Chicago-based White House party planner to open events space

The Chicago-based agency that has planned events for President Barack Obama, Twitter and LinkedIn will soon have an event space of its own.

AgencyEA, a brand experience agency founded by Fergus Rooney and Gabrielle Martinez in 1999, plans to open Savage Smyth this spring. The 16,000-square-foot space at 920 N. Franklin St. is next to the company’s Near North Side office. A roof deck with skyline views will take up half the event space.

Martinez said opening an AgencyEA event space was a logical next step for a company that knows the field.

“We’re really in tune with what make a great venue space and what doesn’t,” she said.

Elements like a custom audio-visual system, a manufactured flow that guides eventgoers through the space and multiple ways to combine the two floors of space are “little logistical details” that create the right kind of energy, Martinez said.

The space is named for Rooney’s grandfather, an Irish entrepreneur nicknamed “for his passionate personality and fierce fire,” Martinez said. “We decided Savage was kind of the perfect embodiment of the spirit we want to come alive in the space.”

Martinez envisions the space as a spot “where people can come, innovate across fields, create something and meet others.” AgencyEA is aiming for a modern, naturally lit, art-filled space. The lobby features a mosaic by Jim Bachor, known for filling city potholes with marble chunks spelling out “Pothole” in front of a Chicago flag design.

The space — which is accepting bookings beginning June 1 — could host anything from a product launch to a runway show or gallery showing, Martinez said.

“Any client or organization can layer on their goals and their energy to what they want to achieve in the space,” Martinez said.

The company plans to host a week of launch events in May.

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