What’s hot? What’s happening?

Spellbound by Stories

Nearly 20 years after the first Harry Potter film was released, the magic continues with Harry Potter at Home. Designed to lift the spirits of those quarantined during the Coronavirus pandemic, Daniel Radcliffe will read Chapter One from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Remaining chapters will be released weekly and other celebrity narrators include Stephen Fry, Dakota Fanning, David Beckham and Eddie Redmayne. The recordings can also be found on Spotify, while the website is also a hub of free Potter information and activities to magically entertain those stuck at home.

Still at Home. Still a Genius Ad.

With the subtlest of twists, Budweiser brought back its iconic “Whassap” ad to encourage people to check in on their mates during the Coronavirus lockdown. The ad uses the original video but with new audio more suited to current times. This clever use of existing assets is a smart way around the challenges of shooting new content, so don’t be surprised if “Whassup” re-emerges as the greeting of choice. 

The Joy of Slow.

With social distancing and self-isolation now the norm, millions of people have rediscovered a nostalgic favourite: the jigsaw puzzle. In homage to this celebration of slowness and patience, Heinz Ketchup, a brand that sits firmly in that same category, has released a puzzle of its own, with 570 pieces, all identically Heinz red. Giving away 57 puzzles (the number long associated with Heinz) to sauce lovers in 17 countries around the world, this is a great example of a brand that knows exactly what it stands for and finds a fresh way to say it. 

What’s hot? What’s happening?

In this challenging time, brands and businesses that demonstrate their human side and genuinely support people – whether that’s adding value or just lifting spirits – are being warmly welcomed.

Here are a few of our recent favourite examples:

Adventure doesn’t need a passport

Airbnb has launched Online Experiences, enabling hosts to continue earning income by offering experiences over Zoom. Over 50 events from more than 30 countries are available, including cello mediation in Amsterdam, cooking with a Moroccan family, salsa classes in Mexico and sangria-making with drag queens in Portugal.

Photo by Airbnb
Photo by Airbnb

Unpolished is beautiful

Usually fanatical about the quality and ‘on-brand’ nature of their storytelling, content and messages, brands are realising that raw, authentic and engaging is just as strong as anything professionally done. From thousands of TikTok videos, to life imitating art, to a fine-dining chef cooking with a comedian, to world class marketers chatting from home, simple is proving stronger than ever.

Photo by YouTube

Higher Level Creativity

With graduation ceremonies cancelled, a group of students from the University of Pennsylvania decided that, instead of yet another Zoom session to celebrate the 2020 graduates, they would recreate their entire campus on Minecraft. Turning a virtual graduation into an epic experience, they replicated every minute detail of the campus for students to walk through on graduation day.

University of Washington’s Architecture Hall | Photo by The Verge

Event Entertainment to Capture Audience Attention

Event entertainment is at the top of the list when it comes to making a lasting impression on your audience. Impressions are what shape ideas, and ideas are what shape buying decisions – so entertainment is a key ingredient in the mix of a successful event.

That’s why we placed so much emphasis on entertainment at the recent Uncover Melbourne Gala – part of the 2020 Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME).

So, we thought it was timely to share three event entertainment tips to capture attention and create an impression – because where attention goes, energy flows.

1. Event entertainment with heart

The fastest way to capture attention is to make guests feel good. That’s why we channelled a ‘Kanye West Sunday Service’ feel with a gospel choir at Uncover Melbourne. It brought a lot of energy, captured attention and dissipated any stress – success!

Event Entertainment to Capture Audience Attention / Solution Entertainment

2. Add a statement

Entertainment that makes a statement captures attention and creates a lasting impression – and that’s the philosophy we embraced at Uncover Melbourne. We used performers elevated on stilts and clad in billowing dresses to dot the skyline with movement and colour. What can you infuse outside the everyday to make a statement?

3. Add familiarity

People respond well to familiarity. Like a comforting pot of tea, a hot cup of cocoa or a favourite drink, it makes them feel at home. That’s why we picked Melbourne’s famous band, The Huxleys, to create a memorable event.

You don’t have to invest in a band to create familiarity. Just know your audience and what they like, and find a way to include it in your event – they will appreciate it!

We’d love to speak to you about the entertainment for your next corporate event. Contact us for an obligation-free chat. 

Event Entertainment to Capture Audience Attention / Solution Entertainment

The First Steps to Planning a Standout Corporate Event

Breezy drinks, hot, fresh canapés, a sophisticated space… these are all staples of a successful corporate event, but they’re not the starting point.

It’s important to get the foundation right before you start planning the details, or else you might just experience roadblocks further down the track. Like not attracting the numbers you planned for, not getting concrete results or even experiencing a budget blowout!

Here’s how to cover the basics to set up a standout corporate event.

Step #1 Have a clear goal 

We recommend defining the #1 goal of your corporate event, breaking that goal down into steps, then breaking those steps down into tasks.

This gives you a clear roadmap for reaching that goal that you can combine with your event planning checklist.

So if your #1 goal is to have a certain number of signups to a new program, you would reverse engineer that goal into the steps and then break those down into tasks.

For example, step #1 could be to have a signup process ready. Then the tasks for that step could be: 

  • Create a landing page
  • Add opt-ins
  • Schedule emails to welcome them and encourage them to stick around etc.

And remember that results can continue coming in after the event is finished. So give yourself a grace period. 

The First Steps to Planning a Standout Corporate Event / Solution Entertainment

Step #2: Allocate a budget for your corporate event

Defining your spend and tracking each expense line by line can avoid a budget blowout.

You can start with a set allocated amount and break it down into expenses, or have individual expenses and add them up to a final figure.

We recommend having a base (the starting point spend) and a stretch (the max spend) to give yourself room to move. 

Step #3: Put your feelers out

As with any investment, it’s not recommended to go in cold. So put feelers out to check if your event concept resonates in your market. Talk to your target guests, use social media polls and validate whatever it is you are pushing out to make informed decisions.

And source elements like licences and permits early on. An example is if you’re planning to serve alcohol (you need a licence) in a public space (you need a permit).

This is just a taste of the first steps to take when planning out a corporate event. The upside of enlisting a professional events company (apart from accessing wholesale rates to push your budget further) is tapping into experience to make your event planning short, sharp and cost efficient.

So contact us for an obligation-free chat about your next corporate event. If you have any event questions, concerns or roadblocks we can happily advise you!

The First Steps to Planning a Standout Corporate Event / Solution Entertainment

Uncover Melbourne Gala rolls out the Red Carpet

Hosted buyers and media attending the 2020 Asia Pacific Incentives & Meetings Event  (AIME) experienced a sophisticated night full of glamour at the Uncover Melbourne Gala last night at Melbourne’s newest venue – the Ian Potter Queens Hall, the jewel in the State Library Victoria’s stellar collection of unique heritage spaces.

Showcasing Melbourne to an international audience, Showtime Event Group partnered with the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) for the third consecutive year as the exclusive caterer for the gala. Styled by Harry the hirer and entertainment by Solution Entertainment ensured guests were treated to the full red-carpet experience that kicked off upon arrival on the iconic steps of the State Library.

A dramatic and sophisticated entrance boasting fabulous fashionista performers lured guests into the library’s grand reading room while serenaded by electric cellist tunes, proving the State Library is the new home for the red-carpet gala in Melbourne.

Once inside, delegates were wowed by the most exquisite Queens Hall. Opulence shined through the stunning space with a mix of black and golds in keeping with the Uncover Melbourne theme combined with heritage furniture.

Reopened in December 2019 as part of the ambitious Vision 2020 project, the stunning space has returned to its former glory as Melbourne’s most impressive gala event venue, unveiling its historic architecture and celebrating its 19th century decorative scheme.

Uncover Melbourne Gala rolls out the Red Carpet / Solution Entertainment
Image source: @Uncover Melbourne Gala

MCB Chief Executive Officer Julia Swanson said Melbourne is renowned as Australia’s events capital and as the first official social event on the AIME 2020 calendar, MCB’s Uncover Melbourne Gala certainly turned it on for the AIME 2020 international, domestic and local guests.

“The Uncover Melbourne Gala provided guests with a memorable night and the opportunity to connect with industry peers from across the Asia-Pacific region, before the three-day tradeshow commences full of engaging sessions and productive networking opportunities.”

“Our gala partners once again delivered to an incredibly high standard and proved their vast knowledge of business events. Their innovation, flexibility, creativity and professionalism were shown every step of the way,” said Ms Swanson.

Uncover Melbourne Gala rolls out the Red Carpet / Solution Entertainment
Image source: @Uncover Melbourne Gala

Showtime Event Group General Manager, Brad Dabbs said the MCB has an incredible knack in showcasing Melbourne, which contributes to ensuring the city remains one of the world’s leading business events destinations.”

“This event in particular is important for us. As a strategic partner of the MCB and the exclusive caterer and event partner to the State Library this is an amazing opportunity to demonstrate what we can do for the business events market, a sector that Showtime Event Group heavily invests in.”

Entertainment kept going during the event; a gospel choir, performers in the sky and Melbourne’s famous band, The Huxleys, were all part of one of the most memorable events of the season.

Another highlight of the night was the exquisite menu on offer. The feast included divine roving canapes, an Australian cheese station and an oyster bar that proved to be very popular amongst guests.

The event is part of MCB’s AIME program, Uncover Melbourne. Designed to showcase Melbourne’s world-class business events capability, Uncover Melbourne offers international and local hosted buyers the opportunity to experience Melbourne’s most compelling business events attributes. 

Uncover Melbourne Gala rolls out the Red Carpet / Solution Entertainment
Image source: @Uncover Melbourne Gala

Challenges Event Management Companies Know How to Overcome

Like all services, event management companies differ in style, approach and aesthetic. But one thing we all have in common is that certain event challenges are practically universal!

We’ve listed 3 challenges that we see all the time – and how to overcome them. 

1. Lack of tangible goals 

Every event should have at least one clear objective, and markers in place to track progress, measure success and at the very least break even.

If your objectives are to launch a new product and kick-start sales for example, the markers you set might be: 

  • Attendance
  • Sales (on the spot and post-event) 
  • Subscribers (to grow your email list which you can upsell, add value and market to later)
  • Social media reach and sales page conversions 

While sales isn’t the only yardstick of a successful event, setting clear markers no matter your goal will enable you garner concrete results and value. 

Challenges Event Management Companies Know How to Overcome / Solution Entertainment

2. Reduced budgets

Budgets are stretched thinner and tighter these days. If you’ve committed to an event, make sure you can allocate the investment and spend needed to get the results you want. If you can’t, it’s often better to push it back or revisit your sales and marketing strategy. 

Alternatively, using a reputable events company can reduce costs – it’s a short, sharp and experienced route to tapping into established suppliers and accessing market-reduced or wholesale rates. 

3. Appearing fresh in a saturated market

Ideas have a shorter shelf life in a digital world, where everything gets a run quicker. This means a fresh, new idea can curdle in weeks, so it’s essential to constantly scan what’s out there and think outside the box. 

It’s the job of every event management company to constantly source fresh new concepts and stay on top of the latest looks and aesthetics – outsourcing to one will mean that you’re not running a concept that peaked five years ago.

A fresh year is a clean slate to achieve everything you set your mind to. For us at Solution Entertainment, that’s putting on events that are even smoother and sharper as we refine every step from ideation to execution.

We’d love to put all the knowledge and experience we have into your next corporate event, launch or party. Get in touch with our team today. 

Challenges Event Management Companies Know How to Overcome / Solution Entertainment

3 Corporate Event Planning Trends for 2020

Are you looking for ways to maximise engagement at your corporate events?

Here are three corporate event planning trends you might want to consider for your next meeting, conference, product launch or party.

1. Prime your market before starting corporate event planning

More and more event planners are testing the temperature of the market and seeing if their concept sticks before they commit to planning and launching it. For example, you might use polls and surveys to ask what your market thinks and what topics resonate to firm up the angle of your event. Just ensure you begin the planning process well in advance, especially in peak periods!

3 Corporate Event Planning Trends for 2020 / Solution Entertainment

2. Keep it custom – tailor your event to your market

A small audience with high engagement trumps a larger crowd that’s off-target and less invested. Knock the socks off a smaller guest list by catering to their needs and wants, instead of trying to appeal to everyone. Knowing your guest list inside out is key to achieving quality over quantity.

3. Slice and dice it – maximise your content

Maximise your content to continue the momentum of your event long after it’s over. For example, you can turn a single video into several pieces of content if you break it up well – a blog, micro and long-form social media posts, short videos, Instagram stories and blasted out to an email list. Just to name a few! Embed a strong social media strategy and plan out content with the right look and feel, and you have ongoing marketing gold. 

At Solution Entertainment, we specialise in staging corporate events Australia-wide that are engaging, on trend and tailored to our clients. If you are planning a corporate event, we would love to hear from you! Drop us a line today.

3 Corporate Event Planning Trends for 2020 / Solution Entertainment

Sales Conference Events to Hit the Ground Running in 2020

As 2020 lands, you might have started thinking about your sales conference events for the year ahead. These play an important role for your guests in professional development and prospecting.

Here are three key considerations to keep in mind at the planning stages to help make sure your sales conferences are engaging, effective and easy for guests to attend.

1. Keep your sales conference events short and sharp

In an era where everyone has less time and a longer to-do list, a one-day event can be just as valuable as a three-day conference if you are selective of what you put in it. It just takes a strict approach and stripping out any non-essential activities – the aim is a shorter program that gets straight to the point.

2. People don’t need to fly in from all around the country

Instead of one huge conference, consider running several smaller events in key cities, making it easier for more of your guests to attend. This approach means less disruption as a whole, less time out of the office and less money spent on travel, transport and hotels.

Sales Conference Events to Hit the Ground Running in 2020 / Solution Entertainment

3. Look for more engaging surroundings

Traditional venues for this type of event are often huge and a little lacking in character! Look for a venue that offers more ambience, with collaborative as well as formal presentation spaces, and a more casual feel. You might even find a less traditional venue is a bit cheaper! The main thing is to make sure the venue has the appropriate AV set up for your needs and the practicalities such as ample parking are covered.

Sales Conference Events to Hit the Ground Running in 2020 / Solution Entertainment

We love planning customised events, and we have all of your sales conference needs covered. For more details, contact our team today.

Event Entertainment: Intensifying the Guest Experience

Event entertainment doesn’t have to be complicated to impress guests and enrich their experience. It’s about thinking outside the square and keeping your audience’s needs and wants top of mind. 

Here are three types of entertainment to consider, from the tried and true showstopper to subtler but effective value-based entertainment.

1. Putting on a big show

Show-stopping entertainment is guaranteed to pack a punch and impress your guests. It can be any kind of stage act like a band, a circus or even a fireworks display. This type of entertainment can get expensive, but guests love it – imagine the oohs and ahhhs as a circus performer swoops over the stage on a trapeze or the night sky explodes with colour.

Event Entertainment: Intensifying the Guest Experience / Solution Entertainment

2. Getting social with event entertainment

Social entertainment is where guests take something away from the event which they perceive improves their social standing. It can be as simple as a new connection, a free gift from an activation that lets them post a catchy photo, or a new venue that they can tell their friends about. Capturing all three is a recipe for success – and doesn’t break the budget!

Event Entertainment: Intensifying the Guest Experience / Solution Entertainment

3. Offer value-based entertainment

Value-based entertainment is basically anything that saves people time and makes their lives better. Knowledge from an expert, a free roadmap – anything that helps them get to where they want faster. If you think that this doesn’t count as entertainment, think again. Show people the way out of their pain points and watch how quickly they crack open the champagne!

To really engage your guests, start by asking what they want, how you can help level up their lives and what roadblocks you can help them remove. And always make the entertainment about them.

At Solution Entertainment, we use fresh, customised event solutions to fit your brand, budget and objectives. Contact our team about your next event today.

Your Quick Go-To Checklist for Corporate Event Planning

Effective corporate event planning requires an eye for detail and a head for organisation! We’ve created this corporate event planning checklist to make the process easier. It can help you tick off core tasks and cover the basics, so you have more space to think creatively, not just logistically.
  • Conceptualise your event and map out a budget. Create a plan listing objectives, desired outcomes and metrics to track. An event is never a standalone piece, and should fit into a wider company objective and marketing plan.
  • When corporate event planning, keep partners in the loop. Coordinate on requirements and schedule regular times to keep in touch.
  • Lock in the budget and scout venues. Book a venue at least three months out from the event and allow even more time if it falls in a peak period. Tip: Some venues will waive the cost of space at a minimum food and beverage spend; it always pays to ask.
  • Map out theming and audio visual elements. Tip: Don’t cut corners on AV, as it’s one of the first things guests notice. It can instantly level an event up or down.
  • Map out collateral, contact suppliers and request quotes. You might want to keep this digital so you have a record of everything.
  • Map out a marketing plan so you can start drip-feeding details and creating anticipation and hype.
  • Lock down any sponsors and collaborations and give these parties time to get organised early.
  • Source videographers / photographers and plan vision. Get super organised and create a plan for cutting up and repurposing content to keep the momentum on your channels going post-event.
  • Source permits. You’ll need a council permit if using public spaces, and an appropriate licence if serving alcohol.
  • Create a guest list and send out invites. There are a number of corporate event planning apps that can send online invitations and automate guest lists.
  • Create any slide decks early and don’t forget to rehearsals!
  • Ensure every part of your event is on brand. First impressions count, and in a cluttered market it’s important to make the most of every opportunity.
  • Create a run sheet to keep all parties in the loop and make sure everything’s tracking on time.
Your Quick Go-To Checklist for Corporate Event Planning / Solution Entertainment

Keep in mind this corporate event planning checklist is not exhaustive, but serves as a basic planner you can add to.

Enlisting the support of a corporate events company to plan your next event can also help you cut time and costs by taking you straight to solutions tailored to your size, specifications and market. Talk to us to find out more.

Your Quick Go-To Checklist for Corporate Event Planning / Solution Entertainment