THE BRIEF Every year, Hamiltons, a London-based architects' firm, organises a summer party for its 250 employees. "We try to go abroad and have some sort of architectural focus to the destination," says Fiona Kidd, who is PA to the director and organised the event. This year, Paris was chosen for the event to be held on 11 July.
CHALLENGES As there were 190 employees, Hamiltons arranged for them to travel in groups on business class on Eurostar. There were also some challenges in finding a venue large enough for so many at a reasonable cost.
SOLUTION The solution was a lunch river cruise, organised by DMC Isango. "I hadn't thought about a boat trip, but it quickly became apparent that it's difficult to house that many people on a Friday lunchtime at that time of year within our budget," says Kidd.
EXECUTION Everyone met at Bateaux Parisiens, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, where they boarded L'Onyx for a three-hour cruise. While being served a three-course meal, they were entertained by an on-board band. When employees disembarked, they had the choice of returning via Eurostar or extending their trip.
VERDICT Despite disappointing weather, Kidd reports that everyone had a good time. "The whole Parisian experience was fantastic. The restaurant was very smart, the food was delicious and everyone really enjoyed themselves," she says. Hamiltons had also organised a photography competition - with the winner receiving dinner for two in the restaurant at the top of the Gherkin - so the cruise gave the architects on board a chance to see Paris' iconic landmarks from an entirely different perspective.
Event Staff party
Group size 195
Date 12 July 2008
Venue Bateaux Parisiens