Creating Memorable Branding Experiences

Greenwich Fairfield: Sod Turning

A ‘sod turning’ that accurately reflected the aesthetic and values of the residential development itself, making the connection with media, the local community and development partners more authentic.

The Brief

A ‘sod turning’ symbolises the start of a major property development – the first sod of earth displaced to make way for construction to commence. It provides key stakeholders with the opportunity to celebrate a key milestone in construction and creates an opportunity to gather media to receive key campaign messages. In this instance, we were asked to provide an on-brand activation for executive guests, local Council and media at the sod turning for Grocon’s new, superbly designed residential development in Fairfield, Victoria, called ‘Greenwich’.

The Execution

Fairfield, located just minutes from the Melbourne CBD, is the epitome of urban, educated style. Furthermore, the new Greenwich residential development is clean, crisp and modern, and the first co-mixed residential/commercial development of this scale to wear the Grocon badge. In terms of design, the development aims to become one of the area’s most sustainable and socially driven, garnering the enviable 5-Star Greenstar and Silver Standard Livable Housing accreditation while also supporting the Big Issue’s Homes for Homes initiative. To deliver an event that lived up to the panache of Fairfield and our client’s impressive new development we did our research by studying the design renders and taking as much direction from the Grocon team as possible. The result was an aesthetic – almost Scandinavian in terms of the linear qualities and muted palette – that looked amazing on the day and acted as an extension of the building we were there to celebrate.

Community integration was a key ingredient in the ‘Greenwich’ development – something that we too sought to incorporate into the sod turning event. Where Grocon had worked closely with local council and community organisations to ensure all interested parties were consulted and given the opportunity to contribute to the project, we extended on this idea by ensuring catering for the event was provided by a café just metres from the site. This may seem like a small detail, but it’s these types of ‘local stories’ that make each event special and gather maximum support now and into the future.

The guest list, including senior Grocon executives and local Ministers, would have been blissfully unaware of the challenges we overcame that morning to deliver on our promise – such as the unexpected positioning of a site office in the guest’s field of vision, however, after a quick readjustment of the floor plan we were back on track. Even some delays to bump-in due to construction conflicts was not enough to set the ENGAGE team adrift, with everything ready and delivered at the agreed time.

The Result

Despite a wet Melbourne morning also attending our sod turning, 40-plus guests, media, client and industry executives enjoyed the hospitality and listened attentively as the ‘Greenwich’ vision was described. We receive very positive and complimentary feedback from our client regarding the styling and our agility in managing the last-minute hiccups.

Sod Turnings are just one of the key property development events in the life of a development project. The others include a topping-out ceremony, the project media launch, investor and supplier events, and of course, the final celebration that signals the completion of the project. These events play a significant role in building the character of a project and endearing it to the local community, regardless of scale or whether the project is commercial or residential. At ENGAGE we are experts in creating meaningful moments that take inspiration from the project itself and align with the unique characteristics of the audience. Delivering a successful community event, such as the Grocon sod turning, requires more than just adding the right people to the guest list – the agency must understand and appreciate the project and have the knowledge and flexibility to successfully customise every aspect of the experience to deliver genuine impact and engagement.

“ ENGAGE captured the ‘character’ of our development in this event exceptionally well. Their determination to align the event experience with our objectives, but still remain agile, was a welcome addition to the project. They were able to manage all aspects of the project from end-to-end, and their professional, friendly staff were an asset to us and them. ”

— Clare Szewczuk | Grocon Corporate Brand Manager