Another wet night in Sydney couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd gathered for the launch of smoothfm’s second annual Chocolate Festival. At The Rocks’ Shangri La, Nova Entertainment took over the ballroom with sweet and savoury installations for all tastes, including ice cream made from liquid nitrogen(!)
“I’ve never seen an RSVP list close so quickly,” Sydney sales director Peter Colosimo said in his address to the crowd, a sentiment that was echoed by several Nova staff members throughout the night.
Colosimo explained that the smoothfm brand was developed as a lifestyle beyond a radio offering by Nova’s group programme director Paul Jackson and group marketing director Tony Thomas. Last year’s inaugural Chocolate Festival was a move into the experiential lifestyle space that attracted 50,000 Sydneysiders to The Rocks over the two days. This year, Nova Entertainment hopes to attract over 100,000 visitors – something Colosimo was careful to reiterate in his address noting what involvement in the festival can do for brands. Melburnians are also in for a sweet treat this year, with the festival coming to the Crown Riverwalk in October, where Nova is hoping for 50,000 attendees for the inaugural event.
MC David Campbell then announced the festival’s two ambassadors – well known to lovers of sweets and MasterChef viewers, Adriano Zumbo and the Shangri-La’s executive pastry chef Anna Polyviou.
Judging from the cheering when her name was announced, Polyviou’s team was on hand serving the desserts. Nova execs including CEO Cathy O’Connor, sales bosses and national publicity director Jane Elliott joined the crowd, which was dominated by agencies and direct clients who Nova would like to tempt into festival sponsorship. Nobody could possibly complain of wanting for chocolate, but the gift bags contained just that – more chocolate!