icture this: all your plans for a 3-day overseas event are coming along nicely. You’ve done the recce trip, you’ve met with hotel and suppliers and have carefully selected themes and venues for each evening that perfectly complement the client’s visions. You’ve even nailed the initial running order on the flight back! (As well as a much-needed G&T).
BUT then Monday morning rolls around, and back in the office you receive a call which changes everything. Your client has changed their mind, and the event must now be held in the UK. So, the stunning venue in Tenerife is now a no go, and the realisation begins to set in that no winter sun will be had (that feeling when you step off the plane and the heat just hits you square in the face is THE ONE).
With this in mind, and very aware the clock was ticking (t-minus 2 months till the event!) we got back down to business. We needed to find a new venue, create all new themes, and somehow make this event the best the client had seen yet, despite the obvious set back.
Here at Ministry of Fish we always want to ensure the best outcome as possible for our client. Below are some of our top considerations when creating/running a corporate event…
Choosing a venue is the one decision that will have the largest impact on an any event. It has to be right. There are many factors to consider when selecting a venue:
Naturally, this is important. Particularly for conference events, where large businesses will have employees arriving from all over the country, so finding and choosing a location within easy access of a train station/airport is crucial. Parking is also definitely something to consider! Site visits to potential options are a MUST, photos and research can only take you so far – you have to see the space to be able to envisage how best to use it!
- For our event, after frantically researching, we narrowed it down to five potential new venues, from Scotland, to Dartmoor – we had a wide range of different styles to offer a variety of options to the client
- From this, it was then brought down to a final 2 venues. After conducting site visits and presenting back to the client our vision for the 3 days, it was decided that the
Christchurch Harbour Hotel and Spa would be the one, and what a great choice it was!
For an event longer than a day, or when you are providing overnight accommodation, ensuring the venue can accommodate all your guests comfortably is crucial, and often is the first way of eliminating potential options!
- When looking for venues, finding one with enough bedrooms to accommodate all our guests, in single occupancy bedrooms was quite an issue! However, it actually worked to our advantage as with the venue we chose it meant we had exclusivity of the hotel for the whole duration of the event.
Food and Beverage
Good food and drink are what can make a good event great. Be sure to thoroughly discuss menu options available, and if possible sample (after all, there has to be some perks to the job!)
- We were lucky enough to work with Michelin star chef Alex Aitken, who helped us create bespoke menus to match each of our different themes across the duration of the stay and helped us deliver something extremely special for our client.
When it comes to theming, decorations are your best friend! It is often much cheaper if you have the time on the day, and the time beforehand to buy and/or create your own decs, rather than hire someone else to do it. We managed to save a lot of money by buying and creating our own centrepieces/backdrops/drapes etc.
- Regardless if your event isn’t themed, decorations help create an ambiance and set the mood, so are worth investing time and money into!
Lighting can make all the difference in making a space look the part. It really enhances the aesthetics of a space. The colours you see can even dictate your mood, ensuring you get this right is crucial!
- We use the same AV company for all of our events or conferencing needs, they are reliable and always deliver our vision with ease and expertise, no matter how crazy the demand, or tight turnaround!
This is often an overlooked, but very important, aspect of an event. Entertainment engages guests, and good entertainment helps ensure guests enjoy themselves. When guests have fun, they will engage better with others and learn more. Entertainment really helps to create a positive vibe and can help complement and develop themed events.
Selecting entertainment should be done with care. It is very important to know your audience well, and especially for corporate events, know the client! Ensuring the entertainment is appropriate and matches the audience is crucial. If the entertainment is good, guests will feel engaged, interested, and upbeat and it is a sure-fire way of making your event a memorable one!
If your event has a theme, entertainment lends itself even more, and can really help to develop and immerse the guests into your vision.
- For this event we put our trust in our good friends at Globestar Entertainment to help make our visions come to life. Home to the amazing ‘Globe Girls’ as seen on BBC One’s ‘The Greatest Dancer’ they are extraordinary at what they do, and each entertainment act we booked through them was incredible, and definitely elevated the event to another level.
Successful events are ones that people talk about after. Entertainment is one of the best ways of doing this, leaving a last impression on your guests and thus proves to be an invaluable asset.
Theming can really help set apart the difference between the day’s activities of a business conference and the contrast of the exciting evening entertainment. Theming doesn’t necessarily mean just dressing or creating a specific ‘theme’; it is everything that helps contribute to the overall atmosphere. It’s really worth investing some time and money in helping to theme a venue, as all the little touches make a massive difference. Think menu design, table plans, favours etc – anything that can be made bespoke for your event will really help to elevate it.
- We made sure each of our evening menus/table plans/table numbers were designed bespoke to follow the themes set. This meant each evening had an exclusive feel and really helped to make each night a memorable one. In addition, we had handmade chocolate favours made to complement each of the evenings (for example we had a ‘countryside chic’/woodland escape themed evening and the chocolates were mint and honey flavoured to complement the nature inspired aesthetic.
As the event planners on the day(s) of an event, comfort is key. I cannot stress enough how important it is to wear comfy shoes! How long the day is will be dependent on the nature of the event, however if its anything like ours you could be pushing for 15 hours, which is a lot of time on your own two legs! Investing in some practical and comfy footwear and clothes is invaluable.
We try to surprise our clients and create the ‘WOW’ effect; exceeding expectations in the most ordinary things.
If you don’t fancy doing all of the above yourself, and have an event you need assistance with, why not give us a shout?
We’d be happy to help!