The Hut Group is a British e-commerce company who operate over 100 international websites, selling premium Fast-moving consumer goods. It is one of the most valuable private companies in the UK.
Last year Make Events produced The Hut Group’s 2017 Neon Noir themed Summer party. Off the success of the event, the company approached Make Events to work with them again and challenged them to create something completely different with an Alice in Wonderland theme.
You can read about their 2017 Summer Party, Neon Noir here.
With over 1500 employees expected to attend, a 65m x 25m marquee was built to accommodate everyone within the grounds of Hale Country Club and Spa.
The theme of Alice in Wonderland has been done many times before and Make Events worked hard to create a space that was completely unique and bespoke to the client.
To do this, they needed to dress the space by including new ideas as with this theme it’s easy to recreate an off-the-shelf solution. By taking inspiration from both the traditional Alice in Wonderland film and the Tim Burton film, Make Events created a look and feel that was unique for THG.
Make Events managed the full 7-day marquee installation as well as all the fire and health and safety risk assessments for the marquee. As it was built on private land, permits had to be approved with the local council to sell alcohol. Similarly, there were noise restrictions, and Make Events worked alongside the client here to make sure both parties were comfortable with the restrictions that were put in place.
As the delegates arrived at Hale Country Club, they were greeted by the Mad Hatter on stilts and mushroom hostesses. Many costumes were made bespoke for the event, as they didn’t want it to look too traditional.
The characters directed guests to walk through an 8ft bespoke built set of Alice’s legs into the main space where they came across a live prosecco wall titled ‘Drink Me’. The living wall encouraged guests to take a drink from one of the waving hands that came through the wall, causing much surprise and delight to the guests.
Characters from the original Alice in Wonderland circulated the room, with Alice, the White Rabbit, The Mad Hatter, The Queen of Hearts and Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, all wearing slightly darker twists of their original form. In character at all times, the entertainers were more than mix and mingle acts as each actor had a skill base such as, contortion, juggling and dancing, helping to bring the environment to life.
At Make Events it is important to make every event unique so it looks different to any guests have attended before. To do this, Make Events commissioned 64 bespoke themed props to elevate the event to something really special.
The 64 props were made to hang from the ceiling of the marquee this was to dress the vast amount of space, draw the room in closer, create zones and a more intimate environment. The props were also built around a central foliage hanging truss that was used to soften the room and frame the central performance stage. What’s more as the stand out piece of the event was a large 3m diameter bespoke teapot DJ booth that pumped smoke out of its spout on the main stage in front of the dancefloor.
The food had to be substantial and constantly flowing, as well as something practical to eat whilst standing and drinking. Make Events chose bowl food and installed two kitchens at either end of the marquee to help with the circulation of the food, to make sure it reached everyone and not just those close to the kitchen. Food is really important to Make Events and to ensure the client was satisfied a food tasting was held with the caters to select their menu.
The event was an opportunity that helped to build on staff morale and for guests to bond with their teams, which it successfully achieved. It was also to thank The Hut Group’s employees for all their hard work and to encourage them to work to the best of their ability for the remainder of the year.