When you think of corporate events, bondage-clad puppy-men and interactive phallic-themed dessert walls aren’t the first things that spring to mind.
But that was exactly what was on offer for corporate event planners who attended annual industry showcase #SenseUs 2019 in Brisbane recently.
Founded by Onstage Entertainment’s Andrea Heath and Sol RED’s Jackie Rouleston Stuart, this year’s event was held at Rydges South Bank and was the first time the event has taken place in a hotel.
Touted as “not for the faint-hearted”, the event explored the five senses in creative and unexpected ways.
Heath said the aim of #SenseUs is to reignite passion and innovation, and above all, push the boundaries.
“The partners this year really embraced the concept, and watching their teams connect and get excited reminded me why we do this each year,” she said.
“It’s a motivator, an opportunity to demonstrate how we can deliver exceptional experiences differently, and a reminder that the norm is not okay.
“Most of all though, it’s a reminder that we’re all fun, amazing humans who need to be given ‘approval’ to create, not to be confined to a set of beige-coloured rules.”
Here are some of the highlights from #SenseUs 2019:
Guests arrived at Rydges South Bank’s Soleil Pool Bar and were met with a visual and feasting fiesta. Glowing performers on Segways, a living red carpet, living lamp shades, a lollipop aerialist and interactive food stations were all part of the deal. A customised, time-coded fireworks display by Fuse Pyrotechnics signalled a move to the next ‘act’.
Moving into the Podium ballroom for a seated dinner, all 150 guests engaged in an interactive events-themed version of Cards Against Humanity, hosted by singing and dancing MC Jenny Wynter.
Like all things #SensesUs, nothing was normal, with meals featuring an edible version of the card game and centrepieces that exploded with mini fireworks. Table styling by SolRed managed to create a contemporary and stylish look in what was otherwise a crazy hour and a half of interactive fun.
Moved to the lifts by roving performers, guests arrived to the rooftop where expansive views of the Brisbane River were enhanced with neon and tropical embellishments. The highlight was Rydges South Bank’s sensory dessert cave, complete with headphones playing themed sounds as guests journeyed through the darkened maze.
Dance band The JSB had even the most hardened wallflowers on the dance floor, while wind machines made for a Marilyn-style experience for dancers. The night wouldn’t have been complete without the interactive, phallic-themed dessert wall, which saw guests reach into the wall and be given a dessert, or something a little more risqué.
Concept, entertainment and event design: Andrea Heath, Donnita Maher and Jackie Rouleston Stuart
Event management: Andrea Heath
Menu design/head chef: Justin Newbury, Laura Medda and Robin Singh
Venue and catering: Rydges South Bank
Entertainment: Onstage Entertainment
Pyrotechnics: Fuse Pyrotechnics
Photography: SocialPix by EventPix
Registration: Jason Thomas Events
AV production: Select Audio Visual