Home' micenet eMag : micenet AUSTRALIA October November 2014 Contents Of course he did. It was what he was supposed to do.
Giving the keynote presentation at Inspire EX to a full
house (in a makeshift venue that really shouldn’t be
utilised for this type of thing), US-based events industry veteran
John Daly discussed, through examples of events he had
created, on what’s so great about face to face.
Afterwards there appeared to be quite a few attendees who
weren’t impressed with the talk.
I attended Daly’s session and I must say I liked it. I certainly
wasn’t overcome by the photographs that were on the two big
screens. Most of them were blurry, perhaps because their
resolution was too low for the size of the screen. I would
suggest that somebody should’ve sorted that out well before he
took to the stage.
What I did enjoy was who his clients had been and what he
had done for them, and particularly what lengths he had gone
to, to get his and his clients’ vision just right.
Maybe the best example was an event he did for Porsche.
The boss – “Randy” - was a man Daly had worked with at Land
Rover who had moved over to the European sports car
company. Randy wanted the Porsche dealers and the Porsche
mechanics in the U.S . to know and experience what it felt like to
be a Porsche owner (no doubt in an effort to make them feel
more attached to the car, and potentially make them work
harder to spread the love of the Porsche brand).
So Randy gave Daly a rough outline of what he wanted. Aside
from staying in a five-star hotel – as a Porsche owner would -
they were going to create a base of operations where the group
could test out the cars and learn more about the cars at a
disused airport runway where there would be seminars, lunches,
and other activities.
Each group of participants would be at the venue for a couple
of days, and the entire program would go for a month.
Daly went away and designed a concept of creating a mini
city out of shipping containers.
The client said they were too rustic; he was after something
more elegant. Daly went back to the drawing board and did
renderings of the shipping containers painted white, adding a roof
structure and an observation area so the group could watch as
participants tested out the Porsche cars on the airstrip. On top of a
number of the containers would be the latest Porsche motorcars.
The client still wasn’t satisfied, and suggested instead of the
shipping containers they go with tents or marquees.
So Daly went back to the drawing board again and sent
renderings of different types of tents to the client. This went
back and forth until Daly came up with the idea of having the
front of the main tent two storeys of glass. Back, forth, back,
forth, back, forth.
The photographs he showed of the end product – despite the
blurry screen – looked spectacular.
Barring the fact that the structure constructed would’ve cost a
gazillion dollars, and the fact that not every client has a mountain
of money to spend on events, what Daly’s story demonstrated
to me, and what I believe was a take home for those attendees
at his session, was that good events don’t just happen. They
take work. They take refining. They take effort.
In his position, with clients that included Gillette, MasterCard,
Land Rover, Rolls Royce, Credit Suisse, Citicorp and Goldman
Sachs, not to mention clients in Hollywood, Daly could very well
have said to his Porsche client, it’s my way or the highway.
But he didn’t. He worked on aligning his vision with that of the
client until they created something that they were both satisfied
with, and from his account, worked extremely effectively.
Daly believes that nothing replaces face to face, giving as an
example how he has operated his business for so many years.
“My business has been built on relationships. Many of my
clients have been with me for 25, 30, and 35 years. It’s because
of the relationships that we’ve established over that time that
they remain,” he said.
Following his presentation I spoke to him briefly about what he
meant by that.
“I do a lot of work in New York with New York based firms.
Every year I make two trips [from LA] to New York to catch up
with them. And it’s amazing that even though we haven’t spoken
“He talked about himself a lot.” BY BRAD FOSTER
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