Client: Kia Motors
Event: Conference and product launch
Group size: 430
Agency: Laing Gale & Associates
Date: 12 January 2010
Pre-event planning Kia appointed Laing Gale & Associates to run its national dealer conference, an annual update for 430 delegates from the UK dealer network. Laing Gale & Associates was, in this case, awarded the business as an incumbent partner of the brand. Both parties were looking for a venue that would chime with the brand slogan: 'power to surprise'.
Objectives Kia's annual national conference is designed to communicate business and performance plans, and in this instance to launch two new models to the network. As a sponsor of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, Kia also wanted to use the event to outline its sponsorship plans. "As well as launching the models we wanted to deliver key strategic communications and business updates in a motivating yet informative way, which would ensure the event was interesting and enjoyable throughout," explains Kia events and sponsorship co-ordinator Emma Codgbrook.
Challenges With dealers arriving from all parts of the country, the venue needed to be located close to good motorway and airport links. The event was also set to launch two car models, the Sorento and Venga, and both cars needed to be accommodated without compromising on space.
Further challenges were thrown into the mix during the week of the event, which coincided with the coldest winter in 31 years. Snow fell across much of the country, fuelling concerns that some delegates would not be able to make the journey due to the wretched conditions.
Solution An extensive venue search resulted in Magna in Rotherham being selected to host the event. As an old steelworks, it met the brief both on space and logistics. To combat the snow problem, staff at Magna made contingency plans to film the event in case some delegates were unable to reach the venue. Fortunately, this never had to be executed.
Delegates arrived in the morning and were served hot drinks and pastries for breakfast. They then moved into the Face of Steel, where projections screens were used to welcome delegates to the venue, outline the event's agenda and background. Afterwards they made their way into the main hall for the conference that saw a series of presentations covering the World Cup sponsorship, future plans, an awards presentation and, finally, a series of car reveals.
Verdict Kia was pleased both with the agency and venue. "There was an element of risk in choosing an unconventional venue to hold the national dealer conference, but on this occasion it was the right decision," says Codgbrook. "LGA, once again, delivered an outstanding event that was meticulously planned and professionally managed throughout. It was an absolute pleasure to work with them and we look forward to the next project."
Post-event feedback Kia has opted for an online survey to assess the results of the conference. Full results are still to be processed. However, early indications are that the event has been positively received by delegates.