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All that Jazz: AUDE 2013 Networking Dinner

As well as exhibitor and delegate management at the annual AUDE conference (Association of University Engineers), Assured Events were tasked with creating three themed evening dinners, the main one being a networking event for all exhibiting companies and delegates. The brief for this was to create a themed dinner with low-key entertainment and a moving seating plan, in order to maximise the networking opportunities.

The chosen theme was ‘Jazz Club’. As guests entered the main room along the red carpet, a jazz band played behind silhouette screens, smoke machines filled the room and red and black tealight lamps were table centres, creating an authentic jazz club experience. The jazz band then played throughout the evening, keeping fairly low-key so as not to distract from attendee conversations.

The lecture theatre was transformed into the AUDE Jazz Club by draping the entire room in black and star cloth and creating a focal point of the stage area, with red velvet drapes, ornate gold frames and giant musical instruments. Red and black linen carried the theme across all the tables and bespoke gobo lights were created to light up the walls.

A personalised AUDE harmonica was the chosen table gift for guests. Two experienced harmonica players performed a set in the spotlight, before entertaining guests by moving around the tables and teaching them the basics of harmonica playing. Prior to the dinner a drinks reception was held for more informal networking. Props were used to set the scene of the evening and themed cocktails were served - ‘All that Jazz’ and ‘Jazz and Ginger’.

Some of the key challenges for this event were transforming the large lecture theatre and coordinating the seating plan, as the exhibitors moved tables after each course in order to maximise their networking opportunities. The feedback for this aspect of the event however was very positive:

‘Networking dinner on Monday was excellent and I especially enjoyed moving tables between courses.’

Click here for the “AUDE Jazz Club” photo gallery. For more coverage of the AUDE 2013 Conference, please view our news, blog and gallery pages.

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