March 08, 2012
This Year's International Confex isn't just the biggest three days in the events industry calendar featuring a staggering range of venues, suppliers and event organisers all on one place... oh no, it's also the place where our Corporate Events Talent Competition The Next Big Thing comes to its thrilling conclusion with the winners of the previous heats going head to head to be crowned The Next Big Thing in Corporate Event Entertainment.
The Judging Panel of Liz Lockard from Haymarket, Lynden Bulger from British Airways, James Lees from hosts ExCel London and our own Adam Sternberg, have seen Dance, Comedy, Music and a few oddities we don’t know quite how to classify, all competing for £1,000 cash, a stand at next year's Confex and a contract with London's leading supplier of Entertainment Private Dra-no wait, it's us.
The stakes had never been higher as Event Magazine's Jeremy King brought the first act onto the stage - Hip Hop dance duo Exclusive gave a frenetic high-energy performance that was part street dance, part crumping and part body popping. Though it was an energetic way to kick off proceedings, the pair failed to win the hearts of the audience and the judges who felt that the act needed more work to succeed in the corporate market.
Stand-Up Comedian Steven Scaffardi had been a crowd favourite in the first heat at Jewel for Event Magazine's Christmas Party but struggled to overcome the challenges of performing at a trade show; a lesson for any performer there - be ready to adapt to your surroundings. All Girl Vocal Harmony Trio The Polka Dots were note perfect in their performance of 'Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy' but, as Mr S rightly pointed out, we've heard that one before - a few times before - and without anything to make them stand out from the pack, the 'Dots were missing what the French call a certain "I don't know what".
Singer/Songwriter Adam Duffield was a familiar face from the previous heat and made a similarly good impression earning whopping a 79% positive rating from the audience at the main stage. It was a score that would have put the mop-topped singer through were it not for a captivating performance from Basketball Juggler Andrew Wilding who blew the crowd away with a series of acrobatic sporting tricks that will no doubt be in high demand when it comes time for Olympic Themed Corporate Events this summer.
Wilding went through on the strength of the audience vote and the judges gave Mr Duffield a chance to fight it out again in the second final spot.
Check back for the Final of the Next Big Thing to find out who'll be clutching a Sternberg Clarke Contract in one hand and a fistful of notes in the other.