Every day is different in the world of event production
Our World | On 02, Nov 2011
After eight years in the event production industry I moved from the midlands to my home town of Dunstable (for the glamorous lifestyle of course). Although I was a freelance Producer when I first started working for P&MM it wasn’t long before I wound up a permanent addition to the event production team. So this is my first blog on the Our World site and rather than talk you through my CV I thought I’d share some experiences I’ve had on events over the years…
Event 1 – Global road show
The aim of this event was to communicate the annual marketing strategy for some key brands across Europe, Asia and America. The year I was involved we headed to Paris, Miami and Bangkok so a great mix of cultures. Along with plenary sessions for approximately 300 pax we managed breakout rooms for all of the brands, providing any product displays, POS and printed materials required. It was on this event that I tried (and fell in love) with my first Tanquray and tonic, met Captain Morgan in the flesh and learnt exactly how each different Jonnie Walker label should be served. A great client and a great event.
Event 2 – A rocking incentive
I’m particularly proud of this event as it won a Gold IVCA award for teambuilding events. The brief was to give 100 pax a day they would remember and could not achieve on their own as a reward for a sales incentive. The event was held at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art so that delegates could experience a day in the life of some of UK’s greatest actors including Dame Judy Dench, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Ralph Fiennes. The delegates were split into 5 groups taking a different musical to tackle. Each group were given a rehearsal room, choreographer and prop/costume box and had 5 hours to pull together a medley for their allocated musical. At the end of the day each group performed to their peers before returning to their hotel to get changed for dinner.
This was the event production team’s cue to turn the room around for dinner utilising the raised floor which, with the use of hydraulics lifted level with the stage. The room was transformed to a phantom of the opera style gala dinner using silver candelabras draped with Ivy, a giant gold gilt frame projected onto the screen for a ‘spoof’ awards ceremony and smoke pumped across the floor. After dinner our team of chorographers performed Rocky Horror’s ‘Time warp’ which led the way to a disco for delegates to party into the night. Pre event we had a lot of cynicism from delegates who didn’t think this was their cup of tea, however the post event satisfaction report received the highest scores we had ever had for this annual event.
Event 3 – An in-flight virtual auction
It was our client’s dream to charter a plane and run a virtual auction whilst on route to an incentive destination, allowing winning dealers to enjoy every minute they had ‘on the ground’.
Typically my client had doubled an incentive trip with an on site car auction. In previous years we had taken dealers to Highclear castle for an afternoon of outdoor pursuits, given them a driving day at Rockingham speedway and a day of golf at the beautiful Cameron house.
Within our clients’ budget we chartered a plane to Palma, photographed all the cars pre event and displayed them on the plane. Armed with all the stats and guide prices our delegates enjoyed an in-flight auction that incorporated auction items displayed on a PDA handset with a large LED screen. Each passenger was given a handset which they could scroll through to view each lot and its description. The auctioneer then used the cabin crew’s intercom system to run the auction. I even produced a custom made, branded shroud to surround the hostess trolley to form a lectern for the auctioneer and away we went. Unfortunately I was eight months pregnant at the time of the event so was unable to fly and deliver the event but my colleague covered me onsite and it was a great success.
I love the quirky requests that keep you on your toes and being in event production certainly lends itself to allsorts of random enquiries. So I’ll be looking forward to whatever P&MM brings my way!