Positive Solutions hosts conference at Birmingham ICC

Financial services firm gathers 550 partners at NEC venue

Client: Positive Solutions
Event: Conference
Group size: 550
Agency: Venues Event Management
Date: 5 February 2009
Venue: ICC Birmingham
Budget: Undisclosed

The brief: Financial services company Positive Solutions runs a national forum annually for its UK partners - self employed financial advisers. Positive Solutions strategic partnerships and event manager Fran Dunne says industry developments, and company initiatives are communicated, along with opportunities to network. "Attendance is optional and partners pay for travel and accommodation, so we must ensure it's an event with a good mix of business and pleasure," she says.

Challenges: As delegates are drawn from across the UK, accessibility was a key requirement. However, despite Birmingham's credentials in this regard, the event took place in the week of the UK's worst snowfall in 18 years. Venues Event Management head of project and event management team Kim Collins says: "All forms of transport were affected."

Solutions: The agency found itself providing those delegates travelling by air with regular flight information updates in the wintry conditions. "To minimise the number of staff unable to attend, flight time updates and details of delays at Birmingham, Heathrow and Gatwick airports were communicated to delegates, as was news about the rail and road networks," says Collins.

Execution: Set up, including a hexagonal branded registration centre and tunnel detailing Positive Solutions' history, took place the day before the event. Delegates arrived to register from 10am, and were then shown to the hall for the conference. Lunch was served in several on-site locations to cut down on queuing before the conference continued in the afternoon. Drinks were served in what had been the registration area and the gala dinner in the main room.

Verdict: Despite the the snowfall, 550 delegates managed to battle their way to the event. "It was a great success - we received overwhelming feedback from our partners," says Dunne. "It was great to see so many of them make it on the day despite the weather conspiring against us." Collins adds that ICC Birmingham is a "great venue for larger groups that need space, ease of access and parking".

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