Official Opinions: A Corporate Extravaganza of Epic Proportions

Grand South Entrance

Photo by Matthew Kaplan

If you look up the meaning of “organization” you will find September 24th listed. True organization is 1 venue, 8 vendors, 30 greeters and over 60 musicians coming together flawlessly for 1 awe-inspiring extravaganza. After months of brainstorming and planning, it all came down to September 24th.

The activity began at 5:00 p.m. when The Field Museum closed to the public. While Stitely musicians arrived and started their sound checks on each stage, other vendors and their armies of staff began efficiently preparing their contributions for the evening as well. Under the expert direction of PRA representatives, the sound engineers at Frost set up lighting equipment to create ambiance and highlight the musical performances, the florists at Botanicals Inc. placed their gorgeous displays and caterer Food for Thought brought out their massive trays of food. Stitely Stage Managers, Peggy and Eric, coordinated the three stages and two entrances to ensure that all musicians knew critical information: when to begin performing, when to take their breaks, the location of the break room and much more. The excitement was palpable as the vendors, florists, caterers, planning committees, singers, and musicians anticipated the arrival of 5000 sales reps.

At 7:00 p.m. buses full of guests began to arrive at each of the main entrances. In addition to the line of saxophonists, thirty clapping and cheering greeters welcomed the sales representatives as they entered the museum. They were stunned byThe seductive saxophonists this grand welcome and many stopped to take pictures, dance to the songs, or run through the line of greeters to give them high-fives. While the saxophonists played at the East entrance, at the South entrance the guests were greeted by the Lincoln Park High School drum line and flag corp. Once again it was clear the guests did not expect such a spectacular reception. Most danced their way up the steps while clapping their hands to the beat, though some lingered outside to gaze at the beautiful Chicago skyline.

Near the East entrance the jazz quintet performed on a round stage equipped with an elegant grand piano. Modern black leather couches and chairs placed strategically around the stage helped to create a cool jazz atmosphere. The audience enjoyed the custom bar while listening to Stephanie Browning’s smooth voice. Tucked away in the Mammals of Asia exhibit, far from the hustle and bustle of the main floor, the country & western band pleased a dedicated crowd of spectators. Throughout the night, they shouted out requests and cheered in approval of the popular songs the band played.  Some guests were so inspired, they moved away the tables and chairs to dance the “Boot Scootin’ Boogie.”

Photo by Matthew Kaplan

Stitely’s 312 Chicago playing on the main stage was a tremendous hit. Performing with esteemed vocalists Yvonne Gage, Shirley King (yep, she’s B.B. King’s daughter), and Suzanne Palmer, 312 Chicago played distinct sets of Blues, Rock and Motown/R&B.  Mini tables surrounded the stage so guests could enjoy the full bar and food, as well as an up-close view of the band. By the end of the evening, there were many dancing sales representatives who had lost themselves in the music.

Photo by Matthew Kaplan

September 24 was a fantastic achievement. The musicians sounded amazing, the Museum looked phenomenal, and it was clear that guests had a blast. Peggy said it best in one word: “spectacular!” PRA staffer Clara DeBortoli described the night as a “slam dunk” and applauded Stitely’s musical contribution as “a resounding success.”  But we were just one part of a great team; one of many contributors who used their expertise and dedication to create such an outstanding corporate event. Special thanks to Roz Stuttely from the Field Museum, Botanicals Flowers, Frost, Food for Thought, Matthew Kaplan Photography and the whole PRA team including: Jennifer Cohen, Clara Debortoli, Lauren Banks, Allison Moore, and Heather Thompson. And thank you to everyone who made this night possible!

Check out more photos from the event on our Flickr!


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Delivering a mind-blowing musical performance at an event is an art and planning it is a science. Stitely Entertainment has mastered both by planning and executing thousands of events.

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