Event Planet hits the ‘design’ pavement in Milan


Event Planet’s General Manager, Laura Sage, discovered the wonder that is Milan Design Week as she toured the infamous Salone del Mobile last month. As a creative specialist, Laura immersed herself in the international showcase for innovation and creativity returning with wide eyes and a mind filled (but not exhausted!) with what is possible. Read all about her ‘sensory overload’ experience that left her bursting with inspiration and discover a few insider tips on how to implement the current trends in your events.

By Laura Sage:


“Learning never exhausts the mind” – the words of the famous (and Milan local), Leonardo da Vinci.

Three weeks ago I was one of 400,000 design enthusiasts to converge on the design capital of Italy for the annual Milan Design Week. Being my first time visiting both this city and event, I did not anticipate the experience…little did I imagine a marathon week of design, events, special projects, exhibitions, talented people and every single one of my senses inspired and alive!

Milan Design Week was held in the second week of April and incorporated stand out programs; Salone Del Mobile, Fuorisalone, Euroluce as well as design thought interweaved through all touch points of Milanese daily life; from food to fashion and hospitality.

Salone Del Mobile is an annual international furniture tradeshow, where the mind is overwhelmed by possibility, new trends and interpretations. The world’s best brands were present showcasing their new projects, with many well-known luxury brands (including Event Planet’s clients Bulgari, Land Rover and Dior) leveraging the close connection between design and fashion with show stopping installations and pop ups.

Technology was a continual underlying theme. A standout in the furniture space at Salone Del Mobile was an A.I designed chair by Philippe Starck in collaboration with Kartell. Using an algorithm in 3D software, the requirements of structural integrity and comfort resulted in a modern design using ground breaking technology and methodology – the future of design thinking.

The biennial lighting showcase Euroluce was held at Salone Del Mobile. Euroluce previewed lighting style and innovative solutions, with over 420 exhibitors exhibiting in four pavilions, requiring a full day to enable myself to be immersed and see all the stands! The lighting design was astonishing, however it was the immersive and interactive layer in the lighting designs which captured the imagination and provided inspiration for the ways in which we at Event Planet can enhance the guest experience and engage emotions in event design.

One particular showcase was by Preciosa titled Joy, Life & Light, which mimicked a carousel of light and was designed to move and bring delight to users, connecting on an emotive level. Triggered by sensors (another subtly integrated technological inclusion), the experience constantly moved in response to human movement and was choreographed to enchanting sounds. Joy, Life & Light ignited the five senses and brought a smile to all who experienced it.

Of personal interest was Fuorisalone which was a series of events and special projects around Milan’s famous design districts and ran as a parallel event to Salone Del Mobile. (FYI: in Italian fuori means outside). It provides a platform for both emerging and established artists, brands and designers to exhibit and generally felt more “street level” with unexpected pop ups, public art and installations at almost every turn. What I can only describe as ‘cool’ were so many captivating moments; from better known British sculptor Alex Chinneck unzipping a building for World Revealed, to the mirrored Echo Pavilion in the Palazzo Litta courtyard, to Marc Ange’s Le Refuge de La Nuit and the collaboration between Qeeboo and Marc Antonio called Giraffes in Love. It was however a simple installation hidden away (so much so I have no name for it) that left me in awe, best described as a giant beanstalk-esque growth over a historic building. Once again proving, sometimes splendour is found in the simple.

Milan Design Week surfaced trend, upon trend, upon trend, and upon reflection, I have identified a shortlist of implementation possibilities in our event world:

  • Adaptability – designing elements that can be reused, repurposed and interactive. This could involve technology inclusions such as cordless phone charging hot spots designed into table tops or armchairs, whilst also retaining their aesthetic value and potential to be reused for multiple events.
  • Floating Design, a term coined by myself – a trend in the tradeshow space of what appeared to be floating stands, where the feet and movement of guests could be seen externally however the rest of the interior remained a mystery. It was a wonderful play on not closing off a space and creating intrigue.
  • Keep it green – integrating plants into design and not as an afterthought or simple pot in the corner, but rather acting as the focal point and design feature to transform the atmosphere.

To finish, Leonardo da Vinci’s famous words certainly ring true, Milan Design Week left me not with an exhausted mind, just exhausted feet!


The unforgettable Autumn Racing Carnival


The moment that champion mare Winx won her 33rd consecutive race will long remain in racegoers memories from the 2019 Autumn Racing Carnival.

Sydney turned on glorious Autumn weather for the celebrations at Royal Randwick and Event Planet was once again trackside having produced stand out brand activations for clients Moet Hennessy and Tabcorp.

This year the Tabcorp Oaks Lawn Marquee catered for over 300 guests on each of the two main race days and featured a menu designed by Matt Moran and the team at Chiswick restaurant. The marquee interior featured navy blue and gold trims with oversized floral prints adding pops of colour. A live sketch artist delighted guests with portraits and the custom built walling provided exceptional race coverage on 17 plasma screens and of course ample electronic betting facilities.

Over on the members’ lawn area, the Moët and Chandon pop up bar created many a #moetmoment for racegoers to capture their time at the carnival. Photo moments including an oversized photo frame, Moet piccolo vending machine and four storey gold champagne bottle tower providing the ultimate shareable content.

Randwick’s newest precinct The Mews was designed to give racegoers another area in which to view all the action on the track, socialise and have access to food and beverage facilities. The Chandon S pop up bar featured as well as a bold and bright floral adorned swing seat for photos.

Take a look at all the action from the Tabcorp Oaks Lawn Marquee, the Moët and Chandon and Chandon S pop up bars at the video link below.

Get in touch to discuss elevating the experience at your next brand activation.

Leading Teams for Emerging Leaders at the London Business School


Event Planet’s Production Director, Monique O’Callaghan, has just returned from the London Business School where she was given the opportunity to attend an intensive five day course at the prestigious educational institute. Monique was one of 30 professionals from 19 countries and numerous industries to participate and proudly represent both Event Planet and the Australian events industry.

“I was honoured to represent Event Planet on a global scale. I feel incredibly privileged to have had this experience and the value this will bring to our team, our suppliers and our clients is already evident”.

The course, targeted at individuals transitioning from an individual contributor to a high-performing leader, focused on three key themes: leadership, teams and delivering results. These areas of focus were then brought together by a significant amount of hands on and collaborative group work.

Going into the program, Monique was eager to understand her leadership style and how that can impact the team around her; “for me, it is all about self-awareness and adaptability. Understanding how I lead and knowing when to change my approach is vital in ensuring success in a small team”.

“I learnt that transitioning into a role where you are leading a team often requires a shift in mindset. You are taking a step away from being an individual contributor and instead developing a broader long-term view in terms of strategising and encouraging your team to jump in and get their feet wet; and it is at that point when things get really exciting, where you, as the leader, can watch your team thrive together”.

Monique also notes a new focus going forward for her is “recognising talent within our team, nurturing and supporting that talent and empowering the team to develop their capabilities as the next cohort of leaders in our industry”.

The world-class faculty at London Business School expertly wove their content around case studies and real life situations and exposed the group of young leaders to a range of tips, tools and tactics to take back and implement in their respective work environments. “The knowledge shared and gained was invaluable and the insights gained will be instrumental in defining myself as a leader at Event Planet as well as contributing to our team operations and processes”.

A highlight of the program was the one-on-one executive coaching and peer group coaching. “Over the five days, a tight-knit network was created where we presented our own leadership challenges and provided thoughts, comments and practical tips from our experience to our peer group of five members. I found it extremely interesting that even though we came from such varying professional and cultural backgrounds, the insights and advice that were so freely given were applicable to us all”.

In the words of former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, ‘leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it’. This quote certainly rings true for Monique as she notes, “I am ready to get to work and continue developing our talented team here at Event Planet. Participating in this program has shown me how I can deliver results for our valued clients through others and I can’t wait to get started”.

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London Business School Silverstone-Challenge
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Amy Merriman on the power of events


Check out the recent article on Commercial Real Estate online, featuring our Founder and Managing Director – Amy Merriman, talking about the power of events and how luxury brands are leveraging this to meet their objectives. Read the full article.

Get in touch to discuss elevating your next launch event.

Amy Merriman talks Events

Amy Merriman talks with Commercial Real Estate about the power of events for luxury brands.

Tabcorp Spring Racing Birdcage Marquee


Produced by Event Planet. The Tabcorp Spring Racing Birdcage Marquee – an inspiring space which excited guests and elevated the overall experience through colour, form and movement.
The interiors captured the euphoria of a ‘winning moment’ – the anticipation of the unknown, revealing a space of celebration with a pop of golden champagne, complemented by the classic beauty of the rose gardens.

See the highlights in the video below:

For more information on this event click here.

Get in touch to discuss elevating your next special event.

Paspaley New Collection Launch Events


Produced by Event Planet. The launch of Monsoon by Paspaley, the latest fine pearl jewellery collection from Australian luxury brand – Paspaley. Four exquisite events held in four unique venues in four Australian cities within a four week period.

Selecting some of the newest event venues available in Australia such as Half Acre in Melbourne and The Calile in Brisbane, Event Planet meticulously conceptualised each, taking into consideration the inspiration for the collection and the environment the pearls are grown in, to create the perfect backdrop in which to showcase Monsoon by Paspaley.

For more information on this event click here.

Get in touch to discuss elevating your next special event.

Tab Everest Live Site


Produced by Event Planet – a disruptive activation to create excitement for the world’s richest turf race ‘The Everest’ for naming right’s sponsor, TAB, during Sydney’s Everest Carnival.

A 12-piece dancing flash mob led the revelries from Bondi Beach, Hyde Park to Pitt Street Mall and ended at the Martin Place live site where the TAB consumer experiences were set.

Activations included The Everest ice mountain competition where prizes were frozen within and needed to be freed with a pick axe and the TAB Fantasy Race game where consumers had the chance to experience what it was like to be a jockey on one of the 12 horses lined up for the TAB Everest.

See all the action from the day in the highlights video below.

Get in touch to discuss elevating the experience at your next brand activation.