2017 Review – January – June

2017 was one of our busiest years yet with 30% year on year growth. This was due to growing existing accounts, winning new tenders and pitches and maintaining our excellent levels of high service. We have invested heavily in new technology and are pleased to be launching a much improved website at the start of 2018 – watch this space!

This is just a snapshot of some our highlights month by month, thanks to all  our clients, suppliers and of course staff for making it such a great year, we couldn’t have done it without you!

January – is always a busy start to the year with little time to recover from the festivities we were heading off to Newcastle again for a biannual conference & awards event that we have been involved with for over 8 years. This year there were more delegates than ever before and the theme for the evening was All the Fun of the Fair. The evening entertainment commenced with close up magicians (a firm favourite with this client!) and an illusionist. The main event was kept under wraps until the end of the awards ceremony when jugglers, aerial artistes, led hula hoop artist and stilt walkers entered the room and led everyone out to the indoor fairground with all the traditional favourites such as coconut shy

Hook a Duck, Cork Shoot, Tin Can, Hoopla, Archery, Spin the Wheel, Candy Floss machine, Crazy Mirrors and Test of Strength. As well as the traditional inflatables and cuddly toys, guests also had the chance to win fitbits, ipads, game consoles and so on. 90% of the attendees rated the event as Excellent or Very Good, and the client feedback was equally as complimentary!

February – saw us arrive in a much warmer location, Jamaica. This was for a pan-European dealer incentive. We spent a relaxing week at the stunning, all butler resort The Royal Plantation – a boutique  property within the Sandals portfolio. Winners got to participate in a number of activities including watersports and golf, there was a memorable sunset cooking experience – beautiful until the bats arrived! We also spent a day on a private chartered catamaran, a day at sea has become a normal part of the itinerary for this client. What differentiated this day from previous ones in Costa Rica, Mauritius and Rio was the jumping over the waves, the local dancers that gave everyone an impromptu dance lesson (improved with the rum) – watch the video for more!

February also saw the kick off of another client’s Roadshow that takes us around the UK for the whole year. Having managed the event for a few years, it was exciting for us to be involved with introducing over 5000 people to the event app, the app has really improved engagement, efficiencies and processes and has been positively received by even the most judgemental techno-phobes!

March – saw events in Porto (read the blog)  and Amsterdam again both for repeat clients. Porto was an incentive trip for small group, staying at the Yeatman an incredible property with amazing views and even better service levels; a snowy trip was taken into the Douro valley, thankfully as we got over the hills it became warmer and we were able to enjoy a 4×4 experience taking the off road route through the vineyards – naturally a stop at a Port House was included and we all enjoyed several tastings from the Fonseca house; a private tour, tasting and dinner at Taylors back in Porto provided the perfect location for a farewell dinner.

Amsterdam was the location chosen for another annual conference which we have been managing for over 6 years now. The Krasnapolsky was chosen for its location and conference space. Although a very business focused 5 day event, everyone enjoyed the Canal Bike challenge which typically became very competitive and the informal evening in a craft brewery. The Awards night was held in the incredible White Room – a 3 michelin starred restaurant headed up by Jacob Jan Boerma. We took over the space exclusively and enjoyed the food and surroundings immensely.  Amsterdam really has much more to offer than its reputation for hen and stag do’s, for conferences there is a great infrastructure, excellent hotels, historic venues as well as cutting edge contemporary ones. You also cannot beat it for international access, with flights coming in directly from most major cities and many smaller ones.

April  this month saw the culmination of a series of engagement workshops, 14 in total which had been running since January, finish with one large Away Day for one of our Housing Association clients. Delivering messages about change can be challenging, but our engagement producers did an incredible job. One of the activities saw all participants get involved with a huge colour coded “post it” wall with their feedback – this not only got everyone out of their seats but also meant that we were able to easily see their opinions with a “traffic light” of post its. Collating all the feedback took a little longer as we manually entered over 2100 responses into our systems!

May & June-  were very busy months for us. Those of our team who were out on the road managed 3 different roadshows, they covered over 4000 miles in 3 weeks, put up (and down) an estimated 500 pop ups and stands, assisted well over a 1000 delegates and visited 31 venues!  Have a look at the blog the girls wrote on being out on the road.

We were also very happy to be running two local events, that doesn’t happen very often for us we normally travel much further than a few miles down the road! We ran a training and product update at the stunning Stanbrook Abbey. This was the first event of this type for our client and the feedback was so phenomenal they are doing it again in March. Stanbrook is the perfect location for a retreat or exclusive use venue with 52 bedrooms it works really well for small scale incentives and meetings. There is also plenty of space for team building in the glorious Worcestershire countryside.

The other local event was a Family Fun Day for one of our insurance clients, held at the Chairman’s property we oversaw the whole event from sourcing a stunning double Tipi tent to give the event a summer festival vibe, plenty of entertainment was sourced including bouncy castles, total wipeout, traditional fairground stalls, a carousel, falconry display, reverse bungee as well as a craft area and face painting – not just for the children! We had 2 great bands to play throughout the afternoon, one of which was happy to pass round the mic at the end of the event for an impromptu karaoke session. A hog roast, delicious barbecue and bar were also included. It was an incredible event  topped off by the weather – the rain largely kept away!!

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