“Mission Possible” — Focusing on Critical Cancer Research  

During the Drug Information Association (DIA) 2015 Annual Meeting, Allison Sargent Events worked with the WIRB Copernicus Group (WCG) to execute an industry-wide event to bring attention to cancer research — Mission Possible: Curing Cancer in our Lifetime. This “party with a purpose” was held in Washington D.C. at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. The event was timed to coordinate with the DIA’s Annual Meeting to gather industry leaders in one location and re-emphasize support of vital cancer research. And the setting proved to be the perfect backdrop for the event, lending to the event’s theme and providing the inspiration for an evening of unforgettable memories.

Over 15,000 guests arrived ready to listen, learn and let loose among the rocket ships, lunar landing and other relics of space travel. ASE custom-designed the event environment around the popular exhibits, building a stage and expansive dance floor and creating a mix of round table and pub table seating for guests. Each tabletop featured green candleholders and blue and green “mission” globes made for the event in WCG’s corporate colors. Staying true to the color palette, blue and green lighting fixtures illuminated the evening from overhead. 

Servers dressed as flight attendants donned WCG’s signature colors as they made their way around the room with hors d'oeuvres. Bartenders poured cocktails through custom ice luges designed to mimic a rocket ship and lunar landing. Casual food and drinks lent a relaxed atmosphere where people could open up and talk about important issues in a comfortable setting.

Guests had the museum to themselves to explore and take in the private exhibits. For more adventurous partygoers, a flight simulator was to experience a real “take off” into outer space. An astronaut meet-and-greet station was set up for pictures and autographs, while actors dressed in space suits greeted guests throughout the event.

Commanding the room’s attention, a lunar cap suspended over the made-to-order stage was the focal point when WCG Chairman and CEO Donald Deieso introduced the keynote speaker, Gemini and Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin. ASE called on its expansive network of connections to book just the right speaker for the occasion.

Aldrin is a man who made the impossible possible when he walked on the moon in 1969. As he shared in his remarks, “Apollo is the story of people at their best, working together for a common goal.” Applying that logic to accelerating cancer research, his statement truly hit it home.

Following the keynote, a live band transformed the museum into a high-energy nightclub, covering contemporary party favorites. The event served as a great opportunity to spark important conversations and to bring attention toward the continued challenge of funding faster cancer research breakthroughs.

One of ASE’s hallmarks is an impactful attendee gift that carries on the event theme beyond the night itself. Each Mission Possible guest was given a custom-made wing pin and debossed luggage tag in WCG’s brand colors. But more importantly, they left with a lasting impression that WCG had made, influencing the future of cancer research.