Event Showcase | McGrath Awards Dinner

This Event Showcase is brought to us by AV1, one of Australia’s leading AV, Production and Media suppliers. The event was the annual McGrath Awards Dinner 2018, attended by 850 guests at Sydney’s Fox Studios in July.  
The event was a resounding success from the event management, production, styling and catering with the client, McGrath Estate Agents blown away by the end result. 
However, what we want to take a closer look at for this particular event is that ceiling feature… WOW! Not only does it look amazing, but it served an important purpose too. Join us we take a closer look at how AV1 met the production brief for this visually stunning gala event. 

The Event

The McGrath Awards 2018. A gala dinner style event held annually to acknowledge and reward the company’s top performers. This year was a special celebration as it marked McGrath Estate Agent’s 30th birthday.  

The Brief

In regards to production there were a few key requirements including;
1. Create an exciting reveal from the pre-function area to the dining hall
2. Create a sense of intimacy for all guests
3. Design custom on-brand graphics for the award presentation 
4. Arrange pyrotechnics and confetti for headline performances and to celebrate McGrath's 30th Birthday

The Solution

What we were most impressed with is their clever solution to the question – how do you create intimacy in a very large space?
AV1’s Creative Director identified that in order to create intimacy in the huge space, they needed to lower the perceived ceiling height in the dining hall. In order for this to be effective, they knew that it had to do two things, it had to occupy a huge volume in the air and it had to feel close to all guests.

To achieve this, they designed an intricate web of festoon lighting. A total of 1800 individual lights, on 30 strings, each 45m long were suspended across the ceiling to create a sensational effect.
The lights were all programmable to allow the production team to create movements across the room and change the atmosphere throughout the night at the touch of a button (or two). 
The net result was that due to the depth of the installation it seemed like wherever you were looking at it from in the room, you were looking through a grid that was not just a lot of long strings but rather a dense volume installation. 

Festoon Light Installation | AV1
For the reveal, AV1 installed a 6m tall white crushed velvet drape which separated the pre-function area from the dining area. On a music cue, a 12m Kabuki section of the drape dropped to reveal the dining area. (For the uninitiated, a Kabuki drop is a swift and sudden reveal with drapes that drop to the floor to expose hidden elements. Check out the highlights video below for a quick glimpse.)
Designing custom graphics is what AV1 excels at and the team revelled in creating a seamless and professional awards ceremony that could have rivalled the Logies. 
Their team was also on hand to capture the event’s best moments, including red carpet interviews, and produce a highlights video to continue engagement with the audience post event.

Recording Events | AV1
And to celebrate turning 30? The team at AV1 took no time at all in engaging Howard & Sons to install the pyrotechnics and confetti cannons. This included installing a row of shower fireworks that ran the width of the stage to go off during the highlight of the headline performance. In addition, confetti canons were installed either side of stage that showered the guests in purple and pink confetti (to match the event décor) when the Birthday celebrations occurred.

Stage Design and Management | AV1
Other noteworthy elements of the event included a red carpet arrival, Hollywood search lights and gobos for framing the entrance outside, and a performance by Paulini.
And of course, it’s a given; state of the art sound, vision, lighting and personnel to manage the production.

Event Hightlights | McGrath Awards Dinner

The Feedback

When you watch the highlights video below you get an immediate sense that the event was enjoyed by all. The happy, smiling faces are proof enough that the event was a resounding success. 
A big round of applause should go to Nichola Byrne, Event Manager at McGrath Agents and her team, along with her well selected suppliers for such an amazing job. 
In Nichola’s words…
The McGrath Awards Night is the highlight of our events calendar and this year’s event truly blew all expectations out of the ball park.
An event this size takes a village and months of planning to ensure a seamless and flawless execution. For this reason supplier selection is an integral part of our event planning. AV1's team are professionals with a proven track record for success, who also understand our company and the standards we expect.
They're fantastic, and we wouldn’t have had the success we had without each and every one of the dedicated professionals that worked on the event.
Year on year we are expected to raise the bar and reinvent the event, a challenge that can seem daunting, but with the team of wizards we have, I know that challenge will be met, if not smashed, when the next event rolls around.


Take a look at the highlights video produced by AV1...

Suppliers involved in pulling this event together included:
Venue | Fox Studios Australia
Audio Visual, Production & Media | AV1
Styling & décor | Divine Events
Catering | Laissez-faire
Fireworks| Howards & Sons 
Photography | Lucy Alcorn
Artwork design & photography | Campaign Track
Logistics management | Event Advisers
Entertainment | Dane Laboyrie Band
Entertainment | Jelly Bean Jam
Entertainment management | AV360 & Paulini Curuenavuli
Printing, place cards & menus | NEO