Author Archives: dargieent

The Fashionable Language

There’s no doubt about it – fashion speaks everybody’s language.

Check any female’s coffee table and you’ll find a copy of Vogue or ‘Shop Til You Drop’, Instagram is full of fashionistas with thousands of followers, even bus advertising is full of gorgeous leggy models in beautiful designer swimwear – we, as a society, can’t get enough of it! I’m sure that most ‘Sex in the City’ watchers were far more concerned with Carrie’s latest outfit than whatever was going on plot wise…

The guys are certainly not immune to this either – many times they give the girls a run for their money. My partner won’t be seen dead in a suit without his Saba belt!

I went into my local designer outlet a few weeks back and couldn’t get past the entrance to the centre – after a bit of pushing and shoving, I realised Oroton was having an ‘Up to 80% Off’ sale. I kid you not, the line just to get into the store was all the way into the carpark!!!

So, if we are all so fashion obsessed that our digital and physical lives are full of the next style ‘must haves’ , then why shouldn’t we take advantage of this for events and marketing?

Whether you are trying to promote a venue or shopping destination, engage event guests or sell just about anything – fashion is the perfect platform! Here are a few ideas to make your next event or campaign more ‘fashionable’:

1/ Walk The Line
Whether you want to promote retailers in your centre or engage your guests with something beautiful, catwalk shows are a great choice. There is a lot of scope for decoration/design in your chosen theme, music selection can reflect your event intention – even things like projecting logos on the back wall and product placement in gift bags on chairs – lots of possibilities!

2/ Living Style
Instead of wall decorations for your next event, have ‘live mannequins’ on podiums wearing the latest trends! These beautiful models standing oh so still will create conversations (“Are they real?”) and bring aesthetic value to your event or shop window. Why not approach a designer or local boutique for event sponsorship in return for their garments being worn by the beautiful ‘mannequins’?

3/ Move with the Trends
For a unique take on fashion promotion, mix up the norm with movement! A secret flashmob with the dancers wearing the latest collection will get the crowd talking! If you have the right venue, imagine an aerial artist on a ring or silk promoting a swimwear brand… Creating a memorable experience will keep the product or event in the minds of the crowd for a long time to come.

I hope these ideas have given you some Tuesday morning inspiration!
For any of the above ideas, feel free to give me a call on 0430 110 824 to chat about our fashion products at your next event or promotion.

Events & Legislation

Event professionals usually enter this industry because they (we) are “creatives”. We thrive on creating experiences, creating brand image, creating team spirit, creating nights to remember. Usually, people haven’t gone into the event/PR/entertainment industries because we love legislation… Unfortunately, it’s something that we all come across and have to deal with on a regular basis.

One of my readers sent me an email recently asking me to write a blog on event legislation – things like staging certification, structural requirements for aerial rigging, APRA, traffic specifications, food licensing etc etc.

My business partner has a great saying which I think applies to all industries – “Stick with what you know”. Meaning, everyone has a specialty and it’s best to go to a professional with in depth knowledge about ‘their thing’.

If you are unsure about certain legislations and requirements, I would highly recommend that you either contact the governing body of that sector or surround yourself with highly experienced suppliers that know their stuff. Always best to work with the experts in each field.

If still in doubt, it’s always best to check with your legal guy/girl. I have a few great legal advisors that I consult when in doubt about certain issues.

As far as the ‘stick with what you know’ advise, I think it’s really important to develop relationships with experienced suppliers in all aspects of the event world; catering, equipment hire, technical production, entertainment, staging, venues etc. Linked In is a great platform to start such professional relationships – meeting in person and working together will obviously strengthen these connections and you will then have a great network of top suppliers with similar values that you can trust to execute amazing events with.

I’m always more than happy to meet with like-minded event professionals who would like information on our offering – event entertainment. Feel free to drop me a line if you’d like to chat about how our entertainment solutions can assist with your event requirements.

2014 Event Trends

I’ve been talking to many event planners over the last few weeks and a question that many of them are asking me is “What do you think the next big trend will be in event themes?”.

It’s a good question – and a relevant one. We all need to stay ahead of the trend, especially when many of us are starting planning for events now that will be held late this year. We need to predict what will be fashionable then.

I have written a few blogs on this topic in the past – one which is I still think is relevant to the coming months as it was only written in November. It’s all about current pop culture influencing event themes for this year. You can read it at the following link: New Events Trends

As 2014 progresses, I feel that pop culture is going to go in another direction. These are my 2 next event trend predictions for this year:

1/ Jungle Theme
Tarzan 3D the movie is set for release in Australia this month. This classic tale is one many of us relate to watching or reading as children. Jungle theming has a real scene of fun – below are a few ideas you could incorporate into a ‘jungle’ or ‘Tarzan’ inspired event.

– Venue styling would be exciting for this theme as it has potential to be a visual feast. Some ideas include leopard print table cloths, live plants around the venue, even a water-feature.

– As guests arrive, an aerial artist could be performing on a lyra wearing a tiger print leotard with green vines hanging down from the ring

– The climax of the evening could include a contemporary dance troupe performing a powerful ‘tribal’ inspired routine complete with acrobatics and amazing lifts.

2/ Technology
I feel that this theme will be huge, especially for the later part of the year. ‘Transformers 4’ the Movie is coming, the Iphone 6 is due for release in July and products from the Las Vegas Technology fair this month were not only mind blowing, but all over the Australian media. Whether you are a tech-nerd or not, technology is becoming more and more exciting.

This is also very relevant for events – especially when planning for a company that is launching technology, uses technology or just loves the thought of it… So pretty much anyone!

– The key for an event like this would be to hire a good lighting director. They will be able to set the scene for the room with lazers, LEDs and more.

– We know that the use of multi-media works wonders, but what about interactive multi-media for guests? Check out this Youtube video for inspiration – this is an experiential Coke campaign in South Korea. I absolutely love it – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9R9z7P1eME

– The highlight of an event with a ‘technology’ theme would have to be a performance of the dance form taking the world by storm – TRON dance. This is a performance based on lighting design on costuming. It’s difficult to explain, so I’ve included a video link below for you to check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9R9z7P1eME
We have recently developed a performance show in this style – very exciting and it always receives an awesome response!

Well I hope that the above has given you some inspiration for the week! If you’d like to chat with me about any of the entertainment options listed above, I’d be more than happy to show you how we can help. Drop me a line on 0430 110 824 or visit www.dargieentertainment.com.au

3 Tips for Refreshing Your 2014 Events

Happy new year and welcome back to all of my readers! I’d like to give a special welcome to all the new readers who are joining us for 2014. I hope you all enjoy my event solutions blogs again this year and get some ideas you can use in your upcoming planning.

In our business, it’s a great thing to receive repeat bookings. This means that you have succeeded providing a fabulous event that met the requirements and your client is happy – so happy, that they have booked next year’s event with you.

I have had a few of my readers come to me with this problem. “How is this a problem?” you might be thinking… Well, to quite a few of my lovely readers, it is one of the biggest challenges they are facing going into 2014.

Don’t get me wrong – of course we all love and welcome return bookings, but it is challenge to keep lifting the bar beyond last year’s incredible success. One of my readers said her client loved 2013’s event so much that they want the same venue, same structure, same programme committee – all on the same budget as last year. How do you exceed last year’s event with a fresh twist when all these factors stay constant?

Most of the time, the goal or intention of the event remains the same, so it’s the mood and atmosphere that needs to be changed in order to create a fresh take on last year. Creating an experience is key – this is what will live on past the event and stay in the minds of your guests (and more importantly your client) for the next year.

Here are a few ideas to refresh your next repeat event:

1/ Imposter Speakers
In a conference, or any event where the intention is to educate, informative speakers play an integral role. In many cases, multiple speakers are engaged to educate delegates about different specialty topics. In order to keep your delegates engaged over long periods of time, throw a fun ‘spanner in the works’ to clear their mind and break things up.

An imposter speaker is a great way of doing this. This talented comedian or actor could be impersonating a celebrity, or performing a comedic spot all under the guise of being a ‘speaker’ at the event. Delegates will be surprised, laugh, relax and have a fabulous experience. They’ll then be ready to concentrate again and take in the valuable information being offered by the following ‘real’ speaker.

2/ Singing Waiters
If most factors need to be the same at this year’s event, use it to your advantage! Let the guests think they know the way things work and catch them by surprise.

During your awards presentation, waiters are serving appetisers and drinks to the guest’s tables. All of a sudden the waiters break out into song one at a time like a scene out of GLEE! A dance routine starts and a bunch of the waiters perform an all singing, all dancing flashmob among your guests. Tie it in to your event goal by including the use of company logo or mission statement into the performance. Your guests will think they stepped onto the set of Grease! An experience all will remember.

3/ Step into the Shadows
Instead of the same covers band performing at your gala again this year, let your guests experience something outside the box.

Shadow ballet/mime performances are a unique and moving form of entertainment production that can be catered to work in with the intention of your event. These amazing performers create pictures and shapes through movement to music behind a back-lit white screen. The final pose could be a creation of the company logo or name. Your audience (and your client) will be impressed by this innovative and sophisticated choice.

I hope this gets your creative juices flowing for your upcoming planning! If you’d like to talk to me about any of the above entertainment options, I can give you info on how we can help to provide these at your next event. Call me for a chat on 0430 110 824.

Happy planning!

Space Limitations

I have spoken to so many people this party season lead-up who have come to me with the same predicament.

They are planning an event with around 50-80 people. The venue is beautiful and was booked months ago in order to secure the date at peak-season. The theme has been chosen, catering sorted etc. Now that the event is getting closer, the worry that atmosphere and ‘wow’ factor will be lacking has set in.
On a few occasions, our website had been viewing and the ‘perfect’ entertainment option or show had been chosen. After a quick phone call back to the venue, reality hits – their chosen venue does not have room for a show.

One client in particular was planning a ‘Great Gatsby’ themed Christmas party and was in the process of booking our 1920s Gatsby Show (her “perfect” entertainment) when the reality hit. She was so excited initially that the show has the music, costumes and colour scheme that worked in perfect with the event dream. I remember the disappointment in her voice when we realised a production show would not fit in her chosen venue.

I can’t stress enough – space limitation does not mean that you can’t have amazing atmosphere or your dream entertainment. I ended up going to the venue with my ‘Gatsby’ client and we worked some amazing entertainment that didn’t require huge amounts of space. She ended up with our human red carpet on entrance to the event, human chandeliers roving the event topping up champagne, a ‘Gatsby’ themed and dresses make-up artist station painting jewelled face decals on female guests and a 1920s themed contortionist who performed an amazing act on the bar. The event was a huge success and my client was the happiest girl in the world.

So in conclusion, don’t let lack of space leave you disappointed. I’m more than happy to chat with you about how we can transform a small venue into a dream Christmas party. Feel free to call me for a chat on 0430 110 824 today!

Perfect Match

As event professionals, we are all well aware of the importance of high quality entertainment. Good event co-ordinators will organise a successful event with all the technical aspects covered and boxes ticked, but we all know that spending a little more on well matched quality entertainment will push the success of the event up to the next level. This kind of success makes the co-ordinator look like a star.

I don’t think the question is whether or not to have entertainment. We all know how important high quality entertainment is for the success of an event. The question is: “what is the perfect entertainment match for this particular event?”

Tis the season, and we are all ‘full speed ahead’ for the end of year event rush. I’m sure all the venues, catering, AV etc are covered by now. It is currently the time to book your perfect entertainment match before it’s too late.

What is the intention of the event? If raising brand awareness is key, book entertainment that can include your logo, mission statement or simular into their performance. Maybe team building is the concern – find a supplier that can include your team in a ‘secret’ rehearsal process. Perhaps you simply want to thank clients and employees for their loyalty by spoiling them with a night to remember…

If you’d like some ideas, you’re welcome to click on the below link which outlines some of our quality entertainment solutions for events:
http://dargieentertainment.com.au/corporate-entertainment/

I’m more than happy to chat with you about any of the above. Please feel free to return email or phone me on 0430 110 824 to talk about finding your perfect match.

5 Tips to an Eco-Friendly Event

These days, pretty much everyone is more environmentally friendly. Everyone recycles, we buy organic food where possible and we turn off the light when we leave a room (or at least try to)… Every little bit helps!
As event professionals, we know the importance of impressing our clients and our client’s clients. When planning events, it’s vital to keep in mind that society is much more eco-aware. People connect with brands that show their social and environmental conscience, so companies we are planning events for want that ‘environmentally friendly’ stamp on their brand image.

Below are 6 easy steps to making your next event more ‘green’!

1/ Social Media
Instead of printing fancy invitations, use social media and create a fabulous looking Facebook event. Not only will you be saving tress, but your guests can rsvp on-line. Quicker and easier for the guests and the planner!

2/ Serve Local Produce
There are many eco-friendly catering companies that pride themselves on preparing beautiful food with locally grown ingredients. This eliminates carbon emissions from transportation of food across country (or from being imported). Make sure you tell your guests in your marketing.

3/ Don’t Waste It
There seems to always be left-over food after events. I always feel sad when beautiful food will just go straight in the rubbish bin when there are hungry people in the same city.
Check out Oz Harvest. It’s a wonderful charity that rescues excess food from restaurants and events that would otherwise go to waste. This excess food is distributed to charities supporting the needy in Sydney, Newcastle, Adelaide and Brisbane.
Check out their website – www.ozharvest.org

4/ Organic wine or champagne
There are plenty of beautiful organic wines on the market, so why not include a selection of the list at your next event? Organic wine it produced without the use of pesticides. You’ll find a beautiful selection at www.organicwine.com.au

5/ Lighting
Obviously, lighting at your event is going to contribute carbon emissions. You can avoid this by holding your event during the day outdoors or in a venue with large windows that allows light into the room. If that isn’t possible, opt for energy efficient globes or solar powered light options.

5/ Entertainment
The things to avoid if wanting eco-friendly entertainment are large sound system requirements, options that involve transportation of large sets and equipment or big casts of people who will all be driving to the event.
Opt for an entertainment option that is sight based. A dance performance or acrobatic act can play their music tracks on MP3 through the venue’s existing system, eliminating the need for sound production equipment being brought in.
Here at Dargie Entertainment, we offer eco-friendly options for green events. We can even organise eco-friendly transport for our cast if desired. Try a beautiful Parisian dance act, an amazing contortionist or a Hawaiian hula dance show.

If you’d like to have a chat about how I can help with corporate entertainment that is both eco-friendly and high quality, please feel free to shoot over an email or call me on 0430 110 824.

8 Tips to Attract More Delegates

In preparation for this week’s newsletter, I reached out to a few of my loyal readers to ask if they had any event related topics they’d like me to address. One of my lovely readers told me about a very specific problem she is trying to overcome right now. It’s an issue we have all faced (including myself – many times!), so this week’s edition is dedicated to this lovely reader.

This is the situation:
You’re organising an event and all the technical boxes have been ticked – a solid email marketing campaign, exposure in industry media, great advertising spaces, good programming (according to feedback), responsive telemarketing, full expo, great sponsorship… on paper it’s a perfect event. The problem is – delegate numbers are way down from last year.

Below are my top 8 tips for attracting delegates to your event.

1/ Creativity
Create content in a different way to the usual. How are things usually done for events in this industry? How can they be done differently this time? It’s important to create content that appeals to the 5 senses. Think of some unusual ideas to stimulate the senses in each aspect of your event – it may lead you somewhere innovative that will excite potential delegates.

2/ Feedback
Did you have feedback forms at last year’s event? As difficult as it is to look at negative feedback, don’t take it personally! Last year’s negative feedback is the best way to improve your event this year. Honest opinions from an outsider’s point of view are valuable! What didn’t you provide for them last year? Get in contact and communicate to them that you can fix those problems this year.

3/ Incentive
It is human nature for your delegates to ask themselves “What is in it for me?”. This event is not imperative for their survival, so you need to give them a reason to go.
Make a list of the current benefits for attendees. Ask yourself if this is what your target wants. If not, what do they want that they can’t receive somewhere else? It could be a combination of a few things – professional development in an entertaining atmosphere… Be specific and put yourself in their shoes. This step may seem obvious, but review and review again!

4/ Emotion
Does the marketing for your event arouse emotion in the reader? Or is a bit too clinical and cold… If readers can emotionally connect with the event you are advertising, they are more likely to want to attend. Think of the chosen location, sections in the program – how can you pull at their heartstrings?

5/ Entertainment
People will come from far and wide to see good entertainment. This alone will attract delegates to your event. If you have the budget to include a headline act in your program, then book one and watch the guest list grow. If you don’t have a spare few $10K, an exciting live show (that comes with great promo to include in your marketing) will give your event atmosphere and make it more appealing to your delegates. Advertising good entertainment promises potential audiences an experience that they can emotionally connect with. If they are on the fence deciding whether to attend, quality entertainment could be the push they need.

6/ Transport
Is your venue easily accessible by transport? Is there available parking etc? Is it easy for your potential delegates to physically get there? If transportation is an issue, solve it.

7/ Related Industries
Look at attracting delegates from related industries. This will mean including their industry related issues into your event, but you will in-turn be attracting twice as many potential delegates. In addition, it will increase networking opportunities for your original target – feeding their wants even more than before!

8/ Don’t be afraid to ask
Pick up the phone and ask past delegates who are not attending this year (at this point) why they aren’t coming. A casual, friendly chat will let them voice their opinion and will shed light on the crux of the problem for you. Fix this problem, tell your target you’ve fixed it and voilà!

If you’d like to have a chat about how I can help with a few extra attractions for your delegates, please feel free to shoot over an email or call me on 0430 110 824.

The Magic Of Surprise

Do you remember how exciting a simple surprise was as a child? That amazing Christmas present you didn’t expect, your favourite relative coming to stay or a surprise birthday party you knew nothing about until… SURPRISE!!

Even as adults, there is something special about a surprise. It creates joy, laughter and that feeling of being a child again. As event professionals, it is the ultimate achievement to make your guests feel something – experience something – that transports them to a blissful place. Is surprise that special technique you’ve been looking for?

Below are a few ideas of how you could create that incredible moment at your next event:

1/ The Red Carpet
In my opinion, a red carpet is the ultimate in glamour at an event. It makes guests feel like celebrities and creates the perfect photo ops for the commencement of the evening. Imagine arriving at an event and starting to walk up the red carpet. It’s lush, velvety and fun. You take a few more steps and… the end of the red carpet is a glamourous girl wearing a red dress. Wait –the red carpet is her dress! The 12 metre train of velvet fabric you’ve been walking on is part of the gown this ‘Jessica Rabbit’ style girl is wearing. Guests eagerly pose for photos around the ‘red carpet girl’. What a fun and unique surprise for the start of the evening.

2/ The Waiters
All evening, helpful waitstaff have been serving drinks and appetisers to guests. They are dressed in crisp black and white – looking as elegant as the rest of the event you have planned. One waiter walks to the front of the room with another tray of champagne. Exciting music starts to play. The waiter puts down his tray and…. Kick, turn, jump split – WOW! Everyone is looking in astonishment when yet another waiter comes to join in on the dance. All of a sudden the 2 female guests from “the marketing department” (that somehow you hadn’t met until tonight) walk up to these waiters and are lifted high in the air. The guests start to cheer! Another 8 waiters join the group and create the most exciting entertainment surprise – and all of these guests were a part of the experience.

Creating surprises at your next event will stimulate happiness in your guests and therefore, the evening will be talked about for years to come.

If you’d like to have a chat about how I can help with providing the above ‘surprises’ for such an event, please feel free to shoot over an email or call me on 0430 110 824.

Christmas In New York

Christmas is around the corner. For the average person, this conjures up visions of presents, holidays, fun and excitement. For event professionals, this time means planning and executing unique and successful events to exceed client’s expectations… A little overwhelming to say the least.

Coming up with unique Christmas event ideas can be difficult. After all, most themes have been done before. You want your client to delight in your work, emotionally connect with the components of the evening and just become lost in the magic of it all… Any ideas?

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” ~Norman Vincent Peale

A sophisticated Christmas themed event would create a feeling of warmth and happiness. Visions of Christmas in New York City come to mind. Here are a few little ideas to get the creative juices flowing:

1/ Arouse the Senses
The Christmas lead-up in New York City is 2nd to none. The entire city smells like Cinnamon and Candy canes. Create this atmosphere in your venue by placing Cinnamon and Peppermint scented table decorations around the room.

2/ Capture the Excitement
For me, the highlight of a New York Christmas is seeing the Radio City Rockettes show. They are the ultimate in both glamour and tradition at this time of year. Why not book a show inspired by these sophisticated ladies?

3/ Give the Magic
We can all remember the excitement of Christmas as a child. A simple wrapped package under the tree created a mystery and delight that isn’t easily forgotten well into adulthood. Re-capture the enjoyment by creating your own special tree at the centre of the venue with beautiful wrapped surprises underneath for your guests.

The possibilities are endless. Christmas never gets old, never gets boring and always arouses a feeling of happiness and anticipation. A Christmas event, planned with sophistication in mind, could be the beautiful unique idea you’ve been looking for. A perfect evening. Miracles happen – it is Christmas after all…

If you’d like to have a chat about how I can help with the entertainment for such an event, please feel free to shoot over an email or call me on 0430 110 824.