Alright on the night

Meeting planner Martin Dempster of Martin Dempster Ltd takes a group of delegates to Blackpool, not everything went to plan.

Company: Salus Building Controls

Event: 10th Birthday celebration

Visitors: 70 people including partners

Duration: 3 days

I’ve
previously organised events for Salus Building Controls in the
Cotswolds, York and Dublin and this time was asked to organise an event
for the company in Blackpool. This was a big one for Salus this time
round as it was to celebrate its 10th birthday and part of the idea was
that staff weren’t allowed to know what was going to happen at the
event, it needed to be a surprise.

The company paid for two
nights at the four-star De Vere Hotel for its employees as well as
travelling costs, food and drink, leisure vouchers and a round of golf.

The
Friday night was a standard dinner with a Take That tribute band for
delegates. On the Saturday evening we took them all into Blackpool town
centre, remember again they didn’t know where they were going, and we
dropped them off at a private old tram on the seafront where they were
whisked along the coast and served champagne and canapés by my team,
while enjoying the illuminations and sights of Blackpool. They expressed
they were worried we were going to take them to the Pleasure Beach and
make them go on the ‘big one’ (referring to the roller coaster) in their
ball gowns and DJs. The tram dropped them off at the Tower, the new sky
walk building, where they were given a drinks reception on the balcony
overlooking the ballroom, while an organist played and a magician
performed among the group. They were then taken down to the private
Ballroom, home of many famous events the group were treated to dinner,
had an hour with two famous Strictly Come Dancing winners (The Cutler’s)
including an interactive dance class, followed by a large 10-piece band
(including extra dancers from the audience) until the early hours and
then coaches home to the hotel for more merriment

Challenges
As
you can imagine there was a lot of work to do on this project and we
had a few ’challenges’ including being told on the night before the big
dinner at the ballroom
that part of the ceiling had come down and we
weren’t sure if the event could be held there, and this was our big
surprise for our guests. We had just completed the first night’s
activities which included trying to locate our client’s tribute band who
had gone ’missing’ when they were due on stage and the DJ was doing
unplanned overtime. Then at 11pm came the call that part of the ceiling
in the ballroom at the Tower had fallen down and the venue was not sure
if my client’s dinner the following night could take place. This was the
mainstay of the three-day event, the destination and entertainment,
including private use of the facilities and a dance class led by
’Strictly Come Dancing’ champions followed by a big band and a big
night. Gulp, my mind was racing trying to think of alternative plans, or
to run away. After not much sleep it was an early start on Saturday
morning to check the venue. Abseilers were at work on the ceiling with
nets going up and covering the area, things didn’t look rosy and it was a
very tense few hours, but we were finally given the all clear. It was
alright on the night.

Feedback
“Our 10 years’ in
business celebration was such a hugely enjoyable and massively
successful weekend,” says Salus’ Director Paul Morris.

“From our
initial meeting it was clear we were in the hands of a professional, the
ideas that were created and options of venues and programmes were first
class and we were confident that the event, which was so important to
Salus, was in safe hands.

“The feedback we had from the staff was full of praise and thanks for a fun packed, entertaining and enjoyable weekend.”

Any comments? Email conferencenews@mashmedia.net

ConferenceNews Guest Author

Conference News hosts great guests on its pages. Our Blog section is the collection of the best opinions in the UK and international events industry.

ConferenceNews Guest Author

Author

ConferenceNews Guest Author

Conference News hosts great guests on its pages. Our Blog section is the collection of the best opinions in the UK and international events industry.

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