PEM party planner

Meet Lauren Fairweather, the person who is going to help us see the future next month at our annual gala, Future Creativity. In previous years, we entered the worlds of surrealism and fashion. At this year’s gala, we head towards the Future.

As manager of development events, Lauren plans over 80 events a year at PEM, including the museum’s private exhibition openings, board meetings, and, of course, the annual gala. Lauren is an expert in Greater Boston area event planning, having come to PEM from the New England Aquarium, John F. Kennedy Library and Museum and the Boston Museum of Science.

Lauren answered a few questions about how she develops the gala, as well as  what to expect on Nov. 9.

Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM

Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM

Q: How did you get into event planning?

A: I’ve always been interested in creative pursuits and even considered the arts as a career. During  my college days, I worked part time as an Events Assistant at the New England Aquarium. I realized how much I loved the business; it combines my passion for being creative with my ultimate objective of working with people and bettering lives (if only for the time they are at our party). I experiment with visual art, such as sketching and sculpture, and come from a very artistic family, so it’s in my blood.

Q: Your job is incredibly creative and detail oriented – how did you learn all the elements of event planning?

A: Event Planning is really best learned by experience. Working in the field over the past 10 years has given me a great foundation to pull from in terms of organization and details. I can find inspiration almost anywhere and keep notes of ideas that will strike me at any time, like a performance I see on the street, a dish I see in a restaurant or colors found in nature. Usually I find that the best ideas come when I’m in my off hours. As a guest you do not necessarily notice all the detail that goes into an event, but you know how you feel when you are there. And at our events my job is to make you feel something.

Q: Can you tell us more about what to expect at the upcoming gala, Future Creativity?

A: At the gala, we’ll explore some unexpected ways to think about art, food and experience the creative process in real time.

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Photo by Michael Blanchard

 Q: We’ve heard this gala is unlike any other PEM has had before. What will make this gala so memorable?

A: I am working on creating an immersive environment within the space with lighting and design elements, such as simulated moonlight, dancers on the walls and unusual lounge décor. We are also working with artistic-minded individuals to develop unique rooms based around their creative process. My hope is that our guests will be surprised by what they find!

Gala Menu 2

Photo by Michael Blanchard

Additionally, we are offering a cocktail-style format this year with dinner by the bite and creative experience rooms throughout the museum. This will allow our guests to explore and move throughout the night rather than sit for an extended period of time. They will have more time to dance and interact with each other than ever before and be entertained for the entire evening.

Q: The food is supposed to be a whole experience in itself . Can you tell us what to expect?

A: I am working with The Catered Affair on producing a custom menu for the evening. Each small plate offering will feature one surprising element and, when possible, we are using technology to prepare components of each dish.

There will be hints to the future and what that might look like in fine dining, including dishes called “rations,” which foreshadow elegant, pre-prepared meals. For example a deconstructed peanut butter and jelly bubble — which is an interactive dessert.

PBJ

Deconstructed peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Photo by The Catered Affair

Q: What are you most looking forward to at the gala?

A: Seeing our guests enjoy their evening and be surprised, excited and entertained! My favorite moment at an event is when it all comes together and we can see our guests truly enjoying themselves. Of course, the dancers scaling the walls of the Atrium will be very exciting to see, as well, and the cuisine!

 To learn more about the 2013 PEM gala, Future Creativity, and to purchase tickets, go to our website.

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