Luís Sousa Lopes

The dream builder

He is, quite literally, the dream builder. Anything Luís Sousa Lopes can imagine, he can make real. An architect, he makes wishes come true in dream events.

Let’s begin by talking a little about your career… From architecture to event creation? How did this happen?

They were always two worlds that existed in parallel. However, the events came first. Starting with unloading boxes, I did a little of everything.

Do you still remember your first big event?

Of course I do. It is impossible to forget it. I was finishing my architecture course when I was invited to join a team at one of the biggest events to take place in Portugal: the Guinness record for a human logo, with 34,309 people. It was Portugal’s application to host the 2004 European Championships

If you had to pick one event that you remember most, which would it be and why?

The next one… (Laughs) I think I can always do better, so the best is always yet to come.

Obviously there have been past events that affected me a great deal: for example, the New 7 Wonders.. which has the Guinness record for the world’s largest temporary stage… Not only for its size, but also for the degree of difficulty… broadcast live to more than 90 countries.. it was an international event that the team managed at great cost to bring to Portugal and one that I had the privilege of developing from the creative process to the production and implementation… it was days, weeks, months of progress and setbacks…a lot of sleepless nights… always thinking about new solutions, surrounded by a wonderful team and with the involvement of some incredible people like Jennifer Lopez, Neil Armstrong, Hilary Swank, Jose Carreras, Sir Ben Kingsley…

There were certainly others that I remember because of their difficulty, or the teams that were involved and, above all, for the wonderful clients that I had the pleasure of getting to know and work with at a unique, unforgettable and unrepeatable time.

How does the creative process work in the creation of an event?

That’s a secret! (Laughs) Always respect the briefing, look for the place / location in which to build the dream.

Everything begins with a blank canvas from which you do the impossible. Events are like designing a house: no matter how comfortable it might be to repeat, we must recognise every person is unique and deserves to have that unique and exclusive moment…

What is your biggest inspiration?

My family, obviously, and Walt Disney.

What differentiates your events?

I think differently and believe everything is possible. All my events are designed from A to Z, to the smallest detail, whether the client is a company or an individual… They are unforgettable moments that my clients and their guests will always remember.

My goal is to make sure my clients don’t have to worry about a single thing throughout the entire process and on the day of the event… the goal is for them to enjoy the moment…

What is the biggest secret in the creation and organisation of events?

Experience, dedication, exclusiveness. There are no big or small events… they are all unique.

Where have you worked (places/countries)?

…Just about everywhere… from Latin America to Africa, but mostly in Europe.

Is anything impossible or is the sky truly the limit?

The sky is not the limit… we can go much higher.

What is the most improbable/curious request you have had for an event?

I can’t answer that. Everything that happens with my events stays with me. My clients’ privacy is the most important thing, so there is nothing about my private events on social media… or on the internet… I am a ghost on the world wide web….

What is the most important advice you can give a client?

Enjoy the day and don’t worry about anything — that’s my job.

What does the future have in store for the events sector?

I think the future is going to be challenging. As we unfortunately came to realise with everything we have gone through during the past year, there is a great deal of truth to the phrase “life is too short”. So we have to celebrate life with those we love… every minute is special!

How does the event creation process work?

It all begins with a phone call, then the next step usually involves catching a plane to meet the client in person. Since there is nothing online, I like to show our new clients what we have done to show them that everything is possible and achievable. The next step is to get to know what they like and to find the perfect location or country for their dream… Sometimes it’s a castle, other times it’s a “potato” field in which we build a lake holding 3,000 m2 of water in a temporary structure surrounded by vegetation to recreate a castle for an event and “planting” 22,000 illuminated white roses (because it was the client’s dream), then having it all cleared away within two days, because all our events are unique.

Every detail is agreed with the client and overseen by me. Everything must go through me: every detail, every moment, every object… To ensure the final result is magnificent, my dedication to the event is total.

Photography: Pedro Ferreira
Styling: Filipe Carriço
Special thanks to: Vidago Palace Hotel

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