Kicking off the Year of the Dog!
Nothing makes me want to break the rules more than when I see a Guide Dog and know I’m not allowed to pat it. Thanks to my best day of the job so far, I got to fulfil this dream all while ringing in the Lunar New Year!
There's a reason why the analytics on dog videos and photos blow standard content out of the water. So when 120 Collins Street wanted to celebrate the start of the Year of the Dog, we knew this was the opportunity for a slam dunk of an event!
A foyer activation poses interesting challenges in a prestigious building such as the one run by Equiem at 120 Collins Street in Melbourne. You have to convince well-dressed corporate types in a rush to take interest, stop, and engage. The activation has to seamlessly fit into the area - not blocking traffic flow and detracting from the overall aesthetic.
The brief was to have a week-long interactive and dynamic celebration for the Lunar New Year. We wanted to make sure the minute anyone walked into the foyer they would see a welcoming, warm, high-end display with maximum impact.
One part of this was a 4-metre-long and 6-metre-high installation around the entry desk. The exceptionally talented Sarah of Belle Balloons joined us on Sunday night to create a dramatic draping display of balloons. The red balloons varied in size with large gold accent balloons. We took special care with the number of gold balloons to make sure we had traditional lucky numbers only - the last thing we would want is to overshadow the New Year wishes with an unlucky glow!
We also hung these fabulous mirrored gold shapes we had custom created for this display. The reflective surface brought in a dynamic light element that drew the eye right away.
And the final piece of the arch was a huge red acrylic sign we had custom made and lettered wishing everyone "Happy Year of the Dog." That gold circle on the edge of the sign? It was an element added at the last moment when doing the design that ended-up tying everything together. It made the hour it took to perfectly place it on the signage worth it…(mostly.) It was also fabulous to remove with vim at the end of the event!
But that was just the welcome! To the right of the foyer we had an activation element. We turned a humble bench and images of adorable puppies into an interaction that entertained all week. Essentially, the bench became a photobooth with dog masks. The bench echoed the desk installation, with another gorgeous balloon arrangement and additional gold shapes. Again - all balloons and shapes were hung in traditionally lucky Chinese numbers. Next to the bench was a white side table with the dog masks we made of all different sweet pooches. A red ribbon around the vase holding the masks helped with the cohesion of the activation.
But we had one more weapon up our sleeves that challenged all the 'screen faces' wandering through the building…sweet, well trained, beautiful Guide Dogs.
The last part of our activation went live on the Wednesday. We had Placesettings come in with fencing and grass pods to create our little dog heaven. Guide Dogs Victoria came in with a great professional set-up - merchandise, themed tablecloth, and Barry, the donation dog, who also got a red ribbon collar.
Most importantly, Guide Dogs Victoria organised five beautiful dogs and their friendly handlers. Two of the dogs were GDV ambassadors, and three were young pups in training. They were all such lovely souls and represented the amazing work Guide Dogs do.
I don't know if I'll be able to convey the joy in the foyer that day. Each person who even caught sight of the set-up walked away with a huge smile. Those who came in forgot about the future dry-cleaning bill and embraced the dogs fully. We had people in full suits hugging, snuggling, laying down next to, patting, and kissing each of the dogs.
I kept it professional as much as I could, but, I was right there on the floor with the dogs and visitors in the foyer. To my sweet dog, I still love you the most, but Valentina stole my heart.
GDV sold $1,000 in merchandise and raised nearly another $2,000 in donations. Our contacts at GDV were very happy with the outcome and we can't wait to work with them again. You can donate to them at any time or read more about the amazing work they do.
To be honest, everyone was thrilled with the event. Yes, we filled the brief, but the joy the dogs brought on Wednesday was incredible.