Sydney-based boutique events company Funktionality Events and Experiences formally launched their new warehouse and showroom recently- with somewhat of a bang!
Report by Siobhan O’Hamlon, photos by Oneil Photographics
Now situated in Marrickville, Funktionality are very excited to finally have their offices and all their stock located within the one building, just a stone’s throw from Sydney’s CBD.
Initial inspiration for the event was drawn from the vivid, cheerful orange that is now the trademark colour of the company since their rebranding last year. Thus their event was aptly titled “What’s Behind the Orange Door?” Guests were invited via an e-invite that opened to the image of a intriguing orange door, that when clicked on, linked them to Funktionality’s in-house registration software that is used for everything from large conferences to corporate cocktail events as it streamlines capturing attendee’s information and requirements.
The invitation response was over-whelming, to the point the team were initially worried about fitting all their guests in. “I didn’t want it to be just another showcase,” recalls Director Tracy Wood “I wanted it to be a celebration of how far Funktionality has come over the last twelve years in business, and thank everyone who has contributed to our success.” And to her and her team’s credit it did feel more like a celebration between friends than a formalised corporate do.
Event stylists Vanessa Baranovsky and Stephanie Raskopoulos excelled at making the space feel homely, welcoming and up lifting as well as showing off their wide range of beautiful themeing and décor stock.
Guests arrived through the large gates and mysterious orange door, to ascend the long staircase, to be greeted by a flirtatious French caricature who served them wine, nibbles and ‘Funktionality Thunder Toffee Vodka’ cocktails from Maverick Bev Co off her over-sized skirt.
The newly revamped three-storey warehouse which boasts exposed metal beams and sharp white walls against a black gloss floor was transformed into a luxurious enchanted garden. The central roof beams laced in ivy, maiden hair fern and cascading citrus-coloured florals were illuminated by intertwined black crystal chandeliers. Below, rustic fruit crates, wine barrels and picnic tables were used to create quaint high bar tables, smaller café style tables and a bespoke bar feature.
The large central banquet table overflowing with fresh produce, cured meats and exquisite cheeses was subject to much adoration by those who clustered around for large portions of the evening to sate their tastebuds. Miniature tree stumps, grapes, pumpkins and sacks of potatoes were lovingly placed throughout the space nestled with pops of stunning summer floral in crystal cut vases whilst green-leaf patterned gobos tied the walls beautifully in to the theme.
Further extending their love of the latest AV techniques, Funk used this opportunity to showcase the ease and effect of 3D digital mapping, projecting a blue sky and moving white clouds onto oversized letters, spelling FUNK.
When the spotlight hit the stage, Funktionality displayed a snapshot of their conference offerings with the insightful Malcolm McLeod (otherwise known as ‘That Handwriting Guy’) who engaged the audience with a spookily accurate analysis of their handwriting. He initially picked upon a few unsuspecting guests but before long everyone had pen and paper in hand, and were waving them around furiously wanting their own personal, in-depth analysis before the night was out.
Entertainment extended to a superb cabaret performance from Jersey Boys star Stephen Mahy whose incredible voice and good looks caused quite a stir, as did the roaming Flower Orbs and a guest appearance from TV-personality Paula Duncan.
“The event was very successful on a number of levels” reflects Director Tracy Wood. “We have been extremely humbled by the flow of thankyou’s received post-event from our valued clients and industry peers. It has been successful not just in terms of generating business leads and refreshing contact with clients but celebrating with those we work regularly with. As an employer I was so pleased to see my team work so well together to create a memorable event. The events Funktionality have been producing just continue to excel, and I am so excited about the future! There was so much love in the room; no-one wanted to go home! I think THAT is the ultimate sign of a good event.”
Tracy’s next big venture along with heading up several event industry advisory boards is to illustrate her talents for boutique conferencing. Funktionality aims to make the conference experience a more personal, individualised and conceptual one using their unique speakers, team building activities and emphasis on core messaging, running an event strategy and theme through the many layers that create a memorable and impactful conference experience.
“People know us for our breath-taking special events, but often forget it is not the only thing we do. The next few months for me, are about showing clients what else we can do for them in terms of conferencing and event management, and communicating that by contacting us at the very start of the planning process we can facilitate the achievement of a highly focussed, useful and most of all memorable experience.”