As part of our on-going "5 Minutes With" series, every month we’ll introduce you to a new member of our Disney Meetings team at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California or Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii. Whether they work in our Disney Convention Resorts, Theme Park Operations, Catering and Convention Services, Sales, Entertainment or dozens of other event-support areas, these Cast Members and their teams are responsible for creating magical experiences and unforgettable events for meeting and event industry professionals, and their important attendees and Guests, every single day.
Let’s meet Robby Briley, Senior Event Consultant at Walt Disney World Resort:
Hi, Robby. Tell us about your role.
My role as a Senior Event Consultant is to be the liaison for all things that can enhance a client’s conference, event, or incentive trip. First, I ask questions about demographics, goals, budget, and needs. Then, I gather that discovery, and I help build plans and event proposals to match all of the discovery we have gathered. This may take building teams of entertainment, floral, graphics, and culinary experts to help propose and deliver fantastic, unique events. Once the events are set, I then communicate the plans to our many teams to ensure an amazingly-operated event.
Planners often see an Event Consultant early on in the planning process. We partner with our sales and services teams right from the start to begin building great programs. It could be phone calls with clients, meetings with our internal teams, or brainstorming elements for a general session. It could be walking through our Theme Park venues with clients to ensure we’ve selected the right space, or it could be testing out new trends with our clients and Guests. Once we’ve been able to gather that discovery, we are then able to bring in all those Disney elements. It may be providing a proposal for an energetic general session opener or an immersive event in our Theme Parks.
If we are looking to build a larger story that starts from the time attendees step off the bus and through the duration of their meetings and events, I may gather a team of directors and producers who will work closely with the clients. I then become the client’s advocate to ensure we are meeting the client’s goals and objectives throughout the creative process.
What are some of the latest, most innovative trends you are seeing in the industry for 2018? What are some ways your team will incorporate these trends into upcoming meetings and events?
Immersive experiences and engaging larger audiences are key this year. For general sessions, energizers and openers are no longer things that people are simply watching – we are engaging audiences, making them sing, drum, or dance to keep them moving and in the moment.
For special events, lush and organic environments are extremely trendy. It’s very grounding and earthy. We have many events right now where attendees will walk into a beautiful garden, fairytale forest, or a coral reef. The tables are made of wood or draped in textured/patterned linens. We incorporate living plants throughout the room, and attendees are even smelling the pine or hints of clove in the air. We have so many Disney stories that fit in with these trends that we use their imagery, musical styling, or even Character appearances to connect our attendees to the theme.
Can you describe one of the most interesting or unique challenges you’ve had to overcome in your role?
We recently had a group that was excited to share their love of Disney with their attendees and wanted to distribute their awards in a unique, memorable way at the group’s awards ceremony. We gathered the team together for a brainstorming session, and we came up with a fantastic idea: we would create their own castle, similar to the great Disney Castles that are the hallmarks of our Theme Parks. Inside this castle would be a “trophy room” full of their awards.
When Guests stepped into the venue, they entered into a castle garden with castle turrets and twinkling trees. Projection mapping allowed us to fly into the castle, encountering all their awards. This creative idea allowed Disney to tell the client’s own unique story and celebrate their heroes just like we do in our films and Theme Parks.
Can you describe one of your best Disney memories related to your position assisting a convention/meeting group?
We had a group that was very focused on their brand, and everyone in their organization loved the brand. We had two actors who were “super fans” that crashed their convention. They would show up in all different kind of locations, with themed costumes celebrating the brand and products. They had jokes and slideshows visiting their various locations. They became mascots, and almost family, for this convention. As a parting gift, we were able to give the president of their company a tie made out of the same fabric as the super fan’s suit, which was also made out of the company’s own product. It was a great moment.
What is your favorite part of your role?
I get to work for one fantastic company that is known globally, and we get to help tell wonderful stories for so many clients. One day, we could be working with a client’s company that everyone knows, and the next could be working with a small company that has a huge impact in their community. That variety is probably my favorite part.
What challenges/inspires you every day?
Each event is different from size of group, to budget, to the group’s priorities. I am always inspired by the creativity and experiences of my fellow Cast Members and how their talents drive us to create unique solutions for our clients.
We're eager to help you create the perfect meeting or private event for any size group, theme and objective. To speak with a Disney Meetings representative about our pricing and options available at our Disney Parks & Resorts destinations in Florida, California, Hawaii, or at our international destinations, please Contact Us or Submit a Request for Proposal. Or, Sign Up to stay in touch and continue learning more about Disney meetings and events.