Immersive Event at Field Museum:

During the ongoing Black Lives Matter events and protests, The Field Museum (currently closed to the public) released a compelling press release (you can read here) standing with The Black Lives Matter movement. The museum states, “We also, as a natural history museum, are aware of how museums have helped contribute to this inequality. Museums like ours have perpetuated structural racism through questionable collecting practices, misguided portrayals of Black and Brown people, and by denying people of color a chance to decide how their stories are told. We have only recently begun to address this legacy and make necessary changes. We have a long way to go.”

The Field Museum Special Events lighting design for Fifth Third Bank
The neo-classical interior of Chicago’s Field Museum, with event lighting design.

For us, it is important to choose vendor partners who hold values we respect and stand with the Black Lives Matter movement, like The Field Museum Special Events team.

Additionally, there is so much benefit in hosting an event at an educational institution. As we continue to educate ourselves, our cultural institutions can help lead the way by providing resources and information. The Field Museum Special Events team cares strongly for our community in Chicago. Like us, they want to be better.

The Field Museum Special Events Lighting Design
During special events, various exhibitions at Field Museum are open for attendees to explore.

In this Case Study, we’re going to talk about the benefits of: 

  1. Choosing an immersive cultural and/or educational space, like The Field Museum as an event venue. 
  1. Creating engaging, intimate “collision spaces” that encourage guests to network, even in immersive, educational spaces. (What are collision spaces, you ask? Don’t worry, we’ll explain what we mean.)
  1. Working with a respected vendor partner who can help plan thoughtful details that complement the space.
Floral Design at The Field Museum Special Events
Kehoe Designs created intimate conversation spaces on the third floor of the museum.
Tony Blair speaks at The Field Museum Special Events for Fifth Third Bank
The planning team invited former Prime Minister Tony Blair to address the company with an inspiring keynote presentation. After the presentation, Blair stayed on stage to chat with company leaders. His candid conversations left a positive impression on Fifth Third attendees when they continued networking after the presentations.

Most importantly, it is crucial to know where your vendor partners stand, and not just to make a trending political statement. Look for their commitment to actionable steps to making our future better, specifically for our black community, as well as our diverse community, and our community at large. 

Of course, during the global crisis, we’ve been missing large events like this. We are proud to feature this immersive event at The Field Museum, so let’s get into the details!

Ken Arlen Music Group performs at The Field Museum Special Events
An orchestral ensemble provided entertainment during cocktail hour.

Choosing An Immersive, Educational Venue

Choosing a cultural destination is not only is a great way to show support for educational institutions, but can be super engaging for your guests!

The Field Museum’s new resident, Máximo, was there to greet guests as they walked into the main hall. 

Maximo at The Field Museum Special Events
Máximo (a short nickname for Patagotitan mayorum) is believed to be the largest dinosaur discovered, and the red-hued skeleton cast reaches 122 feet long and 28 feet tall. His skeleton can be viewed from below on the main floor’s giant hall, OR from above! 

At the beginning of the event, Fifth Third associates mingled for cocktails and dinner on the second floor. From there, they could view Máximo’s skull close-up while getting an aerial preview of the stage set-up. Because the Field Museum activated both floors, there was heightened energy and anticipation for Blair’s presentation. 

The Field Museum Special Events hosts Fifth Third Bank Event
View of Máximo from below, as his skeleton moves throughout the main hall of Field Museum.

Within the first hour of the event, VIPs were able to explore all three floors of the Field Museum, immersing themselves in the space, and the historic artifacts it houses.

Intimate “Collision Spaces”

When we say “collision spaces”, we mean spaces that provide spontaneous interaction. Generally, these can be highlighted with smaller seating areas, gorgeous furnishings, and inviting decor. On the second floor of The Field Museum, guests primarily enjoyed dinner at high-tops and inside of these furnished alcoves. This arrangement encouraged interaction, while showcasing the view from the second floor.

Not to mention, it was super cozy! (furnished by Kehoe Designs

VIP Seating at The Field Museum
This engaging space had the backdrop of natural history artifacts – ancient turtles, skulls, and corals.

These intimate, yet informal seating areas became high-design focal points of an otherwise open-floor venue.

Instead of having a formal seated dinner where each attendee is confined to their seat, guests could mingle. They could converse while exploring the educational resources all around the museum together.

We have ideas about how these intimate seating arrangements can easily be adjusted to respect the needs of social distancing in our current climate, as well. Shoot us an email to find out more!

VIP Community Area Collision Space
This seating area was designed to accent and mesh with the environment – a cozy nook for conversation, enjoying a cocktail, and dinner.

Thoughtful Details

Fifth Third’s immersive event at The Field Museum had thematic decor, cuisine, and floral that complimented the venue. The thoughtful attention to detail by a fabulous team including Field Museum Special Events (whose catering is always delicious) … made the event uniquely tailored to the space.

Floral Accent Centerpiece with Orchids
Dishes and apps were beautifully plated, and a colorful raw bar brought an exotic touch as well. The whimsy of a cultural destination combined with the playfulness of the plating made for a memorable culinary experience.

Floral included exotic plants like orchids and live mosses housed in sleek, modern containers. The careful placement of these floral vessels complemented The Field Museum’s Neo-Classical Revival architectural style.

Floral design detail at The Field Museum Special Events
Field Museum Special Events worked closely alongside all vendor partners to ensure high design (both figuratively AND literally!)
Bar design by Kehoe Designs
A reflective, mirrored bar provided an alternative view of the space through small “looking glass” ornamentation.

Are you planning a future event? Choose your vendor partners wisely.

This Field Museum special event demonstrated so many aspects that can transform an event to an experience. While you’re planning your company’s event, you might be deciding between a hotel, an alternative event space, or a cultural destination. While any ballroom can be set up as a networking area, the closed-off nature can feel more stifling and less natural. This can make interactions feel less organic.

By giving guests immersive spaces to interact with, huge dinosaurs to talk about, and all the thoughtful details to go with it, Field Museum Special Events created an engaging, educational event. A cultural destination like this can provide the necessary space, but also abide with social distancing to keep your guests safe.

Special Events Cocktail Set-Up at Chicago museum

And, it’s important to note where your vendor partners stand. Whether now or in the future, months from now, that the conversation continues. A stance is more than just a blog post or a PSA. It is a new way of thinking that fundamentally changes how we live.

We know amidst the busyness of planning an event like this, photography can often be forgotten until the very end. Send us a message if you’d like to connect about your vision for the event! We’d love to help capture it. On the fence about why you should hire a photographer? Check out our Case Study about why hiring a photographer might be one of the best decisions you make for your company event.

You can take a look at the whole gallery from our Field Museum event here:

Fifth Third at Field Museum