The Live Events Team at its corporate launch, comprising Live Events CEO Shaq (centre) with Live Events Board Members Nathan Sivagananathan, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Charlie Austin. Also present, Live Events Head of Marketing Isshani Perera and Live Events Head of Communications and PR Blessie Keegel
Live Events Board Members Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, with Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs John Amaratunga (centre)
‘Live Events’, the first and only locally-based destination and events promotion company, made its mark in the corporate world recently, with a glitzy and glamorous trade launch.
The launch was attended by Sri Lanka’s political and corporate elite including Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs John Amaratunga, SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ajith Dias, Sampath Bank Deputy General Manager Tharaka Ranwala, MAS Holdings CEO Nathan Sivagananathan, Hameedia CEO Fouzul Hameed, celebrity restaurateur Dharshan Munidasa, Emirates Sri Lanka Country Manager Chandana De Silva and SAP Sri Lanka Country Business Head Michael Sathasivam, amongst many others.
Launched on 20 October at the Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo, Live Events (www.liveevents.lk) has been founded and managed by Shaq (Chief Executive Officer), along with Kumar Sangakkara (Board Director) and Mahela Jayawardene (Board Director), with this game-changing venture being truly unlike any other company in existence today. It has a mission to attracting A-list celebrities to Sri Lanka and, through them; raise the international standing of this unique and diverse island paradise even further.
Or to put it in Live Events CEO Shaq’s own words; “We are merging celebrity marketing and destination promotion into one goal, whilst giving Sri Lanka an experience of having A-list celebrities visit the country for entertainment and infotainment, and in turn giving these celebrities an experience of Sri Lanka that they could take away with them.”
Explaining this innovative idea in greater detail, Shaq also revealed that, no matter what concert or program Live Events will promote in the future, one of its key objectives will be to uplift the profile of Sri Lanka using the fame of A-list celebrities as a channel, which will be achieved via Social Media, one of the world’s most powerful, yet cost effective, marketing tools.
Commented Shaq said, “We do not look for celebrities who are in the region, as the idea of achieving the goal to experience Sri Lanka will be lost, as time is of short supply for touring artists. We will contractually bind them to spend an extra few days in Sri Lanka after their show, taking in the sights, requiring that they send out three social media updates from here, and limiting their travel within the region to always keep the focus on Sri Lanka.”
Shaq further added, “Achieve this and you will not only have a celebrity performance, but an experience of Sri Lanka by the celebrity which will go viral on social media to over 70 million followers, which is the minimum number of followers that an A-list celebrity gets on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram combined… Our target, get at least 1% of that 70 million to visit Sri Lanka as their next holiday destination prepped up by their favourite celebrity.”
Also speaking at the launch, Live Events Co-Founder and Board Member Kumar Sangakkara said, “For me personally, I want Live Events to be a portal and platform through which the world comes to Sri Lanka and then, in turn, takes Sri Lanka to the world. I want Sri Lanka to be inspired by entertainment, by world leaders, by heads of global corporates, by mavericks and by entrepreneurs who In turn, when they come here, will be inspired by the beauty of our country and the amazing ability of our people to ground themselves in ancient tradition and heritage, to be at peace with the present and, without fear, embrace the future.”
Adding to this, Live Events Co-Founder and Board Member Mahela Jayawardene said, “This excites us. This is a big challenge for us and, while we firmly believe this opportunity is far beyond our capacity, we would love to tackle this ourselves and venture into this area… One of the ideas is not just to bring down artistes from overseas but also take our talent abroad as well. I think we have a lot of talent and expertise and that is something that we can explore in the future.”
It is also noteworthy that Live Events has also signed up with a financial commitment to one of the biggest artist management agencies in the USA, which handles celebrities like Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, Maroon 5, Bon Jovi and many more. This agency also handles sports superstars like Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, Tiger Woods and Chris Paul, as well as scores of A-list actors and actresses.
Live Events is also in the process of partnering with the Indian unit of one of the world’s biggest record labels, ensuring the company has the vital, unprecedented access essential for securing true international A-list music talent.
At the same time, Live Events is also in talks to sign up with one of the biggest Speaker Management agencies in the world, which represents clients including former US President Bill Clinton, Sir Richard Branson, Sir Alex Ferguson, former Australian Prime Minster Julia Gillard, former Twitter CEO Dick Costello and many other high calibre speakers, to help bring down speakers on topics ranging from leadership and management and environment and sustainability, to motivation and inspiration, technology and science and much, much more.