The Challenge: With employees from the UK and overseas gathering for an annual event to discuss business priorities, Colt Data Centre Services’ HR team wanted to find the perfect venue and programme that would inspire creative thinking and bond teams together.
The Solution: Robust relationships with suppliers meant Reed & Mackay Events sourced a venue that fitted all the client’s requirements for a successful event.
Capturing the full attention of event delegates during two days of presentations and discussions was a key focus for Colt Data Centre Services’ (DCS) HR team.
Yet so was ensuring the 14 delegates – some of whom were travelling to the event from Mumbai and Tokyo, as well as from the UK – had ample opportunity for creative and enjoyable team building.
“We decided we didn’t want to hold the event in London, but needed a destination that wasn’t far away from the capital, so our colleagues from India and Japan wouldn’t have too much of a drive after long flights to the venue. Plus we wanted to hold the event somewhere that was special enough to inspire the team,” Colt DCS’ Executive Assistant to the CEO Karen Glenn says.
“I’d worked with Reed & Mackay Events last year so knew they would make that venue search easier. The team is so knowledgeable about venue sourcing; they recommend where we can find added value as they have great relationships with those venues.”
Reed & Mackay Events are experienced venue finders. Senior Event Manager Nicole Solomon sourced Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel & Country Club in Hertfordshire, arranging for Glenn to visit the site prior to the event, to explore the space and talk through how she wanted it set up for meetings, break outs, accommodation, dinners and team building. It’s in these situations that working with an event agency, which has good relationships with suppliers, can be advantageous.
“When we submit requests to venues, we negotiate the best possible rate and flexibility in terms of payment. This includes elements such as negotiating to pay for the number of delegates that are there on the day, as this can be subject to change from the initial request,” Solomon explains.
“Because we have those relationships with suppliers, we talk to the direct point of contact at the venue – in this case the events manager – and can arrange to show the client the space so they have full vision of what to expect. We communicate with the venue until the very last minute and ensure the client has everything they need.”
Four colleagues stayed at the hotel the night before the event and were joined by the rest of the team the next morning. After breakfast it was straight into business meetings. Lunch was followed by presentations and a couple of hours’ free time was incorporated into the programme before dinner and drinks at the hotel.
While the second day kicked off with presentations, the afternoon focused on some essential bonding time. “We didn’t tell anyone beforehand in detail what we had planned for that afternoon, just that it was a sports day,” Glenn says. “Alongside Reed & Mackay we worked with the hotel to choose a preferred supplier – KDM Events – with the brief to run a fun session of team-building exercises.
“When everyone ventured down to the hotel grounds that afternoon, they could see a big tent in the distance. As they got closer, they saw it was packed with Monopoly themed team-building activities. Everyone thought it was so cool and we all got competitive, working together in our teams!
“The guy who led it was fantastic, with such a good sense of humour. It was brilliant that Reed & Mackay Events and the hotel were able to find such a great company to work with.”
Glenn and the team at Colt DCS declared the event a success. “Everyone loved the entire programme, the hotel, the dinner and the team-building events,” she says. “When there were a couple of issues around timings, the hotel found a solution. We then provided Nicole with overall feedback about the hotel, which she followed up with them.
“Having Reed & Mackay Events on board definitely added value – it saved me a lot of time sourcing and negotiating with venues – and contributed to the overall success of the event.”