When I got a call from Congresswoman Grace Napolitano’s office saying she wanted an event produced for Mental Health Awareness month, I immediately began to look for unique space such as an airplane hangar event venue.

It was set to be a stellar event. NBA Star Metta World Peace would be sharing his journey to mental health restoration, Grammy-nominated artist Crystal Lewis would be singing, the Kaiser Permanente educational program would be helping to lead with coping exercises for the 400 guests and 12 mayors from neighboring cities and representatives from the Army National Guard would be in attendance.

This all meant there would be a lot of media covering the event. Different vendors would need tables to feature their resources and the fire department truck would be present for the Los Angeles-based special event as well.

The chosen event site was an airplane hangar event space. This was the first time I had ever produced an event in an airplane hangar. I quickly discovered that once all the planes are removed, the event space was a very large garage. I needed to create things like green rooms for our distinguished guests and staff plus a platform for our DJ and media.

I had to design the room structure and build a unique stage that could accommodate the needs of everyone at the airplane hangar as well as determine where the vendors, restrooms, water station, security and check-in would best fit in the space.

I knew that for this event to be a success, I would have to start with the measurements of the airport hangar. I turned to a company called All Seated for this. All Seated transformed the event industry with its collaborative digital planning tools that help event planners such as me design floorplans, arrange seating, and show our clients how it will all look in 3D. They can do this with any space and were immensely helpful when it came to the accurate understanding of the dimensions I was working with, helping me to best maximize the space.

An airplane hangar event space filled with chairs and stage using All Seated.
An airplane hangar event space filled with chairs and stage using All Seated.

I took all the details like pieces in a puzzle and watched it come together as I moved things around to find that perfect fit and flow.

All Seated provided me with the convenience of not having to free-hand uneven proportions on paper but rather simply select and paste using colors, proper shapes, and even right down to the meticulous detail of how I thought it best for the chairs to be set.

In the last planning meeting before the event, the client and the staff were able to see what an event in an airplane hangar would look like.

It was so fun to see the team’s reaction as I hit the 3D button and said, “Let me show you.”

When other planners are thinking of working in an airplane hangar such as HangarX1 in Van Nuys for instance ask me where to begin, I always give them my secret weapon – All Seated. It helps to map out the space using all your key event elements.

The entire experience raised the bar on excellence and working with an airplane hangar for a special event helped me take my clients in new directions!