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Mice Net : October 2008
e-awards 2007 Event Production of the Year George P. Johnson - Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, APEC Forum 2007 Leaders’ Week How to produce a world-class summit involving 21 world leaders including US President George W. Bush, which encompassed 18 events over a four day period against a backdrop of limited bump-in times, bomb checks, airbourne surveillance, a city in lockdown and a five km security fence. Having been appointed by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet as executive producer of the 2007 APEC Leaders Week, George P. Johnson faced a host of logistical challenges in order to deliver the event. GPJ produced the APEC Leaders two-day Business Summit held at the Sydney Opera House, the two Leaders’ Retreats – one at the Opera House and the other at Government House, two gala dinners and a landmark cultural and entertainment performance featuring over 200 performers. GPJ were also responsible for the Light Rope featuring the APEC logo on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, a fireworks spectacular above Sydney Harbour and the stage where all 21 APEC leaders donned traditional Aussie Driza-Bones and posed for the official photo call. The scenario sounds like it came straight out of a Jerry Bruckheimer film. The most significant event Sydney had hosted since the 2000 Olympic Games proved to be a significant opportunity for GPJ to demonstrate how they could work closely with the Government to achieve their objectives to host the benchmark APEC event. Despite having to work with extremely stringent security sweeps and bump-in times which meant deliveries could only be made between 10.10pm and 6am, the result was what has been universally lauded as the ‘best APEC event ever’ with the Australian Prime Minister John Howard, taking time out of his busy schedule to phone Peter Rix and thank him personally on the Sunday after the summit. “There were a lot of logistic challenges in terms of access and egress that came as a result of the security,” Peter Rix explained. “I and the rest of the team took none of it for granted.” After all, this is the work we were trained to do. The challenge was to create something that people would be proud of. We were the hosts and we felt we were doing this on behalf of the electorate and the Federal Government. There were a couple of days when we all realised we were at the centre of the universe. GPJ Statistics • 18 events • 22 locations - Sydney Opera House, Government House, Overseas Passenger Terminal, Sydney Harbour, Sydney Harbour Bridge • Full time team of three for eight months • 25 full-time team a month before • 40 part-time staff • 700 accreditations • 200 contractors • 300 performers, including 150 children • 20 trucks of flowers 42 mice.net winner