Awesome Production Examples for Events Big and Small

What a lot of people don’t realise about The Star Sydney’s Event Centre is that it is first and foremost a theatre. A magnificent state-of-the-art theatre designed to accommodate big-time gigs and performances. But as many theatre venues go, filling your theatre with large-scale events day in and day out is a tough gig in itself. 
So, when designing the Event Centre, the team at The Star took inspiration from The Joint, an epic performance venue in the Hard Rock Café, Las Vegas – and made it even better. 
They set out to create an Event Centre that can accommodate the big headliner events like the ARIA Awards, Human Nature and World Business Forum (just to name a few), and also made it flexible enough to accommodate much smaller presentations, awards and conferences. They made the theatre seating easily retractable ensuring that the large open space is perfect for gala dinners, exhibitions and cocktail parties too. And, they made the space able to be sectioned off and minimised, so that smaller events never felt lost. 
To sum it up, they created one of Australia’s most versatile event spaces, jam-packed it with state-of-the-art AV & Production and made it available for everyone to use. Thanks!
It’s no wonder though that a lot of people overlook the venue when it comes to the small to medium sized events, but we’re here to tell you it’s certainly worth investigating. 
To show you just how versatile the venue is we have included a few examples of stand-out events that have been hosted at The Star Sydney. We’ve highlighted a few cool production features along the way and also shared with you how these bonus facilities can be applied to your own event whether it be for 150 guests or 3000! Let’s take a look…

1. Sovereign Birthday

The event:
A gala dinner for 750 VIP guests who needed to be impressed – make that, blown away!
The key production features worth highlighting:
The ceiling height in the venue is a whopping 12 metres, which made creating this magnificent ‘Big Top’ theme an event planner’s dream. The ceiling feature is a series of moveable grids that can be lowered to the ground so you can install just about anything (without a boom lift) … extra lighting, drapes, a mirror ball, chandeliers, umbrellas, aerial artists, banners, screens, etc.
The ceiling grids in the venue aren’t just for hanging external elements, it’s also home to the venue’s magnificent chandelier. Spanning the breadth of the ceiling the custom designed chandelier can be programmed to create some amazing visual and lighting effects. 
How can this benefit your event? 
Want to hang something amazing from the ceiling? Then this is the venue!
And, if you don’t have the budget or requirement to hang anything from the ceiling, don’t worry - the in-house chandelier comes as standard with the venue hire, which means your event will sparkle no matter what. Add some simple lighting and this becomes a gorgeous feature.
Finally, one of the best features of this ceiling system is that is can be lowered to a suitable height for your event. Don’t want to host 200 guests in a cavernous space? Let the production team literally “bring the lights down” to create a more intimate atmosphere in the room – no one will have any idea that there’s a further 9m above them! 
The Star Sydney | Sovereign Dinner

The Star Sydney | Big Top Theme
The umbrellas were hanging from the ceiling and were able to be opened and closed - very cool.

The Star Sydney | Chandelier Feature
Examples of fairly simply themed gala dinners that utilised the in-house Chandelier to create an impressive feature.

2. The Master Builders Association of NSW Excellence in Housing Awards

The event:
A sold-out gala dinner and awards presentation for 960 guests. 
The key production features worth highlighting:
With such a large crowd all needing to focus on the awards being presented on the main stage, the production team at The Star created two main focal points. The first being a large blended projection screen measuring 12m x 4m on the main stage at the front of the room – utilising the permanent 19m wide stage, and another 12m x 4m projection space at the back of the room. With the two large blended projection focal points – no one was going to miss any of the action!
How can this benefit your event? 
Having a permanent stage in the venue is a real bonus – it not only will make your presentation look much more professional (“enter stage right…”) it will also save you time and money when setting up your event.  
Another big benefit is that the venue is completely pillar-free, which means no matter what the size of your event, you’ll have absolutely no obstructions. Screens at the front and back of the room is a brilliant idea and means no matter which way your guests are facing on a banquet round no one will miss the action. 

The Star Sydney | Master Builders Awards

3. World Business Forum Sydney

The event:
A 2-day conference for 2500 guests – big ideas, world-class speakers, business leaders.

The key production features worth highlighting:
The World business Forum utilised The Star’s theatre seating configuration, which is extremely flexible. On the main level there are retractable tiered theatre style seats for 720 guests and space on the flat floor for a further 700 (a total of 1420). Then, if you need more bums on seats, the elevated seating on levels 4 and 5 provide a further 1474 seats. Combined, the venue can accommodate well over 2000 people all facing the stage with its large 10m in-house LED wall backdrop, as well as four additional projection screens. 
This event also utilised the numerous dressing rooms and green rooms the venue has available.

The World Business Forum used The Star for four years until it finally outgrew the capacity and had to move. 
How can this benefit your event? 
The flexibility of the theatre seating provided at the venue allows you to easily host presentations big and small (under 3000 pax). The tiered seating on levels 3 and 4 can be hidden from view if not in use, as can the retractable seating. This means the venue team can tailor your set-up to meet your guest numbers – and that means you’ll never feel like you have empty seats at your event.

And, if you have performers or VIP speakers, you’ll look like the perfect host when you allocate them a dressing room or green room to prepare and chill out in.
The Star Sydney | Theatre Mode
Top Left (clockwise): World Business Forum | In-house illuminated stage steps | Packed house for Lionel Richie | In-house modular LED panels make a creative backdrop for  | 

4. GQ Men of the Year Awards 

The event:
A glamourous awards dinner for 400 guests. Celebrities, media and high-profile attendees.
The key production features worth highlighting:
On arrival guests are welcomed to the venue for a pre-event cocktail party. Employing the ceiling grid, a full-length sheer curtain was installed to hide the main event space. When the time came, the curtain was removed seamlessly to reveal the rest of the venue. Voila!
How can this benefit your event? 
For this event they created a sheer divider, which was elegant and seamless. In addition, the venue can also be divided into two separate spaces by an operable wall – creatively named Room A and Room B. These two rooms are roughly the same size and allow you to host two concurrent sessions, or have one half set-up theatre style (activating the tired seating) and the other perhaps for a gala dinner. The set-up options are endless.  

The Star Sydney | GQ Men of the Year Stage Set
The glam stage set which was revealed to guests

The Star Sydney | Event Centre Split
An example of how the Event Centre could accommodate two different set-ups at the same time.

5. Brad Fittler Medal

The event:
An awards night for NRL players with live televised broadcasts.
The key production features worth highlighting: 
We’ve mentioned a few stand-out awards style events so far, but this one gets some airplay (excuse the pun) as it highlights the broadcast facilities available at The Star. 
During this night of nights for NRL, all the major television networks had live-cross feeds to the event. The Star has a broadcast fibre ‘backbone’, plus built-in DVN (Digital Video Network) which allows camera crews to hook up their equipment easily within the event space and connect their OB Vans that are parked downstairs in the dedicated broadcast vehicle parking.  And they can easily assign any camera to the projection screens for IMAG (image magnification) of the presenters, ensuring everyone in the venue can easily see the onstage action and presentations.
How can this benefit your event? 
The Star Sydney is hot-wired to accommodate any type of filming – whether that be recording an awards ceremony and having a live feed to screens within the room, or sending a signal externally for live broadcast. They also have the infrastructure to make web streaming at your event seamless and simple. And that’s a massive bonus - allowing your event to look very professional and reach an audience well outside the room. 

Final note…

Until we recently visited The Star Sydney and had a good old chat to their (very friendly and smart) in-house Production team we have to admit we didn’t realise just how cool the Event Centre is. A big space, yes, lots of production, yes, but the best bit is it’s not exclusive to big budget productions. It’s also not a space where you need to bring in everything yourself or pay obscene amounts for the bells and whistles. 
As Steve Chezzi, Technical Manager at The Star Sydney explains,
“When you host an event at The Star you’re getting the equivalence of a Porsche – you then decide which gear to drive it and what features to use… it just depends on the scale of your event!”
For more information on hosting your next event check out