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Commitment was required to build this Grand Staircase leading to a second floor mezzanine.

Case Study in Commitment: [the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.]

Event: The NorLand Black and White Ball
Objectives: Commemorate 30 years in business with a fun and interactive atmosphere for treat teammates like family
Result: International multi-award winning event that checked off all of the ‘objective boxes’


Our 100% commitment to this event, even when at times it felt as if it was impossible, was the success to this event. Our client was celebrating their 30th Anniversary in business and wanted a Black & White Ball to commemorate this milestone achievement. In an empty Train Station with 20,000 square feet of available event space, we designed and custom built our own NorLand Manor House to hold the Ball. The majestic ‘Gone with the Wind’ style staircase leading to a second floor was the highlight of the event. The house included a Parlour, a Library, a Games Room and Mezzanine. A removable coloured wood NorLand logo in the centre of the stair cases was made for the client as a souvenir.

It was important that the event was meaningful and interactive, and would gather people together in an atmosphere that was celebratory.  We were asked to create the perfect setting for The Black and White Ball and so theNorLand Manor House was born! Never in our 32 year history has commitment been so necessary.

Design Plan

Our plan to design the event in an empty train station was perfect. We could create a proper setting for the event to be held in style because we were starting with a blank slate. The first step in any event planning process is to understand the goals and objectives behind the client’s decision to host the event. Since we already knew what the event goals and objectives were, we knew that the typical corporate party wasn’t going to achieve the objectives. We needed to create, from scratch, a setting that would immerse guests immediately into the celebratory feeling of this milestone. A night of grandness was needed!

We started with a customized monogram and branding and built from there. We had a cohesive design on the Save the Date, the Invitation, all Signage and the Evening Program. Each decision was carefully scrutinized to ensure that it was in line with the opulence of the evening.

Our event design and layout incorporated the important elements of our event goals, and then delivered them in a way that was fun, imaginative and inviting, so that guests would be drawn into exploring all sections of the house. The Lord of the House and his flock of actors, perfectly added just the right touches of fun that were woven together with core values from our client. We had created a prestigious and welcoming atmosphere for the guests, so that they really did feel as if they were all family at the NorLand 30th Anniversary Family Reunion. We sent out a survey after the event and received top marks from all guests in attendance. They rated every aspect of the event as a 10/10!

This event had several challenges and firsts; first time a second floor was built in the train station, first time an ice carver was carving LIVE at the event and the first time a corporate event was turned into a heartfelt, meaningful gathering. Employees were treated like family at this Family Reunion forming lasting relationships. The Black & White Ball was a huge success!

Here are our four main event objectives:

  • Commit to celebrating 30 years in business with creativity.

We provided champagne welcome, logoed desserts, customized activities incorporating ‘30’ (bottle challenge) and the family of companies/14 divisions (puzzle), live carved ‘30’ ice sculpture and designed an impressive setting for the Family Tree Game.

  • Commit to creating a never-seen-before setting to hold the Black & White Ball

A ball of this stature must be held in a prestigious environment and so the NorLand Manor House was born. We knew that our design needed to contain large and luxurious décor pieces to create a big impact, which is why we included the majestic curved staircases in our design. Guests have been coming to this venue for many years, so we needed to work hard to impress them!

  • Commitment to treat teammates like family

Once we had decided to hold The Black and White Ball, we wanted to bring the NorLand family together. We created the NorLand Family Reunion where all employees were treated like family and invited to the Reunion.

  • Commit to a creative way to encourage guests to network and mingle

Since the company has over 700 staff working in 14 divisions, most employees had never met co-workers from other divisions. The Family Tree Game encouraged mingling, chatting and was the ideal ice breaker for meeting new people. It worked splendidly, as there was participation all night long!


When creating an outstanding corporate event such as this, we must always keep our audience in mind and design the event around the demographics of our guests. Our guests are blue collar workers and we gave them an opportunity to dress up for this milestone celebration. Creating the Family Tree Game was brilliant because it encouraged people to mingle and meet new family members.

There is no doubt in my mind that we achieved all of our objectives, commitment to our mission and surpassed expectations with The Black & White Ball. Our approach to every aspect of the event, from designing the majestic setting and including creative themed activities, to setting a new record attendance for the event, our coordination efforts were highly praised and appreciated. We produced this creative milestone event by never losing focus of our key event objective – “teammates get treated like family”.

Event Documentation

Photos: The NorLand Black and White Ball

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