National Pest Management Association Foundation Gala


National Pest Management Foundation

Event Date

February 2019


Newseum in Washington, DC



The Goal

Elevate the design quality of the their annual gala fundraiser and create an experience for major stakeholders involved with the association to raise money for advocacy.

The Strategy

Given the event had a $1,000 per plate ticket price, we knew we needed to heighten the overall design and experience. To make that happen, we first needed to understand the demographic of the attendees and hear from the association about past events and expectations.

We learned that this event could use some fresh decor ideas and more engagement opportunities. From there we built a multi-pronged event design that incorporated innovative activations and an aesthetic theme that would give their guests a gala experience they had never had before. (AKA: our speciality)

We programmed this event to be a continuous experience from the moment they stepped onto the red carpet through to the gift given upon their exit.

The Design

We created programming to keep people entertained throughout the evening with no lulls. Upon entrance to the event, a live water color artist painting an adorable mouse greeted guests and served as a little teaser for what was to come later in the evening.

We completely transformed the inherent cocktail space with specialty furniture including a luxurious white bar with plants and other unique pieces for visual enjoyment.

When guests walked in the main event space, they had to be stunned immediately. We created an “Into the Woods” theme and brought it to life in multiple ways.

  1. Green garland and rustic lanterns adorned the tables with leaflike gold linen and gold chargers. Elegant, yet woodsy centerpieces with tea lights suspended from tall birchwood branches topped the long tables that replaced the traditional rounds, and custom up lighting added to the ambience of dining in the woods.
  2. We opted to program the dessert course into the reception, rather than keeping guests seated, allowing them to mingle with others outside of their dinner table. They could also take advantage of a Selfie Cookie station that printed their photo on a cookie to take home.
  3. Because the association’s subject matter is about creepy crawlers and other pests, we wanted to do something playful and personal for guests that incorporated their industry into the evening. The trick lied in finding a way to make those creepy crawlers beautiful.

We accomplished by giving everyone a custom painted watercolor, created by the artist they saw upon arriving, to take home via a pop up art shop. The artist made 200+ pieces and guests could choose from a mouse, ant or a spider in one of three different colored frames.

The Results

With a thoughtful approach to design, guests experienced a gala that included small joyful surprises throughout the entire evening – much to their delight.  The Newseum venue staff told us they had never seen their space look so beautiful – a HUGE compliment to receive from a vendor partner.