Coca-Cola Enterprises in Milton Keynes

Stadium MK hosted Coca-Cola Enterprises' annual brand event for 400 delegates.

Coca-Cola Enterprises holds conference in Milton Keynes
Coca-Cola Enterprises holds conference in Milton Keynes
Pre-Event Planning: Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) is the soft drinks giant's manufacturing and distribution arm, responsible for 80 different drinks including Coke, Diet Coke, Fanta, Dr Pepper, Relentless and Glaceau Vitaminwater.
Each year it holds a brand conference to inform its national account teams about the plans for the year ahead.

The company's marketing agencies present campaigns, and new products and variants are showcased for the sales team.
In the past, the company has used venues such as Ascot and Newbury racecourses. With delegates drawn from all over the country, the event needed a centrally located venue with good communication links.

CCE business planning executive Owen Martin says: "We tend to go for slightly different and quirky venues. It is important that we have a flexible venue as it allows us to have our huge portfolio of brands on show and to do brand activation work around the site."
Invitations are sent out in the summer and theming is important so with Coca-Cola's close involvement with the game, a football venue fitted the bill perfectly.

Challenges: With such a tight schedule, it was important that Coca-Cola was able to deliver on time, while putting on an engaging and inspiring conference.
Delegates were arriving from 8am and the event needed to be finished by 4.30pm. Space was an important consideration for marketing agencies to present their plans and for various brand activations.

Solution: CCE opted for Milton Keynes' Stadium MK, located in the centre of the country with good road, rail and flight links. The conference sessions were held in the largest room, the Clydesdale Bank Ballroom, with the stadium's ample concourses used for showcasing products and activities.
Football ticket-style invitations for the event were sent out, guests arrived through the stadium's turnstyles and were met with a pre-recorded crowd roar.

"We are proud sponsors of the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics Games, so a celebration of sport was part of the event," says Martin. "The event entrance was designed as if delegates were entering the Olympic stadium and were faced by crowd noise and lots of different types of activity."


The event was all about demonstrating how CCE brands could produce engagement with consumers and included a fashion show for Diet Coke, breakdancing and an Olympics segment with athletes demonstrating judo, table tennis and wheelchair basketball, as well as a presentation of the Olympic torch.
Lunch was served in a recreated 1950s Coke diner in the ballroom, the retro decor completed with chequered floor and roller-skating waitresses.

Post-Event Analysis: CCE always carries out post-event research as a way of identifying the effectiveness of an event. "We are currently evaluating delegate responses, which is very important to us," says Martin. "Last year's responses led us to look for a venue that was more central, and Stadium MK delivered that really well. The connections are excellent and we were able to use Luton Airport to bring in some of our more far-flung delegates. First impressions are that the event was well received and seemed to go perfectly."

FACTFILE
Company: Coca-Cola Enterprises
Event: Brand presentation plans
Group size: 400
Agency: In-house
Date: 29 September 2010
Venues: Stadium MK
Budget: Undisclosed

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