Raising the bar: The art of visionary event production

From a giant, burning wooden owl at this year’s Dark MOFO to an ice-skating rink in an orchestra pit, Australia’s Southern cities have already welcomed a spectacular array of immersive events this year. And the common thread between them? Real, bona fide creativity. Which is what CENTREPIECE’s in-house staging and production teams are passionate about.

Corey Bulley, our in-house MicroHire AV expert, has vast experience pulling off large-scale creativity, and a lot of vision for what more can be done. From multi-sensory nights to innovative technologies, Corey is excited about what 2022-23 holds for co-designing experiences in Melbourne – especially without looming restrictions.

“I think we’ll see creative moments expand as people have more lead time for their events,” he said in a recent interview. “Interactive technologies, real-time sculptures, holograms, projections, aerial performances – the sky really is the limit.”

Time to thaw out the big ideas

While the past few years have seen very little in-person interaction, event managers have still been conjuring up new visions. And now is the time to put them on the table, with audiences craving being transported to new worlds.

One of Corey’s big ideas, which is yet to be brought to life, is a real-time ice sculpture in the centre of the CENTREPIECE Grand Hall. His vision includes the sculpture being lit up in the brand colours of the event as people walk in, while an artist chips away at the ice. Then, all the ice chips around the bottom of the sculpture would be turned into an interactive food station and oyster bar – with food staff coming out to lay fresh oysters on the ice. Memorable, and delicious.

Make creativity stretch

A ‘theme’ is not a theme unless it stretches across the whole evening. For AIME’s recent Welcome Event at CENTREPIECE, our on-site culinary, AV and rigging teams didn’t just work in isolation – they came together to integrate the client’s vision into every element and really elevate the brand experience. While a performer was strung up on a grand piano mid-air, the lighting and food offerings changed below to suit the phase of the night.

Multi-sensory experiences are also taking over. “Think smells. Sound design. Low fog,” says Corey. “These elements can introduce that feeling of magic – and they’re not hard to pull off.” If you choose CENTREPIECE for your next event, you can trust you’re getting an experience curated across all disciplines.

Putting new tech to the test

“Highly effective technologies like projection mapping have gained a lot of traction as a sustainable, low-cost way to transform a space,” says Corey. “ For me, the recent Committee for Melbourne event at CENTREPIECE was a career highlight in this regard. Instead of tablewares or paper menus, we mapped 100 projections onto every table, curated to the size of the surface.”

The content changed with every course of the dinner (eg. an underwater ocean landscape during a seafood course), and the menu text appeared in front of you as if by magic. Elsewhere, projection-mapped holograms are also in vogue. “We’re seeing a lot of hollow gauze, which is a fabric invisible to the naked eye, but if I hit it with the projector it reflects light. So if you project onto a gauze screen or sculpture, you can create seemingly ‘floating’ objects and people.

“These technologies used to be an expensive, niche market that was hard to get looking schmick,” says Corey. “But now we’re seeing more and more options appearing on the market accessible to production companies on the ground, even here at CENTREPIECE. With the right creative minds, you really can do anything.”

Find out how you can make CENTREPIECE your next Masterpiece.