experiential marketing services

Oaks Hotels & Apartments: QLD Precinct Launch

The Engage team were simply fantastic to work with and the ultimate professionals – we would highly recommend them. We can’t wait to have another event so we can use the Engage team again.

Anne-Marie Burgess
GM People Oaks Hotels & Resorts

Gladstone?! Where’s that? You ponder. Well, it’s not just the gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef, nor just Australia's best-kept holiday secret. Gladstone is also home to Queensland's largest multi-commodity shipping port. As well as being a haven for coal, aluminium and even gold mining (twinkle twinkle), the town has a humid, subtropical climate, boasts the fifth largest multi-commodity port in Australia and the world's fourth largest coal exporting terminal. So now you know. And what does that actually mean? Well, it means Gladstone is teeming with industry, with huge companies clamouring to taste a piece of the Gladstone Pie. So you see, it made perfect sense for Oaks Hotels and Apartments to stamp their sparkly presence on Gladstone QLD. Many business people fly in & out daily, and the competition is fierce. Make a splash? Get people buzzing? Music to the ENGAGE team’s ears. So we pulled out all the stops and transported an entire production team to Australia’s best-kept holiday secret. After all there’s not much point putting on your best bikini if you’re not going to make a big splash, right? The mermaid says it all…


We actually received a call from the CEO of the Oaks Hotels and Apartments group who have come to one of our brand activations 18 months prior. His words were ‘I have not forgotten that brand activation which is why I am calling’. You can’t get a better gauge of success then someone who remembers what you did two years ago and it still resonates with him or her like it was yesterday. He’s words to be exact were ‘I want you to do what you did but bigger and better’. Sure, no problem but what are we doing? Product Promotion and Brand Activation was the answer. 
To design and a produce an official opening for the brand new Oaks Grand Hotel and Food and Beverage complex in Gladstone. The opening has to have WOW factor, something no one has ever seen before, all within budget.


This required the full set of our tools and event planning skills as we were responsible for research and development of the base of the concept right through to working with the chef on the menus – yes those couple of years spent at a catering company finally came in handy. As an Event Designer by trade creating and producing the ideas is always the most exciting part of a project for me. Each person in the Engage team has their own favourite and specialised discipline however I’m writing this case study so its goes without saying creating and producing is the best part!!! Gladstone is a pretty old town, established in the mid 1800’s, so the city itself is made up of stunning old gold rush style buildings and brand new convention centers. The new Oaks Hotels and Apartments embodied both the new and the old as it had formed part of the old Grand Hotel, so this is where we began the product promotion story. After all you need a good story to create a long lasting and impressionable product promotion. We created the story of the grand old dame transforming into the futurist modern dame – Madonna esk. With only one site visit and a limited budget we had to ensure our event planning was well timed otherwise it would never have worked. As you can imagine Gladstone as a far north Queensland mining town with very little in the way of WOW supplies. We sourced a range of brilliant suppliers from Brisbane and flew a team of knockout entertainers from Melbourne. Guests were taken on an electrifying journey throughout the beautiful hotel and onto the roof of the new apartment complex over looking Gladstone skyline. WOW highlights included; a live mermaid centerpiece, glow in the dark cocktails served by futurist waitresses, a flare cocktail show and the finale fireworks in the sky. 


The Grand Opening certainly “wowed” each and every guest that attended; with photos of guests’ expressions to prove it. Guests ranged from the Minor International Executive Team (Oaks parent company from Thailand), plus a media crew from Thailand and Australia as well as a range of politicians, CEOs and very important business partners for Oaks Hotels & Resorts. The product promotion event attracted a range of new clients increasing sales and awareness to the new location. 

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