“Greater works is always a huge endeavor; we start working from the end of one edition for the next one. These things don’t just happen by chance. What we call the ANOINTING is deliberately nurtured and cultivated. We have to build a place for GOD; a system for GOD to use; you can’t just out of the moment pull up anything and say GOD use it. We have to prepare for HIM and so we take time to prepare. “These were the [paraphrased] words of the venerable Dr. Mensah Otabil in his opening remarks on the final day of the GREATER WORKS Conference 2022.
From all indications the thousands of people in the main auditorium of the ICGC CHRIST TEMPLE EAST, the overflows, viewing centers across the 16 regions, and from around the world joining online agreed that the organizers nailed the seemingly impossible task of executing a near flawless event of such mega proportions.
The adjectives in the preceding paragraph may sound like an exaggeration but I dare say they are not.
In a country where we have embraced mediocrity in event organization; where technical glitches and late starts are a ‘norm’; GREATER WORKS deserves special commendation.
WHY? For 5 days, the conference ‘spoke’ competence and excellence in multiple languages; from the audio-visual quality and stage management; to crowd control; security, and the overall event management from the top; right down to the orderlies handling parking and the ushers dealing with massive crowds with a consistent smile and soft touch every time.
Here are 6 lessons I believe the Ghanaian entertainment industry; especially concert and festival organizers could benefit from; as another busy December beckons and Ghana is billed once again to take center stage on the continent;
1. THE MUSIC, PERFORMANCES, PERFORMERS & THE STAGE MANAGEMENT
Dr. Otabil dedicated the first part of his sermon on DAY 5 to call on stage and BLESS the leaders of the various music groups from across the ICGC branches who led the praises and worship for GW2022. The crowds were ecstatic inside and outside the auditorium; the live chats on the online stream were hyped in agreement too. And rightfully so.
Homegrown from the various ICGC churches across the country; the performances were precise, concise, energetic when need be; soothing when required, and all-around anointed. The GW Choir led by Pastor Edwin Dadson and Ella; the ALL Choir, the Mass Choir, the ZAMAR band with FELA-like afro-jazz renditions of evergreen African gospel favorites; that had London-based Nigerian Pastor, Matthew Ashimolowo heaping praises on them; the soloists, Sandra Huson-Kelly, Perez Music and the Afro Gospel Choir [hope I got the names right] set the perfect backdrop to receive the Word and the Anointing of the Lord.
TIP: Sometimes homegrown talent; well groomed, trained, and empowered can deliver excellence in leaps and bounds above what expensive outsourced talent could ever produce.
And then the stage management; no uncomfortable pauses in between performances or speakers; MCs were prompt and precise accompanied by video introductions that left little to guessing; all details captured and delivered in sequence as if thoroughly rehearsed over months. Having seen and been part of so many events in the last 10 years; I can boldly say that stage management was an absolute masterclass.
Tip: every event organizer should go back and watch the YouTube re-runs on the various channels and then learn a thing or two from them.
2. THE STREAMING
GW2022 has raised the bar on how to execute online streaming for maximum impact. Viewing centers spread across all 16 regions of the country tuned in and were part of every minute of the conference via online streaming. If you watched the live streams on YouTube from the ICGC channels and media partner channels; you witnessed end-to-end seamless broadcasting.
Save for brief interruptions in the early stages of Day 1 and 2, which were quickly fixed. Impeccable sound and video quality. No buffers.
From Accra to all of Ghana and the world.
A major cue to concert organizers: the most important takeaway from here; is the world-class audio-visual quality of the live streams delivered consistently over multiple days under intense pressure. A job well done by the media team.
3. AUDIO-VISUAL QUALITY
Dr. Mensah Otabil on Day 2 was so impressed with the sound quality of his auditorium he had to applaud the sound guy; I believe the name mentioned was Seyram.
If the performances were electrifying; the sound was the plug that fired it up. Clear sound with every decibel profoundly emitted through the auditorium and outside to the overflows that exceeded the numbers in the auditorium and were spread far and wide. Visuals were a key component that brought it all together; how else do you communicate the anointing to thousands who are not in the room to feel it? No doubt, international standard quality. Must have cost a fortune and a half.
Good sound is not cheap; great sound is expensive but amazing sound is a luxury few can afford; however, it is the stuff that International standard events are made of. So perhaps if you cannot afford it, you may not need to bring in that international artiste who is probably taking up all your budget and then proceed to give him bad sound to work with. Invest elsewhere. A word to the wise……
The Ghana Police Service earned a special mention from Dr. Otabil on Day 5 and it was well deserved; there weren’t uniformed men in your face and being intimidating, but no doubt they were there, and their presence was felt in how secure everything was from parking; to securing spaces; crowd control inside and outside; not a single blip to the lay man’s eye; there may certainly have been internal glitches but none so that anyone may have felt insecure. When you think of managing thousands of different types of people each day for 5 days; and not a single car was broken into; no bag was stolen and no drama. Kudos to the security service personnel.
5. THE EVENT STAFF
Polite, ever smiling; ever courteous even in difficult situations; such as people wanting to force their way into the main auditorium when it is full [ there were marked-out signs indicating this]. Tons of people trying to push their way through and all shouting at the same time with the most emotionally charged pleas. And yet; there was no physicality employed; situations tactfully managed and contained; most importantly always with a smile and a soft ‘No please’. No drama. Praise the Lord.
The tip here is obvious.
6. THE ORGANISATION:
2 Major keys to tap into.
Firstly, every session started on time over 5 days and through 9 sessions [Morning & Evening]. No technical glitches or late arrivals to cause delays; space opened to the public 2 hours to start time; full within 1 hour of start time; event starts on time and finishes on time. Hard to believe right? Well, it happened at GW2022.
Second major key. The washrooms were crowded, 10,000 people were using them! And yes, there were queues [of course]; but most importantly it always smelled fresh in there; always clean; tissue paper never run out; liquid soap dispensers were neither empty nor malfunctioning at any point in time. The water never stopped running. Need I say more?
Kudos to Chief Organizer, Lady Joy Mensah Otabil and her big team spread from all the ICGC branches across the country.
Following a successful GW2022; indications are that the dates and planning for GW2023 have already started in earnest. I am almost certain that 2023 would be a major improvement on the success of 2022; as has been declared; “IT IS GOING TO BE MORE GLORIOUS” in this new SEASON.
This leaves us with yet another cue for all event organizers; the end of your last event is and should be the beginning of planning for the next edition.
KUDOS TO DR. AND LADY JOY MENSAH OTABIL and the entire GW2022 team. All accolades duly earned.
ABOUT THE WRITER
DERICK ADDAI-DARKO is a seasoned PR & Brand Marketing Consultant; with experience curating experiential and digital marketing campaigns for multi-national brands such as Jack Daniels, Johnnie Walker, CIROC, LUC Belaire, Remy Martins, Django Brothers Glenmorangie, and many others in Ghana and Kenya. A writer by passion and a former blogger. He worked on the AFRONATION Concert in 2019 in GHANA, curating the CIROC VVIP Lounge, and was the PR Manager for the first 3 editions of the GHANA MEETS NAIJA Concert. He is the founder of the NIGHTLIFE AWARDS GHANA.
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