Event Technology Awards 2017. London is the perfect host

Last week brought us to London, where Troxy hosted the fifth edition of Event Technology Awards. Shortlisted for two categories (Best New Technology Start-Up and Best use of Wireless Technology) we had the pleasure of meeting #eventprofs from all over the world. The impressive Art Deco venue, that first opened its doors before the second world war, welcomed hundreds of professionals eager to see which were the winners of the 29 categories. We live in a world where technology is omnipresent and the event industry couldn’t be any different, so we are happy to see that more and more #eventprofs use cutting-edge tech to offer their attendees an unforgettable experience. From tickets to polls and cashless payments, every interaction benefits from the support of technology.

It was a joy meeting so many people driven by passion and to see that they like to party as hard as they love to work. It was a fun night and we’re looking forward to next year’s event where we hope to meet again with our new (and old) friends. And to take home at least one prize, of course.

People inside Troxy hall

Beautiful Theaters to visit in a lifetime

Theater, Opera, Ballet,  the performing arts that always stood beside the five main (historically) arts, inspired people to build some of the most beautiful architectural masterpieces in the world. Art has the power to change us as individuals and the world in its complexity and, in the darkest times, reminds us how much value humankind has to offer. And maybe this is why we always struggled to create the most impressive homes for it.

Art is a blessing no matter where we meet it, but the theaters that host Theater plays, Opera or Ballet have the power to amplify our delight (feel free to disagree).

So I made up a list with part of the theaters where I would love to see my favorite plays (and discover new ones), hope you will find them as attractive as I do.

When in Malta visit Teatru Manoel

One of the oldest working arts venue in Europe, Teatru Manoel was built at the order of the Grand Master of the Medieval Catholic military order that we today know as Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Located in Valletta, Malta, the theater opened its doors on the 19th of January 1732 and since then hosts both opera and drama plays. I’m sure that its walls “heard and saw” more conspiracy than many fictional novels. If you’re in Valletta and you plan to visit it you should know that it is closed until November 30 due to maintenance work. You can find more information by visiting teatrumanoel.com.mt.

Picture of Manoel theater in Malta
source: maltatourist.wordpress.com

Shakespeare’s Globe theater – A travel in time

As the official website announces us, “Shakespeare’s Globe is a unique international resource dedicated to the exploration of Shakespeare’s work and the playhouse for which he wrote”. The theater Hall is a modern reconstruction of the original theater where Shakespeare’s dramas were played, built at the end of the 16th century. I find it fascinating to be able to “travel” to those days and I plan to visit it as soon as possible.

Picture of Shakespeare's theater, London.
source: londontown.com

Teatro Olimpico from Vicenza

“a theater based on the ancient model, but in small proportions and indescribably beautiful…”Goethe

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Teatro Olimpico from Vicenza “is the first indoor theater in masonry in the world”. It was initially designed by Andrea Palladio, one of the key figures of Renaissance architecture, and was inaugurated in March 1585. The onstage scenario is the oldest stage set still standing and one of the most beautiful things you have ever seen, picturing a great facade that hosts 3 passageways that grant access towards city streets.

Picture of teatro Olimpico, Vicenza.
source: studentsblog.viublogs.org

Palais Garnier

Inaugurated on 5 January 1875, Palais Garnier has a seating capacity of 1900 and was named “probably the most famous opera house in the world”.(link Wikipedia). For those who haven’t had the pleasure of visiting it Paris Opera and Google Cultural Institute collaborated and provided a virtual tour using Google Street Technology. Enjoy!     

Picture of the main stairway, Opera Garnier.
source: Wikipedia.org

Minack Theater

In England, Minack theater offers a view which will take your breath away: carved into granite cliffs, this +80 years old theater hosts dozens of shows each year. Situated just a few mile from Great Britain’s Westernmost point (on the mainland), Minack theater is used each year from April to September (due to weather conditions) but can be visited throughout the year.

Picture of Minack theater, United Kingdom.
source: cornwallforever.co.uk

Walnut Street Theater

Philadelphia hosts the oldest still operating theater in the United States, founded in 1809. Over the years great artist like Audrey Hepburn, Jack Lemmon, Henry Fonda, Sidney Poitier and many more performed on its stage, helping Walnut becoming the theater company with the most season ticket owners (over 55.000). P.s. there are a few stories about the ghosts that haunt the theater, visit their FB page and read more about the subject.

Picture with the Walnut Street Theater building.
source: walnutstreettheater.org










The Teatro Colon

I’ve never been to Buenos Aires but for me, it’s one of the most fascinating cities in the world. I associate its name with culture, dance, wine, and passion. Named “the Paris of the South”, “the most European city in South America” “Manhattan in the southern hemisphere” Buenos Aires is home to one of the best Opera Houses in the world, Teatro Colon. Opened in the first decade of the 20th century the building is designed in eclecticism architectural style and has an auditorium that hosts almost 2500 seats. A must see!

Auditorium of Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires.
source: turismo.buenosaires.gob_.ar

P.s. another “not-to-be-missed” theater hall in Buenos Aires is El Ateneo Grand Splendid, theater hall that now hosts a bookstore and welcomes over 1 million visitors a year. Click here for more photos.

p.p.s. not quite a theater hall but I really hope to see a live show at “La Bombonera” as well.

The Former Imperial Theater

Mariinsky Teatr from Sankt Petersburg is home to not only one of the world’s greatest ballet companies in the world but also one of the world’s most famous curtain. Opened in 1860 the former imperial theater it’s the proud owner of a luxurious main curtain that embraces its stage for over a century. Watching a fabulous show from the Tzar’s box it’s something worth telling your nephews.

Tsar's lodge at Mariinsky Theater, St. Petersburg.
source: mircorp.com/Jenelle Birnbaum

…Where the shows never end

The city that never sleeps has a district where the shows never stop. There are over 40 professional theaters (3 of which survived on Broadway attracting over 10.000.000 spectators a season. So definitely if you ever plan to visit the world a theater at a time New York’s Theater District must be on your map.

source: whstherebellion.com/?p=67156
source: whstherebellion.com/?p=67156

Bolshoi Theater

For last I’ve saved the theater that hosts world’s most famous school of ballet. Bolshoi Theater, home of both Bolshoi Ballet and Bolshoi Opera, opened almost 200 years ago (50 years after Bolshoi  Ballet was founded). The 2000 seat masterpiece was subject to several renovations (and one major reconstruction) in its long existence but I think it’s fair to say that it still holds the atmosphere of times when princes and princesses admired its magnificence.

Picture of the facade of Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow.
source: grohe.com

I hope you enjoyed our “world tour” and please let us know if you have a preferred theater that you think people should know about.
And for those of you who manage a Theater (or other types of venues): here is how you can use Oveit to manage your venue, but please feel free to contact us for more info.

Further reading:

wikipedia.org

teatrumanoel.com.mt

shakespearesglobe.com

minack.com

teatrolimpicovicenza.it

operadeparis.fr

walnutstreettheatre.org

teatrocolon.org.ar

mariinsky.ru

bolshoi.ru

Can unusual events be your thing?

Being an event planner offers you the chance of hosting many great events. I think that every one of us dreams of hosting the perfect concert or conference that will forever remain in every attendees’ heart and mind. But I also think that many of us would love to host all sort of unusual competitions, championships or festivals, but are too scared to do it. Why?Because “what will people say?”, “who will attend?”, “it’s too weird” and so on. Considering the fact that there’s some “Chemical X” in all of us I think that sometimes we just need someone whispering “everything is possible” –  and we will find the power to follow all these weird ideas. And in this case, I would just love to be one shouting that every unusual idea can be transformed into a very successful unusual festival (contest, race etc). So I gathered a list of some famous, but curious festivals/contest to show you that every idea can be transformed into a successful event.

Air guitar Championship 

Have you ever dreamed of playing your guitar in front of a hypnotized crowd but then realized that you never actually learned to play it? Good news: Finland hosts Air Guitar World Championships, where you don’t need a guitar for a great guitar solo. Here moves are more important than the music so at AGWC only the passion with which you play your imaginary guitar counts. If you plan on becoming the new guitarless Jimi Hendrix you should know that the next edition of AGWC will take place between the 22nd and 24th of August (as part of the Oulu August festival).

participants on stage at Air Guitar Festival
source: airguitarworldchampionships.com

World Beard and Moustache Championship 

Beards and Moustaches. As we all know facial hair is a simple sign of a high testosterone level, and which man doesn’t want to show off with that? Hmmm…maybe this contest is not so unusual after all. There are multiple local/national beard and mustache contests but also an international one – World Beard and Moustache Championship.

Baby Crying Contest

Do you know the popular theory that a crying baby is a healthy one? Well, in Japan there is even a contest of crying babies. This hundreds years old “contest” is meant to help babies scare off the demons, so the louder the scream the longer/healthier the baby’s life. The participants (little babies) are held on stage by sumo wrestlers that encourage them to cry by wearing masks or simply “whispering” them to.

Rock-Paper-Scissors

Rock-Paper-Scissors is not an unusual game (as for years and years decided for me and my friends who will go to the store or take out the garbage) but a World Championship…that was new (to me). Unfortunately, there are some issues with the event and Worldrps.com announces that currently there aren’t any scheduled for Rock Paper Scissors International World Championships but there are plenty of local tournaments to prove you have the skills.

Wife Carrying Festival 

The wife carrying contest originated in Finland and, over the years, has spread around the world, similar competitions being held in North America, Australia or the United Kingdom. Beside multiple local contests, enthusiasts can participate to the Wife Carrying World Championship (if they are good enough, of course) held where else than in Finland. The first 20 editions have all been won by Europeans, I think it’s time for this to change.

Ironing can be transformed into an unusual competition 

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t think that ironing is a very annoying task, but it seems that things change when you add some adrenaline to it. Otherwise, I can’t understand why Extreme Ironing even exists – you can do some extreme sport without carrying your iron board with you, right? Extreme ironing enthusiasts organized a World Championship back in 2002 and 12 team took part at it, demonstrating that even ironing has its fans (or maybe it was the adrenaline rush activities that gathered them, we will never know for sure).

Shin-Kicking World Championship

As the name says this sport involves getting your shins kicked…ouch! Originated in England, this sport still attracts great crowds to the Cotswold Olimpicks. I wouldn’t dare to look, not to mention taking part in a “shin fight”, but if you fancy yourself in the middle of the action you must know that the next event takes place on the first of June, 2018. May the Shin be with you!

Dear event planners, Volunteers are part of your team

If volunteering can change the world than I think it’s safe to say that volunteers can change your event. My colleagues and I saw many events were volunteers’ contribution was so important that I don’t really know if those events could have been possible without their help. And this is perfectly normal – large events (especially festivals, exhibitions, and conferences) mean large crowds so any extra help is greatly cherished. There are many reasons for which people volunteer at events and there are many reasons for event planners to reach out to volunteers. But for this to work you, the event planner, should:

picture of 4 volunteers holding fists together

Find out where you need help

Before you contact volunteers you must know what you actually need them for, meaning you will need to evaluate your needs for personnel. Find out which departments would need some extra help: marketing and communications, sales, technic department etc. so you know who to look for. People like volunteering but they also like to know what they are volunteering for and it wouldn’t do you any good to look for someone to help with registration when you actually lack a sound technician.

 

Ask early

My biggest problem when growing up was that I always waited until the last minute when I wanted/needed something. And, as life taught me (the hard way, how else?!), things tend to get rough when time isn’t on your side.

Spread the news that you are looking for volunteers early on otherwise you can you can find yourself in the unpleasant situation of not having enough personnel on site.

 

Define your expectations 

If you don’t know where you’re going how will you know when you get to the destination? Things aren’t very different if we speak of a new task or project: if you don’t know what you want to achieve how will you know if you did a good job? Things are even more unclear for volunteers, so you will need to explain to them what should be the end result of their work. It’s easier to evaluate your work when you have some clear goals.

P.s. this doesn’t mean that you must micromanage your volunteers, don’t get me wrong

 

Don’t “save” obnoxious tasks for volunteers 

You and your team should act like leaders and don’t use volunteers for the jobs that nobody wants, instead offer them the chance to do something meaningful. This way you can count on their help for your next events (and will be able to add some experienced people to your team).

 

Form groups and offer training 

After everybody has chosen a role it’s time for you to host a training for the whole team.

I saw that, generally, things work great when you create mixed workgroups (volunteers + team members) and offer the same “training” for all. Encourage socialization between your team and volunteers because, after all, you are all in the same boat, so you need to act like one big team.

Before your event starts “walk” everybody through the whole process at least once, so they all get the big picture. Seeing how a rather tiny role in the process actually helps things move forward will make everyone more enthusiastic about their role in the event.

 

Praise volunteers for their hard work

“How you feel is often more important than what you earn”. We tend to value words of appreciation more than we value financial rewards, studies reveal. But if you think that words of appreciation are so used so often that they start to lose their value…think again.Genuine words of appreciation are rare and hard to forget, so are able to make you really known and appreciated within the community of volunteers.

 

…and don’t forget that VOLUNTEERS ARE PART OF YOUR TEAM.