Wintrust Holiday Party at Morgan Manufacturing

Wintrust Holiday Party at Morgan Manufacturing

Generally speaking, one wouldn’t say “company holiday party” and “circus” in the same sentence…. Unless they would. Local Chicago company, Wintrust, decided to plan their company holiday party and yearly Wintrust Awards with a old-world French circus theme. The event brought together the quirky aspects of a circus experience with the joy and wonderment of an entertaining run-of-show.

Gold Grid Studios Photographs Wintrust Awards at Morgan MFG in Chicago
360 Destination Group ensured all details, decor, and room layout was suited for the circus-themed event and provided appropriate space for the evening’s festivities.
Gold Grid Studios Photographs Wintrust Awards at Morgan MFG in Chicago
Wintrust’s attendees experienced all of what a circus experience has to offer, and it wouldn’t be complete without cotton candy and popcorn!

Company holiday party event planning, especially for an event like the Wintrust Awards and Holiday Party, can be daunting. Planners have to estimate costs, and find a venue that is perfect for the theme. In this case, asking the question, “Can we have aerial silks dancers suspended from the ceiling for this?!” Wintrust found the perfect team to pull it all off!

Gold Grid Studios Photographs Wintrust Awards at Morgan MFG in Chicago
Aerial silks dancers took to the rafters in Morgan MFG’s warehouse space for a compelling show.
Gold Grid Studios Photographs Wintrust Awards at Morgan MFG in Chicago
Gold Grid Studios paid careful attention to capturing the poetic movements of the aerial silk dancers as they captured the attention of the attendees.

Wintrust partnered with the team at 360 Destination Group to manage all aspects of the planning process. The industrial warehouse feel of Morgan Manufacturing provided the space and rafters to hang both silk dancers, as well as hallways decked out in lush, velvety red curtains. Gold Grid Studios was selected to photograph the event.

Morgan MFG is an entirely renovated pre-Chicago Fire building, rich in history and robust in structure. When 360 Destination Group reached out to us at Gold Grid Studios with the scope, we wanted to create commercial photography that would be memorable, beautiful, and unique.

Gold Grid Studios Photographs Wintrust Awards at Morgan MFG in Chicago
Gold-rimmed goblets were one of many details on the table displays for the Wintrust Awards.

Here’s another case-in-point: those of you who plan corporate events that involve sports like ping pong or golf? Even poker and casino games? We get to channel our inner sports photographer self. Even if the end result is still stunning commercial photography that showcases the skills and prowess of your team members. 

(And hey, you can always choose to only show the photographs that make you look like you’re always winning. Even if ping pong isn’t your thing. Just sayin’.)

In addition to capturing the ambiance, details, and entertainment of the night, we couldn’t help but notice the table displays. Golden circus elephant centerpieces were adorned with vibrant floral arrangements exploding from their schnoz. And the goblets added a touch of regality.

Gold Grid Studios Photographs Wintrust Awards at Morgan MFG in Chicago
Whimsical elements, like this glimmering elephant, adorned guest tables.

Award ceremonies are important – both for companies as well as the individuals who have worked hard to achieve recognition. Wintrust Bank was founded on the original mission that there’s still “a need, and desire, for a true community bank: where tellers know their customers by name; bankers care about local businesses because they frequent them; and the bank invests in the neighborhood because it’s actually part of the neighborhood.” We got to know many of the individuals from Wintrust by name over the course of the event. Wintrust’s holiday party brought in a number of local businesses to come together and celebrate alongside Wintrust, and everyone felt welcomed while sharing a mutual sense of accomplishment.

Gold Grid Studios Photographs Wintrust Awards at Morgan MFG in Chicago
Gold Grid Studios Photographs Wintrust Awards at Morgan MFG in Chicago
The evening’s musical guests rocked the stage during the night’s series of events.

It’s the people of the company that ultimately make the event what it is. Wintrust is a leader in Chicago, and has a poignant history here. We wanted to show that.

Gold Grid Studios creates corporate photography that is an engaging reflection of your company, and we do it right. Because beyond the careful details of the event, there’s a story, there’s people, and there’s history. 

Reach out to us if you have an upcoming event in Chicago where you want us to be your event photographers. Or circus photographers. Or sports photographers… We’ll suit up!

Gold Grid Studios Photographs Wintrust Awards at Morgan MFG in Chicago
Gold Grid Studios Photographs Wintrust Awards at Morgan MFG in Chicago

Multi-Day Chicago Convention at The Hyatt Regency

Multi-Day Chicago Convention at The Hyatt Regency

Here’s the question:

How can an organization strive to make a large corporate event, convention or conference an intimate, meaningful experience? How can corporate photography reflect that aspect? Gold Grid Studios, a leader in Chicago conference photography, rose to the challenge.

The NAFCD + NBMDA Annual Convention at The Hyatt Regency in Chicago brought together members of The North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors to engage in topical industry-related discussions. The corporate event coordinators at NAFCD + NBMDA had a primary goal to create an “intimate, focused experience” for attendees. 

NAFCD – NBMDA presented Gold Grid Studios with the challenge of capturing moments throughout the conference that showcased both large room conversations and speakers as well as small group breakout sessions and one-on-one conversations.

The result?

Gold Grid Studios contributed commercial photography for the conference that emphasized the focus on intimacy and meaningful conversation at both large and small scale. Our experienced team was familiar with the unique set of rooms and layout of The Hyatt Regency, and used that knowledge to present the conference organizers with images that captured their vision and goal.

Gold Grid Studios photographed this multi-day convention at The Hyatt Regency in Chicago. Photographs depicted intimate, focused experiences amidst a large-scale meeting.
The Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago offers a number of spaces for presentations, speakers, trade shows, and workshopping.
Gold Grid Studios photographed this multi-day convention at The Hyatt Regency in Chicago. Photographs depicted intimate, focused experiences amidst a large-scale meeting.
Conference attendees sat at round tables, which provided a setting well-equipped for more focused, one-on-one and small group discussions.

The Hyatt Regency is one of the largest event spaces in downtown Chicago, so that knowledge was key. It is a 365-foot tall building with over 2,000 guest rooms in two different towers connected by an above-ground skyway and an underground concourse. Plus, it houses all of its cutting-edge, the modular event spaces.

Gold Grid Studios photographed this multi-day convention at The Hyatt Regency in Chicago. Photographs depicted intimate, focused experiences amidst a large-scale meeting.
Signage directed convention attendees throughout the various spaces at The Hyatt Regency.
Gold Grid Studios photographed this multi-day convention at The Hyatt Regency in Chicago. Photographs depicted intimate, focused experiences amidst a large-scale meeting.
Panel discussions brought together industry leaders to offer insight on industry trends and ideas.

The high ceilings, a large atrium with walkways, and massive elevators do the heavy lifting to quickly transport visitors and guests about the building. But the thing the Hyatt Regency excels at are the sheer amount of nooks, cocktail bars, clusters of chairs for relaxing, and intimate spaces that dot the interior. There is no lack of space here, but also no lack of smaller spaces to get away, get to know a new colleague, or reflect on the day’s keynote speakers.

Gold Grid Studios photographed this multi-day convention at The Hyatt Regency in Chicago. Photographs depicted intimate, focused experiences amidst a large-scale meeting.
Gold Grid Studios photographed this multi-day convention at The Hyatt Regency in Chicago. Photographs depicted intimate, focused experiences amidst a large-scale meeting.
Many opportunities for networking and conversation enriched the convention’s series of events.

As photographers well experienced with the scale of multi-day conventions, as well as Chicago conference photography, we stay aware of what a space can say about your event. The meditative fireplaces that mark these gathering spaces, the LED walls that add the warm glow, or an edgy, modern look. We are drawn to the variation of aesthetic character in these spaces. It just feels good.

If you’re looking for an event space for your next corporate event, try to find a balance of intimacy with functionality. The photographs will say quite a bit about that as well. 

Gold Grid Studios is familiar with the majority of Chicago venues, their quirks, their overall look, and how we can accommodate the space through beautiful lighting, and meaningful commercial photography. 

Gold Grid Studios photographed this multi-day convention at The Hyatt Regency in Chicago. Photographs depicted intimate, focused experiences amidst a large-scale meeting.
Breakout sessions situated conference-goers at round tables to continue round-table discussions and workshopping between presentations.
Gold Grid Studios photographed this multi-day convention at The Hyatt Regency in Chicago. Photographs depicted intimate, focused experiences amidst a large-scale meeting.
Gold Grid Studios captured accomplished award winners during a series of award presentations.

NAFCD + NBMDA also worked with The Hyatt Regency Chicago on their own strategy to create intimate environment, during the main presentations and break-out sessions. Instead of having row chair seating throughout the room, the Hyatt Regency set up round tables, with modern white linens. Attendees automatically had the opportunity to join various small groups for the duration of the programming, which fostered discussion, idea generation, and meaningful exchange.

Gold Grid Studios photographed this multi-day convention at The Hyatt Regency in Chicago. Photographs depicted intimate, focused experiences amidst a large-scale meeting.
Gold Grid Studios photographed this multi-day convention at The Hyatt Regency in Chicago. Photographs depicted intimate, focused experiences amidst a large-scale meeting.
Gold Grid Studios photographed this multi-day convention at The Hyatt Regency in Chicago. Photographs depicted intimate, focused experiences amidst a large-scale meeting.
Gold Grid Studios photographed this multi-day convention at The Hyatt Regency in Chicago. Photographs depicted intimate, focused experiences amidst a large-scale meeting.
Gold Grid Studios photographed this multi-day convention at The Hyatt Regency in Chicago. Photographs depicted intimate, focused experiences amidst a large-scale meeting.

NAFCD + NBMDA delivers value through trends, networking, education, and leadership at their Annual Conference. All of this becomes possible through seamless event coordination in a venue that fostered the sense of intimacy during a large event and this was reflected in the images that showed those relationships forming.

We are a small team at Gold Grid Studios, but well-equipped to show imagery that is compelling for your corporate event. Because the moments depicted through commercial photography – at an event at any scale – should feel intimate, too.

Let us know if you’re planning your next conference or convention!

The Knot Workshop in Chicago

The Knot Workshop in Chicago

In the event industry, it can be tough to catch a breath! That’s why it’s important to take a step back, find new motivation, and spend a few days with other people who just get it. The Knot Workshop in Chicago at The LondonHouse was a day designed to provide event professionals the space to learn, mingle, engage, and connect. And let’s not forget how important it is to relax over cocktails!

Attendees of The Knot Workshop in Chicago listen to keynote presentations.
Attendees of The Knot Workshop in Chicago listen to keynote presentations.

The event team at The Knot gets it. So, we knew that our focus in capturing the spirit of the event with a commercial photography style that could be just as focused as these industry-defining event professionals. And we wanted to have a little fun, too.

After all, our small but mighty team of corporate and event photographers at Gold Grid Studios have long been in the event industry in Chicago. We have experience as diverse as crafting images that depict the important causes. We’ve photographed non-profit fundraisers, national meeting summits, innovative conferences like The Knot Workshop. (Our lead photographers also photograph weddings, thus our wonderful relationship with The Knot! But if you’re looking specifically for wedding photography in the professional event industry, hop on over to www.rebeccamarie.com).

“Getting Stuff Done” was the tagline of The Knot Workshop in Chicago. The Knot and Gold Grid Studios definitely have similar priorities.

A branded coffee mug, pen, and cookie were giveaways at The Knot Workshop in Chicago.
Workshop participants left with inspiring thoughts as well as some The Knot-themed swag!
Attendees at The Knot Workshop in Chicago.

Event professionals understand that details are important to the look and feel of any successful event, so we knew to capture every one, right down to the fresh blueberries that topped the desserts by LondonHouse! The Knot Workshop incorporated all-white, textural centerpieces from Divine Designs & Events for a sharp, fresh look.  These were the details that set the pace for all of the motivation, ideation, and learning offered by each of the day’s speakers.

The Knot Workshop incorporated colorful treats and tastes from local catering businesses, like these berry and cream treats.
The Knot Workshop incorporated colorful treats and tastes from local catering businesses.
Table display and decor at The Knot Workshop in Chicago.
Sophisticated, minimalist table decor provided the perfect ambiance for The Knot Workshop.
Room photograph of table decor at The Knot Workshop in Chicago.
Circular table settings provided a great community space for networking over small bites and dinner courses.
The Knot Workshop Chicago keynote room set-up.
HMR Designs created the stage backdrop to create an engaging space for the event’s speakers.

The speakers completely rocked the stage at The Knot Workshop. Industry professionals included several local pros from Chicago as well as speakers known nationally for their work and expertise in event planning and coordination. Attendees absorbed presentations that included everything from useful tips, to personal / business experiences, case studies, and ideas that opened up continued conversations throughout the day.

Marcy Blum of Marcy Blum Associates in New York City was among the featured speakers at The Knot Workshop in Chicago.
Marcy Blum of Marcy Blum Associates in New York City was among the featured speakers at The Knot Workshop.
Rishi Patel, of HMR Designs shared advice for creating engaging, designed spaces.
Rishi Patel, of HMR Designs shared advice for creating engaging, designed spaces.
Workshop attendees writing down notes at The Knot Workshop in Chicago.
Workshop attendees learned from event industry leaders throughout each session.

The Knot Pro, by The Knot is a highly useful resource for wedding and event professionals, offering a digital interface where industry pros can upload their portfolios, connect with clients, and each other. The team at The Knot is an inspiring group of industry leaders who understand the wedding industry and help professionals personalize their pitch to connect with the right couples, and offer relevant tips and tools for success in the wedding industry.

Two women networking at The Knot Workshop in Chicago.
Networking opportunities brought event professionals together to discuss ideas, share portfolios, and engage meaningful conversation.
A woman networks with another conference attendee at The Knot Workshop in Chicago.

If you are hosting a corporate event, and looking for authentic corporate event photography, attention to detail, and meaningful storytelling, let us know! We’d love to learn about you and what you are working on to change your industry, business, or organization in positive ways.

Attendees at The Knot Workshop in Chicago pose for a photo.

Powerful imagery is not just photography – done well, it can define your brand and showcase to the world what you stand for.

Two women hug to say hello at The Knot Workshop in Chicago.
Rebecca Ickes, founder of Gold Grid Studios (front row, right), joins a group photo with other industry professionals.
Rebecca Ickes, founder of Gold Grid Studios (front row, right), joins a group photo with other industry professionals.

Attendees at The Knot Workshop in Chicago pose for a photo.

Thank you’s go out to the team that worked alongside Gold Grid Studios to make this event happen!

Nuage Designs for gorgeously patterned table runners and a unique rug on stage, Hall’s Rentals for the blue chairs that tied in the 50 shades of blue theme to the event. SQN Events and Meldeen for dreaming up the theme of The Knot Workshop in Chicago. HMR Designs for the Soul Cycle-inspired stage backdrop.

Gold Grid Studios also thanks all of the phenomenal, inspiring speakers:

Rishi Patel from HMR Designs, Ali Phillips of Engaging Events by Ali, Hope Weis of Hope Weis Consulting, Desireé Dent from Dejanae Events, and Marcy Blum of Marcy Blum Associates.

Salesforce Celebrates MLK Day in Chicago with City Year

Salesforce Celebrates MLK Day in Chicago with City Year

“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

On the morning of January 21st, Salesforce partnered with City Year at Deneen Elementary School alongside several community officials, organizations, and volunteers to do more than just service work. They came to make a difference by both revitalizing the hallways of this area Chicago school, and engage a conversation about the Chicago community, education, civil rights, and moving the City of Chicago forward.

Salesforce helps kick off City Year's MLK Day event in Chicago's Deneen Elementary School.
Salesforce was proud to announce the start of the day alongside Chicago community officials, and leaders in education.
Community leaders in Chicago, including former Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker.

Volunteers, including volunteers from Salesforce, were greeted by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, newly elected governor JB Pritzker, and Janice K. Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Public Schools.

Chicago education leaders team up with Salesforce and Chicago city leaders before service activities on MLK Day in Chicago.

Salesforce team members worked together to beautify the hallways at the school, with fresh paint and detailed murals.

A Salesforce team member helps beautify the hallways of Deneen Elementary School on MLK Day in Chicago.
A Salesforce team member details paint above lockers at Deneen Elementary School on MLK Day in Chicago.

Gold Grid Studios, Chicago commercial photography studio, was thrilled to join the Salesforce team on a mission to create a new look for this anchor in the Chicago community. We joined the Salesforce team in enjoying some delicious donuts and coffee for that perfect energy kick, and then got to work!

Salesforce team members on MLK Day pose with a T-shirt that reads, "Equality, Justice, For All".
Salesforce Team members support each other with Chicago community members on MLK Day on a break from painting Deneen Elementary School.
A Salesforce team member smiles during her community service work at Deneen Elementary School in Chicago.
A Salesforce team member laughs amongst her colleagues as they encourage each other's service work on MLK Day in Chicago.

After the City Year event, Salesforce hosted an afternoon of professional development. Salesforce invited area Chicago students for a series of presentations by Salesforce team members, and offered an interactive Q&A session at their downtown Chicago corporate office. Salesforce team members responded to questions about job interviews, client-interfacing, networking, and finding the right work that fuels your motivation, and then staying motivated.

Salesforce hosts an information session, motivating youth members of the Chicago community to learn about their work at Salesforce.

Participants in the Salesforce presentation engaged simulated client-to-professional interactions, spent time with Salesforce team members one-on-one to ask questions, and learned about the history and mission of Salesforce.

Gold Grid Studios, a corporate photography studio in the Chicago area, loves working with the individuals, companies, and organizations who aim to make change happen.

A presentation from an elevator pitch activity at the Salesforce Chicago office.
A woman listens to the information session at Salesforce's Chicago office.
A Salesforce team member gives a presentation to Chicago youth at their Chicago office.
A Salesforce team member smiles as Chicago youth attending their session deliver their presentations.

Gold Grid Studios has partnered several times with Salesforce to create beautiful corporate photography that depicts the quality of work they do, the quality of people who form the team at Salesforce, and the pride they take in every aspect of their goals and results. Having the opportunity to spend time with the company at corporate events, conferences, summer picnics, and events that directly reach out to the Chicago community like this one, we understand the impact our commercial photography has made on their company. From email communications, to outward-reaching editorials, to community partnerships, we’ve experienced the impact of our work with Salesforce and their team has influenced us.

Salesforce is the world’s #1 customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Their cloud-based, CRM applications for sales, service, marketing, make it easy to connect with customers by strengthening customer relationships through managing customer interactions and information.

Chicago youth engage motivating discussions at the Salesforce Chicago office on MLK Day.

Commercial photography should show the stories behind the relationships, the conversations that lend a new idea, ask a different question, and push boundaries. Working alongside Salesforce, we knew we had to share their story on MLK Day, and we look forward to sharing yours.

How does your company reached out in the community? If you’d like to partner with Gold Grid Studios to share your story, let’s connect!

A group photo with Salesforce team members and Chicago youth visitors on MLK Day.


Allerton Wedding: Emily & Brandon

Allerton Wedding: Emily & Brandon

“That’s Amore.” The words that defined Emily & Brandon’s wedding all started on a gorgeous terrace in Italy, as they enjoyed a glass of wine as a newly engaged couple. In that state of relaxation, taking it all in, they looked to the future together.

Honestly, if you could combine the whimsy, romance, and elegance of an Italian vista with the history, culture, and built environment of Chicago, that would describe their day. Old World meets New World. It was so important to Emily and Brandon to visit several locations, including the Adler Planetarium, the LaSalle bridge, the Lurie Gardens, the Lyric Opera building, and finally landing at the historic Warwick Allerton Hotel.

But the day would not be complete without a dance to “That’s Amore”, the continuation of the spirit of that perfect evening in Italy, and the friends and family that surround the day with love and support.

We were amazed by the Allerton’s new remodel, with golden details, warm lighting, and massive windows pouring in light while revealing the surrounding Chicago architecture along the Magnificent Mile. The gorgeous ballroom set the stage for the ceremony, cocktail hour, and following reception. The hotel, originally built in 1924 is now a Chicago Landmark. The classic “Tip-Top-Tap” neon sign is iconic – you can see it walking along Michigan Avenue! Emily and Brandon knew they wanted to brave the heights together for a photograph under the sign (you wouldn’t believe what it’s actually like up there)!. But one of our favorite moments was the view of the city from the outside of The Allerton. Completely breathtaking.

We hope you enjoy this Italy-meets-Chicago-meets…well, you know, the things that matter most… adventure with us. Congratulations, Emily and Brandon!

 

 

The Wedding Day Team

 

Venue: The Warwick Allerton Hotel | Printing: Minted | Bridal Gown: Watters | Bridesmaid’s Dresses: David’s Bridal | Groom, Groomsmen Clothing: The Groomsman Suit | Hair & Makeup: Blush & Burgundy | Floral: Flowers for Dreams | Caterer: The Warwick Allerton Hotel | Cake: Vanille Patisserie | DJ: Mike Staff Productions | Transportation: Windy City Limo