The world came to London for five days in June, as the Salvation Army celebrated its 150th anniversary by bringing together representatives from all the countries in which the charitable organization operates.
The Army, which is headquartered in London, hired Dallas-based Corporate Magic to oversee the events. Corporate Magic has a long history with the charity: "It all sprang from our association with the Salvation Army's annual Red Kettle campaign kickoff broadcast during Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day games over the past 13 years," explains Stephen Dahlem, senior creative director for Corporate Magic.
The 150th event required a two-year planning process. "Corporate Magic orchestrated the entire event, across five venues, from conceptualization to forming the teams that handled everything from staging to lighting to AV and video," Dahlem explains. The event roster included seven general sessions in London's O2 arena, a grand march down the mall leading to Buckingham Palace, an interactive history of the Army, and performances by 40 international groups, ranging from the hula to Chinese lion dancing. The event team numbered more than 250—nine from the U.S., including Chris Laue, who oversaw the opening ceremonies for the 2012 Olympics in London, and the rest local. All told, nearly 16,000 attendees from all 126 countries marveled at the spectacle.
Corporate Magic keyed on the event theme "Boundless," a lyric from a hymn written by the founder of the Army, in all aspects of the event. "We knew that we could apply that message of 'unlimited' to all aspects of the Army’s future," Dahlem says. He credits Corporate Magic's grasp of the Army's mission as one reason why his team won the bid, saying he and his team "completely understood the importance of why they gather for this anniversary."
Corporate Magic 1925 Cedar Springs Road, Suite 206, Dallas, TX 75201; 972/869-1919; www.corporatemagicinc.com