Case Study Summary
Venue: Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve
Event Type: Annual Company Incentive
BV Services: Venue Finding, Venue Liaison, Contract Signing, Consolidated Invoicing, Onsite Event Management, Theming, Entertainment Sourcing, Transportation, Event Logistics & Delegate Hampers.
The Client Brief
Each year, this client hosts its annual company away day incentive. However, 2021 wasn’t just any old away day, as it was to celebrate the 10th year anniversary of the business.
This meant that everything had to be extra special, and the venue in particular had to have not one, but numerous wow factors.
Venue, theming, activities, transportation, catering, and entertainment were all on the clients brief for BV to handle. Having worked with this client in previous years, we knew the fundamentals of what they love, but our team needed to ensure we gave this year’s event the additional wow factors they required.
This meant that we had to get our thinking caps on and come up with a truly special experience.
The BV Approach
Our approach always starts at the same place, which is finding the perfect venue.
We provide a detailed overview of various venues to our clients, including the types of dinners available and the kinds of activities they have onsite or nearby. Once this is taken care of and the venue is agreed, we look at the theme and start planning entertainment and the logistics of the activities.
The BV Proposal
We suggested a range of venues for the client, including:
The client opted for Turnberry, which would feature exciting Highland Games and a traditional Scottish marching band on arrival, followed by BBQ at the lighthouse for a truly memorable experience.
Various other daytime activities would include Golf, access to the in-house spa and lots, lots more.
In the evening, there was to be a Scottish themed gala dinner with Ceilidh and tributes band to top it all off. All of this hit the mark perfectly and provided those all-important wow factors that the client requested.
Wow factors achieved, budgets signed off, contracts exchanged, and the event was signed, sealed until….
Okay. So not quite delivered.
After months of planning the logistics, the Scottish COVID restrictions meant the event wasn’t feasible and it was clear a new event format was required.
After discussions with the client, venue, and Visit Scotland, it was decided to move the Turnberry event into 2022 and revert back to a “normal” year company incentive.
9 months of planning and now back to square one. Welcome to the world of planning an incentive during a global pandemic!
The New Brief
A single-night incentive was proposed for the client which would incorporate a themed gala dinner, team challenge activation on arrival, as well as transport to and from clients office.
The BV Approach
As is often the case in such uncertain times, the pressure was on, and we now had 12 weeks to plan the entire event from scratch.
However, Director of Client Services, Mark Dixon wasn’t fazed by the short lead time even though it was such important event in the clients calendar. That’s because he, and all of our event team, understand that a shorter lead-time can actually often be beneficial and helpful when planning such an event.
And while we went into things with a surge of optimism, there would still be a few potential pitfalls along the way. The popularity of the staycations in 2021, for example, meant that accommodation availability was quite the challenge, especially when ensuring the wow factor was still well and truly present.
After lengthy discussions with the client, we split the event requirements into non-negotiable, negotiable, and good-to-have criteria. This approach enabled the team to focus on creating a memorable event with the wow factor and allowed a level of creative freedom on our end.
The New BV Proposal
After an extensive venue scouting exercise, 5 venues made the proposal:
- Port Lympne (The original Wild Card!)
- Compleat Angler
- Dunston Hall
- The Grand Brighton
- East Sussex National.
Each of the above venues is perfect for the client’s requirements, and each one of them brings something unique to the table, with wow factors aplenty.
Even with Covid restrictions in place, the event was a great success.
Our onsite Event Manager hosted a meet and greet for guests on arrival, before the delegates were treated to a picnic lunch to kick off proceedings.
Following lunch came the team challenge which was ran by our friends at Team Builds with BITE, who offer team building with a difference! After being split into teams, the delegates competed against each other to crease bespoke items for the wild animals at Port Lympne Reserve.
And before they went out on a safari, both teams were treated the once in a lifetime experience of seeing their creations installed in the animal enclosure and put to the test by the baboons.
While these events were taking place, the venue and our Event Manager were putting ‘Glamping’ Hampers into the tents for the delegates to enjoy, as they prepared and got themselves ready for the evening.
The evening was a safari themed 4 course gala dinner, which included socially distanced background music from a live band and covid secure magic photobooth mirror. This provided the best of both worlds as the live experience could be fully realised with the relevant COVID restrictions in place.
We feel that this particular event we showed how we can still provide a memorable experiential activity whilst keeping people safe, so much so that the restrictions aren’t in any way restrictive, and fun can still be had.
And no anniversary or birthday is complete without a cake!
The feedback from the delegates both onsite and post-event was absolutely phenomenal. Bien Venue and the onsite Event Manager received glowing recommendations and a glowing testimonial from the client.
We have used Bien Venue for many years now for our company Summer events – they have never disappointed in the past and this year was no exception. With initially booking a big event in Scotland that got postponed to next year due to Covid restrictions and having to start on a brand new event with limited time the event was a huge success. Our 10th Birthday Party which was essentially a day/night away for staff with a safari theme at Port Lympne has received excellent feedback from all our staff and we cannot thank Mark and the team at BV enough for firstly finding us this stunning venue but for the effort that they put in to making it so memorable.
You would not be disappointed if you asked Bien Venue to help you organise your company event! They are always on the other end of the phone or email to help out with any query, or just to run something past them, no matter how small. I was kept up to date every step of the way on planning and budgeting with regular update calls/meetings. Mark’s organisation skills and attention to detail are second to none and he has definitely gone the extra mile for us; even going to the trouble of taking lots of set up photos of the room, band, accommodation, etc, prior to us arriving so we have all of these for our website and popping to the supermarket en route to get one of our staff a birthday cake and putting birthday banners up in his glamping tent!
As a company we would recommend Bien Venue and we are looking forward to working with them for next year’s event! Our sincere thanks again to Mark and the team at BV!Event Booker, Asset Management Company
No pressure Turnberry, but after the feedback and success of 2021, 2022 has big expectations to live up to!
What does Event Management mean to Bien Venue?
We see event management as any part of the planning process from conception to delivery, it’s not just the onsite event management we specialise in but also the pre-planning and logistics plus post event. Our flexible approach means you can pick and choose which of our services you would like to use which always means the best end-result for your business and delegates.
For more information on Bien Venue’s Event Management services or to discuss your next incentive, away day, conference or company event please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Bien Venue are a boutique creative agency who specialise in a free UK venue finding service. It’s not just workshops, training, conferences, or off-site meetings we can arrange and venue search for but also away days, residential training events, awards ceremonies, networking, roadshows, hybrid events, summer parties, Christmas celebrations, private dining, team building, incentives, employee engagement hampers and virtual activities. We also offer accommodation booking platforms for both corporate bookers and event specific allocations of bedrooms
Our re-identified strapline alongside ‘Our Team is Your Team’ is ‘Event Management – Professional, Pro Active with a personal touch’.
Bien Venue’s reach isn’t just UK or Europe we offer our service globally. We have also featured in a Parliamentary Review for Best Practice Representative – https://www.theparliamentaryreview.co.uk/organisations/bien-venue