After Hours: Designer Drinks
IIDA (International Interior Design Association) hosts the annual event, Designer Drinks, which takes guests through 4 floors of different finger foods, designer drinks and furniture.
To start out with some background information, the IIDA is a professional networking and educational association. Founded in 1994, they have quickly grown and are now worldwide with more than 13,000 members spanning across 31 chapters. Their goal is to advance the value of interior design as a way to solve problems, support culture and enhance business value.To help them on their mission the IIDA hosts a mass of social events throughout the year. Designer Drinks is one of these events.
Designer Drinks was held on 325 N. Wells Street in Chicago right across from the Merchandise Mart in 4 separate showrooms. This event gave guests the opportunity to peruse through the showrooms after hours, from 6 to 9 PM, and enjoy amazing views of the city. We were able to wander from street level to rooftop while enjoying much of what the night had to offer. Most of our time was spent in the Kimball and National rooms socializing and enjoying the different scenery. The different showrooms all offered incredibly rustic small bites like fried mac and cheese with steak on top, corn rolls and sweet potato fries sprinkled with brown sugar, designer cocktails mixed by drink "artists", and innovative new products entering the office furniture scene.
There was also live music, a homemade photo booth (complete with awesome accessories) and a raffle. The raffle offered items such as a leather zebra printed rug, gift cards to different restaurants in the city, a sandstone clock and even a trip to a well known resort (who doesn't love a good raffle, I mean, come on now). The best part was that all of the funds raised from ticket sales and raffle stubs went to the Illinois Interior Design Coalition. Buy one ticket for $5 or a whole row for $20 (I am severely regretting not participating in this part of the night). If you weren't participating in the raffle, or even if you were, the Kimball showroom was offering a "David Bowie tattoo tribute" with temporary tattoos guests could apply while wandering around.
Overall, it was a great night filled with friendly company, delicious foods and drinks, relaxing music and beautiful views. Looking forward to next time.
Update: (August 1, 11:27AM) The IIDA has raised over $9,000 dollars for the Illinois Interior Design Coalition from this event. Congratulations!