As Covid-19 changed the way team members at Cisco worked together – with team meetings happening entirely online on the Cisco WebEx platform – our client came to us looking for a creative way to enhance these virtual sessions. The brief was to bring 60 delegates in 60 locations together for an interactive activity to make people feel connected, engaged and motivated while working remotely.
In normal circumstances, food is a wonderful way to bring people together, so we wanted to explore how we could incorporate food activities into a virtual setting. Many businesses have become incredibly adaptable since physical interaction has become more difficult, and we contacted many of them to find out what could be possible for Cisco’s virtual event. Some of our favourites were a gin distillery tour, a beer brewery tour and a cheese making session – all of which could be hosted virtually. However, Cisco was keen to host an even more enriching virtual event that would do social good too. As a result, chef Simon Boyle – founder of the charity and social enterprise Beyond Food – hosted a virtual cooking masterclass. All delegates were sent recipe cards in advance of the session, which all came from Simon’s new book, Feast With Purpose. The first challenge was for participants to go and buy all the ingredients – and the first 30 people who posted photos of their ingredients were sent a copy of the book. On the cookery session date, delegates logged onto the virtual platform, cooked together under Simon’s expert guidance and then sat down to eat lunch together. Furthermore, Feast With Purpose is a book that was created entirely during lockdown with recipes included from the world’s best chefs. All proceeds from the book are helping vulnerable people in the hospitality sector whose livelihoods have been affected by.
Our standing in the industry enabled us to secure excellent rates, terms and cancellation policies. We were also able to take on the incredible amount of administration involved in the accommodation logistics – including rooming lists, special requirements and making payments. The on-site service we provided enabled us to handle all additional requests such as early and late departures. Our in-depth work on the event meant we were ideally placed to take care of additional events, and we coordinated and booked numerous conferences and training workshops that ran in parallel to the championships. Crème’s work on this event led to us working on other world tournaments, with tasks including accommodation sourcing, sightseeing trips for teams and large celebratory dinners.
We save clients an average of 20% thanks to our reputation in the industry, and we were able to negotiate this saving with the majority of accommodation providers for this event. This was particularly important for the association running the event to make this self funding and affordable for the visiting teams participating in the championship.
quality of the accommodation services provided by Crème Conferences have far surpassed anything that was offered by competitors in the past. For an event of this scale to have taken place without one single complaint being made concerning accommodation is almost unheard of. However, this was the level of satisfaction that Crème delivered.
“Annette Clare and Sarah Dale, in particular, were on hand 24/7 in the run-up to, and during, the tournament to resolve any possible problems that could have arisen. Their dedication to customer satisfaction is unmatched in my experience.”
The client came to us to source venues with a little wow factor in Barcelona for a four day senior team conference. This was an event our client wanted to really stand out, demanding modern, quirky and innovative venues, but not too luxurious. As well locations to hold daytime events, they asked us to source venues for two very different dinners – one for the senior team which would become an incredible talking point and be an exclusive experience; and the other for a larger dinner that would impress all delegates on a bigger scale.
We brought together the knowledge and experience of our whole team to tackle this brief, before contacting a number of venues. We narrowed it down to five options – which each held exceptional promise for the event – and these were outlined to our client in a proposal. An incredible property on Barcelona’s coast was chosen as the base for the conference. For the larger dinner involving all delegates, we recommended the hotel’s private roof terrace, offering an extraordinary setting with its 360-degree views of Barcelona and the ocean. For the exclusive senior team meal, we sourced a range of unique options, with Casa Milà – or ‘La Pedrera’ – being the chosen option. Famously designed by architect Antoni Gaudí and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this would be the location of a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the team.
This brief enabled us to provide genuinely inspiring solutions for an ambitious client. Crème Conferences won’t settle for the same solutions as other agencies provide, and in this instance we sourced the most unusual, inspiring and original venues for our client to choose from. As we’re unbiased and not affiliated with any particular venue, we were able to go above and beyond to find the very best options to fit the brief. We usually accompany clients on all site inspections to provide support and the benefit of our experience. In this instance, the client was unable to travel to Barcelona, so we flew out on their behalf and reported back on each venue with photos and videos to help them make a confident and informed decision.
We secured the client an average 20% saving on this event thanks to our reputation and standing in the industry. We also support clients in the event of cancellations, mitigating charges and re-scheduling where possible. This particular event was unfortunately cancelled due to Covid-19 and we worked hard with the venues involved to ensure no charges were passed onto the client. We hope to reschedule the event as soon as possible.
“I asked Crème to source our senior team meeting in Barcelona and once again they provided us with a great range of options to choose from. On this occasion I was unable to get out to Barcelona myself to have a look at the venues, so it was a great help when they visited on my behalf and reported back to me. Unfortunately we had to cancel the event due to Covid-19, but Crème managed all of this for me, ensuring that we were not charged anything for cancelling. I will be more than confident to contact Crème again to re-instate the event once we are able.”
As a Japanese manufacturer of power tools with an acclaimed global reputation, Makita’s annual trade day in the UK is an important business event for making sales and giving loyal clients a treat. Makita approached us to source a large venue in the Midlands that would meet a variety of needs while making the event successful and memorable. In terms of event space, Makita required a main room of at least 250sqm for sales displays, separate rooms for product demonstrations and catering, plus plenty of outside space to display larger tools. They also required a large room for an evening meal catering for 250 people, plus a large stock of hotel rooms for delegates and staff.
We got together as a team to run through our library of knowledge to identify appropriate venues. Given some of the very specific requirements, there were only a handful of venues that could deliver everything in the brief, so we contacted them all and arranged site visits. Makita selected the beautiful and prestigious Heythrop Park Resort in Oxfordshire as a result. The large resort is incredibly spacious inside and out – with more than enough rooms and spaces to meet all requirements. The venue was even happy for a few of their hedges to be cut down during the demonstration of some power tools!
Our extensive venue knowledge allowed us to quickly identify the most suitable locations for Makita’s event that could meet each and every one of the criteria in the brief. This helped them secure their preferred venue quickly and easily. Our familiarity with contracts helped us negotiate the best terms for the event, and we handled all the detailed liaison between Makita and the venue so Makita could focus on the event planning and delivery. Thanks to our longstanding reputation in the industry, we were also able to secure a complimentary drinks reception before the dinner.
The longstanding relationships we have with venues across the UK enabled us to secure a 20% saving for Makita on this event.
“We can trust Crème to always find us a suitable venue for our events, which are very specific and challenging to run. They always go the extra mile to secure us the very best rates and we are confident in their service after working with them for 15 years. Thank you Crème!”
The client a leading sporting association approached us to handle the entire accommodation requirements for a World Championships in Glasgow in August 2017. We were tasked with selecting a portfolio of accommodation in the city to suit different budgets, plus devise a platform to accept bookings and payments from participants across the world. In addition, the brief also required us to provide an on-site service during the event itself.
We started by approaching a vast number of hotels and accommodation providers across Glasgow, using our reputation and industry standing to negotiate good rates and terms for the client. Due to the large amount of accommodation required and the varying budgets of different delegates, we sourced options ranging from hotels and apartments to university accommodation. We organised site visits and accompanied our client on these visits, where the final selection was made. In total, we secured more than 7,000 bed nights and created an easy online booking system that was used by players, officials and visitors across the world.
During unprecedented times when people really want to pull together as a community, we were proud to have the contacts and expertise to incorporate a social project into Cisco’s virtual event. Offering a powerful platform to launch the Feast With Purpose book, the virtual masterclass made delegates feel part of something bigger than themselves, while bringing them together during uncertain times. Our expertise in events meant we were able to blend creative ideas with online platforms to create a virtual event that kept people connected and businesses thriving.
Since virtual events do not require physical venues, Cisco saved money on this event in comparison to the cost of a face-to-face event. Creative virtual events such as this one mean any extra budget can be spent on details that make delegates smile, as well as doing social good.
“The event really was a great success – the feedback from the team in the run-up, during and following left us in no doubt that they loved it! It’s probably been one of the most trying times to think of interesting yet feasible ways to keep customers and employees connected and engaged. As ever, Crème came up with the goods when we posed the question. We also loved the fact that the whole event was directly linked to supporting Simon Boyle’s lockdown project ‘Feast with Purpose’, helping hospitality workers whose jobs have been affected by Covid-19. And with the help of Simon’s culinary expertise on the day, we now have the majority of our team – and a good number of their kids – well-versed in the art of cooking high-quality Cornish Pasties!” – Joachim Mason, Director Specialists UK & Ireland, Cisco
We have been working with the charity Mencap for a number of years, sourcing venues for their training courses across the UK. There are some quite detailed requirements for these events – in particular that venues must allow a seven day cancellation policy so the charity is not charged if there are too few delegates booked onto a course. Mencap also requires all venues to be fully accessible and big enough to accommodate large equipment the trainers sometimes need to bring. In addition, the charity also requires venues that allow delegates to bring their own packed lunches due to tight budgets.
As a team, our approach is always to contact multiple venues in the required locations and propose a shortlist to our clients that best meets the brief. Our longstanding experience in doing this means we have collected a database of venues that are suitable for training, that will offer us competitive rates thanks to our reputation and commitment to relationship-building. We liaise with these venues on behalf of Mencap, ensuring all their requirements are met for each and every event, with venues offering a consistent level of service.
For our charity clients in particular, budget means everything. Our reputation in the industry means we can negotiate the very best rates for Mencap’s events. We think about more than just the room rate in our negotiations too, often asking venues to include extras such as equipment in the room hire. We also regularly secure complimentary breakout spaces or complimentary upgrades to hotel rooms for trainers.
We save Mencap an average of 20% on venue costs for each of their events, and sometimes we secure discounts of up to 40%, due to our reputation and relationships in the industry. Ensuring the venues Mencap works with offer a favourable policy on cancellations and date changes means we also save the charity unnecessary charges.
“I would just like to take a few moments to let you know how much of a great job Ellie does when supporting our bookings and other lengthy queries! She’s always happy to help and will always go the extra mile, ensuring we have all of the information required. Not only that, she gets everything done so quickly and I know I can always rely on her.”