Insights from Van Wagner: Corporate Live Event Production in 2023

July 27, 2023

Insights from Van Wagner: Corporate Live Event Production in 2023 featured image

When it comes to orchestrating grand events that leave a lasting impression, few companies can match the experience and legacy of Van Wagner’s Productions team. Recognized as the pioneer of sport presentation on a global scale, more and more organizations and brands looking to create world-class experiences come to us for our expertise in event management and production.

Our Productions team recently returned from the bustling metropolis of New York City where we flawlessly executed two large-scale events for a confidential global computer software client:

  1. An immersive Forum that brought together industry leaders, innovators, and visionaries from around the world. The event served as a platform for sharing groundbreaking ideas and fostering collaboration, involved captivating keynote presentations, and nurtured an inviting setting for discussions to flourish and attendees to network amongst peers.
  2. An Awards Gala the evening before to honor the exceptional achievements of industry leaders. The illustrious celebration of pioneers, trailblazers, and innovators was a celebration of creativity, ingenuity, and the power of imagination, featuring awards, captivating performances, and awe-inspiring visuals.



Van Wagner’s Executive Producer Emily Dolan and Producers Nelson Hurst and Jody Millard shared their insights into the intricate workings behind these two events, and what it takes to create an unforgettable experience for attendees.



Venue Selection:

A critical first step for any event is finding the perfect venue. In this case, we worked with Spring Studios and the Rainbow Room. Van Wagner left no stone unturned when it came to identifying and evaluating locations for the forum and awards gala. With a keen understanding of the event brief, the Productions team scoured the city to present a range of options that perfectly aligned with the client’s vision and narrowed the search down to a few top selections. Multiple site visits were organized, allowing the event organizers to experience each venue firsthand and make informed decisions based on their vision. Leveraging our industry connections and negotiation skills, Van Wagner secured competitive rates, ensuring that the client received the best value for their investment.


Partner Management and Collaboration:

Producing two concurrent events of such magnitude requires seamless collaboration and coordination with a multitude of partners. Van Wagner diligently worked hand in hand with a diverse range of professionals, including event planners, technical experts, venue management, and creative teams. We’re grateful to partners like LDJ Productions, Essay Video, IMCD Lighting, ADI Productions, and Bentley Meeker for collaborating with our team over the months leading up to the events.

By fostering effective communication channels, establishing clear timelines, and providing comprehensive briefs, Van Wagner ensured that every partner understood their roles and responsibilities, resulting in a harmonious working environment.



Event Production, Staging, and Design:

The hallmark of a successful event is its production, staging, and design. Time and time again clients tell us that one of the most valuable things we bring to the table is peace of mind. When we are on-site to oversee equipment and rigging set-up and build outs, we’re able to navigate the unforeseen challenges that pop up and ensure everything is seamless leading up to when doors open.

Most recently, Van Wagner left no stone unturned in working with select partners to transform each venue into a captivating and immersive space.  From the initial conceptualization to the final execution, every aspect was meticulously considered. A dedicated team designed the stage layout, lighting arrangements, and audiovisual elements, creating an ambiance that perfectly complemented the event’s theme and objectives. In the end, we successfully transformed the blank space at Spring Studios into a vibrant and distinctive venue. The result was a visually captivating environment and experience that reflected our client’s ability to bring imagination to life.



Keynote Talent and Speakers:

One of the highlights of the recent Forum was the presence of renowned keynote speakers. Our client selected the right presenters that aligned with their theme, and we allowed them all to shine on stage. To integrate presentations seamlessly into the overall event flow, our producers worked with talent and their teams to understand any technical needs to best to bring their content to life. This included audio, lighting, and coordinating timing with the show director. Engaging early through planning calls and hosting rehearsals prior to the event ensured everyone was prepared.

Whether a client has a specific talent in mind, or is looking for support, we can help. Van Wagner has worked with corporate partners in the past to curate a lineup of exceptional speakers, entertainers, and thought leaders, ensuring a diverse and captivating experience for attendees. We work with top-tier talent and musicians from contract negotiations through managing riders and on-site needs. The goal is to find the right mix of talent that resonates with the audience and enriches their event experience.


Creative and Graphic Elements:

Visual storytelling plays an important role in events. From graphics and how they show up in presentations, to how the event theme and brand comes to life at every attendee touchpoint. In NYC, we collaborated closely with our client and partners throughout the event design process. Each event venue was distinct which meant designing a specific flow to curate the attendee experience.

Our client provided brand guidelines and we went to work with talented animation and graphic designers, creating everything from signage, stage backdrops, and engaging multimedia experiences. By employing cutting-edge technology and innovative design concepts, Van Wagner brought the event’s theme to life, immersing attendees in a visually captivating environment.



Presentation Development:

A truly remarkable event requires seamless presentation development. But that doesn’t just mean the content projected on a big screen. A corporate event should be treated like a “show”. It needs a well-orchestrated program that seamlessly blends information, entertainment, and inspiration to engage your audience and avoid unnecessary distractions or glitches. Van Wagner works closely with our clients to develop an engaging and cohesive agenda in the form of a “run-of-show”. Directing the meeting elements down to the minute ensures that each session flows seamlessly into the next. We also provide rehearsal sessions to guarantee that presenters are prepared to successfully deliver their messages when it’s go time.



Streaming Broadcast:

Like many companies impacted by the pandemic, our client initially enlisted Van Wagner to produce their events as livestreams to a Global audience. We were able to create a thrilling and immersive awards show broadcast online for viewers to witness the excitement unfold in real-time. The virtual atmosphere is enriched by the seamless integration of multiple camera angles, high-definition video feeds, and captivating audio.

This year, in addition to producing the live event on-location, we again produced the virtual broadcast. The streaming experience captured every moment with precision and detail so that audience members and award winners who couldn’t attend in-person could still experience keynote speakers, performances, and the announcement of the winners.  Streaming a live awards show brings the allure of the event directly to the audience’s screens, enabling a global celebration of talent and achievement.

Van Wagner’s new Broadcast Control Center enables our expert team to produce and direct a multi-camera broadcast from our centralized production hub in Raleigh, NC – allowing for the highest quality content with impactful savings and efficiencies over traditional broadcasts.


The successful execution of our recent Forum and Award Gala in New York exemplifies the exceptional capabilities of our Van Wagner Productions team. From managing a diverse range of partners to overseeing event production, Van Wagner’s attention to detail and dedication to creating unforgettable experiences is what sets us apart in the industry. As attendees departed after the doors closed, they carried with them memories of an extraordinary experience.



Looking for a partner to help bring your next Annual Meeting, Summit, or Gala to life? Contact us today!