Q&A: Clarke Allen, Owner of CenterStage@NoDa and Clarke Allen Events

Q&A: Clarke Allen, Owner of CenterStage@NoDa and Clarke Allen Events

By Stephanie Davis Smith, September 13, 2016

If Clarke Allen, owner of Clarke Allen Events and CenterStage@NoDahas his way, meeting and event planners will begin to think of themselves as storytellers above all else. In that vein, it’s no surprise that when the Charlotte, North Carolina-based event prof wasn’t planning elaborate events for corporate clients such as Hendrick Motorsports, Microsoft and Lowe’s Home Improvement, he found time to recently pen a book, “The Inevitable Box: A Quest for Significance,” and was dubbed “giver of joy” by poet and author Maya Angelou. Here, Allen shares his tale.

What’s a recent corporate event you’ve worked on?

We just finished a great three-day program for Volvo Financial, which is headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina. They used Proximity Hotel in Greensboro and did a neat event in the Social Lobby. The next day we did a three-tiered event at Bryan Park. The final evening was an elegant dinner at Revolution Mills.

What do you mean by three-tiered?

I started creating my events in three acts and moving guests through the space [in parts]. We use different talent, entertainment and themes to accomplish that. For VF, we started with a gaming night, went into a dinner, and then hidden behind a faux wall was a casino party with 3-D mapping on the walls. I no longer consider myself an event planner, but more of an experiential storyteller.

Editor-in-Chief Kelsey Ogletree was surprised and enlightened by what she discovered on her inaugural visit to Indianapolis.

We're talking an infinity ballroom in National Harbor, virtual reality site visits in Orlando and the latest fashion trend to take the internet by storm.

St. Augustine, Florida, and classic Ponte Vedra Beach are refreshingly contemporary gathering places. These six hot spots prove it.

Readers are leaders. Crack open one of these books for instant advice on how to up your leadership and follow your ambition.

Dana Point, California, is situated to attract corporate groups looking for an experience that’s a little bit different.

Trending