at the ice rink.
"I think that everyone who came enjoyed the party and there was definitely a great buzz around the venue," enthuses Homan. "We were lucky in that all those involved in the party, from caterer Rhubarb to entertainment agency Bolli Darling, are all very professional and know their stuff. For us it was more a case of just managing the venue once the doors had opened. Our team of three each looked after an area, including the ice rink and the main bar."
Ice Space was due to remain open until June, with the possibility of returning later in the year. However, despite its early closure due to financial difficulties, Homan still believes it is a great concept and something that could definitely work in the future (Showcase, p22).