The event took place at the newly opened Concorde Experience at Manchester Airport, a multi-purpose venue with the one-time flagship of the fleet as its centrepiece.
More than 100 members of the media were sent 'boarding pass' invites by communications agency Apex, which worked with Renault UK's own in-house event team to run identical itineraries over three consecutive days. A positive take-up of over 90%, unusual for an event of this nature, meant around 30 people were in attendance each day.
Renault UK press events co-ordinator Lisa Haworth said: "We are always looking for innovative ways to launch our models, and Concorde at Manchester Airport fitted with what we wanted - a luxurious unique form of transport - perfect to invite motoring and transport journalists to for the day."
Having reached the venue - those who arrived by air were met by Renault chauffeurs at the main terminal - guests were ushered to a marquee for a VIP check-in and breakfast canapes. They were then introduced to the day's main attraction, the Renault Modus, and given the chance for a two-hour test drive.
The compact new hatchbacks having been suitably tested, members of the group reconvened shortly before midday at the DC10 Seminar Suite, a refurbished section of an old wide-bodied aircraft. A presentation was shown on Concorde's history, before Renault UK press and PR director Tim Jackson gave a speech on the company's new products. Cold drinks were then served while a video, a final farewell to Concorde, was shown.
Following this, a tour guide took guests out to Concorde, where a stewardess was on hand to welcome them on board. The aircraft, which made Concorde's last commercial passenger flight, has been fully preserved down to its £4,000 leather seats. A talk was given, touching on some of the quirkier features on board, while each seat pocket had a souvenir brochure. Visits to the flight deck were also arranged.
Upon disembarking the plane, a line of Renault Grand Espaces sat waiting to whisk guests to the nearby Radisson SAS Manchester Airport, where they were treated to a five-course meal in the hotel's observatory suite. To put a suitably classic spin on proceedings, the menu was a recreation of the last meal served on board Concorde.
Apex business development consultant Ed Ainslie was pleased with the event. "We were very happy, as were the guests," he said. "We limit the number of events we hold to preserve the integrity of the aircraft but this was a prestigious occasion and it went off well."
- Turn to page 41 for more details on the Concorde Experience and other unusual venues in the UK.
Company: Renault UK
Event: car launch (Renault Modus)
Date: 11-13 October
Location: Concorde Experience, Manchester Airport
Group size: approx 30 on each of three days