Pre-event planning: Fast food brand McDonald's holds a bi-annual, all-day conference for its managers from the north-east region, which is also attended by staff from the London head office. The event is organised in-house and held at the beginning and middle of the year, with arrangements made around a month before each event is held.
Objectives: McDonald's aimed to communicate information about the current state of the company, including a mid-year update on results, future plans, new menu ideas and marketing strategies. It also wanted to recognise the restaurant's top performers from the north-east region.
Challenges: A central venue with good transport links and ample parking was a key consideration, due to the fact that delegates were either driving to the venue or taking public transport on the day from a number of locations between Berwick, York and Ripon. With more than 100 delegates attending a series of presentations and workshops, McDonald's also had to source a venue that offered round-table seating with room for screens, together with additional space for break-out sessions.
Solution: McDonald's decided to hold the event in the Chandelier Suite at The Assembly Rooms in the heart of Newcastle, as the space can hold up to 420 people and is within 250 yards of the city's Central Station and opposite the local Metro station. There were also a number of parking spaces available at the front of the building.
Event organisers from McDonald's arrived at 8am to help set up the equipment and arrange the seating plan. Two large screens were put in place to enable all the delegates to easily view information from the presentations.
The conference began at 9am with morning coffee, followed by a series of presentations by managers from the north-east region, including the top-performing restaurants, as well as from McDonald's head office in London. Workshops were held in the afternoon to give attendees the opportunity to work together in small groups, with the aim of expanding their skill sets.
Client verdict: "The venue is a great hub as it was ideally located for our needs," says Neil Williamson, operations consultant at McDonald's Restaurants. "The parking at the front was a huge benefit, as was the fact that the venue provided all the equipment we needed."
Post-event analysis: Williamson adds that all those who attended the meeting got a lot out of it, with very positive feedback about the meeting's content and the venue.
Company: McDonald's Restaurants
Event: North East Regional Managers Plan 2 Win update
Group size: 108
Date: 27 September 2011
Venue: The Assembly Rooms, Newcastle
15 August: Booking provisionally made for 100 delegates
9 September: Contract confirmed with The Assembly Rooms
21 September: Final details arranged, with confirmation of 108 delegates
27 September: Event takes place