Mar 19 2018
Encore Research

A free event app – the new way to plan and manage an Incentive event from the palm of your hand. To help you ensure that the incentive event that you are planning is a delight to all those who in attendance, we’ve created Event Briefcase, our event planning application that opens up new and exciting ways for you to engage with your event attendees. If you are planning a destination conference or awards night as a way of saying “thank-you” to an organisation hardest working team members, Event Briefcase is an absolute must-have to ensure a successful and exciting event. What are Incentive events?
Many companies and organizations seek to incentivise success among their team members and employees by offering fun destination conferences or awards nights. These events are typically meant as a big thank-you to an organisation’s highest performing employees and is a heartfelt event meant to convey appreciation. With this in mind, as the event planner for an incentive event, it is important to plan an event that is an absolute treat for the attendees of the event. Here are 10 ways that our free event planning app, Event Briefcase, can help you manage an incredible incentive event: 1. A Schedule of Events
Feature: Agenda / Download Documents
Incentive events by nature are action-packed. They usually comprise a combination of both conference / educational workshops interlaced with leisure and recreational events. At the end, guests are treated to a spectacular gala dinner where high performing staff are awarded. With such a full schedule and so many people to organise, uploading your event’s agenda or schedule to Event Briefcase is the easiest and most efficient way to ensure everyone is where they are meant to be at all times. 2. Information on Speakers & Presenters Feature: Speaker Information
There will likely be a number of key people who are on-hand at your event to give speeches or seminars, as well as presenters, entertainers and company C-level executives. With our event app, you can upload bios and introductions to all of the key people who will be speaking and performing at your event. This is a great way to get your guests excited about the presentations, and find out more about these key people. 3. Important Venue and Destination Information
Feature: Facility Overview / Download Documents / Links
Event Briefcase offers a multitude of features to provide your attendees with essential and interesting information on your venues and the destination itself, in the case of a destination incentive. Over the course of the incentive event there is likely to be several seminars, workshop events, gala dinners, networking lunches and team building activities taking place in various locations. Uploading information about the location and venue will arm your attendees with all the information they need to help them find their way and be on time. This is a great way to minimise potential questions about where the venue is, what time to arrive and what people can do there. With Event Briefcase, you can make it easy for your event’s attendees to navigate all of these venues. If your event includes shuttle or transport service to and from the various venues, you can also share this information via our app under the Transport feature.
4. Facilitate Networking
Feature: Attendees
Corporate events have the delightful by-product of providing attendees with a plethora of networking opportunities. With our application, you can put networking right at your guests’ fingertips by uploading a list of attendees and their e-mail addresses. With Event Briefcase, your guests can tap a person’s e-mail address and our app will open up their device’s e-mail client so they can type out their message. 5. Go paperless for important event documents
Feature: Links / Download Documents
At most events there are countless handouts and leaflets given to each attendee. While these papers hold important information, it can be difficult to stay organized and keep track of these important documents. With Event Briefcase, you can upload all of the important documents that are relevant to your event’s attendees. You can include destination information, emergency contacts, emergency telephone numbers, team building exercise information and so much more. 6. Highlight Event Sponsors or partners
Feature: Sponsors
Our event planning application allows you a unique way to say thank-you to your event sponsors by highlighting their brand in a special sponsorship area of the application. In the sponsor area, you can share hyperlinks to your sponsors’ content and information on their brand. 7. Live Event Polling Feature: Links
With our event app, you can include a link to our live audience polling platform – Event Poll. Event Poll is a fun and engaging way to interact with your attendees by asking them questions, seeing their answers displayed on screens and discussing the results. There are over 11 types of question templates you can use giving you a wide range of questions to ask. With Event Poll, you can conduct fun surveys, organize exciting competitions, manage Q&A sessions, brainstorm ideas, test understanding and much more. 8. Keep Guests Up-to-Date
Feature: Bulletins
With our event planning application, it is easy to keep your attendees up-to-date with any changes, news or other information they need to know. Providing news updates and bulletins is as simple as uploading relevant news. With our app you are able to share content with your event’s attendees all at once, making it the most convenient way to manage changes and updates.
9. Engage With Videos
Feature: Videos
Videos are a great way to share content and engage your audience. Our event planning application is capable of displaying and playing videos. If you have any video content to share with the attendees of your event, such as a welcome message or introductory information, our application makes it extremely easy and seamless. 10. In Venue Promotion
Feature: Download Documents / Links / Sponsors
For destination events, it is likely that the venue you choose will offer promotional deals such as tourism offers, meal deals, spa packages, jet ski hire deals and much more. With Event Briefcase, you can pass these deals along to the attendees of your destination event. Watch this short video on Event Briefcase to find out more about our free corporate event app Event Briefcase by Staging Connections – a free corporate event app. These are just a few of the ways our free corporate event app, Event Briefcase, can help you plan and pull off a seamless and flawless incentive event. When you choose Staging Connections for all of your event’s AV needs, our application is included free of charge. In addition to our event planning app, we are able to offer you event planning and event production services backed by more than 30 years of experience.
To find out how Event Briefcase can enhance your event, speak with one of our Staging Connections representatives today by calling 1800 209 099 or by sending an online enquiry.
— … Read More

Recent Posts

6 insider tips for making sure your Christmas party is on trend

Mar 19 2018
Encore Research
The job of planning the company Christmas party can often feel very overwhelming. To add to the stress levels, there are often time and budget constraints, despite expectations for it to be bigger and better than last year. Fortunately we’re here to help. Below are 6 insider tips every Christmas party planner needs to know. 1. Create a hype plan for your event How will you get the word out there and make sure everyone is excited for the event? Send a ‘Save the Date’ calendar invite as soon as your venue is secured. Create posters to stick around the office. Invest in an awesome invite design that really captures the theme or mood of the event. Plan when you’re going to send reminders and what they’re going to say. Each email should contain some new information and create intrigue and excitement. 2. Find a venue with an AV partner AV is often left to the last minute – even though it is the most important element for transforming your event and bringing to life the theme. Being smart with your AV can often save you a lot of money in theming and styling because you can easily create an event theme with great content on screens, lighting projected onto the walls and floors, smoke machines, sound effects...the list goes on. External AV hire can also quickly chew up a lot of budget as you’ll need to cover operation costs above the equipment hire. Most premium venues do have in-house AV so you’re likely to get a much better deal, as well as the peace of mind knowing the audio and vision is taken care of. Venue Locator is a great tool because all venues have Staging Connections as their in-house AV provider. 3. Make sure your theme and styling is on trend Styling and theming isn’t just about the odd draping here and there, it should be integrated throughout every aspect of the event. We’re experiencing a shift towards immersive events where AV and styling become one, creating an unforgettable experience for your guests. To maximise your budget we recommend bundling styling with your AV and venue so make sure you ask this when reviewing your venue and AV partner. See what themes our stylists are predictions for this year. It’s also important to consider your guests’ journey – What will the entrance look like? What do they first see when they enter the room? Are the toilet facilities themed? Can we design a themed menu? 4. Balance your styling and branding Pictured: Event Backdrop used at a recent awards night in Perth. One of the hardest things event planners face is striking the right balance between styling and branding. If you go too far towards styling your brand gets lost, but if you go too heavy towards branding your event loses the festive vibe. Staging Connections has recently launched a branding solution, Event Backdrop, which allows you to get the best of both worlds at the price you hoped for. Now your branding can be integrated into a stunning custom designed backdrop, printed in photographic quality onto canvas. It's the perfect way to marry your styling and branding and guarantee your branding features in photos. 5. Make it interactive The entertainment on the night can be one of the most talked about aspects of the whole event and is something that can really help bring people together and help iron out those potentially awkward moments of stilted work chat between colleagues. Pictured: Event Tweet entertaining guests at styled events. Integrating a live social feed into your event is very popular. Event Tweet allows you to capture your guests’ tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts via a dedicated hashtag and displays them instantly on screen for all to see and comment. It’s great for encouraging that festive cheer and if everyone’s going to be posting anyhow, why not take advantage of that? Pictured: Event Poll is great for asking feedback and fun questions like "Who's Best Dressed?" Award-giving is a fun way to recognise employee achievement and reward their hard work for the year. We’re seeing a trend for social events using our audience polling platform, Event Poll, for more entertainment purposes rather than instant audience feedback. For example, you can use Event Poll to ask your guests who is best dressed or who they tip to win ‘Most Valuable Player’. There are so many ways you can engage your guests with Event Poll and it’s a cost-effective way to keep everyone entertained. Pictured: Various live entertainers for Vintage Circus, Harry Potter and Enchanted Forest event themes. A more traditional approach, but still just as effective is hiring performers and entertainers that match your theme. There is no shortage of options here with popular ideas including comedians, magicians, stunt shows, aerial artists, circus acts or after-dinner speakers. 6. Ask for feedback the smart way Find out what guests enjoyed about the event and what they didn’t, this way it will help you to organise an even better party next year. Don’t wait and send a survey a few days later because people often won’t be bothered or have simply forgotten. With Event Poll you can ask the audience on the spot for their feedback using a variety of question formats to suit your event type and desired response. After the event you can download a summary of the questions and their responses with data that shows who answered what and even who responded the most. Hungry for more Christmas party planning tips? Setting the date: The best option is to select 3 – 4 possible dates so that you have flexibility when you find the perfect venue. Managing the budget: We recommend allocating the budget by what is most important to your guests and always leave some more aside as a buffer. Packaged deals: Opt for semi-customisable packaged deals offered by venues to ease the stress. This gives you the best of both worlds – whilst you’re given the freedom to choose, you can sit back and relax knowing your event is in safe hands. Guest List: Nominate reps in each dept to help chase RSVP’s & dietary requests and answer any other questions. They can also help you crowd source music suggestions. Setting the mood: Dancing at the office Christmas party is usually a must and it’s the perfect opportunity for everyone to really let their hair down. Music is key to your party so ensure it is done properly and flows throughout your venue space - this is where your AV partner can step in. Capture the moment like a pro: Many people will doubtless be snapping away on their mobile phones but hiring a professional will give you much better quality pictures and reminders of the event. Good shots can also be used on the company blog, website and social media, in marketing materials and put up round the office. Organise Transportation: Making sure people can safely get to and from your venue is important for ensuring the evening runs as hassle-free as possible. ... Read More

Audio Visual Rental - Fast, Easy and Economical Way to Great Events

Mar 19 2018
Encore Research
Using sound and images to establish mood and present information is now a well-established component of major corporate events along with more personal occasions such as Weddings and Christmas parties. Using sound and images to establish mood and present information is now a well-established component of major corporate events along with more personal occasions such as Weddings and Christmas parties. Through the skilful use of sound systems, displays and lighting, you can transform a simple get together or sales presentation into a multimedia fiesta. In the right hands, such as those of Staging Connections, AV systems can unlock the unique and valuable facets of your company and its product in a way that simple speech could never do. Remember that audio visual rental from Staging Connections is not just about getting the hardware. You also get the advice and expertise you need to get maximum value from your AV equipment. This is important, as the choice of the right AV equipment is subtle and complex. Every event is different, you have to take in account the type of event, the objectives, the venue and the kind of message you want to get across. Another must when considering audio visual rental is to hire video recording equipment along with the staff to operate it. This way you'll create a permanent record of your event, which you can use for training or just simple nostalgia. Getting the right AV setup really requires the use of a professional event company such as Staging Connections. This way you'll get the most modern equipment available with the technical support to ensure it will run perfectly. For the full story on audio visual rental, contact Staging Connections today. ... Read More

Impactful event styling with king tables and tablescapes

Mar 19 2018
Encore Research
Event planners and stylists are always looking for the next best thing to make their event an unforgettable experience. This month it's all about styling with king tables and creating stunning tablescapes. These aren't new concepts however as with many other event trends that start out at weddings and VIP styled events, they're emerging onto the corporate event circuit. And our stylists are welcoming this trend! Switching banquet rounds for long king tables We're bringing a touch of grandeur to gala dinners and corporate events with the elegant king tables. Long king table layouts are the latest look for stylish and impactful dinner events. For a fresh, yet elegant look that creates dynamic and stylish set ups, king tables and their long lines give depth to any space and elongate the room. The long, linear space provided by king tables means impact can be created through dramatic repetition. This is achieved through rows of chairs perfectly aligned as they frame the tables and is heightened when using styled chairs with interesting shapes, such as Tiffany or Ghost chairs, adding to the overall style or theme. Get creative with your king table arrangement The design of king tables allows you to get creative with your seating arrangement. Create a truly dynamic dining experience with beautiful visual appeal by using long tables throughout. Using the venue’s space as your guide, set rectangular tables back-to-back to extend the entire length of the room, turn the tables to create a unique U-shape, or place elongated king’s tables in dramatic, parallel rows. If you have the space, a winding snake-like arrangement with king tables is a great way to use the space, giving the room look a contemporary feel and your guests great visual angles. No matter the configuration, each guest will experience the royal treatment. Turn your centrepieces into imaginative tablescapes Now that you have created a dramatic event environment with rows of elongated king tables, it is time to decorate the table tops with stunning styling elements. Tablescape is a term used to describe the table top and includes the centerpiece, linens, dishes, flatware, glassware and any other decor. Tablescapes can set the mood and can be themed to the event or meeting. When deciding what style you're going for, make sure to inspect the venue, paying attention to colours as you do not want your tablescape colour palette to clash with the carpet or any other venue features! For a real statement look, repeat the same styling piece down the centre of the table, for example, tall candelabras in uniform rows, or use alternating pieces of varying heights for added variety and interest. Once you've selected your feature piece of your tablescape, fill the base of the look with smaller, finer details such as bud vases with single blooms, or flickering tea lights for ambient glow. Even sculptural ornaments and decor can play a part in building a story with themed events, for example: stylised horses, birdcages, flowers and foliage weaved throughout for a Spring Carnival look. Smaller details can be clustered in pairs or trios, or in single, even repetition for a more structured look. For that final touch of something special and to further elongate the look, anchor the piece with a selection of mirror bases or fabric table runners. These provide textures that can either blend or contrast with your feature pieces depending on your style, be it shiny mirror bases in square or hexagonal shapes for a sleek, contemporary look, or a softer hessian or organza runner for a bespoke daytime function. Combining king tables and stunning tablescapes There are a few options for laying out king tables depending on your needs and numbers. Layouts can be striking with multiple rows for large events, or just as dramatic with a single long table with a grand centrepiece for a more boutique event. Keep in mind that to seat guests at both sides of the table including a decorative tablescape, tables need to be wide, preferably at 1200mm. This willl allow enought space so guests can enjoy their meal and sit comfortably. You'll also have to consider the height of the king tables and chairs. This will be important when designing your tablescape as you don't want to obstruct the view of your guests. So if you want to create a statement that is visually striking and is a refreshing change to the well used round tables we are all used to, opt for King tables with a bespoke tablescape making your event a memorable one. Related Articles New seating style for event planners Styling ideas to transport your guests How to create an enchanting secret kingdom event theme ... Read More

Event Styling Trends for 2015

Mar 19 2018
Encore Research
Every year we see the ripple effect of what’s hot in Hollywood washing up on our own shores. So it’s no surprise that last year's event themes were dominated by the much loved Great Gatsby. It’s clear to see the influence pop culture has over every facet of society and events are no exception. Any thoughts on what’s in store for event themes in 2015? Hint: it’s more than a few of shades of grey! If grey’s not your colour, don’t fret, our stylists have thought of it all from blues to florals and metallics, 2015 is going to be one exciting year on the event styling front. Our talented Event Stylist in Queensland, Georgia Strachan, reveals what we can expect to see on the event circuit this year. Event Trend: A Couple of Shades of Grey Moving away from heavily-styled event themes, is this new wave of event styling – simple, sophisticated and subtle tones with pops of bright and bold colours. With home improvement shows like ‘The Block’ dominating our little screens, our clientele are becoming more educated on styling strategies and hence are placing more emphasis on simple event designs than large-scale theming. Just like our best friend ‘white space’ incorporating grey tones into your event designs allows you to emphasize important details. However, whilst simple, clean event styling can create an air of sophistication for your event, if it’s dynamic impact you’re after than we recommend opting for a themed Immersive Event. Event Trend: Immersive Events With the ever increasing role technology plays in the way events are brought to life, over the last few years we have been moving away from 2D cut-out props and conventional sit down dinners in favour of interactive, dynamic and content-based theming. These are called 'Immersive Events’ that challenge attendees to get up, get moving, think outside the square and really get in the spirit of things. They focus heavily on Technical Creative Production where large scaled digital screens house various forms of content that bring your event to life. If you’re looking for more immersive events inspiration check out our magical Harry Potter themed event we did earlier this year in Adelaide. Event Trend: Metallics Out with the gold and in with the metallics. This year we will see the classic gold and silver being joined by copper, pewter and bronze as the new metallics. From glomesh style glitz to understated matte finishes, we will be seeing metallics on everything including linens and centrepieces to sets and stage concepts. Event Trend: The Blues Blue is the new black. From dark Indigo to classic navy – dark blue is our favourite colour this season. It will be replacing black as the go-to colour for formal dinner looks and event styling. Blue adds a crisp modern twist, a Hamptons-style nautical flavour to lunches, weddings and casual events when teamed with vintage glass and white washed timber elements. So step aside Black, there’s a new kid on the block! Event Trend: Floral Sensations Florals are coming back in vogue. From watercolour pastels and Monet-like painterly effects to high impact, almost psychedelic prints...steer clear of liberty and chintz and embrace the flower power! We’re seeing florals integrated in event themes in creative and innovative ways – as centrepieces, ceiling installations, paper decorations, table linen and even via projection mapping in the lighting. Our stylists search the globe for what’s trending so they stay ahead of the game. They’re inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes, from what’s happening in the fashion, movie and music industries to website designs and home wares. Want your next event styled like this or have an idea you want brought to life, get in touch with us today! Get your daily dose of event inspiration by following us on Instagram. Want to stay up to date with industry trends? Browse our range of downloadable Event Insights papers ... Read More

The new seating style for event planners

Mar 19 2018
Encore Research
In 2016 we're shaking things up! Conferences, gala dinners and sales incentives of yesteryear typically seated guests in a formal style. Whether it be banquet rounds, cabaret, theatre or u-shape there was only really one seating option available for the duration of the event. To refresh the formal vibe and encourage networking, event planners are opting to include a new seating arrangement in their mix - introducing the Lounge Zone. The new seating style of 2016: The Lounge Zone Want a stylish and sophisticated event with a relaxing networking environment? Then let's start lounging around. Turn your next event into a formal event with a difference. With some simple styling and soft furnishings event organisers can easily create a lounge zone within the main event room where guests can enjoy the night after all the formalities have concluded. One of the main reasons guests attend events is to meet and network with colleagues and industry members. Whilst traditional seating arrangements provided effective structure for the main event, they often stifled inter-mingling as you were allocated that seat for the entire event. This is a great to way to provide a comfortable area for your guests to enjoy and relax. How to create a lounge zone at your next corporate event: Add sofas, chairs, coffee tables, bar tables and ottomans in clusters to form this creative space. Dress with lots of fresh flowers, candles and even some themed products to add a splash of theatrics to the design. For example add large tassel cushions on the floor for an Arabian Nights theme, or poker and roulette tables for a casino theme. Or introduce colour to the design to compliment a corporate branding colour. Custom branding is also another way to personalise the event. Such branding can include custom decals on bars, plinths, mirror bases or even custom centrepieces. Large non slip floor decals can also be incorporated to the design to create a feature in which a lounge zone can be created around. Branding is a great way to enhance an event. Use large items such as urns of flowers, plinths with centrepieces and custom bars to add height and highlight the area. In smaller venues, the sofas and chairs will naturally create an intimate area, but for the bigger venues and spaces you may like to consider making false spaces with the use of sheer curtains, string or crystal curtains and cut print screens. Such items can be hung from over head rigging, or free standing rigging can be erected for venues without rigging available. For a recent event we produced in Adelaide, we used custom designed Event Backdrops to act as a room divider but also to enhance the 'Spy' theming of the event. Add overhead lighting to enhance the area while adding ambience to the space. Other theatrical lighting such as gobo lighting can be projected onto the area to create texture and style. Boutique style and cocktail weddings are a rising trend – so get creative and combine a lounge area with all the finer details for modern day weddings. Here are some examples of lounge zones we've created for various gala dinners, conferences and sale incentives: Keep lounge zones tight and neat Consider zones being viewed from all angles Add lighting to enhance Pick a solid colour palette and use small amounts of complimentary colours Use texture to add style such as flowers, cushions and candles Add tables for places to sit drinks Use ottomans to add additional seats without using too much space ... Read More

The Future of Presentations: Top 3 predictions

Mar 19 2018
Encore Research
On a stage in the not too distant future, a presenter steps up to speak. The walls behind and around her audience come to life with three dimensional visuals introducing her and the company she represents. As she begins speaking, she swipes her hand above a tablet device with a long gesture that ends with her palm facing the back wall. A graph seems to fly from the device to the wall, enlarging as it moves. She asks the audience a question, and the attendees respond via their handheld devices. The graph changes instantly. Remote audiences watching on a huge range of different media responded to the same prompt. While that may sound like a particularly stylised movie scene, all of the technology that makes it possible already exists and is being used in some form in presentations every day. Presentation technology is advancing constantly, with the goal of making human communication more engaging, more effective and capable of communicating complex ideas succinctly. This blog examines emerging trends in presentation applications, equipment and techniques to help you prepare for the coming dramatic shift in audience expectations. 1. The Virtual Presence Large-scale presentations to media and big audiences looking for a ‘wow factor’ will soon be regularly utilising virtual presence in the form of holographic projection. Already used to resurrect departed musicians on big festival stages, holograms are actually just a clever use of 3D projection mapping, using multiple projectors, software and a physical object to carry the image. Interactive three dimensional graphics are also set to become commonplace. While it is currently relatively straightforward to have 3D graphics created and projected on cue, the technology will change presentations when the presenter themselves is able to select, manipulate and map images in real-time, by whim and in reaction to the audience. This will involve gesture control of a master device such as a tablet and advanced, automated integration with mapping software and multiple projectors. There are already examples of this technology in the market. The key to utilising it successfully will lie in having the right content created for your message, and knowing when to use it. 2. The Audience Speaks Having now been exposed to the possibilities of interaction via Twitter and live chat applications, audiences now expect more than a simple one-way flow of information from the presenter. Far from a distraction, letting your audience ask questions or vote en masse on a seminar’s direction from their phones keeps the attendees engaged and makes them more likely to absorb your message. There are already countless applications across multiple platforms available to integrate the audience into the content. All offer a variation on a theme – the audience presses a button, writes a message or engages with pre-made content and their results of this are then collated to a main screen. What the presenter needs to be clear about is when and how to use the technology. Presenters that allow themselves to be guided and structured by audience curiosity must know their material inside-out. This rules out the possibility of a presenter using AV as a crutch and simply reading out or referring to slides to get through their material. The presenter must be confident in responding to audience questions and capable of bringing the material back to the important points after digressions. Preparation is key. 3. It’s how we connect Even at the smallest scale that could be termed a ‘presentation’, in which just two or three people work together, technology already exists to greatly enhance communication. If the collaboration is occurring in one physical location, wireless products enable all devices present to connect to the room’s screen and individually share content to it. The same technology, scaled up, also allows remote participants to connect to the system, with all of the same sharing capabilities as if they were there. Increasingly, these systems allow for amazing flexibility. Not only can different types of devices be connect together (phones, laptops, screens) but also different operating systems – iOS, PC, Android, Linux. Cross-compatibility on this scale was a physical impossibility just a few short years ago. Applications now exist that enable users on different platforms to actually work together of the same document, regardless of operating system. Across an network connection and through a shared app, a Mac user can edit an Excel spreadsheet and a PC user can collaborate in editing a Final Cut video, each with their own mouse and total independence. We experience this when we drive - the longer we're exposed to speed, the more comfortable we become with the risk of going faster, which is why people tend to get booked for speeding towards the end of their trip. But what’s really important? No matter what technologies come along, no matter how real the virtual becomes, the central part of every presentation will always be humans communicating with one another. On the big stage, it’s always going to be about someone with great information and insight sharing with an audience. In the meeting rooms and offices, it’s about someone with a great idea spreading the word. Technology just helps us tailor our message, simplify the complex and make it memorable. Staging Connections understands the centrality of our physical presence when communicating, and can assist anyone to get the most of out of current (and future) presentation technologies. Written by Tim Chapman, General Manager - Digital Event Services Tim is continuously supporting and developing Staging Connections digital event components, looking for new and innovative ways to utilise technology to take any event from stage to screen. Tim comes from a background in corporate events where he pioneered large scale video conferencing projects and global webcasting of major events. ... Read More

Sometimes it's just all about the candlelight

Mar 19 2018
Encore Research
In this post our lovely event stylist Alana discusses how she created this stunning look for the Starlight Foundation Five Chefs Dinner using over 1000 candles! In this post our lovely event stylist Alana discusses how she created this stunning look for the Starlight Foundation Five Chefs Dinner using over 1000 candles! With a background in visual merchandising, Interior design and floral art, Alana brings a fresh and contemporary vision to creative event design in Adelaide. Working with many of Australia leading companies and associations, she has delivered unique event experiences that inspire and impress. Whether it’s funky, old school, retro or cutting edge, Alana has the contacts, experience and creative inspiration to turn ideas in to a reality. I wanted to share with you a theme inspired by Phantom of The Opera I recently worked on with the Starlight Foundation for the Five Chefs Dinner. It was a spectacular event held in the Ballroom at the Adelaide InterContinental where we used candles and smoke effects to create an intimate mood for the 330 guests attending. The client first came to me with a theme in mind and some images of the play/movie on a mood board. We then came up with some ideas of how to create this visually. A lot of pre planning went into the event to ensure we could create the right lighting effect. We needed to make sure that the hazer, glaciator and smoke effect would fill the room and create a mystical, enchanting environment! We used over a thousand candles to create the look including pillar candles on the table and oil filled candles in the candelabras. A lot of work went into selecting candle sizes, colours and those with the longest possible burn time, even the small tea lights had a 9 hour burn time! The biggest concern was positioning candles and ensuring they were not in the direct path of air conditioners cause this makes them burn much quicker. It is also very important that they are not lit too early to ensure they get maximum length. For this particular event we lit them around ten minutes before doors and many volunteers from the foundation helped out, in the end it took 20 people 10 minutes! Overall we had 33 tables of ten but it felt like a very intimate evening with great ambience all created by the glow of the candles! Check out the pictures and let me know what you think of the end result! Author: Alana Berryman, Stylist, Staging Connections Image Credits: Unless stated otherwise, all images are owned by us ... Read More

10 ways this free event app can enhance a gala dinner or awards night

Mar 19 2018
Encore Research
Awards night and gala dinners aren't typically the types of events that need an event app. However, when you think about the purpose of an event app, helping you share information about your event with attendees instantly and conveniently, you can see how one could make your life and the event planning and management process much easier. That's why we've launched Event Briefcase - an easy-to-use, easy-to-navigate event app which puts all event information at your attendees’ fingertips such as the agenda, sponsorship information, location information and so much more. Our app is a must-have feature for any gala dinner or awards night and all of our AV service clients can use our app for their event at no charge when they use Staging Connections exclusively for their AV services. Here are 10 ways Event Briefcase will make your gala dinner or awards night experience even better. 1. Upload the seating charts and floor plans Feature: Download Documents With our free event app, you can upload the floor plan and seating chart for your gala dinner or awards night so that your guests know where they will be seated ahead of the event and who they will be seated with. As your guests arrive, you’ll be able to get them seated quickly and you’ll be able to get your event started on schedule. 2. Upload your gala dinner or awards night agenda Feature: Agenda Upload the agenda or schedule for your awards night or gala dinner so all your guests know the plan for the evening. For awards nights, this piece of information is helpful in making sure they don't miss the award presentations or speakers they're most looking forward to. Aside from communicating the schedule for the evening, it is also a great way of saving on printing costs, and it also gives you the luxury to update and change it if needed! If you do end up changing it, you can take advantage of the Bulletin feature and blast out a message to all attendees there has been a change to the schedule. 3. Save printing costs by uploading award categories, finalist lists, judging guidelines and more Feature: Downloads With every event, there are leaflets and other handouts that cost a lot of money to produce, are wasteful and hard on the environment and usually get lost or discarded by the attendees of your event. With our event planning app, you can share any important information that you’d usually share via hardcopy handout. For your gala dinner or awards night, you might think to include a list of nominees and finalists, information about each category of awards, how the winner of each award will be chosen, a list of silent auction items and anything else you might think pertinent to your event. 4. Include important information on your MC, presenters, and performers Feature: Speaker Information Using our event app is a good way to share with your attendees the key figures of your event. You can let your guests know who will be MC at your gala dinner or award show. You can also let your guests know who will be on hand to deliver speeches and present awards. This is a great way to share bios and introduce the key people of your event. 5. Showcase your sponsors and partnership information Feature: Sponsors Our event planning app offers a multidimensional way of highlighting your event sponsors and partners. You can share information about your sponsors and partners by creating a dedicated recognition area. Our app also allows you to share rich text content and include sponsorship messaging and internet hyperlinks that take you to your sponsor’s website or content. With Event Briefcase, there are many different sponsorship levels available for you to highlight your event sponsors and the partners of your gala dinner and awards night. 6. Links to silent auctions, brand information and other Useful Information Feature: Links With Event Briefcase, you can include external links to rich content that will be useful and interesting to your event’s attendees. If you have prizes or are running a silent auction, you can include external links to information about what products are up for grabs. You can also include links to promotional videos and the like. 7. Upload information on your charity, company or awards Feature: Links / Videos / Downloads Depending on the type of content you have there are several features in Event Briefcase which can let you distribute information about your brand, charity, awards and more. If your gala dinner is in support of a charity, our event planning app allows you to share links to the charity’s page as well as links to videos about the charity that your event is supporting. It also allows you to upload any relevant video content such as season highlight reels, company showreels, tributes or charity awareness videos. 8. Keep your audience engaged with live polling Feature: Links With Event Briefcase, you can engage your audience and add an additional element of fun to your gala dinner and awards night by including a link to Event Poll - Staging Connections exclusive live audience polling platform. For your awards night, you can ask your guests to predict who will be the evening’s big winners. For a gala dinner, you could include a poll on who is best dressed, or other fun questions to keep the guests entertained and engaged. Event Poll is an excellent chance to garner attendee engagement. 9. Get your audience posting on social media Feature: Links Awards nights and gala dinners are gold mine for social media buzz. Staging Connections offers a specialised event social media platform - Event Feed - that captures all social posts containing the event's hashtag and displays them live on screens around the venue for all guests to see. Event Feed is a great way to encourage your guests to get posting, and your brand or event can capitalise on the added exposure the social channels bring. If your awards night or gala dinner is private, Event Feed also offers a private feed. You can include the link to your private Event Feed in the Links feature so only posts and content uploaded to that feed will display, rather than the guests posting to their own social channels. The benefit of a private feed is you can still encourage audience engagement whilst containing the content to within the venue walls. 10. Promote venue deals and offers Feature: Links / Downloads With Event Briefcase you are able to highlight any venue promotions that go along with your gala dinner or awards night, such as an accommodation discount for your next stay and so on. It's also a great way to strengthen your relationship with the venue by providing them with promotional opportunities with your audience. Watch this short video on Event Briefcase to find out more about our free corporate event app Event Briefcase by Staging Connections - a free corporate event app. Our free event app, Event Briefcase, is just one of the ways that Staging Connections can help you plan and flawlessly execute a truly spectacular gala dinner or awards night. With over 30 years experience planning events, we've got everything covered from the latest audio vision, lighting effects, stage set designs and multimedia right down to audience engagement with social media services and live polling. In addition to our AV Services we can provide you with a professional event production team that will help you plan and execute a gala dinner and awards night that will leave your guests breathless. To find out how Event Briefcase can enhance your event, speak with one of our Staging Connections representatives today by calling 1800 209 099 or by sending an online enquiry. -- ... Read More

Backstage event a hit in Queensland

Mar 19 2018
Encore Research
Staging Connections SEQ opened their warehouse doors to give valued clients and venue partners an exclusive back of house experience. The aim of the two-day forum was to educate, inspire and excite the local events community with practical and fresh ideas for the future. Event Type: Educational seminar for VIP event planners and Venue partners Venue: SEQ Head office and Warehouse, Loganholme Date: Wednesday 15th July and Thursday 16th July; 2 till 5pm daily Event Brief Staging Connections customers have various levels and scope of event staging experience and production. Our less experienced customers lack in AV 101 fundamentals and our more experienced customers are constantly yearning for more ‘what’s new’. We needed to deliver an exclusive event for our customers that not only entertained, but also educated so no matter their event experience they can walk away with practical tools and advice to apply and raise-the-bar for their next event. Event Solution As part of our ongoing commitment to excellent customer service, Staging Connections created ‘Backstage’ - an exclusive event for our VIP clients held annually in each State where they are invited back of house for an insightful experience learning the in's and out's of live event production and events industry trends. Our most recent event hosted by our South East Queensland team took a novel approach and was deemed highly successful. We wanted to provide our clients with an engaging and relatable experience that allowed us to address all areas of live event production whilst balancing the levels of interest and experience. Recreating the clients’ day-to-day event planning process from brief to execution was the perfect scenario. Upon arrival, guests were welcomed at our casual garden tea party setting where they could register and enjoy freshly brewed coffee and hot beverages from our friends at Alpine Cabin. Garden tea party setting created using astro-turf carpets, horizontal timber screens, white cane lounges with cool-blues and yellow furnishings. To highlight how social media can enhance engagement at your event, Staging Connections installed a large LCD TV screen displaying live social posts which were being pushed to screen via Event Tweet. This means that all guests could see their tweet, Facebook or Instagram post on screen simply by including the event hashtag - #BackstageSC. Event Tweet (left) more Garden Tea Party styling (right). From there, guests then entered into the ‘conference’ room, where Staging Connections created an intimate setting draped in black, fit for our 30 – 40 VIPs. Illuminated Rentals provided funky light lounges and pods placed in a non-traditional seating style. In the room we also installed our latest branding solution – Event Backdrop, a 4m x 2.4m internally lit framed canvas – to show clients how this cost-effective and high impact branding solution can instantly create a stunning branded backdrop and point of interest for your event. Once the guests were comfortable, the mock event planning process began. During the talk Staging Connections demonstrated the latest audio, vision, lighting, and digital event solutions showcasing their benefits and how they added value. Event Backdrop pictured in background with pod chairs provided by Illuminated Rentals. AUDIO VISUAL A dramatic Kabooki-drop exposed a key stage feature comprising a super-wide-screen, complemented by a star-cloth backdrop and funky new LED Pix-Pads and Fusion bars. Cool lighting effects with hazers and intelligent movers, slowly transformed the room and became full of light and energy with multimedia animations, upbeat contemporary music and a hint of haze to pick up the gorgeous, coloured lighting beams. Guests listened to presentations on each key AV area - audio, vision, styling and digital. DIGITAL In order to showcase our webcasting services, we live broadcasted our ‘key-note speaker’ who presented the top 5 emerging technology trends unveiled at this year’s InfoComm in the US. Director of Event Technology, Andrew MacColl presented via webcast. Staging Connections’ live polling platform, Event Poll, was demonstrated with the presenter actively asking the audience questions with their responses displayed in real-time on screen. Guest feedback was displayed live, on screen via Event Poll. As a finale to the fictitious brief, the mock conference event ended with a high-energy performance from Phoenix Fire Tribe – an exhilarating end to the agenda. Fire twirling performance by Phoenix Fire Tribe. STYLING The Backstage event concluded with an event styling retail experience which showcased our latest range of designs. Guests were invited to ‘shop’ through our 2,200m2 warehouse which was lined with various styled table sets and props. Various styled table sets guests could 'shop'. After the styling showcase, guests enjoyed delicious canapés and premium beverages provided by Wine & Dine’m Catering. Using our Event Poll platform we asked guests for feedback on the event and to share their experience. “Fantastic interactive presentation” “Love the light show” “Great format - fantastic production, educational and entertaining, many thanks” “Loved the unique approach, learnt lots, thanks so much.” ... Read More