The event

A dramatic drape drop revealing a laser light show; a 20-minute orchestral performance of electronic dance anthems; immersive on-screen visuals on super-wide, custom-shaped screens; and over 800 staff celebrated in a soiree like no other.

McGrath’s Annual Awards show on Thursday 25th of August at the Hordern Pavillion, produced by AV1, was a true spectacle.

AV1 worked collaboratively with McGrath’s events, marketing and branding teams, to design and execute the event’s concept; from stage and set design, lighting, on-screen content, and room layout as well as producing the technical elements of the show on the night.

Bringing the dream to life

Richard (“Rich”) Browning, Producer, AV1der, and technical wiz relishes in concepting the vision and innovating for one of the industry’s most iconic awards nights. Rich works closely with Nichola Byrne, General Manager of Events at McGrath Estate Agents to bring Nichola’s big dreams to life.

The wildest dream of all? A full-scale orchestral production of alternative dance and electronic anthems including ‘Right Here Right Now’ by Fat Boy Slim, You Don’t Know Me by Armand Van Helden, and Sandstorm by Darude”, conducted by Funkified Entertainment.

“Seeing that performance live on the night was a real ‘pinch-me’ moment. It was a dream and idea that has lived rent-free in my head for the last two and a half years.” commented Nichola. “To see it finally brought to life was almost an out-of-body experience.”

“When I first said to Rich, ‘Okay, hear me out, I want to do a full Orchestra, playing club hits as the opening act with an accompanying laser and light show’, he didn’t flinch once. I could see the cogs in his head ticking away instantly thinking of how we could achieve this. And to say he and the AV1 team nailed it would be a total understatement.”

The creative evolution

Early on in the creative process, the team decided on a diamond theme for the event elements due to its sharp lines and angles, consistent with the established branding designed by McGrath’s marketing team. Many of the technical and theming elements followed these lines. This included a diamond-shaped stage and hero screen; tables set in a chevron shape with angled aisles; and LED tubes on kinetic motors on a chevron path in the airspace.

“Producing a show like this is what it’s all about for us. McGrath gives us total creative freedom, trusting us to do what we do best” commented Rich Browning, Producer, AV1. 

There were so many complexities to consider and with an iconic venue like the Hordern we felt it was important to up the status quo. Working in tandem, the angular elements across the set design, content and room setup turned the format of a traditional awards ceremony on its head.” 

On-screen content plays an important role in communicating with the audience, supporting the show and immersing guests in the experience. The limelight was shone on McGrath staff as the awards winners were announced and celebrated by their peers. 

“A small detail that made the world of difference to the production was the wireless camera following award winners from their seats to the stage to create an Oscars-style walk-up experience. It elevated the show and made the winners feel extra special… Their five minutes of fame if you will!” said Rich.

AV1 Content’s Creative Director, Kai Raisbeck worked alongside Art Director, Tom Ewart to concept the accompanying show visuals.

The team designed 3D swaying plants, interlaced and lit with chevron-shaped LED tubes to create a dramatic yet understated atmosphere during the awards ceremony.

Fun fact: the same plants and LED lighting tubes used in the content were also used to style the room at the event, creating cohesion between the physical and on-screen experience. Watch the video below to see how the content for this event came to life. 

The client perspective

“This event was over two years in the making and I am absolutely ecstatic with how it went. Getting all of the McGrath team in the same room to reward and celebrate together in style was the goal and we certainly did that” said Nichola.

“We’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback from guests, expressing their awe and appreciation for a fabulous night, with one attendee calling the opening performance ‘mind-blowing’. We’ve also had lots of enquiries from within and out of the industry wanting to know the name of the Orchestra. It gives me great pleasure in saying “it didn’t exist, we created it!” The definition of out of the box.

It was one for the books! We have a lot to live up to for next year’s show!”

We can’t wait for 2023…

McGrath Event
McGrath Event
McGrath Awards Event
McGrath Event
McGrath Event
McGrath Event
McGrath Event

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