Strategic Meetings & Events, New Jersey
Event Company of the Year
Strategic Events Summary
Strategic Meetings & Events produces corporate events, worldwide. We partner with our clients to create goal driven, strategic events. We begin with a discovery session so key stakeholders can share their goals and vision. We take that directive and work with the sales and marketing team to make sure everyone has the same goal.
Armed with that information we can then select the appropriate location, venue, room sets, food and décor. We appreciate that the meeting’s content is an integral component of the program so we pay special attention to those details as well. From creating speaker tips to slide templates assuring everyone is using the same size slides, we help coordinate what’s happening inside the ballroom, not just the logistics around it. Speaker run-throughs are hosted and on the day of the event we’re there with our rundown in hand, greeting speakers, keeping the timing on schedule and making sure the session runs smoothly
While that’s happening, the rest of the team is setting up for evening and offsite strategic events, handling pop-up requests, confirming transportation arrangements, handling room drops and managing all the onsite details.
Clients are able to eat, sleep until the sun rises and actually enjoy their event because we have everything more than handled. When a client throws her arms around you and tells you she couldn’t ever imagine holding an event without you, you know you’ve hit the mark.
Event Showcase One
What do you do with this client request? “We need a networking event and an ice breaker but we can’t make it look as if we’re doing an ice breaker or a team building event”.
For the SME team, the answer was taking the guests to a winery in Rome during their incentive trip to Italy. Once there, they met the woman who has been cooking in the winery’s kitchen for more than 30 years. The plan was for her to show everyone how to make hand rolled pasta. The catch: she didn’t speak a word of English and few of our attendees spoke Italian.
The guests watched as ‘Nonna’ broke an egg into the farina flour and began to knead the mixture. They followed suit, some with more success than others. As Nonna walked ’round the table to inspect the guests’ handiwork she expressed her pleasure or dismay in one of two ways: a kiss on each cheek and a hearty, ‘fa bene!’ was heard or she’d pat you on the cheek. The fun part was that before she’d pat your cheek she’d put her hand on the table so it was covered in flour, and THEN give guests a friendly pat. Needless to say much laughter ensued whether you had to bend down to let this powerhouse of no more than 5′ either kiss you or cover you in flour.
Guests were brought to a large, rustic dining room where they sampled literally dozens of Nonna’s creations. The pasta course arrived and was devoured, just as everything else was.
Wine, merriment, great food and now good friends the team bonded and networked and were none the wiser.
To that we also issue a hearty; ‘Fa bene!’
Event Showcase Two
Dancing in the Dark
The window we have to plan strategic events is getting smaller with each passing year. What was once a twelve month planning cycle has devolved into twelve weeks and in the instance of this program we had just about twelve days. I had the pleasure of picking up a new piece of business from a referral and it was the most challenging ‘easy piece of business’ I’ve had in a long time!
The client was hosting a medical team of approximately 75 people. They wanted entertainment that was something guests would likely have never seen before. It had to have a technology flavor and there was a very limited budget. The challenges were numerous; the client’s style was unknown to me, their audience a bit hard to get details on and the event was in a space I’d never seen and had no time to site.
Ultimately, a dance group that performed in the dark was selected so the quick turn preparations began. Tickets were booked from all parts of the country, housing needs had to be tended to, hospitality riders had to be fulfilled and diagrams drawn. And, oh, by the way, we needed to construct a black box and stage for the dancers as they needed a performance area that was devoid of all light for their act to be successful.
My production connection was a hero. His team built a stage with blackout sidewalls and ceilings, a Marley floor and a traveling curtain. We created the setup in 1/3 of a small ballroom and it was done in two hours total as the talent had to practice and they couldn’t take the stage until they had practiced, in the dark, in the space we created for them. The room became ours at 2:30 and dinner started just after 6:00. No pressure at all…..
The dancers arrived, and understandably, wanted to rehearse in complete darkness to get a feel of the stage. It was a smaller footprint than their standard build so it was essential they got the layout memorized before the guests arrived. Were we not also loading furniture, linens, florals and décor into the room and installing lighting around the space, turning off the lights would have been an easy request. So we had two groups of people working at top speed, one which needed lights, one which needed complete darkness and the clock was ticking.
We had the dancers rehearse with the lights on for as long as possible and then the rest of the crew had to stop so they could do run throughs in the dark. It was amazing to see them choreograph with the lights on. When we saw the performance in the dark, it was a level of excellence I’ve never before seen.
When the time came, the lights went down, the music was turned up and the dancers took flight, outlined in neon, costumes pulsing to the music. The act was a complete hit. The audience was entertained, the client was happy and ten minutes after the last guest left, the stage was gone, leaving nothing but the memory of a job very well done, albeit in the dark and in record time.
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