Pre-event planning: Everris, a global manufacturer and supplier of fertilisers, wanted to hold an educational, interactive event to showcase innovations and developments in turf management to an audience of groundsmen from top football and rugby clubs, private schools and colleges, and local authorities in the UK. It staged the event at Headingley Carnegie Stadium in Leeds, home of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, rugby league team Leeds Rhinos and rugby union team Leeds Carnegie.
Challenges: Everris, working in partnership with a number of sports turf industry partners, required access to the pitch for two days including set-up and breakdown, use of the big screen and a PA system, refreshments for guests throughout the day, a sit-down lunch and a dinner for 100 people. It also required evening entertainment and a local hotel for guest accommodation.
Access to the pitch is determined by a club's match schedule and pitch maintenance regime.
Solution: Everris worked with head groundsman Jason Booth to find an acceptable window during which to stage the event. Guests arrived via coach from a local hotel at 11am. A reception with tea, coffee and bacon rolls was provided in the Executive Suite. Guests were formally welcomed by an Everris representative and Leeds Rugby's commercial director Rob Oates.
Six stations were set up on the pitch, each with a small marquee, where 20-minute rotating educational briefings and demonstrations were given to small groups of delegates. With a Twenty20 cricket match between Yorkshire Vikings and Leicestershire Foxes taking place at the venue that evening, guests were treated to panoramic views of the game from the Executive Suite's private terrace.
Post-event analysis: Feedback from the event was excellent. Delegates found it educational and really enjoyed the format of the day, with interactive stations on the pitch preferred to sitting in a room for a day-long seminar.
"Holding an event at Headingley Carnegie is like being welcomed into someone's family home," said Richard Walton, business manager for Everris UK and Ireland. "The venue went the extra mile, providing a great experience for guests. Providing an area for learning, hospitality and entertainment all in one place meant that the event was seamless."
Event: Pitch Focus
Group size: 100
Date: 9 July 2013
Venue: Headingley Carnegie Stadium, Leeds