When it comes to event trends, is the proverbial pendulum making a new swing from high tech back to the human touch? Perhaps not a trend per se, but certainly going from one extreme to another when it comes to an annual event is a great way to keep guests on their toes and avoid the dreaded “didn’t they do this last year” question.
This was the idea used by EventWorks as they planned a national corporate sales conference. “We had been very tech heavy in the previous two years,” says Technical Director Ted Bowers. “This year we decided to go back to a true live performance and old-fashioned story telling. In doing so we got the best audience reaction yet.”
In a previous year, the company had produced a 360-degree, 3D projection during which attendees were morphed into animation action heroes during the show called “Solutions: Spirit in Action.” This year’s concept, “Solutions: Straight from the Heart,” was geared towards sentimentality.
The stage show was created to be a tear jerker: the company, a family-oriented business with most of its plants and stores in the heartland of America had weathered recession and survived. They had a lot to be proud of and the intention was to reflect this in the show.
To begin, EventWorks’ team sent an audio track of the song “Proud to be an American” to selected manufacturing plants, dealers and their families across the Midwest to help them learn the song. Then they visited each group with a video crew to pre-record them performing the song. Back in the studio, they assembled a video chorus with those recordings that would be used during the opening sequence of the event.
At the sales meeting, the performance began with country singer Lee Greenwood performing “Proud to be an American.” As he sang, the curtain opened slowly to reveal a 200-piece choir with the pre-recorded video chorus projected over the entire back wall of the stage behind them.
“The performance just kept building, getting bigger and bigger while still being a straight theatrical presentation,” says EventWorks’ Creative Director Greg Holford. “It had an enormous emotional impact. The audience was on their feet, applauding. This was the right song for the right audience at the right time.”
Proving that sometimes, even with all the bells and whistles available today, the best solution is the most straightforward and heartfelt one.
Click here to view the performance.
eNews July 2013