Conference News March 2019 - Page 43

So how have delegate needs changed? Angela Hodson, head of sales at Emirates Old Trafford notes: “During the past five years, there has been a huge shift in wellbeing, which has become increasingly important to our clients. We introduced new, healthy and delicious lunch menus, to fuel the body and the mind, and stimulate delegates’ senses. This built on the introduction of our #EOTWellbeing campaign, designed to inspire and raise awareness about wellbeing at business events. “Another trend is the need for quality AV equipment to support events and fast Wi-Fi, which is why we are introducing stadium wide Wi-Fi, to increase the speed and capability when there are thousands of visitors at the venue attending events and cricket. Additionally, we partner with MCL Create, an AV company, so clients can be assured that they receive the best technical capabilities and on-hand support throughout their event with an on-site technician. This provides organisers with the opportunity to ask any questions and receive expert advice on delivering AV for their event and helps to ensure that all technology ideas can become a reality. “Clients are also expecting more for their money and their expectations have increased, partly due to the level of competition in Manchester, meaning venues are offering more to entice bookings. Organisers expect an all-encompassing and convenient venue, where all their needs can be accommodated. What makes Emirates Old Trafford so unique is the multi-purpose space we can offer, plus an on-site four-star Hilton Garden Inn hotel which boasts 150 bedrooms, and free on-site parking. We are perfect for residential and multi-day conferences and events.” 43 CASE STUDY n August 2018, Manchester Central played host to the annual Eddie Stobart Summer Ball, an evening full of glitz and glamour which raised over £250,000 for children’s charity When You Wish Upon A Star. Attended by some of Manchester’s best-known faces, including stars from Coronation Street, the night was held in the venue’s iconic Central Hall, which was spectacularly transformed into a circus by event organisers Brown Bear Events. DJs, aerialists, jugglers and clowns all entertained the 650 guests during the evening which was hosted by Paddy McGuiness with Vernon Kay as DJ. One of the biggest challenges faced was finding a way to deliver the client’s request that VIP tables, positioned on Eddie Stobart trailers, were raised up and down throughout the evening. Whilst this was something the team at Manchester Central had not done before, they were keen to make it work, and liaised with Brown Bear Events who designed and produced a spectacle that was talked about long after the event had finished. Manchester “The fun circus brief was clear throughout, from bubble-gum cocktails to homemade popcorn and candy floss as midnight snacks.” Handrails were fitted onto the sides of the trucks, custom treads were built for guests and staff to safely access the tables, and health and safety teams were consulted at all times. In keeping with the circus theme, Manchester Central’s in-house kitchen team were tasked with bringing the ‘wow factor’ into the menu. After a consultation (and tasting session) with both Brown Bear Events and the client, the chefs set about devising bespoke dishes for the event. The fun circus brief was clear throughout, from bubble-gum cocktails to homemade popcorn and candy floss as midnight snacks. Gina Brown, account director at Brown Bear Events, said: “There were high standards to be met with high profile clientele attending the event and Manchester Central exceeded them! Everyone who came to the ball thoroughly enjoyed themselves and complimented the venue and space - in particular, we’ve had tremendous feedback regarding the food and service on the evening, it really was excellent.”