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Eye-catching props: Good for kids, great for grown-ups

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Eye-catching props: Good for kids, great for grown-ups
When you’ve wandered the halls of this year’s Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) with its extra 200 exhibitors, by day two, feet sore, legs buckling and voice nearly gone, you need something different.

And up pops Sydney Props with managing director Craig Watson perched in a 1950s diner, all powder blue and white vinyl complete with stools and being watched over by Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. Think Happy Days. I can hear the TV theme playing in my head.

What really took my fancy was the Chevy armchair, complete with fins, and I think, how cool would that be for the grandkids’ birthday party.

Watson politely agrees but adds “the adults love it more than the kids”.

“It is for all ages but what we specialise in is corporate clients who want to have a bit of fun at the end of conferencing, so it is engaging your clients to kick off their shoes, have a bit of fun,” Watson says.

Like any good enterprise there’s a back story to Sydney Props. The founder of the company, Greg Hancock, was in a band in the 80s and needed something to dress up the stage. He tried to hire some palm trees but couldn’t find any for hire so he bought a couple. Suddenly other bands wanted to hire them too, to dress up their stage acts. And as they say, the rest is history.

Sydney Props has a warehouse full of theming for hire.

“We…supply the props from a small party to a ballroom full of theming for a corporate event. Some event planners then carry the theme through and have attendees dress in fifties gear for example.”

The company also provides theming each year to P&O cruise ships for their Melbourne Cup cruises, including up to 19 life-size horses. But Watson says transporting the goods is a major cost and in time he would like to have a Melbourne operation with its own warehouse like he has in Sydney. He brought a 10-tonne truck and two three-tonners of props down to theme the AIME welcome event.

According to Watson, popular themes right now are jungle, palm trees, vintage circus, Alice in Wonderland, underwater, Hollywood, Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge.

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