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Rice Alliance Gala Redesign

The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship enlisted B+L Creative to join their planning team with a focus on event design for the Rice Business Plan Competition Gala with about 8 weeks of lead time.

Bianca served as Creative Director and Luke supported with video content creation to complement the experience designs put forth in the Experience Refresh Bianca designed and implemented for the Gala.

The process involved a quick and efficient discovery process with the Rice Alliance team, in which we outlined a scope of work for areas to improve upon the experience delivered at the Celebratory Gala, conducted to hand out over $2M in prizes to Startups that competed in the Rice Business Plan Competition, that same week. The competition spans three days and culminates with the Awards the same day as the judging is complete, resulting in a tight timeline to prepare winner prizes. The theme of the experience, The Edge of the Future, provided a framework of inspiration focused on innovation paving the way to the future.

We provided a complete audio-visual redesign in partnership with NextAV Productions, departing from the formula of a standard two-screen stage set to a designed stage seat. The centerpiece of the stage was a four-panel LED wall array for complementary ambient looping imagery. Set in front of a colorful Cyc, the elements provided depth and ample branding for the mainstage.

A key focus of the design project was scripting and content creation for the main stage. Bianca led scripting along with the Rice Alliance marketing director, including a rework of visuals to be animated and memorable. Luke designed a timed countdown experience to complement the room reveal as guests entered the ballroom, as well as the production of animated stage elements.

Bianca designed banquet centerpieces with the help of Art Attack, provided ambient entertainment by J&D Entertainment and a 360 Photobooth to liven up the pre-function, provided by Party Perks TX

The most surprising of the experience spruce-up, was the inclusion of the Houston Rocket's own, DJ Palmo, as our emcee for the occasion. DJ Palmo provided high-energy musical sets between remarks, conducted our introductions during the program, and brought fresh energy into the mix.

The event received resounding reviews from the Rice Alliance team and community. One to be remembered, we can't wait to continue to evolve the gala next year!

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