Pre-event planning: As a law firm with offices across the country, Irwin Mitchell was keen to arrange an away day for 40 of its marketing and business development professionals in a setting that showcased the regeneration in Sheffield, site of one of its major offices.
The size and character of the venue was of utmost importance, says Kate Senter, internal communications manager at Irwin Mitchell: "The main purpose for this event was to ensure that we were showcasing the best of Sheffield, while delivering an environment that enabled the team to receive presentations and take part in breakout sessions." After deciding on The Chimney House, planning visits and menu tastings led to the decision to host a pop-up dining room for what was labelled a 'team feast' at the end of the away day.
Challenges: Before The Chimney House was chosen, finding a venue that was the right size was proving difficult: "We are quite a large team and in the past we have struggled to find somewhere that is big enough for us all, without us being swamped by some of the larger venues available," says Senter. With many of the team travelling from different parts of the country, it was also imperative that the venue was easy to find.
Solution: The Chimney House's position in the city centre meant that everyone was able to find it with ease. The size of the venue, combined with the efforts made by the staff to decorate meeting rooms with flowers, provided a "perfect mix of space and intimacy", says Senter. Presentations in the morning, aided by bowls of Maltesers, gave way to a buffet lunch and break-outs in the afternoon and a 4.30pm finish. Due to travel commitments not all delegates were able to stay for dinner, so they were provided with goodie bags for the journey home.
Post-event analysis: The decision to host a pop-up dining room proved a huge success, says Senter: "The fact that we were able to combine our business meeting with a dining experience to remember has to be one of the highlights of the event and something that really sets this venue apart." In fact, so impressed was everyone that in the six months since the event, Irwin Mitchell has continued to use the venue for internal meetings and client events.
Company: Irwin Mitchell
Event Team: away day
Group size: 40 (27 for dinner)
Date: 10 December 2010
Venue: The Chimney House, Sheffield