Part 4: Big is back for end of year celebrations – Northern Lights

The final part of our four-part blog series on this year’s event theme trends for end of years parties is all about embracing sleek and sophisticated Scandinavian design. As you would have read from our previous predictions, this year immersive events are hotly tipped to be the way to give your guests an exciting and memorable celebration and importantly – and end the year with a bang! Some event themes are classic and will always inspire, while others trend alongside popular culture. This year Christmas event styling is focusing on creating immersive events that ‘tell a story’ with festive flair. Immersive events are about going above and beyond your typical styling treasure trove to embracing audio visual solutions that transform your venue. We want to give you a taste of what is hot this year in event styling and our top tips for really bringing your theme to life. Part 1: Vintage Circus & Carnival || Part 2: Hollywood Awards Night || Part 3: 12 Days of Christmas NORTHERN LIGHTS
Minimalist stylings and a
Scandinavian approach will benefit your end of year celebrations by being on
trend and setting the bar for all other corporate events to follow. Be inspired
by earthy natural tones and raw materials this year as we strip back layers
upon layers of just awful Christmas wrapping paper and over-done LED Christmas
trees. The end of year should signify the need for conversation and
thoughtfulness as we reflect on the year gone by, which is why these styling
tips will create an atmosphere that is warm, innovative and embraces modern
European charm without losing luxury. Start by focusing on your table
design, who is it for? Do you need to tell a story with your centrepiece? Use
raw materials like Fur tree branches, pine cones and unpolished logs or
branches to create the foundation of your look. Use your table as a feature and
don’t cover it
up! Using minimalist furniture styling and exposed wooden table tops add
texture and make the space you’re in more inviting for your guests. Think about
your cutlery and accent glassware on the table on keep it simple, use cutlery
that is understated and not ornate and create a statement by using stemless
wine glasses and an accent colour to signify the water glass, it looks simple
yet luxurious. Moodboard: Combine natural foliage with warm-coloured elements such as candles and copper vases.
Lighting is everything at events. For this Northern Lights event theme, lighting effects are particularly important and can really bring to life the event theme. Create a stunning Aurelia Borealis skyline around the venue walls using projection blends or digital banners. On the stage you can emulate a beautiful starry night with the use of midnight blue draping with little LEDs embedded into the fabric. For the table centerpieces try and pair tea-lights, simple votives and festoon lighting around
your venue and by sure to use lights that create warmth. If you plan on pin
spotting make sure that you can turn down that cold harsh light. In addition,
use as much candlelight on the table as you can to counter the cold winter tones the Aurealia Borealis projections are generating. Moodboard: Simple, elegant woods and natural elements in brushed paint or monochrome colours.
Statement pieces are everything to
make an event memorable! Whether you do this at the entrance for guests to
enjoy or have hidden within the room to surprise your guests, it doesn’t matter, so long as it makes the statement you want.The statement piece has to be the talking point for the evening and be worthy of a picture. We recommend a chandelier installation using monochrome and copper baubles to
create a bespoke arrangement. In between the copper bauble’s, incorporate beautiful hanging rustic ‘Edison’ light bulbs to inject warmth into the installation. To create a stunning entrance for your guests and to really set the tone for the evening, line the walkway with a fur-tree forrest, with fake snow covering the walkway. Woven into the trees will be little LED lights to create an enchanted forest feel. There are so many options to choose from when it
comes to minimalist stylings and Scandinavian design, make sure you have a
Nordic Christmas feature your end of year celebration this year! Moodboard: Use a colour palette of white and silver mixed with simple earthy tones such as woods, coppers and pine green.
Top Tips: Use a mirror round on each table to create depth and drama to each table centrepiece. Use clean lines and a simple colour palette to start with, remember less is more! Use soft furnishings and candlelight to create warm and comfort for your guests. Don’t be ambitious and create a statement piece that you can’t commit too, you either go the whole way or not at all. Raw materials and timbers should be the feature but if you struggle you can opt for linen options in deep apricot and beige. Loved reading about our Nordic Lights event theme? See what else we predict…
Part 1: Vintage Circus & Carnival || Part 2: Hollywood Awards Night || Part 3: 12 Days of Christmas … Read More

Part 3: Big is back for end of year celebrations - Hollywood Awards

This year, immersive themed events are hotly tipped to be the way to give your guests an exciting and memorable celebration and importantly - end the year with a bang! Some event themes are classic and will always inspire, while others trend alongside popular culture. This year Christmas event styling is focusing on creating immersive events that ‘tell a story’ with festive flair. Immersive events are about going above and beyond your typical styling treasure trove to embracing audio visual solutions that transform your venue. We want to give you a taste of what is hot this year in event styling and our top tips for really bringing your theme to life. Part 1: Vintage Circus and Carnival || Part 2: 12 Days of Christmas || Part 4: Northern Lights HOLLYWOOD AWARDS Turn an old favourite into an on-trend event experience. Bring the Hollywood award party theme to a new era and enhance with a range of stylish and decorative props and decor. Create chill out zones with funky furniture, photo opportunities with photo booth backdrops and props, or even create zones to break up the room. To create intimate and unique areas within the venue space, we recommend using curtains, lush velvet drapes, or crystal curtains. These divide the room and inspire interest. Hollywood Awards theme moodboard and props The overall aim of this interactive end of year party theme is to make all guests feel like a true star. Strut your stuff on a glamorous red carpet entrance and strike a pose in front of a custom designed illuminated Hollywood Event Backdrop. We can even set up a lighting sequence, to imitate the flashes from the paparazzi cameras. Red carpet arrival for guests with Event Backdrop at the end. Whether a professional photographer is taking shots, or guests are doing their own ‘Selfies’, it’s a fabulous way to keep your guests excited and entertained. But don’t let all of your hard theming work go to waste! Staging Connections’ audience engagement platform, Event Tweet, captures your event’s Tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts via a designated hashtag and displays them instantly on-screen. Now everyone can have their 15 mins of fame. Event Tweet used at a recent gala dinner Nothing creates atmosphere better than sound. And with this event theme you are like a kid in a candy shop – with so many well-known soundtracks and movie sound effects to blast throughout the room all night. Use large impactful props like awards to create a Tinseltown sized impact and create a high end feel. Team the event styling with theatrical lighting such as moving spot lights on the red carpet, Hollywood inspired gobo projection and ambient up lights. Bring the styling to life with unique entertainment such as interactive Hollywood actors who perform through the crowd in costume. Or use Staging Connections’ audience polling platform, Event Poll, to vote on Best Dressed. You can also use this for your end of year staff awards. Event Poll was used to vote on Best Dressed at this year's Oscars. Top tips Be bold and create a large ceiling installation which can be a cluster of chandeliers, crystal curtains hung in interesting patterns or a cluster of large exposed globes. Fresh floral centrepieces are very popular at the moment, so create a sophisticated low line centrepiece. Simple, sleek table linen will compliment this theme and the table centrepiece. For a little extra attention to detail, create movie reel menus for each guest or place small movie clapper boards as a gift at each place setting. For something more grandeur, use height in your centrepieces such as oversized candlesticks, and use it over and over. Repetition makes a statement. Foreground: Table setting with mirrors for dramatic effect, Hollywood colours and Oscar statue. Background: Gobo 'Star' projections across the wall. Want to see what other predictions we have... Part 1: Vintage Circus and Carnival || Part 2: 12 Days of Christmas || Part 4: Northern Lights ... Read More

Launching Hobart 39

Event was broadcast over webcast with 3000+ people logging on Event received over 720 social posts some of which were displayed live via Event Tweet Australia’s first Air Warfare Destroyer (Hobart Class) launch ceremony On Saturday 23 May, NUSHIP Hobart 39 was launched from Techport Australia, Port Adelaide and Staging Connections were there to help see her off in spectacular style. The Hobart is Australia’s first next generation Air Warfare Destroyer and an important milestone for the Royal Australian Navy as well as for her builder, the AWD Alliance. Staging Connections was responsible for bringing the private event to the world media and public. The event generated a vast amount of media attention with the Commonwealth Defence Minister and a large number of senior naval personnel in attendance, as well as the South Australian Premier and other senior ministers. The Ship’s sponsor, Mrs Nicola Hodgman (wife of Tasmania’s Premier, Will Hodgman) officially named the Hobart and christened the ship with a bottle of local Bird In Hand Sparkling Pinot Noir. Together with local event manager, Big Fish Events, Staging Connections managed all production and AV for the VIPs, guests and those watching via webcast. It was a large and challenging environment as the location was outdoors on an active construction site located within a secure defence facility. Therefore, safety and security was paramount. Staging Connections and Big Fish Events worked closely with multiple teams within the AWD Alliance to ensure that all stakeholders’ requirements were met and that a memorable and fitting occasion was held. The team delivered an audio system distributed for multiple areas across the ship dock and worked with Big Fish Events to deliver the event logistics. Staging Connections installed numerous large LED screens for live camera and video footage strategically positioned around the area. This ensured all attendees had optimum viewing of the ceremony. Due to the location of the event being held within an active shipyard and Defence facility, Staging Connections provided a webcast that combined the audio and vision of the proceedings which were then distributed live to the general public. The webcast enabled several key stakeholders located overseas and interstate to be involved with the launch. To capture all of the social posts surrounding the event, Staging Connections also arranged for Event Tweet to be displayed live on screen - allowing well wishers to post their messages and engage with the event proceedings. On the day, the webcast received over 3000 views from around the world and is still available for viewing from this link. Event Tweet received over 370 users and 720 posts which were displayed live on screen at the event. Staging Connections were thrilled to be involved in such a momentous event in Australia’s naval history and wish her crew safe voyages and missions in the future. “Staging Connections was an integral part of making our Hobart Launch Ceremony a successful event. Not only did they provide the infrastructure and production capability that we required, but they also brought innovative solutions to our event – such as the Event Tweet tool and the live webcast feed. Having the Event Tweet tool as part of our event helped to increase our Twitter following and ensure that we were in the top 5 trending hashtags on the day of our event in Adelaide. Our live webcast received around 3,000 hits from around the world for a 90-minute event, with hundreds of people watching it in the subsequent days following the event. This global reach would not have been possible without our live webcast.” Danielle DeSantis | Communications Manager | Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance ... Read More

How to Trend on Twitter

Holding an event? Here’s how to get people going hashtag-crazy … When it’s your responsibility to manage an event for your company, one thing you want to achieve is people talking about it. You want everyone at the event to share what they loved most, those joining virtually to feel part of the conversation – and for the event to trend globally on social media. That’s not much to ask for, right? Through virtual word-of-mouth your event can have a lasting impact on your brand, company, industry or culture that resonates far beyond the attendees. If you could capture the energy in the room, bottle it, cultivate it, multiply it, and send it out into the world like a social media snowball, you would! That’s where audience-engagement tool Event Tweet comes in. As the event buzz builds in the room and on social media, the purpose-built software captures the social posts that utilise the event hashtag on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and displays the posts on a screen at the event – after live moderation of course. Even those who are tech-adverse can join via SMS, so audience members find it almost impossible not to participate. Social conversations lift the impact and influence of the event outside the walls of the venue – with guests capturing and sharing their favourite moments, keynote insights or sporting goal via their social channels. This starts a conversation with like-minded people across state or national boarders who want to talk about your event, key messages and brand. The broad appeal of social media makes Event Tweet perfect for any event, from conferences and corporate events to concerts, social or sporting events – right for any occasion where you want people talking. Imagine your event's entire social conversation captured in one single thread, attracting others from inside and outside the event to the conversation. Event Tweet is Staging Connections’ new digital solution to keep your audience talking. It allows actual and virtual event audiences to join the art of conversation. It is a great and simple way for people who are not physically present to get involved; even webcast attendees or fans watching from home can be part of the conversation. Online, every topic has an audience. Make them yours. #makethemyours #everyonestalkingabout #eventtweet #stagingconnections #howeasyisthat? #talkability CASE STUDY: AUSTRALIAN TELCO TRENDING ON TWITTER In late 2014, a digital summit held by a major Australian telecommunication company explored the idea that the world is rapidly moving toward a complete digital takeover. They wanted technology that would give the audience in the room and around the world a voice to participate. With Event Tweet the event hashtag to trended No.1 nationally and No.2 globally on Twitter. At the event, Event Tweet kept the conversation going in real time, displaying live tweets, which included the dedicated event hashtag. Proving that content is king, attendees were highly engaged in the event, tweeting key insights from presenters, quotes from the speakers, opinions about the discussion and reviews of the event. Posts were monitored live and sent to key touch point screens across the venue, it was also pushed through to the YouTube stream of the event during speaker breaks. The client was seriously impressed with how Event Tweet was able to encourage and capture real event participation, allowing the bar for delegate engagement and delivery of their key messages to be raised to a new high. The event trended in Australia and globally with over 3,000 tweets shared accruing a reach of over 1.1 million! Love learning the latest in event technology? Download our range of free White Papers today. ... Read More

Planning a successful Outdoor Event, safely: Part 2

In the spirit of welcoming the Winter chills, we thought it only fitting to reflect on the glorious Outdoor Events that the long and sun-filled days that Summer allows us. As part of this homage we have compiled a quick list of outdoor event essentials to help you plan properly for next season. Last month we shared the first part of this blog post - which focussed on having the right people for the job, styling for outdoor events, and making sure your equipment is weather-proof. There’s no setting for an event that can compete with nature itself. If you’re organising any kind of gathering that could take advantage of the season and a beautiful natural setting, or spill from the confines of a building into manicured grounds, then you should embrace the opportunity. While getting out amongst it can add some logistical and physical challenges, this shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the beautiful natural landscapes on offer. All you need is an experienced outdoor event company to take the stress and hard work off your hands. We have the equipment, strategies and processes in place to ensure that your guests are comfortable, entertained and delighted. Magic Lantern If you’re familiar with the magic of 2D and 3D projection mapping, it will come as no surprise that this is just as deployable outside as in. In fact, many people are familiar with the possibilities of this technology because of a famous outdoor event – VIVID Sydney. VIVID sees the facades of famous Sydney buildings, including the Opera House itself, transformed by high-powered projectors beaming digitally controlled and animated images onto their giant canvasses. VIVID runs through the night, in all weather, its expensive projection technology waterproofed by housing in protective structures. This same technology is available through Staging Connections, who can not only provide the equipment but also design and create custom content for your event. It’s a creative tool whose uses are as diverse as the events industry itself. Imagine your guests emerging from a day of conferencing at a luxurious rural retreat, based in a large manor-house style hotel. Set in magnificent manicured grounds, the ballroom opens huge French doors onto a sweeping lawn area, which has been set-up with marquees for a sophisticated garden cocktail party. As the sun sets and your guests enjoy drinks and canapés, the broad neoclassical façade they look back to starts to subtly shift and change with the fading light, as a multimedia display picks out architectural features while reinforcing the subject and theme of the day’s activities. This is just a small example of what’s possible. Safety First Staging Connections’ experience in providing services outside the confines of a venue spans every conceivable kind of occasion, from cocktail parties for dozens to large-scale sporting events for hundreds of thousands. In addition to a full inventory of staging, rigging, lighting, audio and vision equipment specially built for weather-proof use, Staging Connections have also implemented a company-wide event safety system called StageSafe, a suite of processes, protocols and tools that has created a culture that keeps the safety of guests and employees foremost in all staff member’s minds. StageSafe is unique in that it is an holistic safety programme created expressly for the events industry. Drawing on years of risk assessments and practical experience, StageSafe brings together all the data and knowledge the company has accumulated and puts it directly in its employee’s hands via a smartphone app. Staff can consult working practice documents, easily access information on safety standards and log hazard or incident reports in real-time, reporting data directly to in-house safety experts for analysis and action. All data is analysed to apply continuous improvement to work practices, ensuring the health and safety of customers and staff at all future events. Staging Connections are justifiably proud of the StageSafe system, and were honoured with the ‘Best Individual Contribution to Workplace Health and Safety’ gong at the NSW Government 2014 SafeWork Awards in 2014. “StageSafe is not just a system, but a way of doing things, an attitude that the whole Staging Connections team bring to each event they deliver,” said Tony Chamberlain, Managing Director at Staging Connections. “Our crews are trained in all aspects of what they do, and understand that safety is paramount in creating a brilliant show.” Following the systems’ great success, Staging Connections have confirmed their dedication to OH&S by making the StageSafe app available to the rest of the events industry. Natural Beauty Staging Connections have the privilege of operating in some of the world’s most beautiful natural environments, including the breathtaking sweep of Sydney Harbour, the tropical beauty of Far North Queensland adjoining the Great Barrier Reef, the Red Centre of Alice Springs, the paradise that is Fiji and a myriad of parks and protected areas throughout Australia, New Zealand, China and Singapore. With experience across longitudes, latitudes, climates and all weathers, a Staging Connections team will know and respect their area and the environment, delivering a meaningful and thoughtful event no matter what the scale. With such a diverse range of environments available for outdoor events, think about what you can achieve for your audience over the warmer months. Enchant with a beautifully lit garden, inspire awe under a canopy of stars, bond families together with a picnic in a park or reward high performers in a tropical paradise. Staging Connections will help you get out there. If you're wanting to plan an outdoor event, make sure you speak to the professionals. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help bring your vision to life in the great outdoors! Love learning the latest in event delivery and technology? Download our range of free White Papers today. ... Read More

How to plan the perfect Outdoor Event, safely: Part 1

With Winter well and truly on its way, and summery outdoor events drawing to a close we have taken some time to reflect and compile a list of essentials to guide you in planning for next Spring/Summer. There’s no setting for an event that can compete with nature itself. If you’re organising any kind of gathering that could take advantage of the season and a beautiful natural setting, or spill from the confines of a building into manicured grounds, then you should embrace the opportunity. Outdoor events may be casual or formal, held in grounds, parks, gardens or even remote, unspoilt locations. While getting out amongst it can add some logistical and physical challenges, this shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the beautiful natural landscapes on offer. All you need is an experienced outdoor event company to take the stress and hard work off your hands. We have the equipment, strategies and processes in place to ensure that your guests are comfortable, entertained and delighted. Putting on an event outdoors involves several considerations that either don’t apply or are simply not an issue inside a venue. Temporary structures such as outdoor stages and rigging for mounting lighting and audio equipment must be assembled and tested by qualified personnel. Most public parks and gardens require special protection of lawn and other surfaces from what can be the harsh effects of wheeling in heavy equipment. Any structure that can conceivably become a sail area in a high wind must be rated to a certain wind speed, and the environment monitored accordingly. As noise restrictions in any outdoor space adjoining a residential area must be strictly adhered to, sound systems must be designed to optimise coverage for your guests while protecting any neighbours from nuisance. Why you need the right people Technical directors experienced in outdoor production understand these needs implicitly and work with event managers to ensure that the correctly qualified crew, right protective equipment and workable timeframes are in place to ensure your event goes without a hitch. Trained staff constantly monitor events in progress outdoors, keeping tabs on the guests, weather and equipment to ensure that any environmental problems are dealt with as they arise leaving you focus on other important aspects of the event. While going about these vital duties, it is great if your event staff can blend into the styling or theming. In one memorable case, Staging Connections staff dressed as clowns to monitor equipment spread along the route of the Adelaide Christmas Pageant! Given that your outdoor event is in the safest of hands, your next step is to determine just what kind of theming, services, lighting and audio your guests will need. Staging Connections event planners work hand-in-hand with you, drawing on their experience of outdoor events to make sure that everything that needs to be provided is accounted for. Technical experts determine the need for specialised equipment, such a portable power generation, battery backups and wind and weatherproofed audio visual equipment. Provision of AV for an outdoor event can be as simple as providing a small PA and lighting system fitted with rain-proof slip covers, or as involved as running several kilometres of cabling to power loudspeakers along the route of a road race. Styling Tips for Outdoor Events Just because having an event outdoors means you’ll need to be more organised, this shouldn't deter you from taking advantage of the beautiful natural settings our country provides. Our stylists have listed a few short tips to help you start prepping: The spontaneity of Mother Nature is the biggest factor. Without the control an indoor venue provides you need to consider rain, wind and most importantly safety. Consider the possibility of things breaking and any consequential danger involved. Avoid glass elements like vases or votives and tape or blu tak light or fragile items. The best way to prepare is to ask yourself ‘What if?’ If I want to hang paper lanterns – what if it rains? Therefore do I hang plastic or fabric ones instead? Always have a Plan B. Always! Avoid white linen such as tablecloths, napkins, and chair covers. They tend to easily get marked with dirt, leaves, ash from fire. If white is a non-negotiable then opt for a patterned tablecloth or table runner to provide some cover. Even incorporating large charger plates is a nice way of incorporating style to the tablescape whilst protecting the cloths from stains. Use waterproof LED tea lights with long life batteries as real ones blow out – use flickering ones for best effect Make sure you're water, wind and weatherproof Staging an event in the Great Outdoors doesn’t mean you have to forego any of the high-impact vision, lighting and sound that we take for granted indoors. Manufacturers of AV equipment have an internationally recognised standard for weather and waterproofing of electrical equipment, known as an IP Rating. IP stands for ‘International Protection’, and an IP rating on a piece of AV equipment, such as a loudspeaker will feature the letters ‘IP’ followed by two digits, e.g. IP65. The numbers refer to two tables of standards regarding the level of protection afforded against solids (first digit) and liquids (second digit). In the example of IP65, which is one of the most common ratings for AV equipment suitable for outdoor use, ‘6’ is the highest level rated for solids, meaning ‘No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact’. The ‘5’ indicates that ‘Water projected by a nozzle (6.3mm) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.’ The liquids rating goes all the way to 8, which indicates the equipment is certified to be permanently immersed in water up to one metre deep. Video, sound and lighting equipment rated for outdoor use will be quite indistinguishable from its indoor equivalents, both visually and in terms of performance. Most often, it is exactly the same product, with added design innovations that close any gaps or holes, cover any electrical contacts and seal in any point where cables connect. It is entirely practical to build enormous LED screens, concert sized PA systems and a full lighting rig that can operate happily in all but the most adverse of weather conditions. The key thing for technical staff to roll out and monitor correctly in this scenario is power distribution. The equipment most susceptible to interference or damage from the environment on an outdoor gig is usually power cabling, power supply racks and power amplifiers for loudspeaker systems. Staff should be trained in the operations of high-voltage equipment that may be affected by rain or water, and they should always ensure safety is the first priority under any conditions. Wanting to host an outdoor event? Get in touch with our event experts today! Love learning the latest in event technology and delivery? Download our range of free White Papers today. ... Read More

Hogwarts comes to Adelaide!

Hidden amongst the vineyards in the Barossa Valley was the secret location of one of our first major events of the year – can you guess the theme? Every year, our South Australian team are tasked with producing a spectacular sideshow event with a new theme and secret location fit for 240 guests – no easy feat. This year our goal was to create a magical and interactive ‘Hogwarts’ themed evening. We transformed the staffing quarters of the Old Penfolds Winery into ‘The Great Dining Hall’. To truly immerse our guests into the theme we left no stone untouched – from the lighting, table styling down to the delicious food served by local caterer Ellie Beer Catering – yes, she is the daughter of Maggie Beer. The magical evening began with the guests ferried to the event on a mystery bus tour, arriving in an array of costumes from School Uniforms to wizards and many other popular ‘Harry Potter’ movie characters. “They were greeted by a four piece cover band who played mystical wizardry music as they entered the re-created ‘Great Dining Hall’,” says Event Stylist for SA, Alana Bolt. The biggest challenge the team faced was copyright – “it forced our team to be clever about how we can allude to the theme without infringing any copyright”, says Bold. “We had to pull out all stops to across lighting, audio visual and catering to successfully do this.” Bringing to life an event everyone is so familiar with is very challenging, especially when the theme is magic! Our client originally wanted hanging candles but due to health and safety we opted for the table lanterns instead”. “Guests enjoyed grabbing their “Invisibility Cloak” as they entered the room. We placed moving fire lights along the stage backdrop to create magical movement within the artwork. There was also a haze bellowing out a large cauldron at the end of the room for special effect.” One of the most popular props of the evening were the two interactive photo areas: “The 9 ¾ platform with luggage at the pre function area where guests could get group photos in costume as they enjoyed pre dinner drinks. “Have You Seen This Wizard” photo and props photo booth with hats, glasses, trophy, maps to include in the photo. “[The] Most rewarding part of my job is the first reaction – the look on the guest’s faces the moment they see what we’ve created is makes those all those months of planning all the more worthwhile” Overall it was a spectacular event that will certainly be hard to beat next year! But it couldn’t have been down with the amazing effort out South Australian team put in. A big thank you to everyone who contributed to bringing this event to life a special mention to Paul McCann ‘Logistic King of the Barossa’ for weaving his magic and making it all possible. Want to know more about event themes and styling? Get in touch with us today. Get your daily dose of event inspiration by following us on Instagram. View the entire event gallery here Want to stay up to date with industry trends? Browse our range of downloadable Event Insights papers ... Read More

Event Styling for Vivid Colour Events & Intimate Dinners

This week's Event Styling Profile brought to you by Event Stylist, Felicity Webb. Event Styling Profile: Carnivale and Mad Hatters Tea Party Themes The end of 2014 saw the installation and execution of two very colourful events. A Carnivale themed corporate function at The Westin Sydney and a Mad Hatters Tea Party themed Christmas Party in ivy’s Sunroom. The Mad Hatters Tea Party brief was for a fun filled room with props and teapots that created a Mad Hatter environment. We knew that the guests were going to be dressed in theme, giving us confidence to really get creative with the quirky side of the Alice in Wonderland story. The client expanded the brief by allowing us to style further into the space than what was originally given, allowing us to really immerse every area of this quaint venue. The challenge with this event was the tight turnaround for the set up meaning that a team of over ten people were required to run around the venue and set up this prop heavy, and detailed styling approach. For a playful approach, tea cups, hats, playing cards and candles were arranged upside down, sideways and on top of colourful candlestick pedestals. Arrangements of bell jars and tea cups, birdcages and candles, and rabbits and hats were scattered throughout the room providing detailing to larger items such as the Alice in Wonderland backdrop, fairy lights and lanterns hung in the dance area. The theatrical feature of the room were the marquee letter lights spelling “TEA” and so clearly setting the scene, yet adding a theatrical statement feature. Both this and the Carnivale themed event provided the perfect opportunity to introduce our new coloured glass candlestick range. Where colour features, yet style and class are desirable, these candlesticks not only display our rustic pillar candles, but in the case of our Carnivale event they showcase vividly coloured feathers for a festive look that also mimicked the clients event logo. Event Styling Profile: Intimate Dinner Settings On the other end of the spectrum - far, far away from the colourful realms of Carnivale - we’re seeing a range of stunningly intimate dinner looks where it’s all about mixing textures, florals and festoon lighting. A recent styling highlight for us was this intimate dinner at Cockatoo Island’s Naval Store. Our client wanted to create a memorable and intimate dinner for their special guests. Our team of Account and Event Managers together with a Technical Director and Stylist worked together to overcome location challenges and heritage listing parameters to create a bespoke solution. The decadent tablescape starts with an elegant furniture selection and develops through beautifully juxtaposed textures of smooth, glossy elements and rustic detailing. The venue’s timber cog tables made beautiful display pedestals for customised vignettes of soft, warm pillar candles and petite bud vases with blooms. With a sunset palette, the flowers colourfully adorned the tables and brightened the worn, yet delicate space. Completing the look were festoon lights strung across the ceiling space over the table and making an intimate glow. In addition, the long king table allows for real impact in the space as table decor repeats with varying levels to create interest. The mix of textures on this event made for a very enjoyable and satisfying event to style and was a fresh look to inspire for 2015. 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

Multimedia: Why content is king in your event

Custom-made multimedia content for your event isn’t a luxury anymore – it’s essential. Your brand, your message and your customers exist in an environment that now expects communication to be targeted, relevant and impressive. Cookie-cutter templates, presentations and graphics are an instant turn-off to an audience that needs to be engaged with creativity, wit and originality. It’s a daunting prospect to try and compete with major brands and professional creative teams on a global stage, but it’s the reality of working in marketing and events in the internet age. Your Audience has high audio visual expectations Your audience knows what is possible in event theming and branding because they’ve already been exposed to some of the best in the business, whether live or via the web. Australia punches well above its per-capita weight in the events industry, with production companies, artistic directors and staff sought after the world over. As a result, our audiences are used to quality. Your customers are no exception. Customising Your Event Content When thinking about what you can do to make your next event stay in your customer’s mind, start with a blank canvas. It’s tempting to build on a look or theme you’ve used before, but you need to create a unique experience. It is a hard place to start, so try asking yourself these questions; What is the truth of the product, image or idea you want to communicate? What concepts are associated with that? Most importantly, how do your audience see themselves in relationship to it, and how do they aspire to see themselves? What would your audience associate themselves with? When creating an event it is important to think about not only what your audience likes but also what they wish to be associated with. Social media is key to spreading your content beyond the event space and your guests have to want to publicize your event for this to be successful. People are most likely to share things that make them look interesting, funny, exciting and intelligent – all the positive qualities we’d most like to associate with ourselves. Customise your content with customer’s own perception of themselves in mind to resonate with their aspirations. Gather all of your existing multimedia content This is the first step in building up your new customized content. These include still images of staff or product, video material, design files for logos and product names and any other content related to branding, product or application. If your existing material doesn’t cover your vision for the event, talk to your AV provider about the best way to go about creating it. You may need to shoot stills and video, or edit existing assets. Don’t forget to bring any corporate style or branding guides that apply to what you’re doing. Consider your audio material Is there existing music associated with an advertising campaign? Does your company have an identifiable branded sting like Intel or Microsoft? A radically innovative idea for an event could include its own soundtrack, audio installation or theme song. Don’t rule out commissioning new material from composers or songwriters – it might just be the edge you need, and can be affordable in the long run, as digital collateral created for the event can go on to have multiple uses across the web. For more information onevent sound have a look at our previous post Go for Creativity and Practicality when choosing your Multimedia Designer When sitting down with the creative team, including the multimedia and graphic designers that will shape your event, bring all of your material, ideas and an open mind.A multimedia designer sits across both the unlimited world of the imagination and the pragmatic realm of the technical. Technically, anything really is possible, but there will always be a limit to your budget. On the flipside of that equation, you might have a tight budget, but you would be amazed what a resourceful creative and technical team can achieve with it if you trust them to advise you. Remember to Have Fun! While you may be guided by very strict corporate regulations on brand and image usage, don’t forget to have fun! This is especially applicable to hosting a gala dinner or awards night. Events like these ask for a more informal touch, and with digital theming and projections, you can create any kind of environment that you can imagine. Think about what suits your audience and your message – is it edgy, elegant, indulgent or family-friendly? What can you bring to it that people will not have seen before, or won’t be expecting? Staging Connections staff spend their entire professional life working on events like these, and will be able to tell you in the planning stages if you’re heading down an interesting track. They can also suggest concepts and techniques that might not have occurred to you. Again, bring a flexible attitude and benefit from experience. Experience is key On the technical side, there are a huge number of factors to take into account when looking at projecting image, video and other digital content onto screens or objects. For example still photos or videos that seem perfectly usable on a computer or hand-held device are probably unsuitable to be blown up to dimensions possibly metres across. A good multimedia designer will be able to give you a long list of things that do or don’t work when used for different applications. For example, for large-scale 2D projection mapping on the exterior of a building, high definition live video is often unsuitable. Computer animated graphics create much more successful results at that scale. It’s those kinds of insights that you only get from working with experienced professionals. Be mindful of changing resolutions For still images, logos and product branding, the higher the resolution and dpi (dots per inch), the better. It’s a good idea for any in-house graphic design or marketing staff to communicate directly with your AV provider’s multimedia creation team. Every multimedia creator will have a preference for what file formats, resolutions and definitions will be the most useful to them. They’ll also have a mind to what kind of image canvas size (1080x720, 180x1920 and so on) that will ultimately be beamed onto the walls, screens and surfacers of your event. Cut out any ‘Chinese Whisper’ effect or tedious double-up of effort by connecting your tech with your AV’s tech. Explore the possibilities If you’re unsure about the capabilities of technologies such as 2D or 3D projection mapping, get online and search for videos that include those terms. You’re going to find that digital theming of an event with custom-made multimedia content can completely transform any space, big or small. But keep them relevant While it’s good to get inspiration from what you’ll see, try not to be seduced by the ‘wow’ factor. It’s all very well that you could make the exterior of your event space look like it was collapsing as your guests arrived, but it’s just irrelevant if it distracts from your message. Build the beginnings of a major digital campaign Ultimately, engaging your audience and making your message stay in their minds is your goal. If you successfully brand a conference with new video and audio material, you have the beginnings of a major digital campaign. Integrate it with an ongoing social media and web presence, and follow-up with your attendees. Make sure to expand your new event theme into these areas: Email Campaigns Your email database will prove invaluable for this. Harvest details from everyone at the event if you don’t already have them, then send out follow-up material with the same theming. Film content Make it sharable across the appropriate social network – wherever you have invested your presence, and where your customers are. Staging Connections offers custom video production for your brand. Webcasting Creating a webcast of your event is a great way of extending your event space to all of those who could not come. Similarly this webcasted content can be used to market your brand later. Twitter Feeds Customise your Twitter feed with your event styling Event Poll theme Similarly you can import your graphics into an Event Poll theme to tie in all the aspects of your event to your message. Marketing packages Hosted on your website, your multimedia content will bring you continued return-on-investment, Use it to bring people to next year’s event, capture new customers or show those who weren’t there what they missed. Framing your company, brand or idea with fresh, intelligent multimedia content helps you cut through the noise of marketing in a crowded forum. Let us help you Staging Connections can provide a creation, delivery and post-event capitalisation strategy custom built to your ideals, audience and aspirations. They offer a vertically integrated service model that delivers marketing and creative advice, custom content creation and technical production, all unified by central communications and a clear brief. The advantage of the ‘one-stop-shop’ model is that all departments understand each other’s talents, capabilities and requirements. Our designers know exactly what specifications video and visual materials need to conform to in order for our equipment and technicians to produce the best results for you. Our event management staff know exactly what kind of preparation and vision you’ll need to create the best possible look for your event. Contact us to find out more about what custom content we can create for you to make your event exceptional. Want to stay up to date with industry trends? Browse our range of downloadable Event Insights papers ... Read More

Event Styling Trends for 2015

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