Case Study: Conference & Awards Dinner

Conference & Awards Dinner

1 Day – 200 delegates – Chesford Grange Hotel

The Brief →

To find an accessible venue with breakout rooms, suitable for approximately 170 delegates for a conference and awards dinner for delegates travelling from around Britain. The accommodation had to be onsite at the venue or close by. The lead time for this fixed-date event was just eight weeks which included the Christmas period. The event was an opportunity for Buzz Bingo to get all club General Managers and Support Staff together for the first time since the company re-branded to collaborate and communicate.

Scope of our Role →

  • Venue finding & management.
  • Event microsite and online delegate registration.
  • Accommodation management.
  • Travel management including collection of flight requirements.
  • Delegate management and communication.
  • Supplier liaison and negotiation on costs.
  • Food and beverage functions.
  • Award sourcing & engraving.
  • Photography and video filming.
  • Audio visual management.
  • Entertainment sourcing and management.
  • Budgetary control and full reconciliation.
  • On-site management including delegate badging and registration.
  • Risk assessments.

Key Objectives →

Working as an extension of the client’s team the key objectives they set for this event were:

  • Ensure easy access for delegates attending from across Britain with short travelling time from airports for those travelling from Scotland.
  • Accommodation should be available for all on the night of the event, with some accommodation available for the night prior for those with a longer travel time of 2 hours.
  • Maximum attendance should be achieved – invitation process should be seamless and easy for delegates to register their attendance.
  • Deliver an inclusive event for all attendees – allowing them time to bond and network.
  • The venue should have plenty of breakout space for delegates.
  • Reward high performers with an awards dinner with entertainment.

The Solution →

With such a short lead time and fixed date, venue options were limited but we worked with the venues to provide an option with negotiated rates and added value items.

  • By selecting a venue in the Midlands, it was easily accessible by most delegates whilst also allowing a flight option into Birmingham Airport.
  • A secure, branded website and mobile friendly registration portal was built to capture delegate requirements including dietary & access needs, accommodation and travel requests. An approval system was setup for those that lived over 2 hours drive away from the venue to request an additional night. Email confirmations were sent to confirm attendance and joining instructions were distributed the week before the event.
  • As we got closer to the event, more colleagues joined the business which pushed the invite list to 200 delegates. With only 179 bedrooms available at the hotel, we had to source a hotel nearby to accommodate extra delegates. We provided transport to and from the overspill hotel.
  • More breakout sessions than initially required were planned, so we had to find suitable space in the hotel to allow for these sessions. A public area of the hotel was used for one breakout session which worked well as it gave more space for activities. As we had taken all conference space and bedrooms in the hotel, there were no other companies or guests in the hotel so we weren’t disturbed and essentially had exclusive use.
  • One of the main logistical challenges of the event was moving the delegates around their breakout sessions in a timely and efficient manner. To ensure all delegates knew where they were meant to be and when, we equally split the delegates into groups just a couple of days before the event and printed their group numbers and times on the back of name badges. Our badges are printed in-house, enabling us to make any last minute changes and even on the day of the event in case of new registrations.  As the breakout rooms were so close together and space limited, we had to ensure that all groups finished at the same time but were moving around freely so as not to cause any congestion in the hotel corridors. Breakout sessions were given 5 minute warnings and held in areas until their next session had finished. The schedule for the day was extremely tight but all sessions ran to time.
  • During the planning process, we were tasked with finding various items to help theme the event. The client is the official gaming partner for The Voice UK and wanted to incorporate the theme into the conference. We sourced chairs that had a resemblance to the famous red Voice chairs which were placed on stage during the breakout feedback sessions to recreate the turning of chairs – the feature was a real talking point and made a big impact on the stage set.
  • As the awards dinner was to be held in the same room that the conference had been in, we wanted to make the room feel different and we achieved this with extra lighting, haze machines and room dressing including table centres and chair covers.
  • We sourced glass awards for the 12 winners who were decided internally just a week before the event took place so we had a very short turnaround time to get the awards engraved. We worked with our local supplier to ensure these were ready for the day.
  • As soon as the award ceremony began, we coordinated room drops for the winners which included a chocolate hamper, champagne & a prize voucher along with a card signed by the Exec Team; a nice surprise to return to after an evening of celebrations!
  • Entertainment ideas were discussed and it was decided that the client would use this time to launch their new interactive Bingo night – ‘Bada Bingo’ which was to be launched across several of the clubs in the coming weeks. Our AV team worked with the client on their requirements including extra lighting, haze, confetti cannons and dry spark machines which transformed the event from day to night. Delegates got to participate in the concept so they could experience it before any of their customers did!