Daring to Dazzle: Encore’s Creative Event Design at Top Secret Showcase

Client: NCCC
Venue: National Convention Centre Canberra, Canberra
Date: April 2024

This year’s Canberra Convention Bureau Top Secret Gala Dinner, hosted at the National Convention Centre (NCCC), truly lived up to its name, leaving interstate delegates dazzled with the creative event design crafted by Encore. As the in-house event production partner for the NCCC, Encore was tasked with creating an unforgettable experience for the annual Platinum Members Dinner, a pivotal highlight of the 3-day city-wide event showcase.

The Brief

Top Secret is an annual familiarisation tour where the Canberra Convention Bureau invites national and corporate CEOs and Event Managers to experience all that Canberra offers in the event world. Given the event’s high profile, Encore’s role was critical in showcasing why the NCCC is one of the country’s leading destinations for corporate events. The challenge was to design a solution that not only highlighted the venue’s technical capabilities but also demonstrated flexibility and scalability to cater to a variety of creative event types, designs, and sizes. Encore’s brief was clear: create a stunning, memorable event that leaves attendees inspired.

The Solution

Encore’s production team, led by Technical Director Hamish McConchie, designed a truly captivating experience, utilizing a combination of advanced technology and creative event design. The focus was on reimagining a familiar space to make it feel both exciting and intimate. With a background in theatrical design, McConchie built layers into the production design to deliver unique experiences throughout each phase of the evening. The creative use of lighting, sound, and video technology was instrumental in achieving this goal.

The evening began with a full venue tour, during which Encore created various event setups to demonstrate how each room could be used as an event space. After the tour, guests were ushered into the Exhibition Hall for the main event. Known for hosting large-scale events with thousands of attendees, the Encore team reimagined the space by dividing it into three sections, each representing a different stage of the evening.

The first section was the Welcome area, where guests enjoyed drinks and canapés amid an ambient light setting, while neon purple Titan Tubes were installed vertically along the floor to create a striking visual continuity tied in to the digital signage around the building. The remaining sections of the hall were masked off with creative lighting, creating an air of mystery and anticipation for what was to come.

Encore’s innovative use of a “curtain of light” – crafted using powerful Diamondback’s and Rivale moving heads – added to the sense of intrigue. This bright and colorful setup, combined with haze effects, set the tone for an immersive experience. As the evening progressed, guests were invited onto an elevated platform for the main dining event, which featured a stunning technical showcase with kinetic truss, high output lighting, and LED screens in unique configurations. The intricate lighting design, synchronized with a dramatic soundtrack, provided a visual feast for attendees.

The second section, the main dining area, was a stunning technical showcase. Encore utilized kinetic trusses to create a dynamic lighting and video experience. The trusses were programmed to move and shift, creating different looks and adding a sense of drama to the event. This innovative approach provided an ever-changing visual backdrop, with wireless lights and LED pillars enhancing the stage area. LED screens floated above, displaying beautiful custom graphics. The intricate lighting design was synchronized with a dramatic soundtrack, providing a truly captivating experience for attendees.

Following the main dinner and speeches, guests were treated to a final surprise. The trusses above the dining area moved to reveal a larger section of the Exhibition Hall, showcasing the venue’s grand scale. This final section, designed to mimic a typical corporate event, featured a jazz band on stage, Scenic Panels, and up-lighting, creating a more relaxed ambiance for dessert and drinks. The gradual opening of the space was a powerful demonstration of the Exhibition Hall’s flexibility and Encore’s technical creativity.

The Result

The result of Encore’s creative event design was a dazzling evening filled with surprise and delight. Through innovative design and technical prowess, Encore transformed the NCCC into a vibrant, immersive experience, leaving attendees dazzled and inspired for their future events.

By segmenting the vast Exhibition Hall into three distinct sections, Encore successfully transformed the space into a series of intimate experiences, each with its own unique ambiance. The combination of advanced technology, imaginative lighting, and creative staging left delegates inspired and eager to recreate similar experiences for their own events.

The impact of Encore’s event design was felt throughout the evening, with attendees remarking on the importance of technical production in creating lasting memories. One delegate commented that the event was a testament to how technology and creativity could come together to create truly unforgettable moments.

Encore’s success in delivering the Top Secret Gala Dinner this year demonstrates its commitment to pushing the boundaries of event design. The company’s ability to ignite excitement and inspire event planners to think creatively about what’s possible underscores why Encore is a leader in the industry. By embracing innovative technology and combining it with artistic flair, Encore continues to set the standard for event design and production.


Comment from the client

"Encore transformed our Top Secret Gala Dinner into an unforgettable experience. Their creativity and expertise were evident from the moment guests walked into the National Convention Centre Canberra. The immersive lighting, stunning sound, and dynamic staging turned the venue into a captivating space that left our guests in awe. Encore's ability to create a sense of intimacy in a large setting was impressive. They reimagined the Exhibition Hall, turning it into a series of distinct experiences. The seamless transitions between different phases of the event kept our guests engaged, while their impeccable attention to detail ensured every aspect was perfectly executed. Working with Encore was a pleasure. They listened to our ideas, offered innovative solutions, and delivered a spectacular event that exceeded our expectations. Their technical showcase not only left a lasting impression on our guests but also created a powerful buzz that has positively impacted our brand and future sales opportunities. Thank you, Encore, for making the 2024 Top Secret Gala Dinner a massive success. We look forward to collaborating again!"
Liz Bendeich
Director of Sales, Marketing & Events, National Convention Centre Canberra