If Clarke Allen, owner of Clarke Allen Events and CenterStage@NoDa, has 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.