NAME: South African Tourism Roadshow 2012
TYPE: Five City Roadshow
CLIENT: South African Tourism
VENUE: Hilton Auckland, Moda Brisbane, Australian Technology Park (ATP) Sydney, Park Hyatt Melbourne, Pan Pacific Perth
BY: Forum Group Events
ORGANISING TEAM: Four (Project managers, creative producer and technical director)
PAX: 1200 for the entire five city roadshow
BUDGET: TOP SECRET

what you did

Created an interactive event where travel agents were connected with South African experts and Australian and New Zealand wholesalers, with the ultimate aim of creating awareness of the plethora of experiences available in South Africa (apart from the safari), and instilling confidence in selling the destination.
South African (SA) partners were given the opportunity to showcase their products through an interactive live talk show-style event. Each SA operator was interviewed by the outspoken and daring MC and entertainer, Verushka Darling, doing away with the traditional PowerPoint style presentations. Verushka had the audience engaged for the entire two hour dinner event.

special touches

Verushka Darlings’ costumes included a South African flag inspired sequined dress and jacket and a leopard print gown. The couch style stage set was surrounded by South African native plants and flowers. Celebrity guests included George Gregan and Frankie J Holden who have both visited South Africa. Entertainment included South African born musician Barry Southgate (Australian Idol finalist). South African food and wines were also incorporated into the event.

challenges

Taking a risk by engaging a drag queen as the MC and host of the event.
Experiencing a power outage 45 minutes before the event was due to begin at Melbourne’s Park Hyatt.
Unforeseen building safety fixtures commissioned two weeks prior to the event at Sydney’s Australian Technology Park (ATP) affecting the aesthetics of the entrance area with scaffolding.

overcoming challenges

Employing our creative producer to professionally script the live show to ensure the drag queen element was engaging and professional.
Relocating the pre-function event to an alternative function space within the Melbourne Park Hyatt that could be candle lit until power was restored.
ATP relocated the entrance area for the event and added additional enhancements such as a red carpet, candle lit walkway, draping to cover the original entrance, security to guide guests to the new entry point and South African prometheus flowers in areas such as the bathroom.

client’s comment

Travel agents have said that this has been one of the best travel industry events they have been to in a long time. The event was a colourful, exciting and a unique experience… just like the destination of South Africa.

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