26 Oct 2009 09:51
Street artists add ‘surprise’ to Event Awards
Street artists, screen graffiti and a beatboxer made for a surprising night at the recent Event Awards.
The awards night, from Haymarket’s Event magazine, is a benchmark for the UK’s events industry. All types of event, from major consumer exhibitions to exhibition features, and conferences to awards events, are scrutinised by the judges, as are types of venue and supplier.
“This year was a bit special,” said Helen Horton, HBM’s awards director. “For the first time, we practised what we preach: that successful events always incorporate elements of surprise. So we kicked everything off with a guerilla scene on stage when two scruffy street artists suddenly started (seemingly) to spray paint on the screens in the Grand Ballroom at the Hilton Park Lane.”
The audience watched as the artists used a new events technique that incorporates infrared gadgetry to create real street graphics on two special screens. As the scene ended the loop of sponsors’ logos was returned effortlessly to the two screens with the flick of a switch.
The awards team had one more surprise in store. “After dessert,” said events manager Lucy McLaughlin, “without any formal introduction, Beardyman, the beatbox world champion, just took the audience apart. His set was spellbinding, almost defying belief.”
Director of events Matthew Davies sees the Event Awards as another first for Haymarket. “Here was the most jaundiced audience in the world – professional events people who’ve seen it all before. But the Event Awards blew them away, setting these awards above any competitor and establishing a new benchmark for other event organisers to attain.
“To then have stand-up comedian Shappi Khorsandi and Event editor Jeremy King present the awards together on stage made for a well-rounded surprising evening of celebration.”