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.

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