Read time: 5 to 8 minutes
— The tech and techniques that will help ensure an invitation to your next event is a rare and coveted thing
— How to incorporate live theatre and entertainment to plunge your guests into your vision brought to life
— How to deliver transporting and immersive dining and banqueting experiences
This year, interactive entertainment, an inclusive vibe, and exceptional attention to detail are in high demand.
With the Kennedys at the helm of the White House administration, state dinners, events and parties were so good that people were said to dance on the tables. Bringing the pomp, cool, glamour and culture to life was the responsibility of Letitia Baldridge, Kennedy White House social secretary.
Baldridge’s most frequent advice to her aides was “Don’t take yourself too seriously” as she and her team brought a swirling parade of cultural, political and influential figures together with world-class cuisine and entertainment. A fabulous feast for the senses. It’s expected that Biden’s White House entertainment will be far calmer and more sober, gracious and inclusive, in keeping with the post-pandemic climate.
Whether your vibe has more in common with camp Kennedy or team Biden, there’s an art to making your event a rare and coveted thing. Here, we showcase the latest immersive tech and entertainment techniques used to bring high profile events, social occasions or family celebrations to life. Hosting an event has never been so thrilling.
1. Live action immersive theatre is one of the hottest tickets in town
Welcome to the evolution of theatrical performance as private entertainment. This is where the energy of live action melds with exquisitely designed surroundings to bring a space and an occasion to life.
It’s where performance artists, musicians and actors blend seamlessly with invited guests to ensure the event and story unfold as planned. Your favourite scenes from stage or silver screen can be recreated for you to sit back and enjoy in technicolour glory. And characters can be brought to life with astounding accuracy to delight and interact with you and your guests.
Immersive performances and events can be set up in the grounds of your home, in an urban warehouse, a ballroom or a bespoke marquee. Dramatic sets and illuminations provide opportunities for live-action scenes as well as vignettes and social media moments. Artfully placed backdrops can lead guests down pathways of discovery that follow the overarching narrative.
Storytelling videos and imagery can be projected onto buildings, walls and surfaces using the latest tech to further suspend your disbelief and draw you into the experience. Reimagined to deliver whimsical chic, beautiful small plates ideal for mingling or a full-blown sit-down supper can be accompanied by thoughtful drinks pairings and intuitive service. Perfectly timed and choreographed, each element adds to the story and brings momentum to the event.
Celebratory and sensory, immersive events can transport you and your guests to a time and scenario of your choosing. From the intrigue of Sherlock Holmes to the Jazz-soaked glamour and romance of the Great Gatsby, and the retro liveliness of Back to the Future, MGN’s live action events have ignited imaginations from 30th birthdays parties to Christmas parties. Live action theatre is the epitome of extraordinary entertainment.
Key requirements for immersive live action theatre:
TECH SOLUTIONS: Sound and lighting effects | Projection mapping | Multimedia
SERVICE SOLUTIONS: Experiential food and drink | Flair bartending | Acting, choreography and production | Creative direction | Floral and botanical arrangements
2. Immersive dining experiences and libations much celebrated by fabulous types
An adventure like no other, immersive dining and banquet experiences are made up of a good portion of enthusiastic storytelling and active participation as well as menus prized for their gastronomic qualities. It’s a trailblazing approach to simultaneously entertaining and indulging your guests.
This style of event borrows from the high-tech lab chemistry and culinary theatre of the ilk made famous by Heston Blumenthal. It blends the revolutionary art-and-science approach to cocktails of accomplished bartender and overachiever Dave Arnold. Immersive dining walks the line between the familiar and the surprising, pushing boundaries and expectations.
The dining experience can become an element of a larger event or can take centre stage. Either way, multimedia artists can arrange light and sound around a compelling narrative to create a multisensory backdrop to your gastronomic experience.
Think 3D visual techniques, experiential props, and fireworks displays alongside live plating, where chefs plate up a desert or indulge in culinary wizardry in front of diners on a large surface. Blowing impossibly thin sugar globes and arranging them artfully before smashing them to add a final touch to a dish. Melting chocolate sculptures to reveal intricate layers within. Drizzling sauces from impossible heights and caramelising sugars. Live plating marries the drama of the unexpected with the choreography of performance art.
The beauty of immersive dining is that you can travel the globe without leaving your seat. A taste of Taipei, the hipster cool of California, the evocative scents of colourful, cosmopolitan Mumbai, and the delicate patisserie chic of a darling Parisian café. Embark on a fantastical journey as your favourite book or piece of theatre is brought to life in the form of delectable edible morsels and liquid folly.
Experience a vintage-style dinner and cocktail extravaganza at a ‘20s speakeasy inspired evening. Watch as pneumatic tubes and contraptions deliver ingredients to your chef or mixologist, who will mix and match them to your exacting specifications and personal tastes. Enrobe yourself and your guests in delicious, fanciful, creative fare that enlivens the five tastes: salt, sweet, sour, bitter and umami.
A sparkling event that that will grab and entertain guests from start to finish, to be invited to an immersive dining experience of this nature is of symbolic importance.
Key requirements for immersive gastronomic experiences and libations:
TECH SOLUTIONS: Sound and lighting effects | 3D visual projections | Musically choreographed fireworks
SERVICE SOLUTIONS: Experiential food and drink | Flair bartending | Acting, choreography and production | Creative direction
Conclusion: Great events, all in the planning and detail
Whatever your approach to entertaining and celebrating, it’s all in the details. Whether you’re more comfortable in inclusive, low-key settings with a sprinkling of live entertainment or a dapper black-tie affair brimming with immersive experiences, there’s an ease to hosting social events with MGN as your maestro.
“The best social secretaries are the ones you never hear about,” said Lea Berman who was the social secretary for Laura Bush’s offices in the East Wing of the White House. The MGN team works with great endurance, creativity, keen perceptions and a sense of humour in the background.