Case Study: COP26 Onsite Project Management

COP26 Onsite Project Management

The Brief →

To support our client, Network Rail, in delivering a fringe event, at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow. The event was to showcase innovative sustainable hydrogen and battery-powered trains from operators Porterbrook and Vivarail and to demonstrate how together we can achieve net zero carbon targets and sustainable rail service. The event was to be invitation only, with an audience to include Heads of State, Royalty and high-profile political stakeholders, as well as rail industry leaders, press, green groups and local school children.

The Solution →

Our role involved designing and managing fully bespoke and branded websites for the invitation and registration of all guests;  and then managing their overall experience on the day, including registration and travelling on the trains. We also worked directly with some of the rail industry and environmental groups to enable them to host meetings and guests onboard the trains.

The station naturally was very busy for the duration of COP26; it was further impacted by protestors and environmentalists wanting to campaign and also enthusiasts wanting to look at the trains. In addition, we had a large “We Mean Green” exhibition stand in the station concourse, where guests could try a train driving simulator; this was also the point where guests would register.

All timings and movements were carefully and meticulously planned, as adding 2 trains to an already busy schedule and having 2 platforms dedicated to our trains had taken months of planning. We also had to prepare for some dignitaries arriving with entourages that we weren’t expecting and surprise visits from unregistered guests at the last minute, including the Prime Minister!

Sustainability was key to all elements of the day, including catering and giveaways. We provided catering on both trains for guests to enjoy whilst on their journeys. One of the trains had been converted to provide a boardroom enabling some of the groups to hold discussions and meetings onboard over lunch or breakfast. Food was all seasonal and sourced locally, whilst any disposable items were compostable and/or recyclable. No plastic was used throughout. Sustainable giveaways included “sprout” pencils enabling guests to be able to take notes and then plant a tree or plant.

In addition, as part of the wider CSR message, a local school from one of the less affluent areas of the city was invited to send a group of schoolchildren to visit the Porterbrook train. Activities and lunch were provided, and we gave all children a backpack packed with treats as well as a set of signed copies of the Adventures on Trains series of novels.

Overall, the event was hugely successful, and over 800 guests were able to experience the future of sustainable trains.

Testimonial →

“Now the dust has settled from an incredibly busy week working on COP26, I wanted to thank you all so much for your help in organising a successful Vivarail event last Wednesday. Everything from the catering to getting attendees on board went so smoothly, even with the visit from Number 10 thrown in!”