Pre-event planning The Co-operative Food wanted to organise a communication event with a professional feel, but a simple design package. "My brief was 'professional but not extravagant'," Rob Shorter, project officer, The Co-operative Food, explains.
The events team chose Manchester Central for its good-value overall package, with audio-visual facilities and a rigging team included.
"I suggested the Exchange Auditorium would work well with its tiered seating and relaxed furnishings," says Nikki Corcoran, business development executive at Manchester Central. Shorter adds: "The objective was to communicate brand strategy and processes to suppliers."
Challenges With just three hours of presentations, there was a lot to cover in a limited time. The client was keen to keep the event running smoothly, especially during the 20-minute break-out session for coffee and product sampling. Another challenge arose when the client needed to make some last-minute changes to design materials.
Solution The venue provided stewards to man the exits and guide delegates, and arranged pre-loaded trays of product samples to maintain a steady delegate flow. Blitz Communications, Manchester Central's in-house production team, reacted quickly to the client's request to make changes, reworking banners on stage and hanging them from the rigging.
Post-event analysis The Co-operative Food was pleased with the event. "The atmosphere was just right to convey the key messages," says Shorter. The client received unprompted supplier feedback after the day and used handsets for live feedback during the event: 87 per cent of delegates rated the venue seven or above on a nine-point scale. "It was a change in the way we talk to our suppliers and we have improved relationships as a result," says Shorter.FACTFILE
Client: The Co-operative Food
Event: Own-brand supplier conference
Group size: 600
Date: 10 June 2010
Venue: Manchester Central Convention Complex