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The Big Birthday Bash… a story…

Sometimes, a once in a lifetime opportunity presents itself.

And sometimes we aren’t intuitive enough to recognize and walk away. That could have been this story, but luckily there was enough tease and curiosity to garner interest, so we listened closely.

Video conferencing for us is common place but hearing a brief to create a “bespoke private event for an Australian/USA-based clients who wanted a special family event to celebrate an important birthday”, was not.

Working in the international corporate sector for over 50 years, ID is a leader in reward and recognition. So, this request, of a no expense spared, magical week for 220 family and friends ranging in age from 3 months to 90 years old, was unusual. With guests flying in a combination of private jets and business class commercial air, the brief was to craft an unforgettable experience by bringing the diverse group together and leaving each guest with intentional and personalized lasting memories.

With no limit to the budget, could this be genuine, was this real? I am sure during clients briefs we have all asked ourselves this question time and again.

With some trepidation we committed to providing creative. Let’s get the team together and work some magic and see where it takes us…

So off we journey into an event format never undertaken in ID’s 50-year history. With the destination decided as Port Douglas, and the Hotel Sheraton Grand Mirage, we had good bones to create what we started to consider as a “wow, incentive trip”. It made the process easier.

Submitting seven differing concepts we were surprised that the client loved them all and wanted a “deep dive” on enhancement for each one. Eventually, after weeks of back and forth we were given the green light to produce all seven – the client would work them into the week, along with additional customized and bespoke touring.

Thrilled to have their confidence, below is a snapshot of a few of the memorable events:

Deep Sea Playground

This was the theme for the welcome event on the first evening at home base, the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Port Douglas.

A relaxed affair in the Poolside Gazebo that allowed everyone to meet and mingle over a sumptuous seafood buffet and cocktails by the pool, it was designed to be a casual recovery from jetlag with a distinct chill vibe.

Wonderland Big Birthday Bash

Wonderland was the theme for the birthday celebration event, held at Flames of the Forest, a private location in a lush rainforest pocket.

Ahead of the party, guest could choose themed outfits from the ‘Wild Glam’ pop-up shop. Eighteen hair and make-up artists were flown in from Sydney to transform guests for the big night, while floral designers created custom adornments for each guest to wear in their hair.

As guests arrived in the forest location, an array of stunning mirrored performers including bunnies and butterflies welcomed guests to the whimsical wonderland landscape created for the event. This created fun photo opportunities throughout the rainforest and a glam photo booth with accessories was also popular.

There was the opportunity to get up close with native animals including koalas, crocodiles, phytons and lizards during pre-dinner drinks, before the Indigenous traditional owners the Kuku Yalanji performed an impressive Welcome to Country.

One of the highlights of the evening came from former Cirque du Soleil performer Julie Cameron, who dazzled with an acrobatic display that inspired and delighted guests – focusing their attention and leading straight into the Big Birthday Bash Shout Out – where the MC brought all guests who had celebrated a special hallmark birthday in the past year to the stage.

Then it was time to hit the dance floor with global sensation Hot Dub Time Machine, delivering a stellar live DJ set as guests partied the night away.

Barefoot Luxury

The next day a tour to Kuranda in the Cairns hinterland was offered which included the scenic train and sky rail. For those wanting more of an adrenalin rush there was option to spend some time at the Wake Inflatable Park.

Then it was time for cocktails at sunset at a luxe barefoot event with delicious themed grazing tables of local produce at the renowned Nu Nu’s in Palm Cove.

Keep it in Play

On the final day, Four Mile Lawn, the Lagoon and Poolside Cabanas were the perfect setting for a day that included luxury pamper parlours for massages and beauty treatments.

Competition was fun and fierce with specially tailored family games, ranging from floating beer pong to lawn games and giant inflatable races, complete with a leader board and prizes.

An extensive playground was created and for the water sports, guests were under watchful eye of two Bondi Rescue lifeguards flown in for the event.

Let’s Go Troppo

This was the theme for the final evening event, and once again the hair and make-up team created a colourful look for each guest.

Lighting was the key to bringing this vibrant festival scene to life, as the trees surrounding Four Mile Lawn were saturated with coloured light out of the dark surrounds, the giant tipi was a standout feature and festoon lighting draped over the dining area to create a soft ambience for the luxury barbecue dinner.

Local musicians Drew Boy, Kaweyova and their band took to the main stage, before a magical week-long event finished with a bang – a dazzling 15-minute firework display on four Mile Beach.

What our client said…

“ID Events Australia is one of the best event partners I have used. They communicated clearly and in a timely manner on top of just being kind.

With me being located in the US, they made sure to convey everything in an easy-to-understand format, which was so helpful due to the time difference and having complete opposite working hours.

They have great ideas that are outside the box and genuinely cared about my event. I felt confident going into the program that they had everything under control. I am so grateful for this partnership and cannot wait to work with them again!”

My lesson from this is the process that leads to change occurs in many guises but often increases our potential for service excellence and improved performance. Grateful.

Bring on the next Birthday extravaganza!…

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