6 Conference Trends You Need To Know

If you haven’t been to a conference in a few years you’re in for a big surprise. These once stiff, white-collared, corporate events are changing, and have seriously raised the bar on everything from styling to attendee engagement.
‘Engagement’ has been the buzz word for event planners and marketers for some time now. It has permeated every communication channel as companies look to create new and exciting experiences. Events have become the perfect playing field to really engage audiences and give companies a direct connection with their consumers. Those companies that invest, pave the way for a more enriching and memorable experience for their customers and are likely to turn them into lifelong advocates. The next question then becomes, how are companies turning their conference into an invigorating and unique experience?
Read on to learn more about six of the hottest corporate event trends this year.
1. 2 Venues, 1 Location
One of the most costly expenses in event planning is venue hire. Over the past few decades we’ve seen conference venue trends do a full circle. In the 80’s and 90’s it was all about hosting your conference in big hotel ballrooms, followed by some polite small talk and canapés at the post event drinks in some non-descript location just outside the conference room. Coming into the new millennium, conference planners were getting creative and hosting conferences in unique venues or utilising multiple venues to suit each section of the day. These ‘hybrid’ events would typically host the information-rich agenda in a hotel meeting space after which attendees were then directed to a unique venue for the informal networking part of the event. Whilst this ‘hybrid’ event is still very popular and provides attendees with a great experience, it isn’t the most cost-effective way to host a corporate event. We’re now experiencing a convergence of these two trends, where event planners choose a hotel venue that has enough variety in its meeting spaces to mimic the split locations whilst remaining in the one venue. Instead of relying on a new venue to inject interest, event planners are turning to new immersive-themed rooms and styling to do the heavy lifting. Why this works: It goes without saying hiring one venue instead of two is a massive cost-saving already. Using two spaces within the one hotel and investing in theming and styling is a great way to ensure you’re giving guests the best environment for each agenda whilst maximising your budget. Hotel meeting spaces give you the AV support and space needed to deliver your key messages and support your speakers. Once the formalities are over, your guests can move to another space within the venue for the next section of the conference whether that be a sit-down gala dinner or styled cocktail event. Encore Event Technologies recently delivered the annual conference for one of Australia’s largest professional services organisation. Part of the brief was to deliver an exceptional formal conference experience for 300 employees as well as a unique and spectacular gala dinner post conference. To maximise the budget, Encore Event Technologies used Hilton Sydney’s ballroom to host the main conference agenda. Once the conference conclude, guests were ushered out into a beautifully styled holding room for cocktails and canapés while the Encore Event Technologies team transformed the conference room into a fully immersive ‘Vintage Carnival’ themed gala dinner complete with live circus acts and interactive carnival booths. Immersive, ‘Vintage Carnival’ themed conference delivered by Encore Event Technologies at Hilton Sydney. This is a win-win both the brand and the guests. It creates a lasting impression on attendees, which is key to continuous attendance and conference longevity.
2. Design Immersive Conferences
Gone are the days of a stuffy ballroom, lined with endless rows of chairs and a small stage. Corporate conferences are turning to styled, immersive themes to ramp up the atmosphere, provide talking points and truly immerse guests in their brand. After all, events are one of the only occasions a brand has an uninterrupted interaction with their target market. So they’d better make the most of it.
We’ve mentioned Immersive Events in previous styling trend reports and they’re fiercely becoming the norm for corporate events. If you’re not adopting this new event planning mindset, you’re in danger of being left behind. Immersive Events are where styling, audio visual, digital, staging and design services merge into one harmonious environment. It’s about using these services in combination to truly transform your event into a branded experience.
Why this works: A conference is the ultimate marketing event for a company. Whether it’s a corporate, training, education, or a sales conference, organisations need planners to design events that build brand loyalty and drive advocacy. Effectively branding an event builds attendee engagement that translates into increased connection. In addition, aligning your message with a theme provides a tangible vehicle to carry your message across all touch points. From the invites, to the entrance, room decor, multimedia content and post event communications. For example, we recently worked with Capital S.M.A.R.T. for their annual sales conference. The objective of the conference was to recognise the company’s achievements of doubling their revenue celebrate their 7th anniversary and set the direction for 2017. Therefore, it was very fitting for the conference theme to be 007 Bond. This theme was integrated into every aspect and became the creative ‘glue’ that tied everything into one cohesive message. Encore Event Technologies delivered an immersive ‘007’ event theme for Capital S.M.A.R.T.’s annual sales conference. 3. Encourage Attendee Engagement
Our third corporate event trend we’re seeing in 2015 and which will definitely become common place in 2016 is attendee engagement – that ‘engagement’ buzzword again. This means event planners are actively seeking new strategies and technologies to encourage two-way conversations with attendees, driving participation and building a positive brand experience rather than asking them to sit and listen for hours on end.
Increasing engagement can come in a variety of forms. Today’s event planners are ditching PowerPoint slides for total engagement activities such as live social feeds, video conferencing, audience polling, on-site bloggers, event-specific apps, event hashtags and much more.
Why this works: Encouraging your attendees to participate and share ideas results in a much richer experience for your guests and allows event hosts to unearth insights and gain valuable feedback that mightn’t have been possible without the audience participation. Increasing engagement translates into better overall experiences. By becoming active participants, attendees are more likely to gain knowledge and skills than by simply being spectators. Encore Event Technologies’ audience live-polling platform, Event Poll.
4. WOW with High-Tech
Events are the perfect playground for showing off your brand and wow-ing guests with the latest technology. When it comes to creating truly unique and personalised experiences, technology is your best friend. Having free Wi-Fi is no longer a nice add-on, it’s an expectation. So what are conference organisers turning to surprise and delight their attendees: Event apps featuring presentation and workshop schedules Real-time social media integration on-screen In-app scheduling and communication capabilities GPS event locator and navigation assistance On-demand video feeds and special keynote webcasts Live audience polling and contests Personalised push notifications (think meeting agenda or announcements) Real-time language translations Even projection mapping was used at recent Aussie Home Loans Sales Conference we produced to add a huge wow-factor to their event.
Why this works: Technology bridges the gap between the event and the individual guest experience. Utilising event apps and social media allows you to effectively communicate to your guests and provide instant updates. Technology and innovative audio-visual solutions provide a cost-effective solution for engaging and create last impressions.
5. Build an Event Community Brands invest huge amounts of their marketing budget into growing and nurturing a solid community of brand advocates. It therefore makes perfect sense to treat events as a sub-brand which has its own community where people with common interests and likes come together. Building this fan-base takes a lot of time and effort and has changed the life-cycle of the traditional event. It’s no longer just the event day itself, event planners need to consider the journey months before the event, the event itself, and then post-event follow ups and content. The overarching objective? Keeping their audience engaged and coming back year after year. Your event hype plan usually starts with creating the necessary channels and touch points where your community can grow and interact. The heavy weights here are an event Facebook page, YouTube / Vimeo channel for your video content, Instagram and Twitter account and a dedicated branded event hashtag. Utilising these channels to house engaging content provides you with a cohesive platform to keep your event community engaged throughout the event life-cycle. A great strategy for growing your event community is to use a social media integration platform. We’ve included Event Feed as part of our digital portfolio for this exact reason – it captures your event’s entire social conversation across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter via a dedicated hashtag and displays them instantly on screen for all to see.
Why this works: Positive word-of-mouth is the holy grail of marketing. If you can create and sustain a dedicated community of enthusiasts for your event, you are tapping into a rich source of insights, free advertising and invaluable instant feedback. In the past, event planners would rely on paid advertising to promote the event and would only be able to review all event happenings weeks after the event ended to learn what was successful and what wouldn’t be used next year. Event Feed used at this years Tourism Australia, Destination Australia Conference.
6. Embrace Green Events
Going ‘green’ isn’t just a phenomenon we’re experiencing in the food and beverage industry. Companies that demonstrate they’re environmentally conscious are also reaping the benefits of positive brand operations. This year we’re seeing a lot of corporate events taking on a ‘local, organic and sustainable’ approach to their event planning. This mindset is being adopted across every possible facet of the event, from environmentally conscious AV and staging processes, down to local and organic catering, as well as using recycled and sustainable materials to design, communicate and run the event. Why this works: In some cases, going ‘green’ can be very profitable as people are generally happy to forgo higher quality / luxuries for the sake of being environmentally conscious – think recycled paper, more efficient energy and recycling processes, cardboard chairs etc. Aside from the obvious benefits of a demonstrating corporate social responsibility, it allows companies to build relationships with new audiences via this common interest and strengthen ties with existing customers.
The corporate event scene is experiencing a huge overhaul. Audiences demand interaction, immersion and innovation. The great thing is, it’s being driven by a common need to discover and improve ways to engage audiences and communicate the event message effectively. This means, it’s a landscape that is forever changing. When organising your next event, make sure you consider these 6 trends to ensure you’re conference is hitting the mark and ensuring the longevity of your event.
Interested in hosting your next event with Encore? Get in touch with us today and let’s make it happen! … Read More

Avoid These 6 Staging Mistakes That Make Your Audience Lose Interest

There are 5 fundamentals of staging a successful event. Audio, Lighting, Vision, Staging, and Content. With all eyes on the stage, it's one of the most important elements you need to get right because unlike AV, you can't just 'tweak' it on the day. The stage is a major element when planning successful corporate events. Everyone will eventually look towards the stage, and your intent is to keep the audience focused on the message you’re delivering. While an involved audience is the goal, we know there are various factors that can make the audience lose interest - causing you to lose out on money, prospective customers, and possible partnerships. Here are 6 staging mistakes to avoid if you want to keep your audience interested and attentive. Poor Sound Quality The level of sound coming from the stage speaks volumes about your brand. We know that echoing sounds and volume should be expertly controlled with professional audio connections at frequencies that are pleasing to the ear without being too high or low in pitch. If the sound isn’t clear or makes the audience uncomfortable, you're likely to lose attendees and your presenters. If the presenters can't be heard, your attendees will lose interest which in turn, makes the presenters feel uncomfortable. All you're left with is everyone in the room having a bad experience. When considering your stage design, work with a professional AV company to determine where the speakers and fold backs need to be so both presenters and audiences can hear with crystal clear clarity. Music can deeply influence the audience just as much as an expert speaker. Emotions, motor functioning and creativity are boosted by music, and we’ve witnessed its power at all types of events. Not only do people relate music to personal experiences, music ignites the entire human brain. Bad Lighting Design A well-lit stage enhances the atmosphere and mood of the room. Therefore, stage lighting should really wow your audience with dynamic style. With flat or malfunctioning lighting, attendees will be far less interested in looking at the stage. Too much white lighting can also drain the appearance of your presenters and wash out the on-screen projection content making the vision hard to see. Professional lighting always comes with flexibility. The light can fit your theme and power audience engagement by drawing focus to your presentation. Depending on the electric system at the event space, lights can be powered at various settings to create a unique environment and add texture to the room to intrigue the audience. Lack of Creative Branding Techniques If your brand isn’t presented tastefully, potential buyers will quickly consider it overkill and lose interest in your services. In fact, 52% of customers report feeling overwhelmed by companies that don’t communicate the presence of their brand effectively. We view corporate events as a creative opportunity to consistently display your brand’s logo and visual message. More than half of B2B marketers acknowledge that branding is a must for company growth. On average, a 23% increase in revenue has been credited to consistent branding. Your logo can be incorporated into the stage design and transformed into an interactive experience. Serve up your logo as part of the beverages and refreshments offered to guests, or display it as a piece of 3D art that emotionally connects with viewers. Disregarding The Line of Sight Audiences need to see and hear for a favourable event experience. Presentations, speakers, and visual branding has to be visible to everyone. Otherwise, the crowd will quickly lose interest and find better things to do – such as playing on their mobile phones or distracting the nearest person with small talk. Considering the seating arrangement and size of the event, the stage should be raised for better viewing. Opinions will always vary on the proper height of the stage. Some may say 12 inches, others might recommend 24. Every event is special in its own way. It’s best to use a professional audio visual team that will work closely with your venue and company while considering all necessary elements for the proper stage height. Better still, partnering with an AV company that's already in-house at your venue means they'll have a better understanding of the rooms layout and how to maximise the stage design for audience viewing. Use a Bland Stage Backdrop The backdrop attracts more attention than many people realise. Today, stage backdrops aren’t just coloured accessories for the stage. They can be textured walls in stunning 2D and 3D designs that enhance your theme or branding, or even internally lit backdrops that display print-quality images or branding. With modern technology, backdrops can now be turned into media pieces that move on the wall. If audiences look away, this moving media will lead their eyes back to the presentation. When executed properly, media walls add to the effectiveness of the message being delivered, and the visuals will help the crowd retain the information presented. Choose a Poor Seating Layout Whether you are setting up a business presentation, training classroom, hosting a full scale gala dinner or product launch, the arrangement of the seating can make all the difference. You have invited your audience to communicate a message, so it’s important that your audience is seated in the best way to achieve the maximum impact for your message! Guests want to feel involved in professional discussions and enjoy sharing their knowledge and common interests. Using the right seating style creates a deeper connection between the speakers and audience members. It also encourages any moving participants and standing listeners to walk behind seated guests. Learn The Best Strategies To Create An Outstanding Corporate Event For Your Audience Keeping your audience engaged requires thought, planning, and creativity. We can work with your team to create a stage designed to hold interest and generate excitement. At Encore, we use our experience to transform your corporate events into interactive and memorable experiences for attendees that live long after the event concludes. Contact us for innovative event staging production and concepts that combine event creative and technical expertise. ... Read More

Event Tech Trends Part 3 - How To Get The Most Out Of Mass Personalisation

This is the third installment in a three-part series in which Chris Cavanaugh, CMO of Freeman, discusses the event technology that is shaping the future of brand experiences. In his final post, Chris talks about how brands can leverage mass personalisation to maximise the potential of your brand experience. Maximise the brand experience through mass personalisation Written by Chris Cavanaugh, CMO of Freeman, originally posted on the Freeman blog. Catch up on Part Two: Live Streaming Can Change The Way Brands Engage With Audiences here -- We are a society that has become hyper-personalized. Today’s consumers don’t just appreciate customized content — they expect it. Whether we’re shopping for clothes, planning a vacation, or browsing for a TV show to watch, we seem to have very little patience for choices that we don’t relate to. There’s an emotional angle to all of this. Across the globe, consumers have started craving a deeper connection with the brands they use. They want to feel like they’ve made the right choice with their money, and they prefer to invest in brands that understand them and know what they care about. Technology has made this possible. Now more than ever, there are a multitude of channels that learn our behaviors, listen to our feedback, and give us the ability to opt into — or out of — the experiences that fill our lives. The future is being dictated by what individuals want rather than what brands want for them. Nowhere is this truer than in the world of brand experiences. This is a good thing. Brands, at their core, are all about people. Not crowds of people but rather individuals, each with their own unique set of values and emotional connection points. Personalisation based on emotional investment gives us an opportunity to forge deeper connections with our audiences. Fortunately, live events offer a wealth of opportunities for brands not only to provide personalized experiences but also to continue learning how to make emotional connections with their audiences as well. Know your audience(s) It seems obvious, but many brands do not actually know their audience beyond the broad strokes painted by their standard research. Today’s audiences can be much more complex than that. By the year 2020, there will be five different generations working at the same time. That’s more generations than have ever been in the workforce at once, and it presents a new wrinkle in addition to the usual segmentation challenges we face. Each generation will have its own set of priorities, motivators, and preferred methods of communication. Speaking of generations, as our original attendees age out, who will replace them? The up-and-coming generations will have an overabundance of experiences and channels to choose from, so it’s very likely that the same old tactics may not work on them. If we want to attract these new audiences, segmentation will be the first step in understanding how we can connect with them. Use data to make a human connection Now that you’ve defined your audiences, data is the key to personalisation. Once you have the data, there are many ways to customise the experience for your audience. Turning heaping piles of information into insights that are actionable and meaningful is no easy task, but with today’s event technology, anything is possible. It starts with putting the customer at the center of the proposition, using empathy and insights to understand what he or she wants and needs, and then creating a personalized experience that delivers emotion without feeling intrusive. There are challenges, of course. We will have to be vigilant about issues of privacy, data ownership, and usage. I find that, in this case, honesty is the best policy. If audiences are aware that you’re collecting their data in order to enhance their experience and remove the clutter, and you ensure that they are totally and implicitly aware of what is being collected and studied, then you should have no problem. Reach audiences where they are As mass media continues to fragment, so do the ways in which marketers can reach audiences. The days of the big ad running during prime-time television are being supplemented by new devices, new streaming vehicles, and an evolving mass of new marketing channels. If you are going to employ multiple channels to get your message across, there should be continuity between those channels. It’s important to remember that campaigns are ongoing conversations. There are many avenues of communication at our disposal today, and the beauty of many of them is that they’re two-way. They allow us to listen to what our audiences are saying and gather insights into what motivates them and speaks to them on a deeper level. Allow audiences to co-create When creating brand experiences, we can now use data and technology to design environments and make these story worlds more responsive. We’ve developed some platforms that allow consumers to control their own experience and offer real-time feedback that can shape the content of a program as it is happening. Given that most attendees have their phones in their hand at any given time, this provides a great opportunity to get them involved in coauthoring content at your event (and feeling the ownership of it). What better way to get them to feel emotionally invested in what your brand has to say. Keep storytelling at the center of the creative journey There was a time when advertising and marketing relied almost entirely on the power of emotional storytelling. In recent years, storytelling has given way to algorithms, metrics, and optimization. While there’s no doubt that those things are important, storytelling has always been the beating heart of this industry. Storytelling can be a powerful drug. A 2006 study by Spanish researchers looked into the effects of storytelling on the human brain. They found that, while statistics and facts have little to no effect on our emotions, descriptive stories have the potential to stimulate certain sensory regions of our brains, such as touch or smell. They can even generate activity in the motor cortex, the part of the brain that controls movement. Now more than ever, brands need stories that help stimulate audience emotions. After all, a customer who feels an emotional connection to a brand is 52 percent more valuable than one who is not emotionally connected. Few marketing channels have the capacity to incite emotion in quite the same way as brand experiences. While many can come close, a personalized brand experience is the best way to envelop an audience in the context of a story and really inspire them to feel something. At the end of the day, personalization is about transforming the idea of marketing from a form of mass communication to a form of conversation. We are asking people to give us their time and attention, and we should be giving them something in return. Personalization lets an attendee know that, not only are we listening to them but we are genuinely interested in their individual interests and needs. We care about making them feel comfortable, entertained, satisfied, and, most importantly, emotionally connected. That sort of attention goes a long way toward converting an attendee from a potential client into an existing one. This is the final installment in a three-part series in which Chris Cavanaugh, CMO of Freeman, discusses the event technology that is shaping the future of brand experiences. Catch up on Event Tech Trends Part 2 - How Live Streaming Can Change The Way Brands Engage With Audiences This concludes my series on event technology. As part of our effort to keep up with the rapid pace of change, Freeman will continue to monitor and curate the latest trends. ... Read More

Delivering Australia's largest conference in ten years

The 105th Rotary International Convention was confirmed to be held in Australia for the first time since 2003. The event brief outlined the four day event schedule featuring two opening plenary sessions , 5 plenary sessions, 1 business session and 28 breakout sessions with the overarching brief to deliver an event that was intrinsically Australian. ... Read More

A Scrumdiddlyumptious themed gala for the Adelaide Crows

Every year supporters of the Adelaide Crows Football Club flock to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre for their annual Gala Dinner. It’s a chance for the Club’s devoted members to get up close and personal with some of the players. The main aim for the evening to is raise funds to support the club’s forthcoming season, and they do this by putting on an extravagant gala dinner complete with fantastic live performances and a high-end silent auction. As the Crows’ official audio visual partner, our Adelaide team go above and beyond to make each year better than the last. The Event Brief On the 16th February the Arena of the Adelaide Entertainment Centre hosted nearly 1000 club VIPs and guests. The sheer size of the venue made it possible to design, create and deliver a stunning Gala Dinner setting and live silent auction. The client required that we simultaneously display video and animated multimedia, as well as live camera feed onto the various screens on stage, which is a challenge that our technical team love to rise to. The theme for this year’s gala was Purple and Gold, and what better way to bring that to life than through an indulgent Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate theme. Being one of the club's major fundraising events for the year, we needed to deliver a high impact, engaging experience, with the keenest eye on every detail to ensure a truly memorable event. Our Event Solution In our 12th year as the official audio visual partner, we wanted to deliver something special that pushed the envelope on last year’s visually spectacular Right Royal Gala event. We delivered a complete event production solution, encompassing all audio, vision, lighting, staging, multimedia creation, styling and production management. The event experience started as soon as guests arrived at the venue. To create intrigue and tease the event theme, we created a styled entrance way with purple swagged draping and a purple carpet running down the centre to the main doors to the Arena. Custom designed signage was fastened to the drape line to create a tailored welcome. As guests walked down the carpet, upbeat ‘Wonka’ type music was played to fit the Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate theme and set the tone for the evening. As guests continued up the purple carpet to the Arena doors, they met another themed feature – golden urns on plinths filled with colourful lollypops indicating that their journey had only just begun… Guests were invited to walk down the Arena stairwell filled with gold and purple lights and enter the main Arena floor. The vast space was transformed into a delightful, magical setting using theatrical intelligent lighting, themed styling and an enchanting stage look. All eyes were drawn to the giant custom stage set, created using our new 3D Scenic Panels in the Harlequin pattern flanked with multiple screens framing the Toyota car ad– the grand prize of the evening! Large inflatable red and white candy trees were placed around the room and stage for colour and a quirky touch. The 32 m wide x 9 m high Scenic Panel stage backdrop became the central projection surface for the night, featuring custom Crows themed multimedia content for the Welcoming and Closing presentations and for each individual auction item. All content was created in house by our multimedia design team. As a clever touch to add theatre and excitement, every guest was given a Golden Ticket on arrival with the lucky Golden Ticket winner taking home the brand new Toyota. The annual Crows Gala Auction is a highly anticipated event for the Staging Connections Adelaide team. The event gives us the opportunity to create truly immersive experiences and we love the challenge of doing something completely different every year. The Adelaide Crows event’s team are a pleasure to work with and encourage us to push the boundaries and embrace new products and new ideas. With another successful gala all wrapped up (in purple and gold foil), we look forward to next year’s creative brief! -- See more recent event work Get in touch to start planning your event ... Read More

A seaside conference and product launch for Modere Australia

Nothing makes you feel more invigorated and motivated than being by the beach, which is why launching their newest skincare product sea-side at Adelaide's Glenelg Beach made perfect sense for Modere Australia. The product launch took place as part of a three day conference and leading event services company, Staging Connections, were brought on board to give this year's conference wow-factor. The Event Brief Staging Connections partnered with the innovative Australian skincare, wellbeing and home care brand, Modere to deliver their bi-annual conference. The three day conference was to be held at the stunning seaside venue, Stamford Grand Adelaide in February 2017. Staging Connections were engaged to execute the conference, alongside the social events which included an evening cocktail function, an impressive product launch and a stylish after party to conclude. Keeping in line with the brand essence of Modere, Staging Connections needed to deliver a stylish, smart and sophisticated conference that left guests feeling inspired, motivated and eager to continue building a successful business and helping to truly transform lives. The Event Solution As the in-house event services provider at Stamford Grand Adelaide, Staging Connections provided an end-to-end solution for the Modere Australia three day conference and social events. The solution encompassed all audio vision, staging, lighting, styling and digital event services, with the combined effect resulting in a seamless event experience that brought the Modere brand to life. In attendance were over 600 Modere employees from all levels of the business, interstate and even international guest speakers. Setting the tone for the conference was a stylish Welcome Cocktails event for the Elite Modere Team. Staging Connections bathed the room in red and white lighting to reflect the Modere brand colours and guests were treated to a performance by a pianist playing under some street light props. Following an all-day conference, Friday night saw the Staging Connections team create an event look and feel that screamed ‘Colour!’ to support the launch of Modere Australia’s bold new makeup line. Beautifully bright and lush furniture decorated the room to match the backdrops and floral arrangements. Staging Connections enhanced the theme with spectacular coloured uplighting which added movement and bursts of colour to the space. Pictured: Staging Connections used clever AV and lighting to support the 'Colour!' product launch. The main event took place under a large marquee situated on the beachside front lawns of the Stamford Grand. The look and feel of the After Party reflected the Modere motto – Live Clean – and was created under the guise of ‘modern jungle ’ with lots of greenery, crisp whites and touches of Modere’s red as branding cues. Pictured: Event styling by Staging Connections Pictured: A green wall was used as a stage backdrop for the DJ. Along the marquee’s side stood giant letter lights spelling ‘Modere’, and inside the marquee lived an abundance of ‘Hamptons’ style furniture and large dance floor for guests to relax and dance the night away. Pictured: Giant letter lights were installed along the side of the marquee. The Modere team walked away with a live recording of the conference thanks to Staging Connections’ Event Record product. The recording captured two days of the conference, including the special guests and international speakers, and means the Modere team have a copy of the entire event at their disposal. The Special Touches From the moment the guests entered the hotel, on a sweltering hot Adelaide day, they were treated to a calming VIP event that celebrated the success and new developments for the business. The location and venue, offered perfect ocean views and reflected the Modere Australia motto and left the guests feeling inspired and motivated. What did the client say about the conference and product launch? Modere Australia were delighted with the successful event, and the exceptional customer service provided by the Adelaide Staging Connections team across the three days, notably identifying the special touches from the team, to ensure a professional, yet fun and high quality event. Natalia Colombo, Event Coordinator for Modere Australia noted the outstanding service provided by Staging Connections. “Dion is exceptional. With him at the helm I never had to worry. He really went above and beyond and has amazing people skills and professionalism. Alana is extremely talented and also went absolutely above and beyond. Without her, the after party wouldn't have been anywhere near as much of a success. Chris - worth his weight in gold. I never worried when he was around and nothing was too much trouble. These three people are truly amazing and I am very grateful. Cooper and the 'A' team were also lovely and easy to deal with. All in all, you have one happy customer that won't be going anywhere else for her future event needs.” Natalia Colombo, Event Coordinator, Modere Australia. ... Read More

Attracting association conference delegates to Australia

It’s no surprise that Australia has been ranked ‘most exciting destination for conferences’ in a recent report published by Tourism Australia. With unrivalled vistas, iconic landmarks, some of the world’s most livable cities and strangest creatures, plus the lengthy flight is tax deductable – who wouldn’t jump on a chance to come here for ‘work’? The new study looked into the decision-making process of international delegates for a destination conference with the purpose of helping event marketers understand what the biggest motivators were. The appeal of Australia for its beautiful countryside and beaches are an obvious draw-card, but there is much more to Australia when it comes to a conference destination. When comparing different countries, we’re seen as safer, more reliable and we have a strong portfolio of successful international event experience. It’s therefore easy to understand why Australia is the perfect trifecta. "22% of respondents rated Australian conferences 10 out of 10 versus the 16% global average." New research on Association Conference Delegate Behaviour, Tourism Australia So what are the other draw cards? The study revealed destination appeal, conference content, speaker reputation and networking potential are the main drivers. Delving deeper into the quality of content, Australia is a safe-bet when considering the profile of speakers at our conferences, the high standard of audio vision and production delivery, and of course our world-class conference venues. But this isn’t anything new or previously unassumed. The report also highlighted that for over 60% of respondents, extending the trip into a holiday is a decision influencing factor. This is a useful insight for the way we plan and promote our conferences to international markets. Respondents felt a strong social program that includes networking events and leisure activities which highlight the country’s history, culture, food and wildlife is a key component to what makes a conference appealing. "Conferences which successfully manage to integrate the program of events with the destination are the most appealing." New research on Association Conference Delegate Behaviour, Tourism Australia In its path to gaining a deeper a understanding of the conference delegate, Tourism Australia embarked on a data sharing arrangement with Virgin Australia which sees them tracking and passing on information relating to online activity for any consumer who comes to and then moves onto Virgin Australia digital properties. This partnership is to be part of a number of other data partnerships in the next 12 months. Without having inside knowledge into the arrangement and what the set objectives are, it will be interesting to see how the two use the shared data and whether it will provide any great insight into marketing our conferences. It may be an obvious tactic in marketing internationally, but the report stressed the need for a sophisticated and well thought-out conference website that informs, inspires and motivates delegates. Having an aesthetically appealing website coupled with a helpful event app is the best way to attract and keep your conference delegates engaged through-out the entire life-cycle of the conference – pre, during and post. Without this crucial touch point, you’re basically fishing without a hook and hoping for the best. Sydney is our most popular destination for international conferences and the forecast is strong. For association events like international conferences, Sydney offers the chance for global thought leaders to connect and collaborate. There is a real sense that Sydney is undergoing a transformation, with many new infrastructure developments offering great opportunities for future business events. The conference and exhibition market in Sydney, is expected to hit a high in late 2016, when the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) opens in Darling Harbour. So this research is pertinently timed. The ICC Sydney has already secured a number of major international events which will no doubt support Tourism Australia’s 2020 goal is to achieve more than $115 billion in overnight spend by 2020 (up from $70 billion in 2009). The opening of the Centre is also perfectly timed for the recent opening of Four Points by Sheraton Sydney in Darling Harbour. The venue will be Australia’s largest hotel, boasting 892 guest rooms and 3,700sq metres of conference and event space making Darling Harbour a new conference hub for Sydney. The importance of the business events industry to Australia, cannot be underestimated in terms of their economic contribution. Another report by Ernst & Young and the Business Events Council of Australia found that over 37 million people attended more than 412,000 business events in Australia between 2013 and 2014. These business events directly generated $28.0 billion in direct expenditure, $13.5 billion in direct value added and 179,357 direct jobs. Another piece of research released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that Australia welcomed 555,800 international visitor arrivals during June 2016, an increase of 13.7 per cent compared to the same month during the previous year. For the year ending June 2016, total international arrivals reached 7.8 million, up 10 percent compared to the same period last year. Australia is home to some of the most skilled event professionals in the world, having played host to numerous large global events including Rotary, the Olympics, Amway, Commonwealth Games, so we have the experience to deliver. Staging Connections recently delivered the Amway Taiwan international incentive event as well as working on LNG18 (the International Conference and Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas. Both events delivered huge benefits to the economy. With our vast natural beauty, new and expansive event infrastructure, tourism partnerships and a skilled community of event professionals, it’s no doubt that our nation is set to see the number, quality and profile of both association and corporate events rise. Marketers across Australia, including those in house at venues, suppliers, caterers and event management companies have a major opportunity to push the core benefits of Australia out to market, that fortunately, are the ultimate match for the desires of international business travellers. They say records are set to be broken, and with Australia’s inbound tourism and events sector heating up rapidly, get ready for it to boil over! -- This article was written by Adele Symonds, Marketing Manager at Staging Connections. ... Read More

A twilight market theme designed for Foodstuffs NZ

Bringing the magic to life, Staging Connections was brought on board alongside SkyCity Auckland Convention Centre by one of New Zealand’s largest food distributors and retail store organisations, to support their biennial Expo tradeshow event. This was a night for Foodstuffs to celebrate with their members and support centre as well as acknowledge their supply partners. Foodstuffs hosted a beautiful Twilight Market themed gala dinner in one of Auckland’s iconic dining spaces. Foodstuffs NZ gala dinner at Skycity Auckland Convention Centre. When the 700 guests arrived to the New Zealand Promenade at the SkyCity Auckland Convention Centre, they were greeted with market stalls and festoon lighting, provided by event design partner Event Impressions, and food from The Kitchen Co SkyCity. Staging Connections installed elegant draping to ensure an intimate ambience within the space, and used moving spotlights to highlight the colourful market stalls. The team used clever audio visual technologies to transform the venue and enliven the event atmosphere. The attendees explored the unique environment created, tasting the unique food offering provided, and mingling under market umbrellas and around sparkling table cloths. “We delivered a very professional ‘twilight market’ theme experience and your help with regards to the audio and lighting made the night look fantastic.” Joanna Fifita, ‎Event Manager at Foodstuffs New Zealand Following pre-dinner drinks, the guests moved into the New Zealand Room, that was beautifully decorated by event design partner Event Impressions and continued the evening’s theme. The Staging Connections team of NZ lighting designers devised a creative lighting solution to add sparkle to the gala event’s proceedings. Lights were used to layer blue and purple hues over the table settings and a light haze created a shimmer across the room. Moving spotlights heightened the celebratory atmosphere throughout the awards proceedings, pinpointing the winners and drawing them onto the stage to collect their awards. Twilight Market theme gala dinner with styled table centrepieces. Cluster pendant lights created a focal point and were hung high above the tables projecting moving shadows onto the crowd and attractively showcasing the night’s meal. As part of the AV solution, Staging Connections provided multiple screens, including three major screens lining the front of the room to support the multimedia content provided by the Foodstuffs team, ensuring the audience had clear sightlines from all corners of the event space. The use of rustic wooden tables combined with traditional rounds led to the diversity and depth of setting in a room which easily caters for up to 1000 persons. This is ideal for these types of dining events; giving SkyCity Auckland Convention Centre, Event Impressions and Staging Connections the opportunity to work together to showcase the venue in a unique and interesting way. Audio Visual and Lighting designed by Staging Connections. Plan your next event with the leading AV & events company across Australia and New Zealand There's a lot that goes into creating an unforgettable awards night. As all of your most important stakeholders are in the room and with so many individual elements, you’ll need an experienced AV and event company specialised in delivering awards nights and gala dinners. Staging Connections has been the name behind some of the largest and most technically demanding live events to hit Australian soil. Having been in the events business for over 30 years, our experienced team of technicians and event directors understand what it takes to deliver to this scale and profile. We only use brands we trust; we take a tailored approach to every brief using the largest range of event production services; and we work with you every step of the way so there’s no surprises. If you’re interesting in finding out what Staging Connections can do for your event, get in touch with us today by calling 1800 209 099 (AUS) +64 9259 0025 (NZ) or by completing our event quote form. -- Wanting to know more about Staging Connections? Why not look at our most recent events Meet your local New Zealand events team ... Read More

10 ways our event app can manage and help plan Road Show events

Event Apps - the new way to manage and plan road show events from the palm of your hand. For an event planner, road shows present their own unique set of challenges. Planning and executing an event in multiple venues at multiple times requires a great deal of organization and planning. In some instances, a road show may be scheduled to take place in multiple locations at the same time making the execution of the event all the more difficult. To help you manage and successfully execute your road show event, we’ve created Event Briefcase, our event planning app that allows you to upload important information about your event, such as location, schedule, speaker information and sponsorship information, and then share this information with all of the attendees of your event simultaneously. The beauty of our event planning app is its simplicity. It is extremely user friendly and easy to navigate meaning even the least tech-savvy attendees of your event will be able to use our app. Our event planning application is a great tool for planning and executing any road show, allowing you to instantly communicate to your attendees, wherever they may be, instantly. Here are 10 ways that Event Briefcase will help you manage and plan road show events: 1. Event Agenda Feature: Agenda With our event planning app, you can upload the agenda for your road show so that you can simultaneously share it with all of the attendees of your event. This will help your guests organise their time and ensure they are able to take in the events at your road show that they are most interested in. 2. Upload information on your key people; speakers, presenters, performers and so on. Feature: Speaker Information Our event app will give you the opportunity to introduce the speakers that are part of your road show to your audience. There is a dedicated area where you can share your speakers’ bios and profiles so that your attendees have a bit of a background on each of the key people who are part of your road show. 3. Provide important venue information Feature: Facility Overview With our event app, you can help your guests out by uploading a map of the location of your road show as well as important information about the venue where your event is taking place. For out of town guests, you can also include shuttle and transportation information to and from the venue using the Transit feature. 4. Attendee & RSVP List Feature: Attendees You can help facilitate networking at your event by uploading a list of attendees who have confirmed their attendance. Our app allows your event’s attendees to e-mail one another by clicking on a guest’s name. Our application then takes the user right to their device’s e-mail client so they can begin typing their e-mail. 5. Upload essential event information for download Feature: Downloads With every event, there are leaflets and handouts that are needed to convey useful information to your event’s attendees. With our event application, you are able to upload all of this information so that your guests can access it from their smart phone or mobile device during the event. 6. Give your sponsors exposure Feature: Sponsors With our event app, there is a dedicated sponsors area where you are able to highlight the sponsors of your road show in a new and much more engaging way. Event Briefcase comes with an area that is completely dedicated to sharing sponsor information with your event’s attendees. In this area, you can share your sponsors’ content and include hyperlinks to websites and other relevant sponsor or partner information. 7. Get your audience talking with live audience polling & social media integration Feature: Links Live audience polling is a fun way to engage your audience and is a way of garnering their participation during your road show. With Event Briefcase, you are able to share a link with your attendees that take them to your event's Event Poll where your attendees and read and respond to questions. If you're holding your road show events simultaneously this is a fantastic platform for gathering all of the responses and instantly displaying them on screens for all to see, regardless of their location. Additionally, our event social media platform is another great tactic for event planners to use to encourage social promotion of their event. Event Feed captures all social posts containing your event's hashtag and pushes them live to screen in your venue. It can be both public or private. If your event is private, you can include a link to a private Event Feed, where your attendees can upload comments and imagery to a closed social feed that only gets displayed in the venue, rather than posting it publicly. 8. Up-to-Date News Feature: Bulletins When you have important news or bulletins to share with your event’s attendees, you can upload this information and share it via the news and bulletin area of our event planning app. This is a great way to convey important information about your event and to keep attendees up-to-date. 9. Showcase engaging video content Feature: Videos A great way to engage your audience is by sharing a video. Videos are an easily digestible, content-rich source of information that conveys a large amount of information to your guests while requiring only a small time commitment from them. With Event Briefcase, we make it easy for you to share videos with the attendees of your road show. 10. Promote venue offers and deals Feature: Links / Downloads When planning a road show at a specific venue, that venue will often have promotions that the venue wants to highlight for your guests. With Event Briefcase, showcasing in venue promotions is a piece of cake. Whether it be restaurant, accommodation or hotel facility offers, Event Briefcase gives you the option to upload downloadable pdfs, upload links to videos and more. Event Briefcase by Staging Connections - a free corporate event app. Our Event planning app makes sharing information with your road show’s attendees simple and easy. Best of all, Event Briefcase comes free-of-charge when you hire our AV Services. When you choose Staging Connections, you are choosing a company with more than thirty years of experience that we can put to work for you at your event. To help you pull of a road show that will knock your guests’ socks off, we can provide you with a professional event production team to assist you with executing a flawless road show. 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

10 ways our event app can help you manage and plan a product launch event

Event apps - The new way to manage and plan a successful product launch event. To help event planners organise a successful product launch event, Staging Connections has recently released Event Briefcase, an event planning app that allows you to upload important information about your product launch and simultaneously share it with all event attendees. And best of all - it's free when you use our event services exclusively for your product launch. With Event Briefcase, you can provide attendees with important information such as a list of speakers, a list of event attendees, live event polling, a social media and so much more. Our app is a great way to add value to your event for those who will be attending and to increase engagement with your guests. If you are planning a product launch and you want to give your attendees a great experience, our event planning app can help you do just that. Here are 10 ways that Event Briefcase can help you plan a flawless product launch. 1. Share an Agenda Feature: Agenda With Event Briefcase, you are able to upload the agenda and schedule for your event so that your guests can view it from their smartphone or mobile device. 2. Upload Speakers’ and presenter bios Feature: Speaker Information With our event app, it is possible to share a list of the people who will be on hand to speak at your event. Our app also goes a step further and allows you to upload bios and important information on all of the key people who will play a part in the product launch you are planning. If you have special presenters at your product launch, this is a useful feature to help communicate and explain to your guests who they are and provide some context as to why they're speaking. 3. Share Venue Information Feature: Facility Overview It is likely that not everyone who attends the product launch will be familiar with the location of the venue you have selected for the event. With our event planning application, you can share a map complete with helpful directions to the venue. With the map, you can include any relevant shuttle or transportation information as well via the Transit feature. 4. Attendee list and networking Feature: Attendees With Event Briefcase, you can upload a list of your event’s attendees complete with their email address so that they can network and communicate with one another. If you upload email addresses, your attendees can even contact one another simply by tapping on the email address which will instantly open up their email client with the email address automatically in the recipient field. 5. Provide Paperless Handouts Feature: Downloads With our event planning app, we can help save you money and time by making it possible to upload handouts, floor plans, and other relevant information that is traditionally printed out and handed to event attendees. Not only is going “paperless” more cost effective, it also helps to save paper and creates less waste. 6. Quiz your audience, manage Q&A and get them talking about your product! Feature: Links With a product launch there are a number of reasons why you’d want to incorporate live audience polling into the event. A live event poll is a quick and easy way to conduct a Q & A session about the new products that are being featured at the product launch. You can also use a live poll as a means of testing the organisations employees on information retention about the new products, obtain feedback, conduct a survery and brainstorming sessions. Event Poll is Staging Connections exclusive audience polling platform which offers event planners a choice of 11 question templates, giving you the flexibility to choose the best format and brand the questionnaire. 7. Give your product launch social media exposure Feature: Links Utilising social media as a part of your product launch is a great way to garner engagement from attendees. Product launches tend to be private events made exclusive for VIPs, bloggers, employees and the like with the content embargoed. If your content is sensitive but you still want to engage your guests, we have a specialised event social media platform that enables a private social feed. Our event planning application allows you to provide everyone at your launch with a link to Event Feed - so guests can freely post without the content leaking to the public. 8. Keep Everyone Up-to-Date Feature: Bulletins Our event app makes it easy to share news and important bulletins in relation to your product launch with your audience. 9. Share Great Content Feature: Videos Videos are a fun and easy way to share content and information with your audience. For a product launch, you can upload videos packed with information about the new product being launched so that attendees of your event can experience the new products in video form. 10. Additional Promotion Feature: Downloads / Links When you choose to host a product launch party at a venue, often that venue will offer your guests various promotions. Our app makes it easy for you to share these promotions with your event’s attendees. Event Briefcase by Staging Connections - a free corporate event app. Our free corporate event app, Event Briefcase, is just one of the ways that Staging Connections can help you plan and flawlessly execute a stand-out product launch event. We also offer you the skills and expertise of more than 30 years of experience and we can provide you with a professional and organised event production team who will assist you in the production of a product launch that will blow your attendees away. 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