Event Produce managers' event
Group size 2 x 400
Agency BSI Meetings and Events
Date 14-16 August 2009
Venue The International Centre, Telford
Pre-event planning Last year, Tesco created a new roster of approved event suppliers, including BSI, following a competitive tender.
The retail giant wanted to organise a large-scale event for 800 of its produce managers, in two waves of 400, from stores in the north and south of England. The objective of the event was to ensure consistent product quality throughout stores by informing, engaging and educating delegates through training sessions and a produce exhibition.
BSI is the only supplier for venues on Tesco's roster and the agency worked in partnership with other Tesco-preferred suppliers MCM Productions for AV, HRG for flights and BTR for ground transportation to deliver the event.
Kate Donovan, senior account manager, BSI Meetings and Events, explains: "We were to be the central point for all communication with the preferred suppliers and the delegates, overseeing accommodation, delegate registration, content development, logistics and on-site event management. We also worked closely with store managers to promote the relevance of the event to staff."
Challenges The agency had to find a venue with plenty of available accommodation nearby and centrally located for easy access within a relatively short lead-time. The date of the event was then moved back due to the threat of swine flu. The agency had to register 800 people who did not have direct computer or phone access at work, due to their customer facing roles.
Solution The International Centre, Telford was selected for its location and flexibility and was hired on an exclusive basis, enabling an easy flow of delegates throughout the day. Furthermore, it had two hotels within walking distance and three other hotels near Telford.
Pre-event registration ensured all delegate data was captured and bespoke itineraries created.
"Personalised badges with itineraries and clear signage from the training sessions to the exhibition area worked well on the day," says Donovan.
The event started with a plenary session and an ice-breaker, after which the delegates were split into eight groups and rotated throughout the day between training sessions and an exhibition with eight product areas giving an overview on improving product quality. At the end of the day, delegates returned to an inclusive session to summarise, recap and provide feedback.
Post-event analysis Client feedback was positive about the venue and the event. Indeed, 79 per cent of delegates strongly agreed that their experiences over the day would help them improve product quality in store. Kate Conway, event manager for Tesco, says: "This event was pulled together at relatively short notice and it was a great opportunity for the companies on our new roster."
Donovan adds: "The team pulled together to make a successful event. Overall, flexible communication and teamwork was the key."