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CREATING MONEY-CAN’T-BUY EXPERIENCES

It will soon be seventeen years that the team at Lateral Events have been carving out a niche in the Australasian Events industry for delivering events that provide money-can’t-buy event experiences.

Our clients expect from us an ever new and evolving range of event experiences that provide access to the inaccessible and therefore attract attendance from their AAA guest list.

The industry is built up of a relatively small number of event producers that actually create events and a myriad of event professionals from many walks of life (venues, production, theming, catering, scrip writers, choreographers etc) who are essential in delivering it.

Those that focus on this money-can’t-buy area of events are few and we are thankful for that.

What we discovered early on is that you need healthy budgets to create money-can’t-buy experiences. There is no such thing as a money-can’t buy event experience on the cheap. But it does not need to be expensive either. Almost always these experiences come from a combination of lateral thinking, access and amortisation.

We started by creating events that combined a range of unique elements that together resulted in powerful experiences. We worked hard to earn access that people normally can’t get to do and to achieve this we invested in a lot of R&D and relationship building.

We had to build high levels of trust to convince people to let us go that extra distance. Be it to step on that stage, enter that locker room, that dressing room, and meet that person or to moor a motor cruiser exactly where we wanted to at the crucial time.

However we soon found that we could not protect our IP. As soon as we delivered a new event we found we’d been copied; not by our competitors but by our client’s competitors.

That’s what started us bringing globally renowned personalities to Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong. We’d create a series of events that are exclusively ours, for which the costs are amortised and for which demand is ever growing. We started with some of the leading wine makers of Europe, then chefs, and in the past couple of years Heston Blumenthal, Sir David Attenborough, Prof Brian Cox and Neil Oliver have all accepted our invitations to travel to Australia for our events. In March 2014 Bill Bryson will be here and in October Prof Brian Cox will return.

We create public stage shows around these personalities as well as the money-can’t-buy experiences for our clients; making it an affordable exercise for all.

For me, though, a lot of joy is derived from coming up with the ideas that creates something utterly unique so that everyone says ‘I want to do that. I must do that. How can I do that?’ We are working on such an idea at the moment. We’ll run it in eight cities across the world for around 20 people each time. It will be an experience that one client will adopt and provide the absolute pinnacle experience within its (very popular) genre. It’s not massively expensive but it’s the idea combined with access that is key.

Brainstorming, and the R&D that proceeds brainstorming, is of course crucial to our work so next Tuesday the team will elope in Palm Beach to try and come up with the next generation of event concepts. Coffee, followed by mind-maps, discussion, coffee, a walk on the beach, coffee or maybe wine by now and lots of heated debate hopefully seasoned with inspiration and perhaps we’ll have something to write about next time.