The Next Generation of Events

Mothership Events

Mothership Events is ready to meet the challenges of this evolving market. “We are now designing the next generation of events,” Mr. Nyker remarks.

Mothership Events is a full service national event management and production company. The team is able to handle virtually any assignment, from music events, festivals, community events, government events and media events, to artist showcases, corporate and private functions, and cultural events. The company also handles artist bookings, publicity, and promotion of tours and artists. “We are a one stop shop,” Mr. Nyker points out. “Our skill base is quite diverse. We work across all the different genres within the entertainment industry.”

Mothership Events’ comprehensive services include conceptualising, developing, planning, managing and promoting all components of an event from start to finish. This means that the team is responsible for carrying out a mind boggling array of duties at any given time. For instance, at just one event, the company might take care of event concepts, development and theming; artist bookings including contracting, logistics and administration; venue sourcing and booking; site design and development; media, marketing and public relations integration and management; event and production scheduling; budget development and financial management; accreditation; liaising with sponsors; and securing the necessary permits to ensure compliance. After all of these issues are squared away, the team will also run the actual event. This might include staffing, backstage catering, first aid, site and venue compliance and safety, security, traffic management and compliance, and cash drops and control (ticketing, bars, cloak etc).

Mr. Nyker has been in the entertainment and arts industry for 15 years. He got his start working in art galleries and quickly moved up to running upscale nightclub venues in Sydney. His business partner, Brent Lean, worked as a musician and promoter for 20 years before the two joined forces to run Mothership Events. The founders’ comprehensive background has been crucial. “We had knowledge of all the processes and the different aspects [of the industry],” Mr. Nyker explains. Experience with large events was particularly important. “I trained by working on large scale events first, so I learned how to develop systems that manage processes and to adapt them to certain genres for project management. We have a heavily systemised process, which gives us the ability to time manage and skill manage and human resource manage.”

Of course, this careful management is absolutely essential when putting on a major event. “They are so heavily detailed that it takes finite planning to keep it efficient and above board,” Mr. Nyker explains. “If your planning gets to be a little bit sloppy, you will have loose ends and that will cost you in the end. It will affect the finance side of the operation.” In fact, throwing a large scale event can be as complex as creating, running, and disassembling an entire community. “You are building a city to use for a day or two, and then you are going to pack it down,” Mr. Nyker explains.

Following rules and procedures is crucial – and complicated. “There are a lot of laws, compliance areas and processes, from workplace health and safety through to getting the right permits in place,” Mr. Nyker points out. In addition, there are all the practicalities that event goers depend on, but rarely think about, like “the ratios of toilets and that they need to be cleaned and all those sorts of things.”

Consumers are also becoming more discerning, which means that event managers and organisers have to continually step up their game to keep event goers satisfied. “The people going to events and festivals, they are quite savvy these days,” Mr. Nyker points out. “There aren’t just two or three concerts touring through the country a year. There is now a proliferation of this stuff happening all the time.” As a result, consumers have much more choice about what events and festivals to attend than they once did. “Choice has driven the quality levels up higher.”

In addition to careful planning and detailed systems, Mothership Events depends on top notch suppliers to produce successful events. “They are your army,” Mr. Nyker says. “They build everything. You’ve got to get the right people in there with the right qualifications, and we are quite strict on that; suppliers have to make the cut. We are pretty particular with who we choose.” In fact, one supplier mistake can wreck the entire schedule. “It is like putting together a Lego set,” Mr. Nyker explains. “You have step one, step two, step three. If step two is not complete it delays step three. At all these events there is a specific time that you have to be ready.” And, of course, failing to launch an event on time simply is not an option.

Mothership Events has proven that it can deliver a quality product on time. The company has been successfully involved with a wide variety of A-list events, festivals, and parades, including VIVID, Sydney Mardi Gras, Biennale of Sydney, Stereosonic, Sydney’s Art & About Festival, Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, Woollahra Festival, Fat as Butter Festival, EB Games Expo, East Village Gourmet Food Festival, Sydney’s Chinese New Year Parade, Armin Van Burren Tour, Swedish House Mafia Tour, Twilight at Taronga Concerts, Sydney’s RSPCA Million Paws Walk, Dash Berlin in Sydney, and Sydney’s Garage Sale Trail.

Indeed, Mothership Events’ diverse skill base allows the company to meet all of the needs of each one of these very different venues. “We are quite diverse and quite skilled across the board,” Mr. Nyker points out. This diverse skill base also means that the company can handle highly complex events that require many different skill sets to be enacted at the same time. “We have the skills to deliver multi-genre events.”

Stereosonic, the largest touring electronic dance festival in the southern hemisphere, is an example of an event that requires a tremendous amount of planning and a diverse skill set to execute successfully. This complicated, two day festival sees about 65,000 visitors each day. “Logistically it is obviously a large operation,” Mr. Nyker points out. “Things like crowd management and safety are on a large, large scale.”

VIVID, a festival of “light, music, and ideas” requires a unique blend of art and tech. “The content of the event is very art focused and technically focused,” Mr. Nyker reports. “It melds those two worlds. [We] are in the middle translating between the two to get the end product. We translate all that and deliver the information that each party needs to deliver their piece of the pie.”

For Mardi Gras, Mothership Events handled the Flinders Street viewing. The team was responsible for creating a new viewing area that would draw people away from Oxford Street. “It is a crowd management strategy,” Mr. Nyker explains. These crowds are expected to continue to grow every year, so implementing an effective and lasting plan was essential. By creating an enticing viewing area and effectively funnelling crowds to it, the team can get as many as 10,000 people off of Oxford Street, alleviating the bottleneck there. Creating this new viewing venue required the careful coordination of a long list of outside organisations. “That event deals with a lot of different authorities that manage different parts of the space,” Mr. Nyker points out.

Mothership Events is widely recognised for its ability to update and reinvent events like Mardi Gras. “There is a lot of change now. There is a lot of opportunity to reinvigorate or redesign a lot of existing events to bring them into [today’s] world.” From local food and wine festivals to internationally recognised events, Mothership Events is leading the way into the future. “They [festivals and events] are bringing us in to move things on and start a new chapter in their life. Things are getting redesigned and taken in a new direction to suit the marketplace.” Armed with extensive experience, a diverse skill base, and an innovative spirit, Mothership Events is ready to create the next generation of events.

Making Sense of Management

Management is the art, or science, of getting things done through people. Sounds fairly straightforward – except for the fact that people are not robots waiting to do our bidding. People have their own minds, motivations, and goals. So how do managers keep operations – and the people behind them – running as planned?

January 18, 2019, 3:26 AM AEDT