We’ve all been to events where you walk in and think ‘meh’! It’s an uninspiring experience from start to finish, and all you have to show for your day is a pocket full of business cards, most of which you’ll never look at again. Some people reading this may even have been unfortunate enough to have helped arrange such events. At best they are flat and uninspiring; at worst a big waste of money.
So, when the people at Data61 approached Creative Hire to deliver their vision for an upcoming event, we got our thinking hats on. How we could help the client create an event that would not only bring people through the doors, but keep them inspired, rather than leaving with that horrible sense of wasted time?
The event: Background
D61+ LIVE was a one-day event held on March 30th 2016 at the Australian Technology Park Exhibition Hall, in Sydney, Australia. Data61 is a new division of the Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). They wanted to host an event that would showcase what it could offer to its broad range of connections in Australia and around the world, as these organisations prepare for a more data-driven future. Cyber security and safety, emerging platforms, health and community, and future cities were all to be covered. In short, it was a ‘big deal’ – an important event that would help create awareness of this new arm of the CSIRO, as technology continues to influence every aspect of our lives.
Understanding client requirements
We were hired two months before the event to work with Data61 to help bring their vision alive.
First, we needed to be clear on the organisation’s requirements for the event. Data 61+ had a fantastic detailed brief and we discovered that they would require separate zones to explore each of the four breakthrough technology areas: security and safety, future cities, health and communities, and emerging platforms. Additionally they would need an area dedicated to demonstrating their current collaborations with industry.
A detailed client brief often makes all the difference in these early stages, clear budgets and ‘must haves’ as well as any branding guidelines go along way to setting a clear direction for the desired outcomes. As well as these five zones, space was required for a plenary, café and catering, a custom stand to represent Data61, internal and external entry features, as well as numerous other requirements
Designing the Solution
Central to our thinking when designing solutions for any event is not only meeting all functional requirements, but also designing a solution that will amplify the key characteristics of the client’s brand.
Data61 stands for innovation, creativity and the future, so the question was how to incorporate these qualities into our solution?
This is where we were able to get a little creative and go beyond what other event organisers deliver. How could we create something original, eye-catching, and true to the client’s brand, as well as being functional?
This type of approach can be more challenging than conventional approaches – but it is one that we embrace wholeheartedly at Creative Hire.
Our final solution for Data61 was recognised by the Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) recently, when we were named as Best Supplier Team for 2016.
So what did our solution look like?
The best displays and furniture will go a long way, but they alone won’t create an inspiring event. The floor plan and the design must work together to embrace the venue and showcase the new brand on a grand scale…
Here’s what we did:
* Developed an eye-catching external and internal entrance feature to begin the flow of traffic through the entire venue, enabling all stakeholders maximum exposure while also making it easy for delegates to find what they were looking for.
* Installed a pod-style exhibition stand design to maximise the presence of Data61’s teams and industry partners: small but functional spaces that allowed for networking, product display, AV, and consistent branding throughout.
* Introduced a custom hexagonal stand to represent Data61, which would transition for use at road shows throughout Australia beyond this event.
* Installed creative but cost effective furniture and display solutions that embraced the venue and event feel: this included Astroturf flooring, scaffolding, 3D lettering, and picket fencing.
The event attracted 1,139 registered attendees through the doors – “a truly fantastic result” according to Data61.
What are the keys to effective event design?
To achieve the success with Data61 we followed the following process:
* Consultation – to determine precise requirements and venue limitations/options
* Creative design to incorporate functional requirements AND to amplify the brand
* Dedicated onsite project management to coordinate contractors, venue staff, and our client, ensuring a smooth delivery process
* Eye-catching results that focused both on brand amplification and delegate experience on the day
So how can Creative Hire help?
As a relatively small team (just six permanent staff) compared to many competing companies in the industry, the key to us is in the careful process we go through with all clients. We seek a high level of detail, mainly due to the decades of experience of our team members, who know that without first taking the time to establish needs, expectations, and limitations, such projects can become very stressful and fall flat.
Beyond this, creative design is what will really get your delegates talking at an event. Nothing quite beats eye-catching design that allows a comfortable ‘flow’ of attendees around the floor – and this requires a team of people with an innovative eye and prepared to challenge the ‘norm’. The importance of strong communication from the initial meeting through to the end of the campaign should never be under-estimated.
Creative Hire was established in 2011 to provide high quality conference and event solutions.