We wanted to practice what we preach by creating an employee conference for our team. The theme? Let’s Grow.

THE CHALLENGE

Let’s Grow 2019 is Make Events’ annual conference. The conference consisted of two full days at The Lowry Hotel then a ‘Get Stuff done’ day back in the office. We are passionate about the impact of an event and wanted to practice what we preach by giving our employees the ultimate experience. In a world full of digital distractions, we know that live events immerse you.

We understand that engaged employees generate 43% more revenue (Hay Group), take 56% fewer sick days (Gallup) and are 87% less likely to leave (Corporate Leadership Council) and that events are a powerful tool for creating employee engagement.

THE SOLUTION

As the team arrived, they were greeted by the 5-metre-high event branding that scaled the front of The Lowry Hotel. After check in, with a smoothie shot in hand, they headed up the branded stairs to the conference floor. As a nod to Starbucks, one of the key themes, they first entered a breakout room called ‘The Third Space’, where they were fully immersed in ‘Make Events Coffee’. Their hot drink of choice was provided by a branded barista in a Make Events Coffee reusable cup, before they we’re introduced to the book by former Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, and shown films of why he believes in the power of events.

As another ‘magic touch’, on everyone’s desk in the main plenary were branded water bottles, journals, pens, highlighters, chewing gum, mints and Vimto squeezy. As a little pick me up we also provided everyone with their ‘Saviour Snack’ and favourite alcoholic drink. The room was lined with quotes to keep everyone focussed, a hydration station which was kept topped up and a snack station with different nibbles for each day.

The stage set, which was inspired by the Girl Boss Rally in NYC, was made to look clean with a rustic edge. We believe in events having sustainability so it was important that the furniture could be repurposed in our new Make Events HQ. We changed the stage set on day two to refresh the room and to cater for the different guests that were speaking.

We knew the team would want to take notes so decided to seat the main plenary in a classroom style. People automatically focused, which we knew we wouldn’t get in a relaxed theatre or cabaret style.

Following sessions by Holly Moore and SMT members, Philippa Cassidy and Alex Morrisroe, keynote speakers were welcomed to the stage. Firstly Paul Cheetham-Karz, MD of Sedulo Group and Make Events Financial Director and on day two Fred Done, owner of BetFred. Throughout the conference the delegates were able to interact using their branded event app including live polling and Q and A.

We also invited key clients and suppliers to sit on a Customer Thoughts panel, which was chaired by Heather Agan. Sitting on the panel was Lauren Heathcote, Internal Communications Manager at AutoTrader; Dianne Jeffery, Marketing Manager at SIG and Tony Shotton, BDM at Fabulous FanFayre.

Lunch on both days was provided by The Lowry Hotel, who on day one showcased their new healthy lunch menu and on day two created their famous afternoon tea with champagne for all guests.

When guests arrived in their rooms to get ready for the evening, they found a selection of provided by PZ Cussons. We also added their favourite business quote on the mirrors of the hotel room.

Johnny Cocktail ran a cocktail masterclass and Alchemist provided the team with tea themed drinks for our ‘Afternoon Tea’ on the second day.

Even the location of the event was symbolic, The Lowry Hotel provided Make Events with their first piece of business back in 2012.

THE RESULTS

This was our chance to share the vision and for everyone to take responsibility for creating their own future at Make Events. We wanted to create the ultimate experience for our employees, so they can do the same for our clients. We do have a small team but we made sure it was as special for 15 people as we would’ve been for 200.