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Mice Net : December 2008
news begin T let the games The DaviD GranT Special evenTS team continue to stride the global stage showcasing australian event expertise to the world at the recent Beijing Olympic Games, their seventh consecutive Olympics. hey produced “London House” for the City of London and London 2012, which quickly became the hottest ticket in town as the place to see and be seen. They were one of the four integral agencies in the creation of the Johnson & TOP: David Beckham was a special guest at London House. MIDDLE: The DGSE team. BOTTOM: One of DGSE’s major clients, Johnson & Johnson. 10 mice.net Johnson Sponsor Showcase on the Olympic Green – a built-from-scratch three- storey building that included Beijing’s only display of the Xian Terracotta Warriors, a multi media / interactive exhibition of J&J products and a multi- spaced function centre that catered to more than 12 media, social or launch events per day – all in a 4000 square metre building that the Mayor of Beijing loved so much he requested it be left there permanently. And as if that wasn’t enough they designed, built and ran four other hospitality and event spaces for J&J and for NBC New York to entertain their tv, film and music celebrity guests. In all, the DGSE team produced more than 280 events across seven venues, entertaining in excess of 30,000 guests from all over the world. DGSE event producer, Katerina Pitsikas, who produced the London House project with production manager, Johnny Ellis, said being out of your comfort zone and working abroad is challenging and rewarding. “Being part of the world’s biggest event is a real buzz, when you get to work with people like you but from every corner of the globe,” said event producer Annie Rechner, who produced the mammoth Johnson & Johnson projects along with event manager Sarah Langley. Seven DGSE staff plus Sydney chef Stephan Mueller and his catering team managed the projects, living in Beijing for the final six weeks and the 17 days of the games. The events were, on average, 12 months in the planning, and required monthly trips to China or to their clients in London and New York. “The 17 days are the killer,” said event manager Amelia Rogers. “Being my first Olympic Games I didn’t realise just how hard it would be because you literally work 16 hours a day for 40 days straight without a day off or a sleep-in. It’s grueling and some days blur into others but it really is so unique and an almost life changing experience both professionally and personally.” The ability of his team to produce work of this calibre – entertaining the world’s business, political and sporting elite – is what makes David Grant the proudest. “Every time we start work on a new Olympics it’s like starting our business all over again,” he says. “Nobody knows any of the key people that you need – no suppliers, no people of influence, no-one we have any history or trust with. We just have to prove ourselves from scratch.