CCA Corporate Event Production Company of the Year — GhostLight Productions (President and COO David Shimp pictured)
During a year in which GhostLight Productions focused on expanding its presence nationally, one of its signature corporate events ironically occurred in the backyard of a Cleveland Heights residence.
The Western Reserve Land Conservancy decided to split its annual EverGreen EverBlue fundraiser, which GhostLight had helped produce every year except 2009, into two separate events. The latter function would occur in September at a large brick home with a yard big enough — “just barely,” GhostLight CEO Deborah Smythe Hermann says — to accommodate a large clear span structure tent, a tented entertainment stage area, and a tented kitchen tent. All three areas had to be constructed very carefully over the well-manicured lawn without leaving marks of heavy equipment. Large crews of stagehands were brought in to hand-carry and assemble the tents. Forty-four heavy one-piece wooden farm tables and 400 chairs also had to be hand-carried from the trucks on the street. “Quite a scene for the neighbors to be sure,” Hermann says. There was also no room anywhere onsite for a large portable restroom trailer. “In perfect Cleveland Heights neighborly fashion, an ask was made to a neighbor if the trailer could be parked in his driveway,” Hermann says. “And, oh, by the way, the other neighbor was having 200 people over for dinner at his house the very same night. Using our best people skills and inventive collaborating, our valet was shared and the restroom trailer had a cozy home.”
Speaking of homes, GhostLight — knowing its brand was going national, and seeing its clients approach them with big jobs — renovated its corporate offices and expanded its production warehouse in the St. Clair Superior District. “Our expanded facility gave us the room to grow and warehouse our increasing production equipment inventory,” President and COO David Shimp says. “It includes a shop for pre-production uses and to fabricate set pieces and scenery. It also gives us ample storage space to help with our clients needs.” Appropriately enough, the extra wiggle room allowed GhostLight to house the equipment and merchandise inventory from The Wiggles’ North American tour.
GhostLight also expanded into the corporate hotel A/V services, beginning with Lago Custom Events, the exclusive caterer for the Aloft Hotel on the east bank of the flats. “We have been lighting Shaker Square for the Coral Co. for years and designing holiday lighting for area restaurants Sarava and Paladar, so it was a natural progression to continue that work at larger venues,” Shimp says. “From the Aloft, we jumped in head-first with over 60 events that needed A/V support and A/V rentals. This was above and beyond our traditional gala and corporate work that we had been designing and producing for years. From small meetings to large tented events on various hotel properties throughout northeast Ohio, GhostLight was enjoying this area of growth and expansion.”
For more info: ghostlightllc.com
Runners-up: Executive Caterers at Landerhaven; Rock The House; Solus Lighting; Wizard of Ahs.
CCA WINNER TIMELINE
2014 — GhostLight Productions
2013 — Rock The House
2012 — GhostLight Productions
2011 — Rock The House
2010 — Rock The House
2009 — Rock The House
2008 — Colortone Staging and Rentals
2007 — Colortone Staging and Rentals