Make Events | Communication Events Company Manchester | Autotrader Logo

AutoTrader Group plc is the UK and Ireland’s largest digital automotive marketplace. AutoTrader sits at the heart of the UK’s vehicle buying process and its primary activity is to help vehicle retailers compete effectively on the marketplace in order to sell more vehicles, faster.


After a competitive pitch process, Make Events were selected to manage AutoTrader’s all employee conference and gala dinner. Their objective was to communicate key messages from their business strategy and bring their 800+ employees together.

The client had secured The Point, Emirates Old Trafford for the event and invited Make Events to manage the delivery and develop the full creative for the theme, bringing the space to life.

AutoTrader are the leaders in their field and are forward thinking, digital and disruptive. Their event needed to be a reflection of this and as a result the theme of the event was Road to Disruption.

With over 800 delegates, 85 round tables and staging to fit, the challenge was keeping the audience engaged and ensuring that everyone in the room could comfortably experience the conference without straining to see and hear the content.


Make Events focused on the delegate journey and thought about what they would think, feel and do before, during and after the event. This ensured that the content shown at the conference would translate back into the office on Monday morning.

Make Events designed the room with a central curved stage, supported by an 8-metre LED screen and a huge 25-metre backdrop projection that stretched across the rear wall. There were also an additional four screens around the room for the presentation content.

It was important that we made an impact and grabbed the attention of the audience in a disruptive way. To do this, we kicked the day off with an immersive digital opening show. We made a bespoke film which was animated and built to fit onto a life size 3D model of a Mini, suspended above the central stage. From this we projection mapped a 6-minute film. The content took the delegates on a journey through the history of AutoTrader highlighting key milestones through to the present day. Supported with impactful music the delegate was certainly disrupted from their expectations of the usual conference opening address. See the projection below.

Throughout the conference the 25m backdrop was used for ambience throughout the day and to project the key messages and brand values whilst speakers were on stage.

Following a two-hour turnaround from day to night the backdrop was then used to change the environment and create a 90s inspired nightclub! Building a bespoke DJ booth and new artwork template for the backdrop, using the famous Hacienda black and yellow design, the room felt transformed. The Manchester DJ Clint Boon took to the stage to play 90s themed songs and Mr Wilsons then carried on the party with their unique performance, to really get the atmosphere going into the evening.


The client was wowed by the projection piece and loved how much of a talking piece it was, which re-enforced our vision of the conference living longer than just the day. 83.5% of the delegates rated the conference good to excellent. Since the event we have been working on a number of new exciting projects with AutoTrader. They’re looking forward to what we present them with next.

“The car and whole projection was received so well – such a great idea!! I have no idea how we’ll top it next year! Looking forward to working with you on our next event.”