Empire Serves as Universal Resource for a Major Technology Company's Technical Staff Retreat

March 2006. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, The Fairmont Hotel

When one of the world's largest technology companies sought to recognize, reward and inspire its top technical employees and scientists, it chose to conduct a weekend retreat with spouses at the Fairmont Hotel in picturesque Vancouver, British Columbia. The 3 day program for more than 400 guests would include several meal functions, inspiring speakers, activities, entertainment, a gala dinner and a disco after-party. Based on a multi-year working relationship, this global corporation turned to Empire Entertainment to serve as production company for the entire program.

Over the course of many months, Empire worked closely with the clients to develop an agenda and theme that would resonate throughout the weekend and leave a lasting impression long after the guests returned home. The example of the Apollo space program that ultimately sent the first men to the moon was chosen as a source of inspiration and appropriate imagery and content were adopted to theme the entire weekend.

The program began with an arrival night reception and dinner where the company's most senior technical executive delivered a keynote address, followed by an inspiring speech by Dr. Jerry Linenger, an American astronaut who served aboard the Space Station MIR. Dr. Linenger's speech was met with a standing ovation and guests lined up to meet Dr. Linenger after his remarks. The next morning following breakfast, guests were treated to a keynote address by BBC broadcaster and author, James Burke, who shared his perspectives on the history and future of knowledge and technological change. The breakfast was followed by an interactive scavenger hunt game that took place throughout the day.

That evening, guests arrived dressed in ‘Geek Chic' attire for the recognition dinner. Following a cocktail hour, guests entered a ballroom that Empire had transformed into a space-aged fantasy. Square tables set with dark grey linens, silver chargers and square glass centerpieces sat arrayed in lines below a light ceiling in blue chase lights. Each centerpiece glowed with white pin-spotting. Looping footage of high resolution space animations ran on dual projection screens while beams of cobalt blue lighting slowly tracked the room. The evening featured a keynote address and Q&A by the company's chairman followed by a set of side-splitting humor by former Saturday Night Live player and Wayne's World star, Dana Carvey.

Following the dinner, guests adjourned to the rooftop ballroom for a night of dancing to 1980's hits in a mini-disco designed and decorated by Empire and DJ'd by Los Angeles turntablist DJ Crash.On the final morning, Empire set up a farewell brunch which featured bright florals, baskets of hangover cures on each table, and a performance of soft blues, gospel and R&B music by Vancouver's own Kenny Wayne.The results speak for themselves. In the client's post-program analysis, the attendee surveys were returned with 95% of the attendees indicating that they were satisfied and 70% of those indicating that they were very satisfied (the highest ranking).

For this program Empire served as the one-stop production company, developed and designed every aspect of the program in collaboration with the client and supplied all speaker and entertainment booking, staging, sound, lighting and audio visual services, décor, production management and onsite staffing.

Many of the world's most successful corporations choose Empire Entertainment as their one-stop production company to produce their most important programs.

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