Concern Worldwide really took the meaning of Thanksgiving to heart at its annual gala, held just before the holiday last November. The nongovernmental, international humanitarian organization provides emergency response and advancement to many underdeveloped countries of the world with its latest missions including Haiti and South Sudan. The benefit was held at the Wit Hotel and aimed to raise funding for its various programs through ticket pricing, a raffle and live and silent auctions that offered gifts from WXRT, Jet Blue and a number of local sports teams. Food and an open bar were also donated by Diageo, Lagunitas Brewing Company and Goose Island. Kevin Grace from HGTV’s Design Star was the host while DJ Matt Roan entertained the 230 guests throughout the evening, which in total raised $75,000.
Over the years, any corporate event planner can admit to spending countless hours researching the perfect venue or vendors for their gatherings. After attending or hosting hundreds of events, New York-based Daphne Hoppenot was no stranger to this research and was frustrated by its repetitive nature. However, it was planning her wedding in 2018 that pushed her to realize the lack of resources in the corporate events market compared to the wedding industry, and set out to see if other meetings and events professionals were struggling with the same problem.