Pre-event planning: Independent research company Defaqto, a firm specialising in evaluating financial products, was hosting its annual dinner to acknowledge those companies in the finance sector that had attained 'star ratings' for their products. The celebratory ethos of the event required an interesting setting outside of a hotel. Previous years had seen it held in Vinopolis and the Congress Centre.
Challenges: As well as a venue with character, the organisers were also keen on a central London setting that would be conducive to networking and establishing relationships.
Holding the event on a Thursday night meant that many attendees were arriving direct from inner-city offices, while those coming from out of town needed to be close to hotels. Around 300 guests attended, a figure that included senior Defaqto employees as well as a large number of the company's key clients.
Solution: "We saw Madame Tussauds as an instant ice-breaker," explains Toby Adams, lead event organiser at Defaqto.
"We wanted guests to enjoy the evening and be at ease, and posing with wax figures got people conversing easily. The venue had an all-inclusive-style package too, which made the logistics easy to manage."
The theme of the evening - Night of the Stars - also tied in well with the venue.
Following a red-carpet arrival, a drinks and canapes reception was held in the 'A List Party' and 'Premiere Night' spaces, before a three-course dinner in the World Stage Ballroom, under the watchful eye of Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela and the Pope, among other wax luminaries.
A stage and a range of plasma screens had been set up for a presentation. A disco took place after the ceremony and, before leaving, guests were given the chance to visit the Chamber of Horrors.
Post-event analysis: "It was a unique environment in which to host our annual gala dinner and was brilliantly received by guests," says Adams.
"I've had excellent feedback from both clients and colleagues. Some clients are actually considering hosting their own events at the venue. The main aim of the event was to build working relationships and celebrate the launch of our 2011 Star Ratings, and I think we achieved this successfully."
Event: 'Night of the Stars' annual dinner dance
Group size: 300
Date: 3 February 2011
Venues: Madame Tussauds, London