Chris Stead

Co-Director and Head of Ideas
Special Talents
Creative design and strategy
Product knowledge
Extensive industry experience
Believes in living your life's purpose

Personal motto

Do the things you can do first and then you have less things to worry about.


All my early jobs were in kitchens, cooking, prep and front line. Upon traveling I found myself working for catering companies that specialised in catering for events, and specifically bands and touring artists. After being in the catering scene for a while, I discovered production work (crewing/setting up equipment for gigs across numerous venues around London). This has led to larger and larger jobs. Following a chance meeting whilst working at the Freddie Mercury Aids awareness concert at Wembley, I found myself working for a staging company that specialised in doing stadium-sized setups for some of the biggest artists around. Michael Jackson History tour in Dublin, Eddie Grant concert in Tobago for the BBC, and the Big Day Out across Australia and NZ has seen me through the following ten years or so.

The next few years were a blur of tours and one-off events across the globe erecting stages and structures. When kids came along I discovered that the touring life was not conducive to family life and decided to base myself permanently in NZ. It was at that time that I got together with two others and started Theme Productions…. And that was nearly 20 years ago!   

Favourite project or activation

I have different favourite jobs for different reasons, From a company perspective I like jobs that make money (typically “dry hires” and jobs that have a high hire component tick this box), From a satisfaction perspective I like jobs that present a challenge – be it logistically or creatively. Working on Fieldays in Hamilton, and on the pre-match entertainment for test matches ticks this box.

I also find great enjoyment working with repeat clients, coming up with new innovative ideas/looks, and getting to know not only the individual staff involved but also being part of helping develop a culture for those companies through their events and activations. Perhaps the biggest bonus that comes with the job is the ever-growing list of clients/people/individuals that we get to assist/hold their hand and deliver their event, the level of intimacy and personal attention to detail that comes with working closely with people, quite often results in clients becoming friends. This in turn equates to me getting to work with people I regard as friends more and more.  

A typical workday

It’s a real mix, some days I am stuck in the office, dealing with emails, doing quotes, or thinking about design concepts and solutions for events (or dreaming up new product ideas…). This creative process at some stage takes me out to the warehouse or workshop to dabble with materials and techniques to bring it to life or test the idea. Other ways that my day is consumed are meetings, either at work, on sites (or now with Covid – via Zoom). A typical day also sees me doing all or any of the following too: driving, drinking coffee, collections/drop off, installs, pack-outs, liaison with suppliers, building things, more coffee….   

Contact info

+ 64 3 377 2045
Christchurch, NZ