BRIEF & OBJECTIVES
To design and produce the annual conference for all 1,100 Iceland store managers, UK and Worldwide. Iceland’s conferences are their Launchpad for the key initiatives, Christmas trading period and sales incentive. The primary objectives to motivate and inspire, brief a customer service campaign and launch the Christmas range and marketing campaign.
Agenda design, session design, presentation design, video production, delegate registration, accommodation and venue management, delegate travel. All staging, technical and rigging, evening entertainment, volunteer training and management, all onsite management. Post event communication.
SOLUTION & LOGISITICS
With customer service at the heart of the conference, we wanted the delegates to experience great service throughout the event – so we proposed Dublin because of its friendliness and welcoming people. Following the success of the Olympic Games makers we added our own Conference ‘Ambassadors’ to enhance the customer service. 70 Volunteers were recruited and invited to a launch session with no idea what they had volunteered for. We devised a training plan and briefing documents and inspired them with the Olympic spirit.
In Dublin, dressed in their orange and red uniforms with foam hands, we gave every one of them specific roles. From arrival to departure 3 days later, day and night, the delegates would be in the care of the ambassadors – in the airport, coach park, on the coaches as guides, in the hotel receptions, at the conference centre and even around Dublin itself.
The formal sessions were held at the CCD Convention Centre over 2 days. In the auditorium there were keynote sessions on a stage which evolved from session to session using lighting, video projection and an LED backdrop, including a live Irish band. During the welcome address, the theme of Light up the High Street was announced and at that point exterior lighting of the CCD and the sky was switched on and would stay lit as a beacon throughout the 3 days. The first night was informal with the delegates taking over the Guinness Storehouse with live entertainment on different floors of the visitor attraction.
Post event questionnaires were issued along with a highlights video of the conference.
The next morning, at the CCD, the stage was reset into a corporate for business updates followed by a team challenge which had all the delegates heading into the city centre to find evidence of the ‘craic’ and creating news stories from their discoveries. 53 teams, 1,100 delegates headed into the city with pre-defined areas to operate, accompanied by dedicated Ambassadors. Their challenge included finding their own local lunch (the winners got special transport back to their hotels – on the Viking duck, horse drawn carriage or party bus). The Afternoon brought the Christmas launch and the introduction of the role of the Ambassadors and the service they had given (which earned a standing ovation). The finale included launching the sales incentive prize with a pyrotechnic reveal of a New York taxi before the senior management team of 120 performed a medley of songs as a choir, which we had rehearsed over the preceding 6 months.
The evening continued the Lighting up the High Street theme with a gala dinner at the CCD. The evening started with the stage and room lighting all grey, rain sound effects, catering staff with umbrellas. Once the delegates had taken their seats, a poem on video played describing the light up the high street story and the room came alive with colourful lighting and dancers symbolising the typical British high street, with cyclists, shoppers of all ages and even graffiti artists on three stages, thrust into the audience. Half of the dancers were Iceland store volunteers who had been training with the professionals for 3 days. During dinner, the lighting changed with each course. The dessert had been specially developed with the CCD chefs and included UV jelly. The dessert was paraded by all the catering staff on the stage and into the room to be served, all under UV light. At the end of dessert the dancers returned, supported by drummers drumming with paint, the audience were given their own drums and the party band provided accompaniment before taking over with their live set to take the evening to a close in the early hours.
37 scheduled flights from South Africa, Dubai, Spain, Czech, Canaries, Channel Isles. 3 charter flights from the UK, one ferry, one train and 23 coaches, 12 hotels, two venues, 126 production and technical crew, six 44 foot trucks, 70 volunteer ambassadors.
We put together a party box with video, presentation and lots of the assets from the gala evening to help the stores to organise 53 parties each for 300 store colleagues to pass the messages on – this way, the spirit of the conference directly touched 23,000 colleagues. Each party recruited their own Ambassadors and we issued more uniforms to support them.
"We have invested millions giving our people the best conferences money can buy; unique mind blowing events that bring them back to the business buzzing and hungry for more success...I truly believe that [events] have been a key driver of our seven years of profit growth"
Chairman and Chief Executive, Iceland Foods