Bell Flavors and Fragrances threw its annual Customer Appreciation Party on June 30, 2008 in New Orleans. If you were one of the 1257 who attended this year’s Bell party you should now understand why this party has been around for 32 years. The party was very similar to prior years; the venue Generations Hall was packed, the drinks were very accessible, and the dance floor was packed! However, it seemed this year the Mardi Gras spirit of New Orleans captivated the party attendees, because it continued into the early morning hours.
Bell’s owners, James & Raymond Heinz, came up with the idea of a Customer Appreciation Party to convey gratitude to their customers. They held their first Bell party in 1976 at the Philadelphia IFT show. This party, however, did not go exactly as they imagined. The crowd that gathered was all IFT students and later on in the night a club patron not related to the Bell party was stabbed at the front door. Needless to say not everyone had a good time, but over the years as the party’s success has grown so have the fun memories.
At the 2004 IFT in Chicago, Bell held the party at the Excalibur Night Club. The Excalibur is Chicago’s largest night club and is famous from many Dennis Rodman parties in the 1990’s. This party had the largest recorded attending crowd with over 2400. The party’s success has challenged Bell to look at ways to control the huge crowds with unique entrance passes. This year’s uniquely designed pass was Mardi Gras beads that displayed the Bell logo. As the party’s success has grown, so has the demand to get an entrance pass to attend. Altogether the Bell Party was the place to be at the IFT 08.