The Africa Economic Expansion Summit of November 2014 appointed Dreamcatcher as producer, just two months prior to the event.
A lack of event experience led the clients to request that we take the lead on most aspects of this massive project.
The conference would be over 3 days at the Durban ICC, include opening and closing ceremonies, a gala dinner, 2 cocktail dinners, 3 sponsored lunches, over 100(!) presentations, nearly 150 foreign patrons, +20 international speakers, and an exhibition, not to mention numerous local dignitaries ranging from the CEOs of Top 100 companies to world-renowned experts, and Ministerial representation.
We began to spend as much time in Durban as possible, familiarising ourselves with the local sponsors’ needs, supplier options, venues, support from the Province, and how the City would participate.
We led the client to see how the best events in the world are executed; providing a target for which everyone could aim in unison.
Steadily, we strove to co-ordinate the overwhelming amount of logistics, branding, ancillary events, main events, speeches, safety and security, catering, décor, and invitations and RSVPs into one single project plan.
Then we scratched each outstanding task off the list as it was completed, beginning with the easiest ones, so that we were left with a manageable number of serious challenges and fewer minor distractions.
As each team broke the backs of its challenges, so we were able to re-direct and/or channel resources and energy into refining things, adding greater value, and attending to major tasks which were taking time.
Gradually the hunk of stone with which we had been presented was chiselled into a sophisticated sculpture, with each feature of it gaining greater detail and elegance.
Nearly 600 delegates were registered in the last two months – of which almost 50% were foreign; the sponsors added activities as they saw that their initial investments would bear fruit, the Province and the City asked for greater involvement, and we were able to present one of best line-ups of speakers (~30% foreign) that could have been wished-for.
Our rigorous systems, often with built-in redundancy capacity, were able to flawlessly take care of each and every transfer and shuttle trip, register every delegate long prior to the opening, load every one of +100 speeches prior to the deadlines, and avoid a single technical glitch over the 3 days.
In fact, we were regrettably obliged to “close the doors” because the ancillary events’ venues were not able to accommodate more than 600 patrons.