Trendy & Upscale Undermine Location, Location, Location

We have all heard it…location, location, location. We know it’s a factor in real estate but when it comes to hosting large scale and impressionable events it may not be as important as you think.

Robust Reds is Edmonton’s premier charity wine tasting and has been for over a decade now. The largest event put on by the Rotary Club of Edmonton Gateway chapter, Robust Reds has supported the Centre for Autism Services of Alberta for the past three years, with this years donations helping fund the Centre’s popular summer camp program. The goal was to sell 300 tickets. This year, the rotary sold 450 tickets and raised more money than any other year.

There are a lot of factors that make Robust Reds a success year after year, but there was one significant change between the past and this year’s blockbuster achievement; the move to the Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel. Aiming to revive the event and approach a new crowd of supporters, the committee made the bold choice to move the event despite trepidation from the Rotary. For a decade the tasting had been at more centrally located spaces in the city, and there was worry that choosing a hotel literally attached to Edmonton International Airport would deter donors. It took convincing to give the Renaissance a chance, but once the committee saw in person the nearly endless possibilities of hosting at the hotel, the decision was finalized.

“But the saying goes,” says committee co-chair Pat Coyle, “‘if you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always gotten.’ No risk no reward, so with that in mind and a thirst to continue to elevate the event the committee looked outward for new ideas that would spark a redefined event bringing not only a fresh approach but a new clientele.”

Known for its modern design, Renaissance simply oozes creativity and innovation. Nothing about the hotel is ordinary, and every staff member, from the event planners to the bartenders know how to showcase the extraordinary. It was the best step to elevate the Robust Reds event.

In the planning stages, the Renaissance team worked with the non-profit organizers to work through any concerns the committee had about hosting at Renaissance, beginning with the looming issue of distance. It was an easy solve for the hotel who provide complimentary parking for event guests plus have the option to offer a specialty room rate. While the Platinum Investments sales teamwork works with every corporation and event to provide competitive room rates as a part of the Renaissance, Courtyard, and Hamptons experience, Robust Reds was different. To make the trip worthwhile for donors, Renaissance was able to offer a low room rate with 10% going straight to the charity. Suddenly a staycation could also be a donation!

With distance concerns parked at bay, there was little left to question. With award winning Executive Chef Andrew Ihasz taking care of the passed horderves to pair with the over one hundred wines, and the largest silent auction to date, Robust Reds was planned for success.

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The night also featured a brand new feature that was never available before, VIP tickets which included early access to the main tasting room and access to the exclusive VIP room which had a premium wine tasting sponsored by Hennessy and featured the Renaissance’s signature mouth watering perogy station. “The option to have a VIP room simply was not an option before”, claimed Pat Coyle. “but the Renaissance’s Champlain room, attached right to the foyer was a perfect fit”. Reside Furniture had the opportunity to sponsor the event in a whole new way by furnishing the VIP area with gorgeous sectionals and coffee tables. The area was open throughout the night and added a whole new level to Robust Reds.

“The important factors leading to the success of our 11th Robust Reds was that the Renaissance Hotel didn’t just provide a space for us to host the event. Rather, they invested in our cause and assisted at every step to ensure it was the most profitable AND impressionable occasion to date,” Pat Coyle explained. “The Renaissance Hotel provided an exceptional venue for this type of event and the staff provided outstanding service. In the end, it was little risk with a great reward.” 

Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel provided everything to make the fundraiser a financial success at the same time provided services to ensure that the donors enjoyed the evening. Another new feature that Renaissance was able to accomodate was an official after party at HALO Bar|Bistro on the hotel’s second floor. With DJ Mintu taking requests all night, and a special room rate for attendees, the night extended far beyond a tasting.

Going above and beyond is exactly what Renaissance does best, and what ensures that events like Robust Reds fulfill their purpose.

Robust Reds will return to Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel September 21st, 2018.