Dinner Gala in Hockey Arena?
When attendees at major charity event walked into the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, for a dinner gala and concert, they were expecting to see a hockey arena. Instead, spread out before them was an elegant dining room – set for 3,000 people.
Finding a space large enough to accommodate guests of the yearly event – without sacrificing the style and intimacy of a dinner gala – was a challenge that the client’s senior manager of corporate events and meeting planning was up to.
The solution? Constructing three levels of tiered platforms over the stadium-style seats, making more intimate seating than typically found in an arena. The client was looking for more of a dinner-theatre feel, and that’s exactly what this setup provided, completely transforming the room.
To effect this drastic change, the special events firm installed 24,000 square feet of STRATA Event Staging & Tent Floor system from Wenger, arranging it in a horseshoe shape around the stage. Floor seating accommodated 900 additional VIPs. STRATA’s ease of use also allowed the company to set it up within just 72 hours and take it down in 24—half the time needed to install and remove a traditional scaffolding system.
Another event challenge was how to move guests from the silent auction held in the RiverCentre (a complex that includes the Xcel Energy Center) to the dinner. To guide attendees, extensive directional signage and man-power were used throughout the facility to direct the attendees and ensure a smooth process. Once they arrived, guests were treated to an elegant black and white décor that offered a simple, classic look.