As a leader in medical innovation with a company culture focused on health and well-being, Edwards Lifescience understands the unremitting ability people have to lead change.
At the forefront of this ability is communication. Developing critical thinking with peers is essential to the success of any company, but for a company that saves lives with unprecedented medical breakthroughs that ability to stir the mind is exceedingly vital.
They “Take it to Heart” and are dedicated to gathering their staff annually for a meeting aptly named “Global Critical Care” . Their problem is enormous – saving lives, one heart at a time. They have made it their business to help find solutions to structural heart disease, critical care, and surgical monitoring. The number of people they have saved is countless. Their work, priceless. So when they approached our event planning company to help them kickoff their annual meeting with a networking experience, we were more than honored to be of assistance. We have planned many successful kickoff parties and where happy to help with this part of their evening.
The headquarters for this superhero company is in Irvine, CA so the venue selection was decided to be at the nearby city of Dana Point at the Ritz Carlton. With ample space for a courtside kickoff party and breakout rooms with AV equipment for their meetings, it was an easy choice. The seaside venue is a popular choice for intimate events like this.
The courtyard is meticulously groomed by Ritz Carlton’s gardeners, with beautiful manicured grass worthy of a golf course (but who would want to chip this yard!?). Spongy underfoot, it made for the perfect floor and the green highlighted the Tiffany Green tablecloths. The foliage that lined the yard was highlighted in white and blue up-lights to enhance the mood and provide ambient lighting for the reception.
Santorini Lounges made for comfortable seating to enjoy the live guitar player and admire the handiwork of the gardens under the shade of 9ft tall ivory market umbrellas. Adirondack Chairs were strategically placed around a propane fire pit for the age-old activity of gathering to talk around a fire. Our team added a decadent “build-your-own” s’mores bar nearby with Dark, Milk and White Chocolate, Graham Crackers Vanilla, Passionfruit and Coconut Marshmallows.
Other activities were also brought in for guests to enjoy, such as the lawn games. Foosball, Ping Pong, Standard Corn Hole, and Badminton ensured there was no shortage of activities for Edward’s employees to enjoy.
In another zone, a painting activity was set up on white round tables. This stirred the creative portion of the minds that made innovations in the medical world possible. Complete with easel, brushes, paints, and everything they needed to get creative, these medical masterminds turned artists for the night.
As it grew dark, a dimmable moon balloon shone over the event while tea lights flickered and the fire crackled. The strumming of a guitar played through the evening summer air and the guests’ happy chatter merged with the sounds of waves crashing below. It was the magical musical number we love to hear.
The Bruschetta Display was a big hit, with guests savoring the Tomato Basil Bruschetta, Aged Balsamic Reduction Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschetta, Prosciutto, a Toasted Almonds with Wild Mushroom and Artichoke Bruschetta with dedicant Truffle Essence. The hand passed trays made appetites grow with trays of Compressed Watermelon, a Goat Cheese Mousse, a Balsamic Gelée Korean Glazed Short Rib, Pickled Vegetables, and Crab Cake with Remoulade Sauce being walked around.
Painting aside and conversation (and fires) alight, it was time for dinner to be served, an honor we were pleased to share with the Ritz.
Long dinner tables were topped with flowing centerpieces that featured white roses and blue flowers with plenty of unique foliage contained in wooden boxes. Frosted water glasses, cool with condensation awaited guests while tealights in glass cable holders added as soft lighting, welcoming them to the dinner table. For dinner, Edwards selected the California Dreamin’ Dinner Buffet.
And for dessert guests enjoyed a Strawberry Pistachio Duo, Almond Amaretto Bundlet, Hazelnut Espresso Cookies, Almond Passion Tart, and/or a Dulce Caramel Mousse.
A silver bar was hosted as well featuring a full bar and wine selection with a signature specialty cocktail – the Laguna Lemonade.
As the evening drew to a close, we all left with a little bit of the sparkle of magic that a successful event could bring. It was a feeling unlike any other, and the very reason we love planning kickoff parties, meetings, and other types of events. The smiles and twinkle in the eyes of each of the guests as they left, artwork in hand, was a good indicator that they felt it too. After a long, long year of postponed in-person events, it felt amazing to be out under the stars and in good company once more.
” THANK YOU again for an awesome evening. This one was a little more painful than most but you were so helpful whenever another change arose and I think it all came together nicely. As always, I love working with you and can’t wait to do it again soon. :) “
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