Wright Museum Gala
Annual Charity Fundraiser

Case Study: Custom Outdoor Event Tents for Gala Fundraiser


The Charles H. Wright Museum, founded in 1965, holds the largest permanent exhibit of African American culture in the U.S. with over 45,000 artifacts. In support of African American culture and history, the Museum was organizing their 8th annual charity gala fundraiser in Detroit’s cultural center. For this special occasion, the Museum’s celebrated event planner was in search of a partner to help him execute on a truly interesting and unique concept that would be memorable for all attendees, including high-profile donors and sponsors.

Since the Museum’s interior square footage was at capacity with a formal seated dinner, orchestra, staging, band and singers, the challenge was how to add elegant exterior environments.  The Museum’s event planner turned to VOLO to fulfill their precise creative vision, which consisted of multiple custom outdoor event tents and structures. This tall order was to be accomplished flawlessly and within several constraints, including budget, time and space.

Large Custom Event Tent Fundraiser Gala
Large Custom Event Tent Fundraiser Gala

VOLO Events Agency was able to rise to the occasion with a unique solution that included five woven together custom outdoor tents for the following areas:

  • Entrance/Registration  (40′ double-peak Marquis Structures)
  • Transition/Water (Experiential Video Tunnel 52′ with raised/shiny floor, water on 2 side, floating candles)
  • Foyer/Photo Lobby (42′ Hex Dome Tent Structure)
  • Floating Bridge ( 76′ Tunnel into Museum dinner/show)
  • VIP Reception Structure for Pre-Show (Saddle Span S5000 tent closed on one-end)
  • After Party Area (Saddle Span tent closed one-end)

Tent layout and installation all had to be engineering and erected within the confined site grounds, concrete surface and surrounding obstacles, including trees, landscape, lights, a suspended bridge and over a 24′ tall prestigious sculpture.

In order for the project to be successful, VOLO had to apply expertise in a number of areas, including: event production and management, construction, engineering, architecture, CAD plans, water, production, HVAC, power, permitting and drainage — all of which were handled quickly and professionally.

Large Custom Event Tent Fundraiser Gala
hex dome tent
Large Custom Event Tent Fundraiser Gala

In the end, the event was a resounding success. The guests were left in awe of their surroundings, which included a kaleidoscope of human color, lighting and video projection.  Almost all attendees stopped to take photos of the gorgeous interiors throughout the evening. Most importantly, the Wright Museum was able to surpass their fundraising goals and avoid any unforeseen surprises due to weather.

Custom Event Tent Rental Gala Fundraiser

VOLO’s Charles Marto managed this project. Charles is a Primetime Emmy-winning Producer, with over 30 years of experience in the live events and entertainment business.

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