from the CEO
LINDA P GAUNT
Chief Executive Officer
MEA 2013 has come and gone leaving those in attendance with lots of wonderful memories of their conference experience. A very special thank you to all involved. Be it in the capacity of a sponsor, an organiser, committee member, board member, staff member or delegate, we thank you for a fabulous experience.
For the first time since the year 2000 MEA will be taking its Annual National Conference off-shore in 2014. Conference delegates in Darwin saw and heard first hand that MEA is heading to Kuala Lumpur from 15-17 May 2014.
The theme of the conference is “Embracing the Asian Century” and work on this exciting event will commence soon.
Back in Darwin the Gala Dinner was a huge success and I am delighted to share the case study of the event with you below:
The MEA National Awards Gala Dinner is the pinnacle for the industry and where Staging Rentals believes as a collective we should shine. Five years ago, Meri Took, Director, put this belief into action and put his hand up to produce the event and has been doing it ever since.
Darwin, the location for this year’s conference, offered up a unique opportunity to shine a light on the local content and suppliers and showcase to the rest of Australia that the Darwin event industry is alive and well. Towards the end of 2012, Meri Took went to Darwin to run a professional development session for events titled, “Turning ideas into Reality”.
As a finale to the session, the 29 Darwinians in the room were invited to participate in a brainstorming session to create ideas for the Gala Dinner, and determine what lasting impression they would like to leave with the Australian Events industry. The session was flooded with great ideas, but one that stood out was the idea to tell the story of Darwin’s history. This was presented by Natalie Bell, Events & Marketing Manager, Associated Advertising & Promotions, NT.
The relevance and meaning of the idea struck a chord with Meri and he worked with Natalie on the next step to making her idea a reality. Meri asked Natalie to produce a synopsis of how it would work; from how the theme was to be unveiled through to the final script for six chapters of video that were showcased throughout the night.
To produce the videos Natalie worked with Chris O’Brien from Dreamedia. Local ABC personality Charlie King narrated the videos and the end result was spectacular. With World War II being such an influential chapter in Darwin’s history, the decision was made to recreate a WWII Ballroom.
Threading the theme into the look and feel of the room was achieved with Staging Rentals’ red and silver Austrian drapes which circled the room. And, with a lot of help from Fusion Exhibition & Hire Services, the event team achieved the goal with WOW to spare! In essence of a true event experience, Primetime Entertainment provided the engaging entertainment to complete the night – including The Andrews Sisters and their medley of wartime hits.
Darwin Convention Centre provided catering and technical production. Howard and Sons provided the terrific Pyrotechnics and Toby Travener did a stellar job as MC.The dress code was Fabulous Forties and guests went to an inspired effort to help complete the picture. The evening was a true success and testament to all who were involved. A special thank you to Meri Took of Staging Rentals & Construction Services. To top it off, in a nod to her expertise and inspiring ideas, Natalie Bell was honoured as YMEA Future Leader.
Congratulations to all the MEA National Winners on their success.