CN Agency Awards
Cafe De Paris, London
Awards Ceremony and Dinner
Our brief was to entertain some of the top event agencies in the UK – a very hard to please crowd. We needed to bring the feeling of celebration, success and achievement to people who probably have seen it all!
Challenge #1: Convince the client that the event will be a success
This was my first time working with Mash Media who were organisers of this event and who have plenty of experience in this industry. (They organise Confex, which is a yearly conference every event manager knows about, and they publish many top publications about the events industry). For the last 3 years, I’d been asking them for an opportunity to work together and they finally agreed to it. They previously went for a safe option and used to book a comedian for these types of events, so they really took a leap of faith asking our team to produce the entertainment.
How did we make them believe that Sorcha Productions will pull it off the bag? First, we created detailed storyboards to show how I imagined the event to look. Second, our belief is that event entertainment has to enhance the event and bring through the aim and the values of the company. It should never just be dumped on top of the event programme. We wanted to show this to the client. So we went to the site meetings and gathered as much background information about the venue, client’s plans and aspirations. We then worked closely with the Health & Safety teams of both the client and the venue. They had all the necessary paperwork needed and all safety procedures where in place.
Challenge #2: Impressing a hard to please audience
We had to please an audience of event managers who most likely put similar events daily. So a huge challenge with this event was how to do something that this audience would be wowed by.
Cafe de Paris is an iconic venue where the sense of great acts and artists that have performed there is seeped into the walls. A lot of people think that ‘new and unique’ equals impressive but we believe what really wows people is quality. People do notice when something is done really well. So that was my main goal.
With last year’s big release of The Greatest Showman theme and it’s growing popularity, I knew that this is what we needed to give them. (Also taking into account that lots of attendees would have clients who wanted to do this at their events. It was a great opportunity to show them what it’s all about).
The venue suited the theme perfectly. It facilitated aerial performance very well and had a great in-house tech team who offered full support. It had a great sound, lighting and pyrotechnics that gave a finishing touch to all the performances.
You can download a full Greatest Showman brochure here.
Challenge #3: Venue restrictions
Even though the venue fitted the theme perfectly it also had many restrictions. We had very limited rehearsal time as it was a lunchtime event. So everything had to be rehearsed off-site.
What we did to overcome this was we planned everything carefully and did lots of check-ins with our choreographer and performers. Also considering that we’ve done many events like this before we had to learn to trust in both our intuition and the creative process. It’s not about perfection but the end result, which we knew will be perfect. Our team is there to facilitate the production not dictate it, so we had to put our trust in the artists and the creatives we had booked.
The audience was blown away! We had many referrals after this show.
One lady even said that she usually hates gala dinners but the acts had her up shouting, cheering and singing along!
Now that we’ve tried and tested gala dinners we know that the Greatest Showman theme will deliver exactly what an event company wants to give its clients.
We worked with Sorcha Productions for our inaugural Conference News Agency Awards. This is an exceptionally challenging audience, being comprised of highly experienced event planners who have seen and done it all. The number of compliments about Sorcha’s team that I received both on the day and after the event on the quality of the production was overwhelming.
Talented, polished and hugely entertaining performers, expertly managed and directed, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Sorcha Productions to anyone. We’re already planning our next year event and hoping we can work with them again.
Liz Agostini, Portfolio Director, Mash Media
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