As a worldwide brand, Oracle Primavera wanted to be able to connect with their customers and update them on their progress and plans for the future as well as having an open forum to discuss challenges and customer experiences of the Oracle Primavera products. After recent growth and expansion throughout Africa, they decided to hold their first user conference in South Africa.
We have worked with Oracle Primavera for a long time on their events globally and were tasked with finding the perfect venue and managing the event. The Venue Services team looked at different localities throughout South Africa, with Johannesburg chosen due to the central location and transport links to other parts of Africa and globally. Operations were tasked with contacting and sourcing local printers plus audio-visual suppliers in order for the Project Manager to put together a comprehensive overview budget for the event from an early stage.
This was imperative as Oracle Primavera had to secure sponsorship for the event and we needed to ensure that we were accurate with finances so that we could create adequate sponsorship packages to cover everything we felt was necessary for a great event.
The research and knowledge of our Venue Services team proved invaluable as the venue that was chosen, Summer Place, was faultless. Built as a private residence, the venue was completely unique and the perfect setting. The staff were very professional and helpful onsite; with a lot of different elements to the event, an exhibition area, separate private breakfast, the plenary and different networking areas, their assistance was instrumental in its success.
We had over 200 people attend on both days, but with over 320 registrations, the drop off was high and although those that came did stay, we will be implementing a few days of reconfirmation calling for next year as well as additional reminder emails to everyone who had registered.
We had branded natural reusable shopping bags for all the delegates and these went down very well as you have to pay for shopping bags in South Africa so we had a lot of delegates asking to take more than one home, with feedback suggesting this was great giveaway. We weren’t initially sure about providing the bags as a lot get left behind at European conferences and we didn’t want waste, but it demonstrated that local knowledge is priceless and it was our local agents that suggested the bags would be appreciated.
Ultimately, the conference was a great start to what has now been decided will be an annual event. The experience demonstrates that having a trusted network of suppliers is imperative for global events, strong project planning and a good lead time is also essential when working across different continents to ensure that suitable time can be dedicated to research and planning to avoid any potential pitfalls.
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