Event in the spotlight: Oceanic at the Zoo

Spotlight, Styling trends

Ocean-inspired florals, custom lighting and a real-life seal performance were some of the highlights.

Taking over a space that had never been used for an event, the team at JAK Creative & Events transformed the venue into an underwater fantasy, complete with sea-inspired florals, custom lighting design and a real-life seal show.

What: Board dinner
Where: Melbourne Zoo, Wild Seas enclosure
Guests: 15 directors
Theme: Oceanic

How was JAK involved in the event?

JAK Creative & Events conceptualised, designed and produced all aesthetic elements of the dinner. The Wild Seas enclosure at Melbourne Zoo is a space for public viewing and had never been used as an event space previously. As such, all equipment, furniture, lighting and styling components needed to be brought in externally.

It was crucial that the design supported the food service in every way. Floral and graphic elements were inspired by the Nautilus Shell or Fibonacci sequence. This sequence is a fundamental pattern in nature, often found in repetition in leaves, petals, snail and sea shells and even massive galaxies (Our creative director Kerryn Howell was completely obsessed with this concept).

A large scale sculptural menu created a room feature and was able to be viewed by guests during pre-function drinks as well as from the table. The linen was layered in hues of oceanic deep greens and sea foam. Tall floral creations mimicked corals and seaweeds and were illuminated overhead with soft, warm lighting. Other lighting effects included a dappling effect created by slow movers to give the impression of sunlight underwater.

The overall effect was luxurious and organic with exquisite detail, for a fully immersive and highly sensory guest experience.

What were the event highlights?

Highlights of the design were the sculptural menu with large scale graphic print. The design of the menu allowed JAK to display a complex array of food and beverage offerings that would have otherwise been cramped if displayed at each place setting. Additionally the size of the installation helped to balance the visual weight of the tablescape in the space.

Custom candle stands created a lower level of undulating light, bathing guests in a warm glow and creating visibility at the table in the dark room. The lighting design by Select AV perfectly supported our concept by highlighting the multitude of textures, providing soft contrast and gentle movement.

The bespoke botanical creations from Style By Nature were completely breathtaking, a canopy of sea inspired flowers and foliage for guests to dine beneath.

But the biggest highlight of course were the seals! Graceful and playful, they created a floor to ceiling backdrop. It was hard to concentrate on working in the room they were so mesmerising!

What was the feedback like?

This was the first time an event of this type had been attempted in the Wild Seas space. There were many challenges such as sloped flooring and restricting lighting options. The whole space needed to be approached very creatively.

Feedback for this event was wonderful, particularly for our client who had invested an enormous amount of time and innovation into taking their menu to the next level. Guests were delighted by their surroundings and the way our design effortlessly transitioned from cocktail to banquet.

They loved the way we were able to both highlight the features of the space while drawing the eyes to the beautifully designed details. ‘It was an under the sea fantasy’ commented one guest, ‘I wanted to stay there all night!’.

Contact the team at JAK Creative & Events to bring your event to life.

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