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Confetti: Sponsorship Ashore

GETTING FROM ONE place to another in Australia often means covering a lot of ground. In the case of the April 9 Meetings Industry Association of Australia gala, held at Hamilton Island resort and sponsored by Brisbane, Australia-based Staging Dimensions, it also meant taking to the sea.

Led by managing director Mark Keegan, a Staging Dimensions crew and equipment traveled 870 miles by road and two hours by barge to reach Hamilton Island, located in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef. There they worked with event management firm Intermedia, also based in Brisbane, to create an “Underwater Fantasy”-themed awards dinner, held in conjunction with the three-day MIAA annual conference.

To install decor, which included a 40-foot-wide inflatable octopus, three-dimensional tropical fish, faux-rock walls and 330 feet of scenic backdrops, Keegan and staff burned the midnight oil. “We worked throughout the night and the next day to set up the function, and then pulled it down at the end, as the truck had to be on the barge 10 hours later that day to head back to the mainland for another show,” he says. “We had around eight hours of sleep in three days — but it was worth it.”

Sponsoring a major industry event gave his 12-year-old company the opportunity to “showcase what we can achieve to 450 industry peers who were mostly from interstate [Australia], who would never have been able to experience firsthand our themed environments, and who can now have confidence that our services are up there with the best in the country,” Keegan says. Since the gala, he adds, “people we have been trying to cold-call without much success are now contacting us with inquiries.”

Staging Dimensions 36 Burrows St., Bowen Hills, Queensland 4006; Australia; +07 3252 5725;

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