After experiencing the Gala Event of 2011, it seemed impossible that anything could top that spectacular night. However, I’m here to say I can attest that the 2012 Gala Dinner & Cocktail Event was incredible, and it outshone and outperformed the prior year. This year’s conference theme was “Be BOLD!” and the Gala Event and attendees were definitely bold in every way.
We gathered in the Grand Hall for cocktails and networking. About 275 attendees, some with guests in tow, wowed everyone in their beautiful evening gowns, shimmering cocktail outfits and dressy tops over long black skirts or palazzo evening pants and even some hot mile-high miniskirts. Beads, velvet, burnout patterns, sparkles, feathers, cutout peek a boo, shimmer, silk and satin!
Everyone looked so great; confident in who they were! Women strutted their stuff in towering stiletto heels. I observed all manner of sexy up-do hairstyles. Glittering jewelry sparkled and shone in the low light, creating a modern groove ambiance. The great thing about “being BOLD!” is that you can be yourself. I also saw black and red tooled leather cowboy boots, brimmed hats, sparkly art bracelets, and lots of body art.
The bar was open – let the networking begin! We all enjoyed cocktails together and the drinks were great. Those bartenders sure aimed to please! They were a lot of fun.
Joan and the Office Dynamics International staff arrived, looking great and ready to enjoy a party with us. And then the outrageous entertainment began!
We enjoyed a sweet tiny mime geisha with a flowering cherry parasol who posed for photos with everyone. There were two “blue guys” completely encased in bright blue head to toe. They entertained, performed feats of muscle and balance, and also posed for photos. They comedic silent actions kept us all laughing and enjoying ourselves. If there was only one star of this cocktail hour, it had to be the black and white checker creature, with a big tummy and bulbous “caboose” who cavorted and clowned around, entertaining us with photo ops, jokes, songs, silliness and fun.
The Ballroom doors opened, and it was time to enter the Gala Event!
We entered a beautiful candlelit room with white flowers and candle centerpieces on each table with glass and mirrors. Waiting for us at each place setting was an incredible artisan salad with tiny heirloom tomatoes (so sweet!) in yellows, oranges and reds. We had baby leaves salad with shaved carrots and giant Caesar crostini. Baskets of fresh seeded artisan breads were passed. Even the butter pats were decorated with impressions of the resorts’ logo.
The DJ played a song to get the vibe going, and I guess everyone was really ready to cut loose and “be BOLD!” because the dance floor was filled in no time. (You know those parties where it takes half the night to get a person up there? Not here!). We danced, swayed, boogied and had a blast. They had to tell us to clear the floor in order to serve the main entr