Possibly one of the best events that we have had the opportunity to plan and coordinate this year was the Quartz Africa Innovator’s summit, an event that was hosted by our client Quartz ( www.qz.com).
The main objective of the event, was to celebrate, showcase and appreciate African Innovators who are using their businesses, crafts and life passion to make a positive difference on the continent. 30 innovators who were from 15 African countries were celebrated during the event.The event was held in three spaces at the Radisson Blu Hotel Nairobi namely, Mt. Kenya, Mt. Elgon and the Mt Elgon terrace.
The style and the format of the event was a 2.5 hour summit, followed by a networking cocktail and the night culminated in an intimate dinner. The event ran like clockwork with a prompt 4:30pm start and a 10:00pm finish.
7 Innovators out of the 30 Innovators, who were chosen for their creative vision, and problem solving solutions and enterprises were given a chance to tell their stories via interviews and presentations of their views on Africa today, and how they fit in as trendsetters and leaders in their respective fields.
These were namely; Boniface Mwangi, founder of Pawa 254 ( Kenya), Smockey ( Serge Bambara) Hip Hop Artist and Co-Founder of Le Balai Citoyen ( Burkina Faso), Wilfred Ndifon Immuniologist ( Cameroon), Winnifred Selby Founder of Ghana Bamboo Bikes ( Ghana), Matsi Modise Managing Director Simodisa ( South Africa), Ciiru Waweru Founder FunKidz ( Kenya), Wanuri Kahiu Filmaker ( Kenya).
They keynote address that was given during the dinner was a lively interview with Agosta Liko, Founder, Pesa Pal ( Kenya).
A one hour cocktail session enabled the guests to network and make new connections.
Event Styling & Theme
The event featured colorful quirky caricatures of the innovators. The use of illustrations by the talented Karabo Poppy Molestane added a unique vibe to the event. For the summit section of the event, we used high definition LED screens that were used to beam speaker profiles, and visual aids that accessorized the innovators captivating stories.
The stage setup was minimalist, with a stage backdrop of 3 high resolution screens, and a slightly raised stage. The furniture used was a two seater white couch with a coffee table. The space was used for onstage interviews, and presentations that lasted for a duration of 5-8 minutes. White Victorian chairs were used for guest seating. The use of white made the space come alive when the ambient light shone against the brilliant white setting.
After the summit session the guest had a chance to mingle and go over the day’s discussions at the cocktail which was held at Radisson’s Blu Mt Elgon terrace. The cocktail setup consisted of glass top cocktail tables and Callalily centerpieces, with blue and purple LED uplifting and space heaters to keep away the evening Nairobi chill. The space was let open so that the guest could view and enjoy the starry sky.
The dinner setup, was equally simple, it featured a white on white setting, with wood accents on the table and Calla Lilly centerpieces. Planers and purple up lighting were used to add a little warmth to the space. Full blow printout outs of the Innovators Caricatures were used to create a gallery on stage, this proved to be the perfect backdrop for Bill Selanga’s ( Blinky Bill) on stage dinner performance.
Event Wins & Key Learnings
The Quartz team understood the importance of creating an event experience and no stone was left unturned during the event planning process. As the event planners for the event this were the key learnings to that we took from the event.
- Adopt technology
The registration process was seamless with the adoption of Social Circles ( an event registration app), tablet registration , real time guest counter, and on the spot name badge printing. The guest registration queues were non- existent. This is an event planners dream 🙂
2. The devil is in the detail
The On-stage production was flawless, countless rehearsals ensured that the entire team knew speaker cues, the interviewers were also prepped and knew at what point to get onto the stage. Working with a great audiovisual team that was switched on, attentive and meticulous, made this possible as well. Having an announcer and thematic music as the speakers got on stage was also a great time saving strategy.
3. Decorate and create with your guests in mind
The decor styling was carefully curated to reflect Quartz’s brand and the event objectives. The decor also took into consideration the guests experience, it was non-intrusive so that guests could have comfortable conversations as well as mirror the stylish, clean and minimalist style to suit the Quartz brand.
Waridi Events was glad to provide event planning and management services and to work with the Quartz team for a second time round.