Virgin Atlantic at Madame Tussauds

The annual Virgin Atlantic Agency Awards took place at the famous London attraction

Company Virgin Atlantic
Event Awards Dinner
Group size 250
Agency In house
Date 26 June 2008
Venue Madame Tussauds
Budget Undisclosed

THE BRIEF
The Virgin Atlantic Agency Awards is an annual event to acknowledge the hard work and achievements of the airline's top travel agency performers across all market segments. The purpose of the event is to highlight the contributions made by agents throughout the year, celebrating their efforts with the added opportunity to network with senior Virgin Atlantic directors.

Each year, the Virgin Atlantic events team chooses a different theme. This year's was based around 'The Oscars', with the event held at Madame Tussauds.

CHALLENGES Because the venue serves as a visitor attraction by day, time for dressing the venue was restricted to one-and-a-half hours to complete the room.

SOLUTION Both the venue's in-house events team and the client worked hard to achieve a high-class finish in the allotted time. "I felt the pressure, but it is what I thrive on and the room looked amazing," says Sharon Kelly, events executive (marketing) at Virgin Atlantic.

EXECUTION Guests arrived to a red carpet reception with Virgin Atlantic cabin crew there to greet them and take their pictures. A trip on the 'Spirit of London' ride also gave the airline a chance to promote the Virgin Atlantic 'Limo to Lounge' ten-minute service.

Guests were then led to Blush (a bar) where a champagne and cocktail reception awaited them among the wax figures of numerous stars including Amy Winehouse, Kate Moss, Posh and Becks, and Samuel L Jackson.

At 8pm guests were ushered to the World Stage for a three-course meal and the awards were handed out between courses. Paul Wait, general manager of sales, at Virgin introduced the format of the evening with chief executive Steve Ridgway making a speech before unveiling the waxwork of Richard Branson. Agents were then treated to a special video message from the man himself.

An auction for a pair of Ryder Cup tickets raised £8,000 for Virgin Atlantic's chosen charities. To round off the evening, guests were treated to virtual golf, karaoke and casino tables.

VERDICT Madame Tussauds rose to the challenge of the Oscar theme and provided a star-studded setting, complete with the waxwork of Richard Branson. "I needed a space that could mimic the glamour of a Hollywood Oscar night, red carpet and everything," says Kelly. "The venue fitted the fundamental requirements of the brief well."

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