A big thank you to Meltem Tepeler, owner of KM Events, one of Turkey’s leading wedding planning and design companies, and to Elmas Özler of bluechip creative events, co-founder of the event, for inviting Thursd to cover the story of the second edition table design exhibition in Istanbul. Although the past year was a difficult one for Turkey with a terrible earthquake, war, and an economically difficult situation, they decided to organize this event anyway. At a time when so many of us wish for peace, this was an opportunity to be a part of something that brings together designers and event professionals from around the globe.
The Hilton Bosphorus Istanbul hosted the exhibition, and it was sponsored by Istanbul Cicekleri, Pascal Matia Export, and Royal Flowers Group with floral creative director Tomas de Bruyne. It's the only international table design exhibition created to inspire the global event and wedding industry to support art and creativity. Global celebrity event and luxury wedding designers curated individual designs and exhibited their tablescapes based on the year's specific theme: Celebrate Art & Creativity is 'Türkiye’s 100th Anniversary'.
2nd Edition Table Design Exhibition in Istanbul
The Exhibition’s goal is to inspire the luxury event industry by showcasing magnificent designs by world-renowned designers, as well as provide incredible gastronomic experiences, educational panel discussions, informative workshops, exclusive events, and unique Istanbul experiences. KM Events' Creative Director Tomas de Bruyne shares his experience.
"It was an absolute privilege and joy to be invited as a guest and also as the speaker and Creative Director for the second edition of the Table Design Exhibition in Istanbul, a visionary event orchestrated by KM Events and Bluechip at the iconically Hilton Bosphorus.
Having been intimately involved as both the Creative Director and a designer in the inaugural edition, I am excited to share a few transformative insights from this incredible event."
First off, a round of applause to the organizers, team, and partners for their extraordinary vision and execution. Assembling the crème de la crème of the world’s wedding planners and designers is a task of monumental inspiration and leadership. The event was a masterclass in marrying the creative spirit with the business world, creating a multi-dimensional tapestry of innovation and elegance.
"Witnessing the unique expressions of each designer was akin to walking through a global village of creativity. From the vibrant cultures of America to Europe and Asia, each table was a universe of its own, mirroring the designer’s soul and cultural heritage.
Whether it was the intricate floral designs, the immersive experiential elements, or the mesmerizing décor, each creation was a spectacle on its own."
More Than Just Table Design
Many could witness this was more than just table design, the merging of event planners with floral design showed the whole world extravagant results.
Tomas de Bruyne:
"The gathering of such esteemed creative minds was not just an event; it was a celebration of human potential and artistry. Also, this year’s designs went beyond mere table arrangements; they were intricate stories told through space, flowers, and texture, inviting us to reimagine the ordinary.
This event was not just a gathering, but a fusion of wisdom, where titans of our industry shared the tapestry of their journeys, the hurdles they overcame, and their triumphs. The panel discussions, featuring a handpicked selection of this and last year’s most visionary designers and planners were a profound learning experience in growth and innovation. These conversations transcended dialogue; they acted as catalysts, enabling emerging designers and planners to leap into new vistas of creativity and opportunity, inspired by the wisdom and paths carved out by the pioneers before them."
You Had to Be There - At the Table Design Exhibition
"The event truly lived up to the phrase, 'You had to be there'. Being there myself, I found the experience truly rewarding. The opportunity to reconnect with respected colleagues and to meet new faces during the B2B sessions was invaluable for building professional networks. The dinners, in particular, created a splendid environment that further enhanced our opportunities for engaging in meaningful conversations and deepening our connections. I'm already looking forward to the next edition in 2024 with great anticipation, an event that is undoubtedly a must-attend in my calendar."
Tomas De Bruyne - Floral Experiences Worldwide
Great Educational Panel Discussions and Gastronomic Diners
Not only was the event spectacular because of the table designs but also the panel discussions that made clear what luxury was all about, were brilliant for everybody who wanted to learn.
And as if the days weren't magnificent already evenings made it clear what a ballroom should look like and how an audience has to be treated. All the guests getting picked up in their hotels, which by the way were all fabulous, got the best gala evenings one could wish for. And a true celebration of 100 years of Turkey. After a boot ride on the Bosphorus, guests enjoyed a red dress code gala night in the Peninsula Hotel.
Table Design Exhibition 2022 Recap
Going back to November last year, when the first annual Table Design Exhibition - Istanbul Capital of Celebrations took place. Nine world-renowned wedding designers, planners, and florists came together to create wonderful interpretations of their love for Istanbul in exquisite installations and extraordinary table setups that left exhibition visitors in awe. These fabulous designers created breathtaking table designs at Raffles Istanbul: Edgardo Zamora, Gideon Hermosa, Nadia Duran, Eddie Zaratsian, Ghada Blanco, Arturo de Noriega, Sarah Young, Meltem Tepeler, Elmas Özier, Tomas de Bruyne, and Colin Cowie.
World-Renowned Designers Line Up
Colin Cowie, a world-famous celebrity wedding designer who recently designed and planned Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck’s wedding chose a red rose theme for his royal setup to convey his love for Istanbul and created a classy and timeless table perched underneath green arches dotted with red flowers and romantic hanging candle holders.
Edgardo Zamora, the designer behind Hollywood's Emmy and Oscar award ceremonies and many celebrity events, created an enchanting secret garden lush with greenery and hanging blooms. Exquisite detailing and art were brought to life in Edgardo's secret garden.
Eddie Zaratsian, an LA-based international floral designer who has many client celebrities including Kim Kardashian, created a chic symphony of flower arrangements and shimmering candles in white, cream, peach, and pastel hues.
Belgian Tomas de Bruyne, known as one of Europe’s most famous floral designers, offers his clients around the world unique floral architectural experiences. For the Table Design Exhibition, Tomas was inspired by Istanbul's rich cultural and historical heritage and created a floral story that merges his design signature style with emblematic symbols of Istanbul.
Lebanese wedding designer, Ghada Blanco, who designed and planned several royal weddings in the Middle East, created a gorgeous Istanbul-themed table setup surrounded by green walls and hanging crystal chandeliers. The chairs, tableware, linen, and accessories delightfully reflected Turkish art and design.
Nadia Duran, one of the most famous wedding designers in Australia, created a vibrant stand reflecting the beautiful colors of Istanbul and its cityscape. Abundant with colorful flowers, Nadia's stand was a show stopper for visitors taking selfies and photos with this beautiful background.
Gideon Hermosa, one of the most famous wedding designers of the Asian Continent, created a breathtaking table inspired by the colors and shapes of Pamukkale (a town in western Turkey known for its mineral-rich thermal waters). The Philippine-born designer used soft colors in, mostly, blush pink and white to create his magical table.
Peruvian Arturo de Noriega, a famous wedding designer in Latin America, created a classic royal setup in black, red, and gold using tall candelabras decorated with red roses, and candles. A green wall of tea light candles added a romantic feel to the setup that also included hanging greenery and chandeliers.
Sarah Young, a celebrity wedding designer, and planner from Malta created a colorful yet classic design, infused with gold accents, which reflected Istanbul's colors and rich cultural heritage.
Meltem Tepeler and Elmas Özler, the event organizers, also presented their table design prepared with the event's main sponsor Karaca. They designed an Atatürk-themed Turkish table which coincided with the Atatürk Commemoration Day on the 10th of November.
A One-Of-A-Kind Event Regarding Table Design
This one-of-a-kind event also featured a table design competition, panel discussions, music performances, and exquisite gastronomy highlighting Istanbul as an international celebration destination of the world. The table design competition was organized for both local and international designers providing them with an unparalleled opportunity to present their creative table set-up designs to world-famous jury members. Melisa Demirhan Var from MH Dream Maker, Erica Jones, and Valerie Francois from O Luxe Design, Inc. were the winners of this competition.
With the support of the Panel Sponsor, Yapı Kredi Crystal, several panels were held on different topics including 'Why is Istanbul the Capital of Celebrations', 'The importance of Luxury Events and Weddings in Promoting Cities', 'Art of Celebration' and 'Gastronomy and Sustainability in the Art of Celebration'.
The panels were managed by leading moderators in the field and attended by international and Turkish opinion leaders, designers, event planners, and the media. Workshops were also held alongside the Exhibition where interesting and important information was shared on 'Turkish Grapes in Glasses' and 'An Empress at Beylerbeyi Palace'. In addition to the main sponsor, Karaca, several other companies sponsored and supported the event.