Some events are so WOW that they totally put you on the map. This was one of those events. As part of a rewards incentive trip, our client, a leading, global multi-level marketing corporation wanted to throw a party of epic proportions for two thousand of their top achievers.

For four nights over seven days in April 2015, 500 guests per night arrived for an African extravaganza that was put together by the Red Hot team and our affiliates.

Held in the Botsalanong Boma at Sun City alongside the Pilansberg Nature Reserve, it took four full days to for our production crew of 150 fun-loving, lively strong, able, willing, creative, innovative staff to set up this event.

Big kudo’s go to our entertainment team, who enabled marimba bands, African singers, traditional African dancers, acrobats, warriors, poi fire dancers and stilt walkers to put on slick, energetic, professional performances that our clients are sure to remember forever. During pauses in the programme, guests were kept entertained with interactive drumming sessions.

Multi disciplinary artist Daniel Popper created large-scale, tribal-patterned busts of the “Big 5” which stood sentry over the stage and boma. Our show director, Fred Abrahmse, directed rehearsals throughout the day and night, and coordinated all artists, as well as technical equipment to the tune of 32 tons. He made sure that every act was on cue, that every one of the 160 moving lights shone where and when they were supposed to, and that the sound engineers were managing their allocated 60 000 watts of sound in just the right way.

There were a few challenges to overcome for this even; intercultural communication can be tricky at the best of times, but when 2000 guests from China plan on throwing a party in rural Africa – it brings new meaning to “lost in translation”. In addition to having every bit of communication translated, we also had to factor in time-delays due to time-zone differences. Add to that a constantly evolving brief, and you’ve got a Red Hot team that was kept on their toes.

As far as logistical challenges go, the sheer size and scale of production was probably the biggest issue to navigate. Unrelenting daytime heat did not make set-up and rehearsals easy and, because elements such as lighting require darkness for testing, our technical team was up throughout the night, ensuring that the lighting system worked as it should and creating in the process a mini-Las Vegas in the middle of the Pilansberg.

From preparing our first pitch, to pitching to the client in Shanghai, till “Opening night” in South Africa, the project took a full year. It was a venture that gave us an opportunity to extend ourselves, grow and learn. It also gave us the chance to develop an appreciation and admiration for each other’s culture. Observing how well #teamChina and #teamRedHot worked together to pull of this exceptional event was the ultimate reward. And man, did we have fun doing it.