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Category: Innovation Awards

Presented to an Ambassador or team who consistently presents comes up with highly innovative ideas, providing unique themes and/or locations to the members.


2017 Winners: Daniane Ikenami and Brand Christ in Rio de Janeiro

2017 Honorable Mention: Tuğçe Akcay in Ankara


Why They Won

When making their selection, the Global Awards Jury considered Ambassadors who think “outside the box” when designing and implementing InterNations Official Events. The strongest nominees for this award focused on unique locations around the city or organized theme events that continually surprise our members. Some even incorporated contests, prizes, or other interactive elements into the evening’s schedule as an additional element.

The winning team hails from Rio de Janeiro, and one of our Jury Members says it best:

“Each event is a new highlight in the history of unique events in Rio. Dani and Brand always look for new venues in various parts of the city. For each of their events they create a theme like a Swedish midsummer party at one of the top restaurants in Rio, a Valentine’s Event at a romantic rooftop bar overlooking the ocean, a James Bond Night, a Comedy Night, or a pool party in one of the favelas. They always look out for sponsors to give prizes for a lucky draw and cleverly reinvest the profits into live bands (or other show acts), welcome drinks, or appetizers. Dani and Brand always aim to make each event a wonderful experience for the members in Rio!”

What is an example of one of your most innovative events?

Dani: One of the most innovative events we organized was last year at Sambadrome where attendees could watch a technical rehearsal. It was a unique opportunity for our members to sample a taste of the grandeur of Rio Carnival from a skybox. Our members also had the chance to dance with samba dancers wearing typical costumes. It was really a special event.

Brand: I think the Sheraton 007 Edition was the most innovative one I can recall. First, because it took opportunity of the place's name (Dry Martini Bar, 007's favorite drink). Second, placing a contest within the theme for the best Bond and Bond Girl, made it feel like a costume party without being one and keeping with the classy style of the high-profile venue.


How do you overcome the challenges in searching for innovative locations and event themes?

Brand: Searching for innovative venues, prizes, and themes I consider the hardest part. But every time I'd look for a new event plan I ask myself: "If I were an attendee, what would I like to see next?" Because no matter how cool an event is, people grow tired of it. You can organize a five-star hotel pool party on the rooftop, people will love it for sure. Once. If you keep repeating it people will not show up anymore. You must always be creative in seeking new ideas. A simple event, built upon a new idea, is more appealing than any fancy one that has been around for some time.

Dani: I always try to stay tuned for updates, like what is going on in Rio and new places that have opened. Making good connections, encouraging members to give feedback and listening to their suggestions are also great sources to come up with different ideas.


Rio de Janeiro is a community with entrance fees for events — how do you re-invest the revenue into unique future events?

Dani: I re-invest the revenue by hiring a helper, DJ, or photographer, and by buying more prizes for the raffles or some ornaments for decoration. Also, I finance my expenses to visit different venues like hotels, bars, and restaurants.

Brand: Managing the budget is something I enjoy doing, since doing it efficiently enables you to enhance the event quality. Adding attractions to an event usually has a cost. This can be a DJ, sound equipment, a photographer — options are many, but they demand money. So, reinvesting the budget carefully gives you a higher chance of organizing better events. For example, you can agree on a higher welcome drink cost as the venue is trendy, you can hire a better DJ, or even book a cool unique spot!


Congratulations to Brand and Dani, 2017’s winners for the Innovation Awards, as well as our honorable mention, Tuğçe Akcay in Ankara, for impressing all of us with your incredibly unique events and themes!


About the Winners:

Daniane Ikenami and Brand Christ from Brazil have been hosting InterNations Official Events in Rio de Janeiro as Ambassadors since January 2016. Brand is also Consul of the House Parties and Meetups Group in Rio.

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