Swinton Insurance is a UK insurance retailer that has a network of branches across the United Kingdom and in excess of 3,000 employees.The company offers a range of insurance products from a panel of UK insurers covering car, bike, home, commercial, taxi and caravan insurance.
Swinton Group approached Make Events to create an event to celebrate Swinton’s 60th Anniversary and to introduce the new HQ building in Manchester, 101 Embankment, to their Partners; as well as raising funds for the Children’s Society.
To engage busy CEOs from London to attend an event in Manchester, we needed to create an event they didn’t want to miss.
The challenge was to design an event that ticked all the objectives.
We named the event “Swinton’s Landmark 60th” to give a nod to both their birthday and their new HQ Building. We chose a black and white theme, to support the Children’s Society, and designed a skyline of iconic buildings which included 101 Embankment – a new landmark on the Manchester skyline. We then wove this into all the communications, collateral and branding of the event.
The guest experience began when they were sent a beautifully boxed invite featuring the bespoke skyline. An invite is like a trailer to a movie and it set the tone for a high quality event.
To engage and encourage Swinton’s partners to travel to Manchester, we had to create something special to show that Swinton is a now a bold, modern company that has its heritage firmly founded in Manchester. Guests were invited for a drinks reception at 101 Embankment. Arrival began with a 100 metre black carpet outlined with branded tear drop flags and hosts greeted guests from a branded reception desk.
In reference to their new modern, urban break out areas at 101, we offered Manchester Gins with carefully picked serves and locally crafted beers for their drinks instead of the usual champagne. WE teamed these with beautiful canapés served in branded Swinton newspaper.
Guests were then escorted back to The Lowry Hotel, Manchester. With a glass of crisp Champagne in hand, guests were taken through an interactive and fully immersive time-tunnel experience which was over 17 metres long. One side of the wall was a visual of Swinton’s history from 1957. Populated with photos, displays of old ledger books, and screens showing historic adverts as well as interactive stands with the latest websites and apps. The other side of the tunnel was the story of the new building with the architect’s drawings and a digital time-lapse of the build.
Once inside the main ballroom, lights were dimmed and a dramatic 6-minute live projection show beamed onto a 4ft x4ft model house. The projection took the audience on a journey from Mr Ken Scowcroft’s house where the first premium was sold, through the decades, to the opening of 101 Embankment.
Once sat at their table, guests were delighted again when they looked at their personal black gloss acrylic menus. As the guests are used to high end dining, we engaged with Aiden Byrne, chef and patron of Manchester House to design a bespoke Manchester menu.
Ahead of the event we worked with Aiden on a bespoke menu which included tastings and his familiarisation with the kitchen at the The Lowry. On the day, he ran the brigade in the Lowry’s kitchen and came on stage to explain each course.
To host the event, we appointed Louise Minchin from BBC Breakfast. It was important to get a face that would be recognisable to all those attending.
Our first speaker was Greg Williams, editor of Wired magazine, discussing the latest technology trends including the future Robots in business which symbolised Swinton’s new modern approach.
Post dinner, Louise Minchin held a Q&A with Sir Bradley Wiggins who also spoke about how technology is used within his sport.
It is extremely important to consider the chemistry between your host and guest; Louise was carefully picked for this as a keen triathlete herself, she was able to connect with Bradley which added to the audience experience.
Finally, the Children’s Society was supported with a silent auction and in a bid to raise extra money, critically acclaimed local Manchester artist and illustrator, Stanley Chow, designed a bespoke piece for Swinton – one which they could keep for their new HQ and one which they auctioned to raise money on the night.
To symbolise this one-off menu, guests were given a departing gift of a signed copy of Aiden’s book and branded champagne – everything was thought out.
From the moment the guests received their invite to the moment they left the building their experience was peppered with magic touches.
“Everything was just perfect. We really loved working with the Make Events team, can’t wait to get on with the next event.”
Gill Galassi, Head of External PR
“Truly was the best event we have had in 20 years!”
Katherine Smith, PA to CEO