Siebel Turns Conference Guests into Hollywood Stars
Extraordinary Events had already filed for the permits to take over Hollywood Boulevard by the time Harrison Ford showed up. Turns out Ford’s crew at Sony Films were hoping to shoot a scene for Hollywood Homicide that night, but much to their chagrin the block was already spoken for. By Siebel.
In a bleak and challenging economy, Siebel Systems needed to send the message that it was still a high-caliber, forward-thinking company that valued employees and users. Extraordinary Events and The George P. Johnson Co. took those objectives to heart last fall, creating a star-studded finale for Siebel’s user conference nobody would ever forget (especially Mr. Ford).
The agencies rented out the Kodak Theatre for an Oscar-worthy event choreographed to make each guest feel special and important enough to be a part of the Siebel team. “This is a place people want to go and see, but they can’t walk off the street and see it on their own,” says Sherman Oaks, CA-based EE’s president, Andrea Michaels. “But this isn’t an easy venue to book. The city owns the sidewalk, Hollywood & Highlight owns the land, and the Kodak Theatre owns the building.”
As guests pulled up to the theatre and got out of first-class motor coaches, they saw a red carpet bordered by a full sea of “reporters” wearing branded Siebel and Hewlett-Packard (conference partner) shirts, paparazzi flashing their cameras and a faux Entertainment Tonight film crew conducting interviews. Huge searchlights, camera booms and a wall of security created an impressive backdrop—people strolling by were so convinced that a major celebrity event was taking place that they joined in, creating a crowd of 500 screaming fans (only 100 were actually hired).
The three-story Kodak arch was washed in a violet light as the Siebel and H-P logos were set on Plexiglas overlaid onto a soft curtain hung from each side.
The same elements extended into the lobby, decorated in warm colors with logos prominent from every line of sight. Guests entered the different levels for food and beverage functions while 125 VIPs were escorted to new restaurant Vert, where chef Wolfgang Puck cooked and then served them dinner himself.
All attendees reconvened inside the theatre for a customized “Hooray for Hollywood” show featuring branded lyrics, magic and a private performance by Natalie Cole.
The 3,000 people unanimously felt like stars, and Siebel put plans in motion to expand the program for its 2004 conference in San Diego.