Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Experiential Expertease

We all know the great lengths that events organizers across the globe are now going to truly offer attendee’s an event that is so experiential and full of escapism that the unexpected is now to be fully expected.

Recent fantastic examples of this include the Future Cinema Project does Who Frames Roger Rabbit. An immersive journey into the Looney and Tooney world of downtown LA and an over spilling crime ravaged Toontown, I’m sure you know the script! Yet it’s a world where anything’s possible and the Future Cinema team from the very outset capture the spirit of the movie. With the bespoke design of social media platforms and website complete with instructions, allowing those planning on attending immediate entry into the very spirit of the experience. For example; http://www.inkandpaintclub.org/

The nights its self was as promised an experience like no other, a trip to Toon Town complete with crowd hassling Weasels “looking for a rabbit….have you seen him” and Toon characters hidden in every nook and cranny of the delicious Art Deco Troxy Entertainments Hall London. After surviving the queue you must bravely utter the passwoiiiird to a movie replicated digital Bongo the Doorman Guerrilla, which had to be received by a phone call to the Toon town PD. Then ambling down the corridors backstage of the Troxy (a treat in itself) you ‘accidently’ catch a glimpse of the star of show…chaps you know who, Jessica Rabbit preparing in her dressing room, adding further suspense.

Then it hits you… out of the wings and into the Ink & Paint Club full of costumed characters from the movie interacting with the equally as costumed attendee’s, quite the scene! Themed snacks, costumes, Betty Boop in black and white Lindy Hop dance Classes, Cabaret Performances, the draw dropping performance initially by a Cartoon projected Jessica Rabbit who to universal whoops and holler’s is born in the very revealing flesh. Then its Movie time, yet a version broken up with live action from the in-venue cast and pantomime style cheers, boos and hisses throughout. To Finish…well a cast lead jazz club night would probably tick the box right?...Right!

The Future Cinema Project sister project to the Secret Cinema Project runs continuously, current project being The Hotel Budapest…but remember #tellnoone. http://www.secretcinema.org/

In an extraordinarily excellent example of a month in which immersive experiences reigned supreme also lived Fuerzabruta! A touring Argentinean samba drum booming powerhouse that makes the Cirque De Soleil look and feel like a kids clown party…of course not intending any offence to clowns globally.  Held at the Roundhouse in Camden, utilizing every available space in this weirdly wonderful venue and a series of special effects to both distract and attract your attention left, right, centre, up, down and mainly up!

Evolving out of three main stunts that truly take your breath away whilst physically shoving you about the venue in a scrum like fashion. The stunts are largely senseless and without any narrative other than noise and the constant rain of confetti. Ranging from an office worker constantly running through and into objects whilst on a huge treadmill which is wheeled through the crowd….you do move! Then onto the lowering pool of human screaming mermaids which are lowered to touch…without getting wet! Then there’s the zorb which the audience themselves have to arrange over their heads to be inflated so that the performers can again jump on your heads whilst opening up holes to bungee into and pluck audience members at will.

Climaxing in somewhat tribal encore/ laser show / trance like / South American sweaty club…by this point it’s obviously raining toilet paper style confetti. Leaving this forceful, immersive and unrepentant unapologetic world your left feeling utterly spent, exhilarated, exhausted, and physically assaulted after this all out experimental war of the human senses…in all of the very best ways! Fuerzabruta is basically the most fun you can have without intoxication and keeping most of clothes on. 

Friday, 4 April 2014

An Interns Journey into the Industry

So as my time with The MotivAction Group comes to an end, reflection is heavily in mind, I thought it apt to inform the world of the wonders that await those thinking about applying for an internship or placement during or after the completion of a university Events/Marketing degree.

Almost a year to the day I received a wonderful telephone interview which swiftly lead into a recruitment day hosted at a lovely luxury events venue specialising in conferencing and training facilities that truly set the tone of what was in store. The next stage was a three day intensive field training programme to instil the basic knowledge, attitudes and skills needed for the busy summer period largely consisting of outdoor team builds – long hard days yet mostly fun for all. Here initial friends were established, the tone set and the journey into the industry began.

Following the completion of the final marketing exam and somewhat of a party, it signalled a pretty mega move from the South West to Hertfordshire setting up just down the road from the brand new barn conversion offices, (The Creative Enterprises Hub) the air of excitement was tasty indeed! The following months of June and July barely allowed the chance for catching breath whilst travelling the nation almost travelling circus styley with a merry band o’ men in an absolute whirlwind of team builds (everything from Bond, Medieval Celts to the Jungle), summer promotional campaigns, family fun days and tablet treasure trails galore.

Following this explosive period with the start of the summer school holidays and the corporate world taking its respective summer breaks allowed for a period of delving deep into the world of corporate B2B marketing. Duties were ranged from the preparation of promotional sales materials and social media content writing to the slightly less glamorous yet even more important data cleansing and inbox management. An area of huge relevance to previous studies and highlighting the importance of strong relationships with key suppliers.

As the holidays close and September rolls round signalling a heavily weather dependent period and a real mish mash of event types taking place across the industry from the first few ‘end of year’ awards and last few ‘summer get together’s. Even a trip out to Gibraltar on European activity tour! Asides from the live running of these my personal development took a new twist into the world of client services – sales support. An equally creative arm of the business where loosely discussed event concepts are taken from ideas to proposals with solid costs, spaces held and suppliers and acts booked up. Client decisions, relationships and payments then in turn decide the contacts, payment terms/methods/documents and are dealt with accordingly. This project management stage being the core of what all creative and corporate event agencies provide, to so the chance to learn such ropes proved the most pivotal moment in the journey to date.

Here the journey was intended to end, yet it merely continued into the darker months of the year. With the internship at an end and a short term contract as a Project Assistant beginning.

The colder and harshness of winter ushers the end of year awards ceremonies, casino nights and other themed evenings and of course Christmas parties! In all actuality an uplifting twists on an otherwise gloomy time of year. Being involved in huge conferences of this nature for Blue Chip companies really exposes your presentation, communication and ability to think on your feet with the key learning point being how important it truly is to pre-empt possible situations and pro actively have your solutions at the ready.
The Christmas period itself in a very lovely way lends itself to festive fun and incentive day/night outs resulting in whistle stop tour of London’s cocktail bars and numerous shopping malls on a festive promotional campaigns. Leaving an aspiring events professional very much in need of a good Christmas break.

Since the turn of the year the focus has very much been on establishing new business leads, campaigns and ensuring that regular events organized and operated are bigger and better than ever! Here potentially lays the largest challenge facing any agency in such a fiercely competitive industry and the battles faced are hugely beneficial in all areas of career and personal development. Just watch this space for some fantastic events possibly coming your company’s way this year!

I leave my tenor with the MotivAction Group having worked alongside some inspirational event professionals who constantly strive to out do themselves and the high standards they have instilled across the industry they helped to bloom. My knowledge and contact base has utterly transformed with a solid understanding of all areas of business and how to deal with the relevant issues accordingly.

I would firmly recommend any student or ‘first jobber’ to take up an internship positions as although from time to time you may well be tasked with the crucial task of making the tea of office removals but the fluid freedom throughout all sectors of the company, business and all importantly industry! Leaving one fully equipped to confidently step into many roles as a ‘second jobber’ armed with a solid level of knowledge.

For all opportunities with the MotivAction Group; See the careers tab - http://www.motivaction.co.uk/aboutus/careers.html

Festival Fever

It’s that time of year again, as the days begin to get longer and lighter, our thoughts start to turn to summer, its festival announcement time! Most of our favourite festivals large and small from the heavy metal to the wonderfully mad over the next few weeks will be strategically adding to their performance line up’s!

In a fiercely competitive, heavily populated and diverse UK market much is made of these initial announcements. Many of our long standing festivals have a loyal and regular following that are bound to gleefully attend, yet this is the period where those unsure on which festival to attend are swayed by the announcements of the Headliners. Reportedly they are now just over 600 outdoor summer festivals ranging in scale, theme, genre and demographic all taking place with the same space of four months! An absolutely astonishing figure for a notoriously unreliable summer such as ours!

So just how do those who know the type of music they love and the type of experience they’d want to spend considerable pennies on decide which to book their tickets for! The experience starts from these excitable announcements of headlining acts, then the interested party most likely checks the website – here the battle is won or lost. The website itself must officially start and state the party whilst embodying everything that the entire festival stands for. Easy right? Perhaps the finest example of this being; http://www.wildernessfestival.com/# The next level is that interested individual ‘joining’ the party via the mediums of all things social media, again if the content, artwork and information appeals then it’s likely you’ve gained an attendee!

So which Festival headliners have caught your interest so far, which festival websites capture your imaginations and most importantly have you got your wellies, rain Mac and sun cream…maybe too early!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

#Xmas...The Aftermath

 With all things festive now feeling like a distant memory, on the most part dreading January’s credit card bill whilst longing for pay day which seems too far away. The Christmas decorations have been boxed up and stashed away.

As a nation we sure know how to harness festivities and seem to want to indulge in activities that we wouldn’t necessarily associate with any other time of year, even spending plenty of hard earned pennies in the process. The perfect examples of this here in the capital would be the juggernaught Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park which serves up an absolute feast of festivities and glorious Ice Rinks Popping up everywhere there might be a view.

The appropriately named Winter Wonderland offers the absolute crème de la crème of festively themed fairground rides, crafty shacks, all the German sausages you could dream of, a brilliant Bavarian Party Centre, two varieties of circus, textbook Ice Rinks & potentially the crown jewel the Ice Palace. Yet what really impresses from this festive fantasy its sheer tenacity in regards to Theming and its mammoth stature and size. Without exaggerating for those who’ve not been its HUGE!

If you’re quick you may still catch a cosy ice skate yet most are melting fast. Over the festive period we’ve seen these chaps cropping up in all sorts of locations; Natural History Museum, Van Hage, London Eye, Tower of London, Somerset House, Canary Wharf, and that’s just within a 25 mile radius of my humble abode Click here to see more.

Which got me wondering is there a Christmas switch in out heads that forces us to get involved with such spectacles. Or if said venues and attractions were take away their Christmas trimmings (Massive Santa’s) would we still indulge in a scenic skate down by the river on summers evening whilst sipping a cocktail? Would we enjoy an absolute stein of Bavarian Beer if an Oompah Band were conducting rip roaring knees up! As explored in our blogs previously surely all we truly need is an excuse to have a good time! Being industry insiders we are only too aware of the financial implications of such a concept, yet has such talk got worth, get in touch and let us know.

Happy New Year and have a great 2014 filth bags!

Monday, 4 November 2013

Remember Remember…

“Remember remember, the 5th of November…Gunpowder, treason and plot.”

 The iconic tagline signifying one of the biggest British national celebrations in the calendar year, with the most terrifying and true of back-stories. The real root cause of such celebrations, a failed terrorist attack which if completed would have brought the country to its knee’s. Once more the combination of the British psyche, sense of grand reserve mixed with a wonderful sense of occasion, pomp and ceremony has resulted in one of two occasions throughout the year where the explosions of fireworks are permitted. Barmy yet brilliant British logic at its finest!

The 2005 blockbuster ‘V for Vendetta’ which cast a futuristic spin on the tale of Guy Fawkes giving the tale a new lease of life backed with a Hollywood budget and exposure. With the main character donning the mask of Guy Fawkes in his battle against political oppression and corruption, leading to the mask taking on a pop culture status adopted by many political demonstrators throughout Europe. Same story, same concept just fresh impetus.

 How normal is once a year coming together in our hundreds to huddle around a huge and only slightly safe bon fire burning a so called icon’s scarecrow reincarnation, whilst we terrify pets across the nation with thousands of pounds worth of explosives shot into our skies?

 Brilliantly as strange is the Mexican celebration of the ‘Day of the Dead’ where the passing of souls is celebrated with a very eerie style of parade, carnival and costume. Now not only contained to Mexico, the style of this creepy celebration has provided an excellent Theming opportunity for all events professionals, that is of course in a similar fashion if you ignore its purpose to remember the passing of loved ones!

 This of course is not the only example of our apparent quirky relationship with fear and happiness. Consider most universal traditional children’s stories, especially nursery rhymes! Stories such as Hansel & Gretel which are fundamentally based on the capturing, entrapment even torturing of children.  With a hearty dose of witchcraft not to mention murder to finish off. Yet for decades parents have used these as bedtime stories?
Ultimately, as we all know and love, all we really need to have a right old knee’s up is an excuse, regardless of how historically significant or correct that excuse may, lets just celebrate!

HEALTH WARNING; unless you’re crazy and a slightly dopey footballer, DO NOT SET FIREWORKS OFF IN THE BATHROOM!



Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Happy Halloween?

Our dearest of friends from the t’other side of the great pond have long celebrated the force known across the globe as Halloween with a real American sense of enthusiasm which now appears to be spreading. Some would point to blastfamous worshipping of all things frightening and evil whereas most would simply state “it’s just another way of making me spend my money” Sighed the exhausted mother!

So for those of you who haven’t quite decided which side of the frightful fence to perilously perch on. Here’s a selection of highly themed and experiential examples;

Thorpe Park’s annual fright providing the ultimate ‘Fright Night’ having teamed up with the Scare Group UK to offer attendees’ not only a terrifyingly lit turn on the parks rollercoaster’s but in every crack and crevice of the park zombies along with a variety of characters from the Saw movie series lurk with the no other intent than to scare. Offering a Halloween to remember… genuinely only for those with a high scare threshold, consider this almost a health warning, click here for further details.


As ever London offers an array of fright nights from the grizzly to the gruesome, most all coming in the shape of The Vaults, a now unused Underground train station filled with mystery, history and tales of another time and another world. These masters of morgue promise a playground for the freak in all of us. Activities include DJs of the undead, the graveyard cinema, the abandoned end of pier arcade games and crazed capers from the finest twisted cabaret acts. Click here for full listing.

The extent of our developing fascination with all things spooky can be directly linked to our pagan past and medieval suspicion and now measured by increasing popularity, then recognized by the establishment of national Zombie Day! An event which takes place in over 50 cities worldwide, organized marches of the undead are staged with a meet place and a detailed route for the general public either to join the chaos or hide. This years London march started at Marble Arch Tube station and spread right across the capital ending up in a Zombie Ball.

This Halloween rather than being frightfully dismissive or venting annoyance at the fact kids are knocking the doors for sweeties. Perhaps we should start to embrace this celebration both within the industry and our social lives to fully realize its Theming potential. According to the demand for such events and activities, this could be a strong event theme throughout the calendar year. None the less will prove a ‘freaky’ one to watch over the next few years.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Rise to the Rooftops!

This summer has seen an event based, cocktail laden and cinema enthused ascendancy to the roof tops of London. This got me rather intrigued to see the fantastic measures fellow Event Managers are now taking creatively to push borderlines of experiential expectations.

 Once more it would seem that the socialites of this wonderful nation are seeking and demanding further thrills within they’re already diverse night out and events calendars. Heading up onto the cities rooftops would usually indicate that you are in indeed the answer to one of the worlds great riddles, the secret identity of Batman, or you’ve drawn in a panicked crowd with the collaborative plea of ‘Don’t do it!’.

No longer… sure our cities have long offered plenty for us to see and do at ground level, even our underground providing our transport and now our roof tops providing us with beautifully scenic ways of enjoying our time.

Here are some highly engaging examples; the long established Kensington Roof Gardens a secretive member’s only glamour spot that reeks of exclusivity, then there’s London’s newest beach Camden Beach, that’s right…Camden Beach, a temporary pop up postcard perfect makeshift dreamy beach all on the terrace of The Roundhouse, no North Devon about it strictly North London!

Our favourite, The Roof Top Hot Tub Cinema Club what a wonderful collaboration of words and concepts. Now allowing revellers year round to take in the sights of the city, favourite flick all in the comfort of your own hot tub…blissful behaviour.

This heady and height based summer trend really has got the IT crowd shaking they’re cocktail flutes with vigorous anticipation flocking up top with tickets in high demand, understandable considering the views naturally on offer and the occasion outside chance of a sunset. Refreshingly in such health and safety focused times, in which we all strive to add value to our event guests, delegates and clients such fresh innovation is brought to the forefront of the industry and celebrated.

So then class to recap; Take a fantastic reason for staging an event + take said event concept on top of scenic roof top in a city near you = Great time had by all.