Creating an engaging, entertaining and interactive theme is always top-of-mind when a client chooses us to produce their event. But this important aspect is just the first step. For our company, understanding the goals and objectives behind the decision to host an event must be considered and achieved. With ‘Road Trip’, we created an evening that delivered in every respect.
Breaking free from the clichés of a typical corporate Awards Evening, while still retaining a sense of business and substance, demanded creativity. Working with a difficult room set-up required careful planning. Ensuring the event was memorable and effective called for innovation. Road Trip showcased our ability to harness all three of these aspects. And, we did it on a tight budget! No wonder our reference letter from the client is such a positive endorsement of the event and our approach.
The objective of this event was to produce an interactive awards event with an interactive theme. Road Trip took the client’s involvement in the auto industry as a natural starting point. From there we created a global journey in a road trip spirit, through food, entertainment, and décor. We also ensured that this event would be keep guests involve by collecting currency from different counties to purchase car parts and eventually assemble their cars in a competition of creatively – a feature that was a big hit with attendees, resulting in a lasting memory of the event destined to find a home in head office.
Objective #1 – Overhaul a stale event to keep guests entertained all night
In previous years, the client had planned their own events, featuring a dinner and awards presentations, with lots of talking, followed by a DJ. Not surprisingly, attendance was falling and guests were leaving early. We changed venues, helped the client pare down the speeches and awards section of the evening and got rid of the DJ – for an event that had guests moving between four separate themes (countries) and customized activities. Both the location change and event redesign were huge hits! Instead of leaving early, most guests stayed for the whole event, proof of our success at meeting this key objective.
Objective #2 – Turn the challenge of a two room venue to our advantage
The available venue was two rooms and a foyer. Accommodating the dinner, awards and activities would be challenging. We decided to keep dinner in one space and put the activities in another area. This addressed the room size issue and kept the activities a surprise until after dinner. It also made it possible to spread out the activities, so there were no line-ups or overcrowding. We were sneaky and put a customized dessert at each station, so guests were rewarded by visiting all countries.
Objective #3 – Create an activity to appeal to the guests’ love of competition
We had a young, energetic crowd who like luxury automobiles and love competition. So we incorporated a “Build Your Own Race Car” challenge. Guests used ‘gas money’ from each country (theme station) they visited to purchase car parts, candy and desserts. Once their Racecar was built, they decorated them using beads, ribbon, glitter, and stickers. Our guests loved the chance to release their inner child! And with a ‘Best Car’ award as motivation, it was a perfect combination of fun and friendly competition, proving to be a highlight of the evening.
Rejuvenate a tired event. Overcome a tricky venue. Build the brand and appeal to the guests’ love for a challenge. These were the guideposts to our Road Trip event. Through creativity, careful planning, and the skills of a great team we didn’t miss a single turn.
With a strong branding effort before the event, and activities, décor, and entertainment supporting the client’s goals, the Road Trip took our client’s annual awards presentation event and transformed it – from an evening of lacklustre attendance and early exits, to a colourful celebration that had guests still enjoying their evening when the midnight hour rolled around!
A history of the same venue, the same agenda, too much talking on stage and not enough fun had turned this into an event planner’s worst nightmare – fewer and fewer employees were attending and many left early. But injecting fresh ideas into a corporate event with a reputation for being boring is the kind of challenge we love!
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