The Real Event Wow Factor: Making the Effort Look Effortless

Just like anything that’s beautifully curated and well executed, the sharpest event looks effortless – easily put together, simple. But even the things that appear simple take skill, experience and hard work behind the scenes.

Here’s Brad Hampel’s, Director of Solution Entertainment, take on what makes the effort look effortless!

What are the keys to an effortless event?

Overall, it’s not to show how much hard work has gone into creating it!

At the crux of a great event is meeting the client’s objectives – whether that’s uptake, branding, interaction, social reach or sales – and tying the customer experience in through the right strategy. For example, our client’s objective at the Beauty and the Beast premiere was exposure, so we developed a media wall that was captured and shared across multiple platforms.

Secondly it’s all about the detail and making every element seem like it’s simply meant to be there organically, so that everything fits into place and there’s continuity and flow. It’s often harder to achieve than it looks!

And thirdly you must tick all the boxes. The catering, the entertainment and the general feel of the event – achieved by the way that things are placed and connected in the room – must all fit.

The Real Event Wow Factor: Making the Effort Look Effortless / Solution Entertainment

What’s an example of making the effort look effortless?

We revealed a $750,000 Ferrari to 50 VIP clients at a $60 million house in Sydney. Effortless looking…however we had to shut down the street twice, alert 40 residents and get approval from council to crane it over the house!

What’s more, it had to land very specifically on a stage in the middle of the garden. The heart rate was up (and the GoPro footage was amazing)! But the result was a beautiful Ferrari Cavalino on a stage with Sydney Harbour as the backdrop.

The Real Event Wow Factor: Making the Effort Look Effortless / Solution Entertainment

What are your tips to ensure an event runs smoothly?

Never look stressed! Anything can be fixed, plain and simple.

Consider the optics from the outside. For example, people won’t look at a roof installation and think ‘I wish they had double the foliage’. They will look and think ‘wow, that’s amazing’.

Sometimes events need to pivot as budgets and timeframes change, and it’s the role of a good events company to keep it looking seamless from the outside.

Ensuring you manage client expectations, staying realistic while making nothing too hard and moving forward with a solution-oriented mindset is key.

Finally, a team of in-house staff and suppliers with a can-do attitude is really important. In short, people who understand what’s required and will do anything to make it happen!

Want to ensure your next event runs effortlessly? Contact us to discover how we can help.

The Real Event Wow Factor: Making the Effort Look Effortless / Solution Entertainment

Corporate Events: How to Throw Away the Cookie Cutter

Everyone has likely attended at least one stock standard corporate event that ended up being, well, dull!

The best corporate events create their own template, stepping away from the cookie cutter approach to deliver a fresh experience unique to the objective.

Here are three tips for bringing your next corporate event to life.

1. Make your corporate event all about the guests

There are so many factors that can come into play at events, and often there’s pressure to allocate a chunk of time to speeches. We recommend keeping formalities to a strict schedule to create maximum time for guests to interact and experience your brand in a mix of ways. If your marketing is strong, those messages that are tempting to unpack in speeches should be shining through in multiple places. Bottom line: Formalities are important but keep them short, sharp and direct while spreading your message across experiences to make it all about your guests.

Corporate Events: How to Throw Away the Cookie Cutter / Solution Entertainment

2. Include elements to support objectives

When planning events, we love starting at the objectives, then working backwards to create a strategy. If you are clear of those objectives – whether it’s uptake, branding, interaction, social reach or sales – it’s so much easier to create a strategy then implement the right elements to support your event in a way that’s different and streamlined. In other words, stay laser-focused on the desired outcome and defy expectations to reach it. Which leads to…

3. Add value

People love free stuff, whether it’s unwrapping gifts or experiences. So how can you add value, on multiple levels, that’s tailor-made for your audience and will create a magnetic event for years to come?

At Solution Entertainment, we create corporate events that sit outside the cookie cutter. We’d love to hear from you and bring your next event to life. Get in touch with our team today.

Corporate Events: How to Throw Away the Cookie Cutter / Solution Entertainment

Interactive Corporate Events Mix Engagement and Experience

There are so many ways to plan a corporate event, and in a saturated market, it’s more important than ever to stand out. The right events company can achieve amazing results. However social media platforms like Pinterest have blown out expectations of what a basic event should look like.

This is where interactive corporate events can create that extra layer to not just plan out a beautiful event, but an immersive and memorable experience too. 

When you actually engage your guests, it makes the event more memorable and drives your message deeper. Combining engagement and experience with strategy can create that sweet spot to make your guests more receptive to whatever outcome you are striving to hit.

Interactive Corporate Events Mix Engagement and Experience / Solution Entertainment

To paint a clearer picture 

Imagine two separate companies that are running events to each launch a new brand. They both have a guest list, a stunning venue locked in place and the theming, AV and catering ready to go.

One company has sent invitations to their exclusive list. They’ve printed pull-up banners showcasing their brand to place around the room. At the event, their CEO stands up to present a speech, and then the guests network.

While the other company has done so much more…

  • They started creating hype weeks before the event. They sent sneak peeks to their guests and asked them what they wanted.
  • They filmed pre-launch footage to unveil their new brand.
  • They’ve given guests something tangible at the launch – whether it’s a new subscription to something they’ve built, or a physical product they can touch.
  • They might have partnered with someone else to create something entirely exclusive and new to gift in a limited run.
  • They got super creative and infused their new colours into the catering (which looks amazing photographed). Instead of regular catering, they set up stations where guests can create their own food and drink combinations.
  • They’ve selected a venue with backdrops that look amazing, so that guests are taking photos all night.
  • They have a photographer, set up hashtags and are posting on social media in real time.
  • After the launch, they have vision and images to run through their digital channels and keep reposting content. They’ve essentially turned their launch event into a promotion.
Interactive Corporate Events Mix Engagement and Experience / Solution Entertainment

So, while the first company’s event was one-dimensional…the other created a richer experience for guests.

These are two extremes of the spectrum of course, but we hope it shows you the power of combining engagement and experience to elevate an event.

Contact our team to discuss how we can plan an interactive corporate event to take your brand to the next level.

Sporting Event Production: The Winning Strategy

The success of any event relies on good planning, open communication and engagement.

Check out our top five tips for smooth event production, from getting council approval to use a public space to making sure there are enough staff members to help run things on the day.

1. Cover the legalities

If you are planning a sporting event in a public space, source council approval before you start doing anything. Without it, you could find yourself minus a venue just a few days out from the event.

Another thing we recommend in the early stages of planning is seeking legal advice to avoid liability. As every sporting event contains some degree of risk, it is in your interests not to be liable if an incident does take place.

2. Inclusivity is key

Whether guests are participating in sporting activities or watching a major sporting event, cater to different levels of ability and interests. Inclusivity is key to engagement and a successful event experience that will lead to positive feedback. Consider placing a variety of breakout activities and areas throughout the event to let everyone participate.

Sporting Event Production: The Winning Strategy / Solution Entertainment

3. Catering is essential

Staying hydrated and energised is essential at every sporting event. This is where you might want to bring sponsorship in to cater, depending on the scale, scope and brand synergy. Alternatively outsource catering to experts – food trucks are convenient and offer a range of menu options. Shade is also important. Ensure you have plenty of covered space where everyone can take a break and refuel.

4. Choosing entertainment to engage

We recommend layers of entertainment to break downtime up. Queues are part and parcel of most sporting events, so consider placing entertainment in any place where people may be waiting.

5. Ensure adequate staffing levels

It takes a team to run any sporting event, many of whom may come from outside your organisation. Ensure these team members have everything they need to do their job properly by having a single point of contact, and keeping the lines of communication open.

Spectators and participants will also need a continual point of contact during the event, so ensure it is adequately staffed. Open communication is key in the planning stages and on the day.

These are just a few basics of event production for sporting events. Solution Entertainment is a dynamic event management company based in Melbourne and Sydney, from where we create pre-eminent event experiences Australia-wide. We would love to talk to you today – contact our team to discuss your next sporting event.

Sporting Event Production: The Winning Strategy / Solution Entertainment

Entertainment Ideas for Awards Event After-Parties

After the show…it’s the after-party! An after-party is an extra layer for your awards event that can have so many benefits. More spark, more opportunities for one-to-one conversations, more interaction and insight, and so many more ways to show up, show appreciation and scale brand reach.

So much more can happen when formalities are dropped, which is why it’s important to put just as much strategic thought into your after-party as the main event.

Here are a few entertainment ideas to drive your event deeper.

In-crowd entertainment

Entertainment has so much more impact when it’s up-close and unexpected. There are many ways to weave entertainment into the crowd instead of placing it on a stage.

As after-parties tend to be more personal, this up-close approach can be a better entertainment fit. While there are many options to choose from, entertainment doesn’t just have to come from a performer – it can be as simple as passing a Polaroid camera or installing a gif photo booth, which has customised branding and lets users post moving photo files straight to social media.

Entertainment Ideas for Awards Event After-Parties / Solution Entertainment

Product presentation and placement

If your brand is product-based, how can you present and place it in the crowd to create more interaction and a deeper impression? Installations, holograms and VR are just a few of the routes clients are taking to elevate their brand and entertainment. Inviting designers and creators to mix in the crowd adds another level of product experience.    

Spaces and experiences you want to capture

Social proof lives on social media, so what spaces can you create, or what venues can you select that guests will want to capture and post? Whether it’s a balloon bath entrance or a venue where all the props and angles are inbuilt already, what can you include that will make the edit? Perhaps it’s specially crafted drinks or snacks.

Goodie bags

This is a great way to add perceived value, scale exposure for sponsors and keep the experience running at home. Goodie bags are also a way to further extend generosity, create connection and show appreciation. Only consider them if you can extend enough value, if they complement the event and the contents are a strategic fit. 

To work together, or for more after party ideas, reach out to us at Solution Entertainment.

Entertainment Ideas for Awards Event After-Parties / Solution Entertainment

What Goes into the Design of a Corporate Event?

Planning a corporate event takes attention and efficiency when the clock is ticking; especially when there are multiple moving parts that must come together. It’s a recipe for stress and sleepless nights if you don’t have a plan in place!

At Solution Entertainment, we know that every magic moment requires hard work and meticulous planning. We live for the numbers, sleep with our spreadsheets and measure what matters. Plan for everything so that we can handle anything.

We typically break each event down into smaller parts, which not only makes it more manageable; it creates progress you can track and continuity to help everything run with greater ease.

In this article, we’ve broken down how we typically work through a corporate event to help you approach yours from a place of clarity. It also demonstrates what to expect when working with us!

What Goes into the Design of a Corporate Event? / Solution Entertainment

1. The creative

The first step is establishing the creative, which will form the foundation of your event. The creative is essentially what the event will look like in a snapshot, based on the objectives, budget and the audience you are catering to. At this point we present visual concepts to the client that lets us gauge feedback to set the final theme and preferred venue.

2. The finer details

Once the creative is set, it’s time to look at the finer details. We map out the design, floor plans, furniture, guest flow, entertainment, run sheet and a line-by-line budget breakdown, which is all part of pre-production. At this point, the event is mapped out and there are adjustments before the final concept and budget is locked in.

3. Planning in full swing

Event production begins. We schedule regular catch-ups with our client so they can see exactly how everything is progressing. We manage all suppliers so the client has a single point of contact throughout the event process.

4. Showtime

90% of an event is done in the lead-up; the last 10% is what counts the most. We staff the event and manage every aspect so that our client can enjoy it.

5. Wrap up

Hindsight is everything and so we debrief with our client after every event. We create a post-event report and garner feedback (preferably over lunch!) to take key learnings away. This ensures we continue to evolve with every event.

And in a nutshell, that’s a wrap! We hope that by sharing our process, we’ve cast a light on how you can break your next event down into more manageable steps. 

Contact us for more information or to partner with Solution Entertainment for your next event.

What Goes into the Design of a Corporate Event? / Solution Entertainment

Corporate Event Planners’ Tips for the Perfect Venue

Looking for the perfect venue for your next event?

These corporate event planners’ tips can help you find just the right space – without blowing the budget! 

1. Does the space complement the event?

The venue should complement the event and not vice versa. Consider whether the venue is aligned with your brand and whether it will make your audience feel at home. These factors can play out to convey a stronger brand message.

2. A cosier fit can be better than too much space

We’ve all experienced events where too much space can make it feel cold and under-attended. Gain a clear picture of attendance to select the right venue fit. This is frequently easier said than done! A smaller fit can be a risk if attendance suddenly blows out.

There are exceptions too of course – if a space is a little large but well suited to a brand, or if you are looking to create space as part of the experience. There are ways to pull space in too, using lighting, props and dividers.

3. You might be surprised at venue fees

If that dream event space seems out of reach, it always pays to ask for pricing anyway. Venues will often charge a minimum food and beverage spend instead of venue hire fees.

Corporate Event Planners’ Tips for the Perfect Venue / Solution Entertainment

4. Not every venue transaction in monetary

You may be able to negotiate a contra deal where the venue will welcome you in exchange for patronage, exposure to an email list and/or press coverage. This is more likely to happen if there’s synergy and a natural fit. It frequently comes down to who you know and who you ask at the venue too. This is where it pays to stay connected in the industry, grow connections through social platforms like LinkedIn and work with the right event company.

5. Source permits where required

If you want to hold your event outdoors, contact the local council to source permits at least one month out. This applies to filming too, which is so easy to gloss over when in the midst of event planning. Pushing last-minute permits isn’t something anyone wants to deal with!   

At Solution Entertainment, we would love to talk to you about your next event and how we can find the right venue fit. Contact our team today.

Corporate Event Planners’ Tips for the Perfect Venue / Solution Entertainment

Epic Food Ideas from the Best Event Planning Companies

We love the food ideas that some of the best event planning companies are running at the moment.

Food is a multi-sensory experience that can elevate events and brands. It can influence a feeling of well-being and even attention span, so it’s a core part of every event experience.

If you are planning an event, have you considered these culinary options? 

1. Grazing tables

Styled grazing tables continue to lead the way in event catering, and it’s easy to see why. They pack in colour and variety, each guest can take their pick, and they look rich yet can be kept relatively affordable. Grazing tables can be as traditional, modern or creative as you want. Think charcuterie, seafood, fruit, antipasto and delicious desserts.

2. Food trucks

Food trucks have come a long way in quality and are a convenient and cost-effective way to supply food at events. Many focus on small yet carefully curated menus and source ingredients locally. They are also a way to support small business, even when working with larger venues. Check the venue space is compatible.

3. Themed food and drink stands

From bagels and pancakes, combinations like tacos and margaritas, to cocktails, stands are a fun way to showcase food and drinks that guests might not experience every day. Many events brand their food and drink stands as part of collaborations to create a richer event experience. Stands are a clever way to tailor catering to guests as events move away from a cookie-cutter approach.

Epic Food Ideas from the Best Event Planning Companies / Solution Entertainment

4. Vegan, plant-based and gluten-free options

Vegan and plant-based foods are frequently sustainable catering options and can also be a smart way to level up a brand when they’re a core value of guests. Many customers who shop clean beauty for example, might also eat plant-based foods, which is a natural catering fit. This isn’t the case every time of course. In any catering situation, consider the strongest guest fit and cater to special dietary requirements so everyone can fill their plate. 

5. Put a fresh spin on traditional catering

Fruit ticks many boxes at events – it’s fresh, healthy, delicious, low-cost and fits most dietary requirements. Have you considered serving it in waffle cones? Kombucha, a drink recognised for its health qualities, is making its way into alcoholic beverages. Again, this can be a smart way to elevate a brand if the audience fit is right. Sandwiches? Source quality breads, gluten-free options and fresh ingredients presented well. Coffee station? Choose fresh-ground from a local supplier. Quality can make all the difference.

Like these ideas? Visit our blog for more inspiration for your next event.

Epic Food Ideas from the Best Event Planning Companies / Solution Entertainment

5 Sport Entertainment Tips from Top Event Planning Companies

As all good event planning companies know, there are a few tips and tricks to getting the entertainment right at sporting events.

We recommend a layered entertainment approach to buffer downtime like ticketing and queues, and keep energy up in breaks to the main event.

These five ideas can add colour and buzz, and create a seamless event experience for your guests.

1. Blow-up props

If your sporting event is drawing a crowd, large-scale inflatables are fun to bounce in the stands, use in water or at the beach. They double up as entertainment for children and are a fun event takeaway to boost the ambience and perceived value. Tip: customise inflatables to a theme or sponsor to add extra value, exposure and synergy for partners.

2. Interactive food and drink stations

Food is always a crowd pleaser; why not take a classic sporting snack and make it interactive? Think custom hot dogs and ice cream or craft beer stations to take everyday event catering to the next level.

5 Sport Entertainment Tips from Top Event Planning Companies / Solution Entertainment

3. Break-out entertainment for kids

Sporting events are popular for families and children however long days can make little fans and players tired. Consider small break-out spots like teepees where children can play and snack away from the noise and the clutter.

4. Showcase social handles and hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to showcase your event, leverage content, encourage interaction and push it out to a wider audience. Set up and showcase hashtags and encourage guests or attendees to tag their photos as they post. Enlist a professional photographer to capture event imagery for your digital assets and in future pitches to attract partners and sponsors.

5. Live performers

From funny to jaw-dropping, stunt performers can add a wow factor to your entertainment. There are so many to choose from and they vary in style and aesthetic, so reach out to us for recommendations. A live act is the icing on the cake to wrap your event and create impact.

These are just a few entertainment ideas to elevate your next sporting event. Solution Entertainment is a dynamic event management company based in Melbourne and Sydney, from where we create event experiences Australia-wide. Contact our team to discuss entertainment solutions tailored to your brand and vision.

5 Sport Entertainment Tips from Top Event Planning Companies / Solution Entertainment

5 Corporate Event Ideas for EOFY Functions and Awards Nights

Do you want a cutting-edge EOFY function or an awards night made to impress?

Around the end of the financial year, people are busy and there are many events all vying for RSVPs and space. So not only is it great to prepare and lock a venue in early; your event has to offer a reason for guests not to miss it.

These five simple corporate event ideas can create impact and add value to your event.

1. Showcase value

People are short of time and can only commit to so many things; showcasing value creates a reason to attend your event and not someone else’s.

So consider what you are selling – is it a new or exclusive venue? If cost is a factor, have you considered contra, like venue space in exchange for exposure, or are there special packages that waive the venue fee? This is where a reputable agency can assist.

Are there speakers to add industry insight, or are you collaborating to add extra value?

2. Make it visually appealing at first glance

It takes just two seconds to create a first impression, which is why you will want a custom look tailored to your guests. People are responsive to familiarity so consider how the collateral and theme can reflect their aesthetic and the spaces where they spend time in a fresh way.

5 Corporate Event Ideas for EOFY Functions and Awards Nights / Solution Entertainment

3. Focus on the smaller details

In a digital world, paper invitations can really stand out. You might find a creative way to deliver them to fit a theme. Or you might want to work with your events agency to create sneak peek vision of the event and venue. FOMO is real.

4. Create scarcity

Adding a time frame to secure a seat or releasing a limited batch of tickets and sticking to that promise, can create a sense of exclusivity and urgency to purchase.

5. And the icing on the cake…

Highlight recognition, cap formalities and leave ample room to socialise, as the point of every event is to be social.

We recommend working with an event agency that can help you to source the right venue, concepts, AV, catering and entertainment to fit your scale and vision and create a frictionless event.

In addition, a tight program, multiple layers of content and immersive experiences like at this conference can keep guests entertained and set the tone for future events.

At Solution Entertainment we would love to work with you to create an event experience tailored to your brand and vision. Contact our team today.

5 Corporate Event Ideas for EOFY Functions and Awards Nights / Solution Entertainment