Pre-event planning: This was a three-day conference with welcome dinner at the hotel's Bavarian restaurant, an off-site dinner on the second night, and a fun, interactive gala dinner on the final evening. The brief put a strong emphasis on building communications between internal teams, as well as the need to create an energising and interactive event.
Challenges: Becky Guest, marketing manager at agency Venues Event Management (VEM), says: "To reflect the theme, the main room and stage had to have a futuristic design. This was difficult because the room has large pillars along both sides. Another objective was to ensure that knowledge of the different elements of the technology business was shared between teams."
Solution: To disguise the pillars, white drapes and lighting were placed down both sides of the room. To create a futuristic look, a curved backdrop was used for the set, along with three large plasma screens that could be used seamlessly. This transformed the room. To address the need for knowledge sharing, learning cafes were scheduled for the penultimate day of the conference. The off-site and gala dinners as well as the activities were designed to encourage networking while embracing the traditional culture of the region.
Post-event analysis: According to surveys carried out by VEM, 72 per cent of attendees said the event exceeded expectations or was exceptional and 98 per cent said they would like the conference to happen again.
John Allan, Strategy and Transformation Manager at BP, says: "As we moved towards the event, the VEM team was in continuous contact. This gave me considerable comfort and confidence that everything was on track. Overall, the conference was a great success and I will strongly recommend to my colleagues that we use VEM and the same team for our next conference in 2011."
Event: Technology Conference
Group size: 70
Agency: Venues Event Management
Date: 22-26 March 2010
Venue: Westin Grand Arabellapark, Munich