The Results Of The 3 Interns Competition

August 09, 2018

On 27 July 2018 My Event Decor held the 3 Interns, 3 Stylists, 3 Events, 3 Hours competition.

The videoed shoot by Jackie Dixon Photography was held the day before the venue’s first official event, and six weeks before the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, which also coincides with the start of the wedding season.

An industry collaboration between more than 20 Melbourne suppliers, including a brand-new venue, No 1 Events, and three event stylists, there was a lot of pressure as three event management students produced nine events while being videoed and filmed.

The competition, venue, stylists, students, and suppliers were finalised in four weeks - which is often the same tight timeframe for many corporate events.

Corporate clients now prefer to invest in influencer event entertaining and brand activation to get product cut-through, rather than traditional advertising.

But as the number of launch events increase, you can't just order the standard venue decor package if you want to knock guests' socks off and get social media mentions.
You simply HAVE to source wow factor pieces that will get those too-cool-for-school guests to excitedly Instagram your event and mention your business at the same time.

This competition was designed to help students understand what clients want, and what can be done in a limited time frame. In short, it gave them a real-life and real-time scenario. 

The students - Clare Brown from William Angliss Institute, Sam de Silva (Victoria University) and Ishita Mandal (Holmesglen Institute Moorrabbin) - each completed one table per event in 60 minutes or less.

But many venues book a breakfast, lunch and dinner event per day, giving you as little as 90 minutes between each event to coordinate supplier delivery and execute the styling for ALL the tables and the room which means you need a big team, which is why event delivery and installation costs are high.

Once the event stylists Ruffles and Bells, The Hattie and Bairn Tribe, and Artmospherix created their event moodboards and creative briefs, the students had to select suitable items from the event rental range at My Event Décor as well as contact other suppliers such as bakers, florists, and stationery designers and convince them to take part.

They sourced items for themed parties: a Mad Men 40th for a man, a one-year-old's pink birthday, and a Jumanji-themed 30th party; weddings (Moroccan bohemian, glamorous, and contemporary in style), and corporate product launches: Exponet furniture range, Melbourne Watch and Helen’s Hill Estate wine company.

Major suppliers included My Event Décor, Complete Function Hire, Weddings of Distinction, Cacao, The Prop Store, Di Simmons Linen Hire, Mini Party People, RTR Productions, Greenevent, Thrive Flowers, Exponet, Melbourne Watch and Helen’s Hill Estate.

The students showed varying levels of creativity in the items selected and some required a little intervention due to their lack of experience and knowledge.

For example, Ishita Mandal who won the trophy for her glamorous wedding, Melbourne Watch product launch and a pink-themed 1st birthday party, which best met stylist Ruffles and Bells’ briefs, initially specified pink wine glasses and backless bar stools for her one-year-old’s pink birthday party until I suggested alternative options.

Twelve-month-old toddlers lack the strength and dexterity to hold a wine glass stem with one hand – they hold sippy cups with two hands at best at that age - and they’re still in high chairs so they’d fall backwards from a bar stool.

When the clock struck 11.00am on 27 July, the three students started creating their first round of tables while each being videoed from a static camera.

The most experienced student, Sam de Silva, set to work immediately on her Moroccan bohemian wedding in the courtyard. She consistently finished all three events ahead of time.

Ishita spent the first 15 minutes off-camera preparing her first floral centrepiece for the wedding round, until I reminded her we were videoing an empty table. Ishita was the most nervous contestant but scored the overall highest scores.

The youngest student, Clare Brown, spent 45 minutes filling up test tubes with coloured water for the test tube chandelier, giving her only 15 minutes to decorate the rest of the table and position the new tub chair range around the table. However, she would have won had the competition been judged solely on her Jumanji party tablescape.

The stylists scored their students per event out of 10 each for execution, time management and adherence to the brief, with their highest scores for the weddings and the least successful scores for the corporate product launches.

A second photographer, Bohemian Prints, tore around the venue taking high resolution stills in the five minutes’ break between each round. These are the shots we hope to use in print coverage of the competition as well as in promotional material.

Read our blog post on 9 boring generic Event Decor items you should avoid.