Be Vivid News <![CDATA[Virtual events for eventful times]]>

Be Vivid Thu, 04 Jun 2020 14:04:33 +0000
<![CDATA[ICE AWARDS 2020]]> Our MD, Charlie Hepburn, is delighted to have been invited back for a second year of judging at the ICE Awards 2020. Charlie joins a leading panel of accomplished professionals who have in-depth experience of the events industry and comments:

"I'm thrilled to have been invited to take part in the awards again for 2020. Last year's awards witnessed some remarkable talent amongst the in-house teams of corporate event planning. The independently run Ice Awards are a great opportunity for you to either nominate yourself or even a hard-working colleague, manager or member of your team. It's such a compliment to have your work recognised, be nomimated as a finalist and even more so to be awarded as a winner. Witnessing the moments of pride that each finalist experiences when their entries are announced as winners is something to behold. I look forward to reviewing and discussing the merits of the entries for this year and hopefully help bring some previously un-seen talents to the forefront".

The annual awards, held this year on Thursday, 9th July 2020, in London recognises in-house corporate event planners and showcases their efforts and successes amongst the industry.

Amidst these unprescedented times, reminding corporate planners of their previous accomplishments and successes will be a great mood-lifter and motivator for the times ahead. The events industry is worth a sizeable £42.3 bn in the UK alone and is built upon incredibly sociable and well-connected groups of businesses and individuals. With London being the #1 city within EMEA for meetings and events activity, the ICE Awards 2020 will have quite an array of events to showcase and celebrate.

Entries for awards are now open - click here to nominate your entry (closing date 30th May 2020):

To read about the awards and for more information, check out the website here:


Be Vivid Wed, 03 Jun 2020 09:53:41 +0000
<![CDATA['Virtually' back to work]]>

Be Vivid Thu, 07 May 2020 14:14:27 +0000
<![CDATA[Event planners make great film directors]]>

Be Vivid Mon, 27 Apr 2020 16:28:21 +0000
<![CDATA[Building capability and improving virtual teams]]> Building individual confidence and improving team morale for successful outputs with virtual team building & development.

Whilst the unprecedented global quarantine is to most of us unfathomable, it’s a good time to look at aspects in our daily working lives that we can have a degree of influence and control over.

Right now, people have had to adjust to working from home for an extended period of time. Although businesses are now set up for virtual meetings due to advances in communication technology, companies will be addressing what the new ‘normal’ will look like post-lockdown and how much remote working will become a permanent fixture.

With virtual meetings firmly embedded and employees fully into the swing of having one Zoom/WebEx/Microsoft Teams meeting after another, we wonder at what point the engagement levels and effectiveness of these meetings will decline. As change management specialist, Carl Fillery states in a recent report;

“The spread of home and remote working is opening up a new range of possibilities for the way businesses can work and structure themselves with the potential to transform results if done right!”

Not all workers are motivated by the same environment as some thrive in isolation, others can quickly become lost and de-motivated. Looking ahead, the communication formats and causes for people interaction will need to evolve to avoid becoming stale and ineffective.

If you’re a manager of people, teams or businesses, one of these areas is looking at how your people have reacted, are now feeling and behaving in their current situation. Many of their team members will not be used to working remotely and may have greater challenges such as lack of connection with colleagues, problem solving, ideas generation and sparking off each other for motivation.

We’ve brought together a host of virtual event tools and techniques that could help ensure your remote teams are well-equipped, remain engaged and are working productively.

Assess and Workshop – Learning & Development

A great way to get people engaged is to help them understand their own behaviour and reactions to problem-solving and situations. Ensuring your people are planning and running their virtual meetings in the right way by including/involving every participant will ensure that your teams are all working well both individually and together. Hosting a virtual meeting is not the same as an in-person meeting as there are many hidden dynamics, such as body language and different learning/problem-solving styles that different personalities work better with.

The more your team leaders understand and apply this, the more effective everyone will become. In these Workshop(s) your teams will discover the most effective techniques and learn how to apply them. Coupled with using the Basadur Innovation Profile, quick and easy online assessment for workers to self-complete, you can get your people on the same page, pulling in the same direction whilst carrying out projects effectively and productively as everyone understands how their own role fits into the model, who’s in the other segments and the ideal flow of problem-solving.

CLICK HERE for the Workshop brochure

Motivation – Team Building

From a Daily Kick-Off designed to motivate and inspire your teams by sharing insights from your new home-working environment, a Team Social Quiz to encourage players to let their hair down to the full Virtual Away Day of competitive point-scoring strategy, each activity is designed to get people collaborating, decision-making under pressure, team building, having fun, improving morale and boosting energy levels.

Get Creative – Team Building

A series of fun and engaging activities to encourage your teams to bring people closer together whilst working from home. A Virtual Escape Room encourages teams of 5 people to solve a range of tasks and challenges; Who’s Who is a great tool to get people networking and works well for newer teams; Connecting Canvases is an activity that could work without geographical or language barriers as it’s a creative piece that results in a grand piece of art for everyone to celebrate. With 50% of all profits donated to global charities (currently World Health Organisation), there’s a real feel-good factor with these team-building initiatives.

CLICK HERE for the Team Building brochure

For each of the above, experienced facilitators and ready-made apps take all the hard work away from you as your teams are guided through with easy access to each activity, leaving you to run your teams/business in keeping with your vision, values and culture.

To receive regular updates on our news and views including event industry opinions, new developments and ideas for your forthcoming event projects and forthcoming events, sign up to our newsletter HERE.

Be Vivid Tue, 21 Apr 2020 14:15:44 +0000
<![CDATA[7 Steps to Virtual Success ]]> How to get the most out of your virtual meetings

With many of the workforce currently working from home, we've noticed several useful tips floating about on how to make the most from virtual meetings and thought we would share our favourite seven steps to success:

1. Use video.

Wherever you can, use video so that you can connect as if you're all in the same room together. Seeing facial expression is always more effective than just using sound. Just make sure that if some participants can only join using audio they are regularly included/invited into the conversation.

2. Stick to the meeting objectives.

This doesn't mean run the meeting like a rigid military exercise (although sometimes this might be useful), but share the agenda and be clear with participants on what you need the outcomes to be for an effective output.

3. Choose meeting roles.

Decide and communicate beforehand who is chairing/facilitating, who's taking notes for follow-up actions and who the main contributors are.

4. Use presentations.

Presentations can be a really useful visual aid but don't spend too long simply regurgitating the words on the screen share (absolutely vital if you want to appear authentic). Keep the visual detail to a minimum, make it interesting and keep data relevant to the meeting.

5. Feedback.

Capture real-time feedback by using tools provided by your virtual platform, such as hands up, voting polls and Q&A.

6. Ice-breaker.

Encourage participants to share their location/surroundings and introduce themselves to foster inclusivity and help open up communication. Make sure everyone can see, hear and have access to the meeting tools.

7. Time.

Stick to the designated meeting length to keep attendees awake and focused on the objectives.

Above all, enjoy the virtual connection with others to break up your day!

To receive regular updates on our news and views including event industry opinions, new developments and ideas for your forthcoming event projects and forthcoming events, sign up to our newsletter HERE.

Sources: Harvard Business Review and World Economic Forum

Images: Unsplash

Be Vivid Thu, 02 Apr 2020 16:49:05 +0000
<![CDATA[Virtual Events - beyond the virtual meeting]]>

Be Vivid Tue, 31 Mar 2020 10:21:59 +0000
<![CDATA[Coronavirus - the show can and must go on]]> We explore how virtual events can keep audiences engaged

<<2 minute read>>

It been an odd few weeks. Clients have been asking us for our opinion on Coronavirus (Covid-19) and what it could mean for their future events. It’s a really difficult one as we are not the experts. The situation is fluid and changing by the day, so we can only offer a personal opinion based the same information that everyone else has access to*.

Our current thinking is that the reason why clients want to stage an event won’t have changed and the messages that are needed to be communicated remain the same, but the delivery mechanisms may need to adapt.

We have been exploring the opportunities of ‘virtual’ face to face. Although broadcast or streamed events will never truly have the same impact or achieve the levels of energy that is created from a shared human experience, it is still possible to interact, educate, influence, engage and steer an audience to objectives.

Considerations to be made:

  • Engaged audiences – your audience can instantly log in and feel a part of your event.
  • Global access – the Internet makes the WORLD your marketplace.
  • Ultimate convenience – whilst an audience may not be able to travel to you, you can still take your message to your audience, anywhere, at any time. Convenient for them AND you.
  • Variety of choices – web-streaming through facebook Live, IBM could event stream or add satellite link ups, the list goes on and on. There is a mirad of platforms that can be selected depending on your requirements and the size of the event. All offer flexibility, allow interaction and open the ability to invite guest speakers from anywhere in the world, offer language options, etc. From live audio only – the choice for the best solution to fit your objective is yours.
  • Profitable feedback – interactive dialogue with your audience can be immediate, which you can then follow up with content, made irresistible to those in attendance by the “opportunity created in the moment”.
  • Measurable results – valuable statistics and collection of information, is equally accessible through virtual events. You can know who attends, from where, when they attend, number attending – and even how they are choosing to interact.

Working with trusted technical partners that understand the capabilities of broadcast technologies and by developing creative formats for the 'show', we are enabling clients to maintain a 'live' voice to connect to, and engage with their audiences.

Contact us to explore what options might be available to your business.

To receive regular updates on our news and views including event industry opinions, new developments and ideas for your forthcoming event projects and forthcoming events, sign up to our newsletter HERE.

*Trusted sources we refer to: World Health Organisation and Gov.UK

References: CMBS

Image: Tim Mossholder,

Be Vivid Fri, 28 Feb 2020 17:01:26 +0000
<![CDATA[4 top event must-haves]]> Did you know that Millennials (or members of Generation Y - those born between 1982 and 2000) are set to become the dominant part of the workforce this year, making up over 50% of it.

As a result, companies are having to place an ever-growing focus on ways to increase engagement with this generation and keep these workers happy and productive – this is where live events can be useful. Millennials have generally come to be defined by a set of characteristics formed by the world and culture they grew up in and therefore before you can look at ways to encourage them connect, the facts need to be understood.

It's a fact. Millennials are:

  • Tech Savy - Armed with smartphones, laptops, and other gadgets, this generation is plugged in 24/7. They like to communicate through email, text messaging, and whatever new social media platform friends and colleagues are using. This is a generation that can't even imagine a world without the internet or mobile phones - they've never had it.
  • Family Centric - Millennials usually prioritise family over work and are willing to trade higher pay for fewer billable hours, flexible schedules, and a better work/life balance.
  • Achievement Orientated - millennials are confident, ambitious, and achievement-oriented. They have high expectations of their employers, tend to seek new challenges at work, and aren't afraid to question authority.
  • Team Orientated – They want to be included and involved and not have all the decisions made for them.
  • Attention cravers - They appreciate being kept in the loop and often need frequent praise and reassurance. They may benefit greatly from mentors who can help guide and develop their talents.
  • Motivated by new experiences - which means they're prone to job-hopping . They're always looking for something new and better, whether it's with the same company or on to pastures new.

Often unfairly criticised, there's much that can be done to keep the fires lit for this generation of workers. Here are the top four must haves when looking to improve engagement for this audience with your events programs:

1) On-demand: They need the solution at the point of pain.

Millennials want the answer here and now, because it’s all they’ve ever really known - they don’t want to wait. At your events use tools that allow them access ‘knowledge’ instantly. This can be human or digital, but think of their experience and how they can opt in to gain this information. For example researching the right technology to add to your event can be a minefield as there are so many options in the marketplace, to name a event app, welcome robot, digital information screens. Take qualified advice and stick to your objectives for the purpose.

2) Anything you communicate needs to be authentic.

If they’re connecting to a real life situation, it needs to be real; no fake green screens, no actor reading from a script. It needs to be localised and culturally relevant so they can see HOW they would apply it to their lives. Strip back the theatrics, bring the real story to life and make it ‘human’.

Read our Brighton Business Update case study here to see how one of our London clients brought their teams to the beach to bring the seaside to life.

3)They need to have a voice.

Millennials have voices and they want to be heard. Create environments that allow them to freely debate/exchange and have a conversation. Eventbrite feature 11 examples of tools to help audience interaction here. Engaging event attendees is integral to holding their attention. It can also make a big difference to their satisfaction levels – if an attendee has been actively involved in the proceedings they’re far more likely to feel the event was worthwhile.

Read our global conference case study here to see how one of our clients shared the 'bigger picture' with their audience.

4) Tell them why they are taking part.

Millennials crave the ability to develop. But that said they’re interested in what the business stands for and what it is working toward. Any messaging needs to have depth and this is achieved through always relating to the bigger picture of culture, value and vision. Sharing shows you care.

Read our Collective Working case study here to see how one of our clients engaged their employees with CSR.

Are you really thinking about how you're connecting with your audiences and tailoring the experience to fit?

To receive regular updates on our news and views including event industry opinions, new developments and ideas for your forthcoming event projects and forthcoming events, sign up to our newsletter HERE.

References: HR Grapevine, Career Cake, The Balance Careers, Eventbrite

Images: Unsplash

Be Vivid Mon, 27 Jan 2020 17:29:14 +0000
<![CDATA[C&IT panel discuss all things DMCs]]>

Be Vivid Mon, 27 Jan 2020 15:28:24 +0000
<![CDATA[Employee engagement]]> Employee engagement - the most effective communication ecosystem...

We spent a large proportion of 2019 defining, creating and delivering live events as part of wider internal communication campaigns, and due to their success it felt like an obvious place to start the new year by sharing why a 'human' element in any employee engagement campaign is a must.

To put things in context and put a value on engaged employees, they are 21% more productive* as they feel invested in an organisation, are motivated to perform at their best, and they go above and beyond to contribute to the organisation’s goals.

In our experience an integrated approach to any campaign using multiple communication channels is always most effective. However, as we exist in a world where the relationship with brands and their culture, values and vision are now based on 'experience', giving employees a voice through live events must be part of any engagement campaign or project if it is to maximise it's impact. It makes the messaging 'human' and more than just words or pictures/video on a screen...creating an emotional attachment...

We have certainly found that when considering a course of action, no two businesses are alike and an organisation’s recipe for success is unique. Increasingly as employees become more agile and demanding, engagement requires knowing your audience better and understanding the communication channels that will allow you to have the best 'conversation' with them. Debate and exchange with them 'live' and you have time, access and honesty that other channels simply just don't offer.

By encouraging employees to be part of the solution and providing them a safe and physical environment in which to do so, you build a sense of purpose and create a workplace that becomes more that just a place at which they do their job.

References: * Employee Engagement - Institute of Employment Studies - Report 469, Gallop, ILG and Glint.

Listing Image: Jaime Lopes on Unsplash

Be Vivid Mon, 27 Jan 2020 15:15:52 +0000
<![CDATA[Greater transparency is needed]]> Agencies and DMCs discuss why more transparency is needed between them at the recent C&IT Incentives Forum at Chewton Glen.

Charlie Hepburn, MD and founder at BE Vivid joins Odette Peel, senior incentives manager, Quintessentially Travel, along with DMCs, Olga Navarro, managing partner, ITB Events and Christian Hobbs, global sales & marketing director, Uniqueworld. Hosted by Calum Di Lieto, Editor of C&IT Magazine, the forum set out to discuss how relationships between DMCs and event agencies can be improved.

CLICK HERE to view the YouTube full panel debate shown (length: 44mins)

Highlights of Charlie's comments:

  • 4:40 - 6:23 mins ~ We employed a DMC in Mexico for our American client's international conference and it proved invaluable in a potentially crisis situation.
  • 11:45 - 12:28 mins ~ "Faith, trust and belief in what you're doing" - Charlie explains why as an event agency we enjoy working with DMCs where you've built a great relationship.
  • 24:36 - 25:59 mins ~ Why it's important for DMCs to be creative too.
  • 32:02 - 33:05 mins ~ Open working relationships are vital to delivering international event projects successfully.
  • 43:08 - 43:51 mins ~ "Value needs to be demonstrated along the way" - Charlie explains why there are times when it's essential to directly connect DMC with corporate client.

Source: C&IT Magazine

Be Vivid Wed, 22 Jan 2020 11:08:52 +0000
<![CDATA[C&IT Magazine - Winter 2019]]>

Be Vivid Thu, 16 Jan 2020 13:20:31 +0000
<![CDATA[Data Dilemas]]>

Be Vivid Fri, 20 Dec 2019 08:28:39 +0000
<![CDATA[Community involvement creates happier teams]]> Team building takes on a whole new meaning when the output benefits others...

We came across the charitable organisation, One Westminster, earlier this year whilst reaching out to find a suitable partner to fulfil a client brief. The client in question, an international hospitality chain, was planning to bring together general managers from their global collection of luxury hotels for a conference. As part of the conference, the client wanted not simply to ‘tick’ the CSR box, but to truly immerse the delegates in a community project for one of the afternoons.

During the process of our research, One Westminster stood out as a specialist, not only in charitable team building, but for offering a wide programme of initiatives that really add value to volunteers, participants and the beneficiaries of each enterprise.

The core aims of One Westminster are to “assist the local collective of charities in their growth, sustainability and development” and their Time & Talents programme helps to draw in local businesses for mutual benefit. There over 100 local community organisations that are already seeing the impact with signed-up corporate partners across the region including John Lewis & Partners, American Express, Godiva, and Intuit to name but a few.

We were asked by One Westminster to sponsor their recent November networking event (pictured above), held at the Lord Mayor’s Parlour in Westminster, which brings together a selection of charities and corporates for introductions and networking. Paola Pagliarin, Corporate Partnerships Manager for Time & Talents comments:

“We will continue running our corporate-community networking events to improve business and community sector awareness and encourage corporate engagement with social value in line with Westminster’s ‘City for All’ strategy”

By including employee initiatives such as volunteering days providing career advice sessions for students, gardening, decorating, creative sessions for the lonely (of all ages), and many more social support enterprises, the results have been overwhelmingly positive with 86% of businesses saying they felt they had a positive impact on the local community and 66% have a stronger relationship with their colleagues.

It’s now being proven through a growing amount of research that millennials (who are predicted to make up 50% of the workforce by 2020) will look for more than just financial remuneration, career opportunities, training and standard benefits offered by employers. According to Gallup, they don’t want to be treated like everyone else and more-so than others, they want a real sense of purpose to be embedded within their company culture. reported in their research that the levels of employee engagement increase significantly with those organisations who do participate in or have an active programme of charitable opportunities for their employees to get involved in. Not only does it bring people together, it provides a sense of pride and ownership making for happier teams.

As a creative events and live experience agency, BE Vivid is working together with Time & Talents to construct corporate team building activities that aim to provide a sense of purpose, fun and all round social value.

For more details contact:

Rachel Hepburn, - for employee events

Paola Pagliarin, - for corporate commmunity partnerships

Top image Priscilla du Preez by Unsplash

Be Vivid Thu, 05 Dec 2019 13:10:20 +0000
<![CDATA[Sound Advice - Feelings are Facts]]> This was posted as part of IBTM World’s new Future Focus series of presentations and interactive sessions, ahead of this years much anticipated show. Part of the Event Sense series, it features a few thoughts on quality creativity and why the often-neglected aspect of sound at events can be one of your greatest assets, if used in the right way.

Sound Quality

“Talk, its only talk” spits King Crimson vocalist Robert Fripp in his 1981 essay single on the noise that surrounds us every day. “Arguments, agreements, advice” he continues, “babble, burble, banter, brouhaha – comments, clichés, controversy, contradiction”. A blurting response to the birth of the internet, naming the track after an early online blog – Elephant Talk – he concludes, “…dialogue, duologue, double talk – it’s only talk”.

Events are sensory experiences, and noisy ones at that. Our audiences are exposed to a continual accumulation of indeterminate sounds assaulting their senses that dilute their relationship with your event.

We’re only human; if we don’t like something we tune out, switch off or move away. It’s an unconscious human reaction. Uncontrolled white noise is damaging to audience perception of your event. Most is accidental, unpleasant and, if left disorganised, will result in audio disengagement from your event content.

Don’t hurt their feelings

We can do better. To our audiences, events are a sensory experience and their “feelings are facts”.

For our event attendees, senses are their technology, the tools used to process their sense of your event. The way they feel about your event is shaped by how they receive it. Their take-aways will be based on the touchy-feely-tasty-smelly – and in the case of this blog – noisy information they experience.

Rather than adding sound as an afterthought, plan early and consider your event as a soundscape. If we apply a little sound quality to our events with a little sound design, we can make delegates’ lives better and keep them consciously engaged and tuned in.

Events as soundscapes

Don’t worry, this blog is not advocating that you turn your event into a full-on musical production – but redress the balance between dis-organised and organised sound, the unconscious and conscious listening, to keep the audience engaged and tuned in.

What should your event sound like?

Your marketing strategy requires you to design a logo for your event as a brand ID for the eyes. Your audience might touch or swipe digital signage to navigate their agenda, you curate food and beverage and format the service to coincide with breaks in content – but what about designing the audio experience?

Create a unique sonic ID for your event. Strategic use of sound can play a positive role particularly suited to today’s busy world, cutting through the noise and keeping that conscious link open to your audience. Studies show that sounds or audio cues can influence behaviour, increase the speed of visual search or provide a call to action.

We already experience this, as do our audiences. Brands have already successfully leveraged value from sound and music association – think Apple, Spotify and sports streaming. Sound and music function as an international language across numerous platforms, web, podcasts, apps, video, and beyond live as a signature at any delegate touchpoint.

Sound Bites

Sonic IDs work. From the songs that we listen to on our daily commute or workout, to the theme tunes of McDonalds, Coca Cola, Mastercard or Intel, branded sounds are shortcuts to our minds.

Irrespective of what you’re about to watch, about one third of a second into Netflix’s iconic single drum note signature and you are transported back to some late-night binge box set. It’s exciting, it’s emotional, and your choices, content and even your ears have just been branded.

Create a sonic brand

Your sonic signature applied along the audience timeline will order the chaos and keep your audience tuned into what’s about to happen next. Your event brand will be omnipresent with both your event and your event content.

Build out from the sonic signature and curate a music playlist in your registration, so visitors emerge from dis-organised soundscape to an organised one.

Use your sonic signature as a call to action, for public announcements and to organise agenda information in order to engage beyond the noise clutter.

Use your sonic signature as a call to order for seminars and plenary sessions and as a signature on all legacy videos and podcasts; be the content streamer of choice both live and beyond the event.

If content was once king, now your audience is. Build better theatres where they can hear what’s being said and use your sonic strategy to deliver better streaming experiences to external audiences.

Maintain the sonic ID. You can change the logo, the venue, the menu every year – but the sonic remains the same – it will feel right and as we’ve learnt “feelings are facts”.

Article by guest writer Robert Dunsmore, Creative Director - Live Events past ILEA Board member

Photo by Bruce Mars on Unsplash

Be Vivid Mon, 04 Nov 2019 15:03:53 +0000
<![CDATA[From castles to royal palaces]]>

Our search for European elegance led us to the finest of locations

When our global trading and investment client reached out to us to help them create an elegant reception for their European clients, we jumped at the chance. Having worked with this client for a number of years, supporting their strategic objectives and placing the highest of value to their own client relationships is an area we have a deep tacit knowledge of.

Locating the ideal city that could offer not only the right cultural appeal, but finding a venue with a rich history that was relevant to the client, embedded within its walls was absolutely key. With the help of our DMC partners, we reviewed some exquisite palaces, castles and majestic venues across both Germany and France before selecting Hotel d'Evreux in Place Vendôme, Paris.

Chic, understated and brimming with elegance, Hotel d'Evreux is home to fine Parisian caterer and events company, Potel et Chabot, whom we partnered with on this occasion.

Working in collaboration across two countries is nothing new these days and ever better when there's a mutual respect and appreciation of the others' skills and speciality. In this case, bringing together our thorough understanding of the client's requirements having worked with them for a number of years, and combining with the caterers expertise of applying only the finest of catering and service within their managed venue was a great match.

For an autumn VIP reception, this venue proved to be perfect. As Raconteur quoted in their article when reviewing the location:

"There can hardly be a more glamorous and glittering address than the Place Vendôme in Paris, a square teeming with world-class jewellers, well-toned security guards and celebrity visitors"

Starting with red carpet for the arrivals, a team of polished hosts and hostesses set the tone for the evening. Our clients' visiting CEO from Japan, the UK MD and the Parisian senior teams all acted as perfectly tuned hosts in welcoming their new EMEA clients and reacquainting with existing partners.

Utilising several areas within the facility enabled a carefully curated early VIP drinks reception set within the elegant Louis XIV style first floor Salons, followed by the main reception held in the main event space of the Salle des Tirages, home to the original French Lottery.

Giving a nod to Japanese heritage, the central bar was decorated with a traditional Acer Japonica tree, complemented with autumnal toned florals, the venue required very little further decoration as the main focus was based around service levels. Getting the correct balance of the highest level of attention without being over-powering was absolutely key from guest arrival through to the waiting staff, hosts and final departure.

Our vibrant case study highlights the detail that went into this project and the outcome - click here to view.

With remote planning, several site visits to Paris during the warm summer months, an enthusiastic set of experienced suppliers all working to a clear set of objectives, the project was an absolute delight. Wherever the next event will be located we look forward to planing and delivering to the same exacting standard...

Venues in headline image:

Top row L to R: Musee de L’Homme, Academie Diplomatique, Grand Palais

Middle row L to R: Petit Palais, Petit Palais, Castle Nymphenburg.

Bottom row L to R: Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte, The Ritz, Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte

Be Vivid Fri, 25 Oct 2019 07:50:02 +0000
<![CDATA[A butterfly isn’t a caterpillar with wings stuck on]]>

We address the difference between driving transformation and reacting to change.

After a recent meeting with a long-standing client, our conversation rapidly moving to the subject of “change”. When we parted ways, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of ‘déjà vu’ as nearly every discussion I have with a client revolves around “change”, the impact it has on them and their business before we move into the territory of what the solutions might look like.

Whilst we acknowledge that change is inevitable and for the last 15-20 years the technological revolution has been thrust upon us, there now seems to be a shift as we (people, businesses, consumers) start to move into the territory of driving transformation instead of simply reacting to the changes around us.

According to google, “change uses external influences to modify actions, but transformation modifies beliefs so actions become natural and thereby achieve the desired result.”

I started to carry out some research myself and found there is much positive opinion on the subject. Andy Noronha, Director of Strategy & Thought Leadership at Cisco wrote an interesting article in Forbes. An award-winning author on the subject of business, Noronha quotes a very different approach to a traditional linear change management model:

“transformation leaders must orchestrate transformation. The definition of “orchestrate” is to mobilise and enable so as to achieve a desired effect. Orchestration involves mobilising and enabling different resources in an organisation using the power of networks to achieve transformation goals.”

At a recent networking event, I met a passionate author of this subject, professor and Ted Talker, Eddie Obeng, who believes passionately that change is based on evolution of the past, but transformation requires you to break something. To understand transformation he uses a beautiful analogy; ‘a butterfly isn’t a caterpillar with wings stuck on. It has transformed from something that crawls and eats leaves into something that flies and eats nectar’.

He also believes that we should all be pushing for positive transformation and not allow ourselves to only be reactive to change. He details what the ‘Future of Work’ could look like in his paper here and advises business leaders to abide by the following two key principles:

  • Short term: Seize every opportunity available for using digital technologies to provide ‘fuel for transformation’ without alienating your workforce.
  • Long term: Design your transformation around the employees rather than around the technology. There will always be technologies you can harness to meet your vision. Create business models which take the fullest advantage of technology to do what it does best and of people to do what they do best.

These top-down approaches seem all very logical, but I wonder how much of this approach is truly, understood and resonates with all those employees across organisations. After all, it’s the employees who will need to actively embrace any transformation to drive change forward rather than simply reacting. It’s human nature to be motivated by working on a project you can see the clear personal benefit from. If that benefit is not evident and the chain of communication falters, organisations run the risk of a diluted effect, weakened employee buy-in and operationally falling behind their competitors.

The question is how to fully engage your audience with the new vision and culture…I would argue there is only one way - through an integrated communication campaign that has a live event at it heart – culture is not what you say, it’s what you do….

It's an interesting thought to consider but do you work for an organisation who communicates and manages change in a clear and transparent way? Or do you work for a business where the strategy is confusing and you’re left wondering if/how you’re a part of its future?

Charlie Hepburn, MD & Founder

Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash

Be Vivid Tue, 22 Oct 2019 20:32:41 +0000
<![CDATA[Is it safe, is it it sustainable?]]> As environmental impact from events is discussed at the recent Exhibition News race day at Sandown Park, our MD reflects on the discussion.

None of us can avoid the talk and column inches about sustainability and neither should we.

Sustainability is defined as 'avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance', but as an industry, we are so far away from this that it is frightening, but step are beginning to be taken.

Last week I attended the Exhibition News #ENRaceday at Sandown Park, where sustainability in the event and exhibition industries was tackled head on. Understandably there was not one person in the room that was willing to put an argument forward as to why sustainability is not a problem for everyone, but there were very few that could wholeheartedly say they had embraced the mantra of ‘save the planet’ within all they do. Unfortunately commercial pressure still drives our businesses and as sustainability often has a price it is discussed but often ‘sidelined’.

In the long-term sustainability needs to be something that is embraced within every aspect, element and facet of a business from the way that an office is run to the way that products are made. It needs to be authentic, visible and upheld with accountability – is there a case for legislation or some kind of industry standard or self-governance?

Bob Bejan CVP Global Events, Microsoft states:

"companies have a duty to reduce their impact and follow best practice at all times"

and I believe these simple principles to abide by are true:


  • Sourcing food locally when possible
  • Partnering with local food banks to donate unserved food when possible


  • Optimisation of resource conservation where possible
  • Energy efficient solutions such as light sources, procedures for energy conservation, etc.
  • Partnering with venues for optimization of resource conservation where possible
  • Seeking out energy efficient venues that are LEED certified , have energy efficient solutions such as light sources and procedures for energy and resource conservation


  • Donation of excess event items to local schools / organizations
  • Reduction of one-time use materials including paper.
  • Use of compostable materials and service ware
  • Back of house sorting at venues to maximize diversion rate on recyclables

Sustainability should be something that is seen as a positive movement and perhaps we as event professionals should be adding to the simplest of question we ask ourselves; Is it safe, is it it sustainable?

Charlie Hepburn, Founder & MD, BE Vivid

Be Vivid Wed, 18 Sep 2019 14:31:16 +0000
<![CDATA[Why measuring event ROI is not a perfect science]]> That age old desire to demonstrate the net value created minus costs (or ROI*) from events is still the most important thing to brands. With 96% of events still being considered revenue focused it is understandable why quantitative data is still king.

I would however argue that there needs to be a balance. We need to understand and value emotive feelings. Although technology is giving us more and more tools to evaluate the human outputs (changes in behaviour), it's not a perfect science. Yes, we can ask 'did something make you feel engaged, happy, sad, excited etc' but everyone's perception of what this means is different.

Is it possible to measure ROI with any consistency and independently? In my view when the ROI is transactional, the answer is yes; when the ROI is emotional – we're not quite there yet.

However, as we live in a world that demands us to combine both the ‘ones and zeros’ with ‘being human’ it is possible to use performance (changes in KPI’s) or impact (changes in knowledge/skills) data as ways of evaluating ROI - ie what has changed when comparing like for like data pre and post event. For a customer event this could be the number of leads/sales, or for an internal event this could be productivity.

Charlie Hepburn

*ROI (return on investment)

Photography by OCD Media

Be Vivid Tue, 03 Sep 2019 13:54:40 +0000
<![CDATA[Unleashing the talent in the room]]> Our MD shares three top conference formats to showcase talent

As we've had a very interesting period delivering conference and leadership events in the UK and overseas, I wanted to share some of our insights and learnings.

To be fair, today these types of events are more about transition and transformation than straight talking leadership. As the pace of change is faster than ever, we have found that businesses are struggling to connect with ever more demanding employees and increasingly agile customers. In a report published by Dr Brian Kropp, Group VP at Gartner he states:

"In 2009, just over 80% of organisations were going through some sort of major change". This figure is now closer to 99%."

This is a scary thought and when you consider 82% of delegates don’t engage with content when it is delivered in a traditional 'broadcast' fashion the disconnect becomes even more terrifying. It begs the question of 'where's the value.....'

To prove the commercial case, we encourage clients to challenge the status quo and look to 'unleash the talent in the room'. Talented people are smart and better informed, they expect more, they want to fix things that don’t work and they have minds to be spoken, so we developed formats that deliver 'debate' and 'exchange' in environments that delegates feel 'safe' to contribute.

Proven formats that drive higher levels of engagement and interaction:

1. Parliamentary – creating opposing sections of an audience, either side of a catwalk where the presenters/host (or Speaker of the House) facilitates and leads the debate.

2. Boxing Clever – 'Lets get ready to rumble'. Delegates, speakers and guests are 'refereed' by the host.

3. No-barriers - No stage, just a performance area with screens circulating the room’s perimeter - delegates are in the content, and it is all around them. This approach encourages the audience to move around, change seats, approach each other to in order to have, and share conversations.

So what was the biggest learning? You might think that this was encouraging personal and direct interaction....but this was the outcome of creating environments that had a central hub through which everything flowed.

Oh. it's also worth mentioning that these frameworks prove a great way to identify the more active talent – the positive ones who are capable of shaping the future.....

Charlie Hepburn

MD, BE Vivid

Be Vivid Mon, 02 Sep 2019 14:12:28 +0000
<![CDATA[EventLab 2019]]>


ON 14TH & 15TH OCTOBER 2019

EventLAB offers cutting-edge insight, skill enhancing opportunities and fresh inspiration for the event planning journey.

Hosted at the Business Design Centre, EventLAB 2019 welcomes 1000+ events decision makers, visiting to learn from industry thought leaders and innovators, discover top venues and event suppliers, and build lasting connections.

BE Vivid MD, Charlie Hepburn will join fellow industry professionals from a multitude of industries ready to share their knowledge and experiences that have led them to where they are today.

With workshops & masterclasses, brilliant speakers and amazing exhibitors, EventLAB offers something for every event professional including:

  • Engagement, Innovation & Technology
  • Leadership, Professional Development & Culture
  • Partnerships, Sponsorships & Sales
  • Current Affairs, Regulation & Compliance
  • Marketing, Social Media & Branding

Click here to get your tickets to for EventLAB 2019! It’s free to attend for all event booking professionals.

Be Vivid Mon, 02 Sep 2019 13:03:46 +0000
<![CDATA[C&IT Surgery July 2019]]>

Be Vivid Thu, 08 Aug 2019 10:15:10 +0000
<![CDATA[Does everyone win?]]> Our MD reflects on the recent industry forum hosted by C&IT in Madrid and explains why everyone wins when meeting face-to-face

Back for its second year, the C&IT International Forum took place on 5-7 June in the heart of the cultural city of Madrid at Pestana Plaza Mayor Madrid hotel. The event was designed with a blend of content, networking and supplier meetings designed to help give delegates the tool kit to exceed within the MICE industry. Aimed at senior event professionals from agencies, corporates and associations who have the spending power of £500,000 or more, the three-day event shared the latest trends, interesting, unique and practical content in addition to discussing industry challenges.

Our managing director, Charlie Hepburn comments on his experience:

Q. Why did you attend C&IT International Forum?

It’s always good to reach out to European partners and discuss international matters. We’ve delivered quite a few international conferences and client events in recent years and I wanted to share my experiences and hear from others about theirs. And, I was asked to be on one of the panel discussions.

Q. What did you think of the sessions?

There were some valuable sessions with sharing of insights, both statistical and current thinking. Delegates had a great opportunity to question and share their challenges and experiences which stimulated invaluable discussions. The State of the Industry in particular was a very good session with facts, figures and trends explained.

I would like to have heard more on ‘Justifying ROI of Events’. This is definitely an area where there is still much debate amongst the industry and has really moved towards evaluating ROE/ROX (return on experience). I would love for C&IT to bring in someone like John Maxwell who leads PwC's consumer markets. He has studied and shared findings over 10 years on this topic - click here to view the insight survey.

Q. How did you feel about the networking opportunities?

There were plenty of opportunities to see old faces and meet new ones. The seniority of delegates was high so I made some valued new connections. In addition there was a good allocation of down-time, which allowed personal relationship to flourish outside of a structured environments, as well as provide opportunities to personally discover a little more of Madrid.

Q. How did you rate the hosting venues?

We stayed at Pestana Plaza Mayor which had only been open for a few weeks – it still had that fresh out of the box smell. The hotel pays tribute to the work of weavers, embroiderers, blacksmiths, carpenters and potters.

It’s also a tribute to its original architecture, where every exposed brick on its walls bears the scars of history in a simple and natural way. The Telegraph Expert Rating gave it 9 out of 10 (click here for the review) and noted:

"The combination of historic building, prestigious location and elegant design make the Pestana Plaza Mayor one of the most interesting places to stay in Madrid. With a rooftop pool and an attractive courtyard restaurant, it is a true haven in the heart of the capital where you instantly feel part of the city".

Platea, Madrid

Our first night was hosted at Platea, a former Cinema, which boasts almost 6,000 square metres of event space arranged over two floors, three galleries and a patisserie area – Europe’s largest gastro leisure space. It is fast becoming the reference point for gastronomy and leisure in Madrid and a landmark destination. Our reception was on the stage, usually frequented by internationally renowned rock stars to Burlesque artists. We were then escorted to Canalla Bistro Madrid, located on the first floor. This is Ricard Camarena’s (Michelin-star, and 3 Repsol Soles chef ) most eclectic and cosmopolitan restaurant where we were served traditional Spanish dishes that 'break the rules'.

Ramses, Madrid

Our second night was at Ramses – part restaurant, part club, part bar; located next to The Retreat (Madrid’s Central Park) which is the only gastronomic space in Spain entirely designed by Philippe Starck - think diversity and eclecticism. It’s a visually striking, dramatic space, full of silver candlesticks, throne-like chairs fashioned along familiar Starckian lines and cool contemporary chandeliers which are juxtaposed by graffiti-covered walls and ceilings. We were served elegant Asian-influence cuisine and the lamb was just incredible.

Q. What benefit do you believe this type of international forum brings to all parties?

So, to answer the question, does everyone win...

Meeting new suppliers and industry colleagues face-to-face provides an opportunity to build relationships - it immediately brings trust, transparency and is an effective way to develop mutual commitment. Going one step further and experiencing the product, venue or service introduces a level of emotional connection that you can't develop in the same way as with email, website, virtual tour or phone call.

Agencies tell brands the best way to forge relationships with consumers is by experiencing their product or service. It's exactly the same principle for the B2B environment, which is why publishers and industry events organisers such as C&IT invest in this type of forum.

For me, I now view Madrid as a very plausible alternative to Barcelona as an overseas destination for business. Having met the Madrid Convention Bureau team and experienced the city itself, I would certainly be happy to recommend this location to our clients.

Click here for more information about the Madrid Convention Bureau.

All images courtesy of C&IT

Be Vivid Wed, 17 Jul 2019 16:40:34 +0000
<![CDATA[ICE Awards 2019]]> Event industry ICE Awards 2019, held at the Design Museum on 11th July 2019, marks another year of celebrating achievement and recognising best practice across the corporate events sector.

Set up in 2014 by managing director and founder, Anita Howard, along with six industry professionals including creative director, Robert Dunsmore, the ICE Awards acts as independent recognition and is a huge accolade for in-house corporate event planners.

The evening awards follows on from ICEDAY, an afternoon of speakers and participants sharing the highs and lows of their experiences of meetings, incentives, conference and exhibitions. Click here for the full agenda.

BE Vivid managing director, Charlie Hepburn, was invited to join an esteemed judging panel of professionals from all corners of the industry, to review a range of entries submitted for the much-coveted twelve awards. The judges are industry specialists who have in-depth experience of running events. Each are allocated an award category and vote independently and separately to score each entry. They then meet to share scoring and discuss feedback to consolidate the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.

Final winners published on ICE19 website - click here to view.

Be Vivid Tue, 16 Jul 2019 16:01:02 +0000
<![CDATA[C&IT London Summit - July 2019]]> Industry publication C&IT release session footage from its London Summit 2019.

An expert panel at the C&IT Summit in central London discussed how cooperation between agency and corporate planners helps to build growth, innovation and create new opportunities.

"The client knows their product - they know their customers fundamentally. [Agencies] are specialists in their own fields - about creating engagement in products," said UKSV managing director Jeremy Shakerley.

"But the first part of that is building the trust and the relationship. At the point that you get the brief, it’s really important that you get that. We try to get into the client’s mind."

The panel included Microgaming customer experience manager Donna Brown, BE Vivid chief client officer Rachel Hepburn and Right Angle Corporate managing director Steve Gaskin.

Shakerley added: "In that pitching process, bringing an expert [like an agency], is about getting them engaged in that process and about why they are bringing us in.

"In our case, we say ‘you know your product, we can help you bring it to life'."

The session, called 'How agencies and corporates can work better together', was part of the C&IT Summit at the Congress Centre.

Click here to view the full 28 minute panel session on YouTube.

Source: 8 July 2019 by Andrew McCorkell, Conference & Incentive Travel

Be Vivid Tue, 16 Jul 2019 14:54:31 +0000
<![CDATA[C&IT June 2019]]>

Be Vivid Tue, 02 Jul 2019 12:26:31 +0000
<![CDATA[C&IT July 2019]]>

Be Vivid Tue, 02 Jul 2019 11:33:56 +0000
<![CDATA[Top 6 event-planning tips]]> When planning format and content for your event, to get the most value and to deliver an exceptional experience, try following our top six planning tips:

Tip #1 – Getting the vision right

This is the most crucial part as it will drive every decision that you will make throughout the process. Consider and map everything so you have a clear vision, top-down from the CEO and right through the chain. This will mean you don’t waste emotional energy along the journey draining you for every decision because the ‘objectives and frameworks’ are already in place.

Tip #2 – Team selection

According to Will Glendinning, author of ‘The Facts of Live’, there are four key roles that need to be filled to deliver any event:

Project leader – Content creation – Technical Delivery – Logistics & operations

These can be undertaken by the same person or by up to four different people, but those who fill the roles need to be solely responsible, empowered and accountable for their areas.

Tip #3 – Creativity

When you’re holding your creative planning session, think wisely about who you invite into the session to deliver the best result – internal stakeholders, external agency creative head, a facilitator, a note-taker. Clearly communicate your objectives and think broadly about the outcome. What information will you need to share with everyone before the session to give everyone the opportunity to have a think beforehand. Host the session somewhere interesting off-site. Think BIG picture.

Tip #4 – Partner/supplier selection

Your brief will help to determine who your partners/suppliers should be. Many agencies employ a hybrid event model now-a-days and engage a range of suppliers that form part of the project team. From creative, logistics, production,delivery, through to apps, measurement and beyond, your challenge is selecting partners/people you believe you will work well with, have a proven history of delivering and will thus add value to your event.

Tip #5 – Delivery

The event itself is what you’ve all been working towards. Ensure that every internal stakeholder involved in the event on the day are all clear on the vision, the required outcome and fully engage the narrative with plenty of energy and enthusiasm.

Tip #6 – Measurement

However you decide to measure the project, outlining your KPI’s from the outset and selecting your evaluation methods will aid your understanding, learnings and outputs from the project. Data considerations pre, during and post event will all prove effective when assessing the success of the project ready for future recommendations.

Be Vivid Wed, 26 Jun 2019 16:21:42 +0000
<![CDATA[A different view of the Christmas Party budget]]> Fed up of organising the same old Christmas party trying to please everyone? For those of you debating whether to continue down the traditional route of an all-out Christmas party or seek an alternative, we’ve pooled some ideas from the office team on taking a different approach and have come up with a list of 16 alternatives…

  1. Gift the normal per head party budget to each employee
  2. Gift employees 50% of the budget as their Christmas bonus with the other 50% an amount they could spend for their own team celebration (organised themselves)
  3. Gift an amount for Christmas present shopping
  4. Plan a fun team-building session with lunch
  5. Gift a budget for the following year to spend on personal physical challenges, i.e. triathlon, local sporting/social event, running, walking& hiking, ...the list goes on and on…
  6. Gift a live music/concert budget. Live concerts are so uplifting for the soul but not always in everyone’s budget
  7. Travel vouchers for your next holiday, such as
  8. An experience such as Virgin Experience days encouraging people to try something new
  9. Vouchers for a local mindfulness course
  10. Vouchers for a massage/therapy of your choice
  11. Gift card for the Christmas food shop
  12. Gift additional precious holiday time off to spend with their family/loved ones
  13. Gift an amount into an employee benefits platform such as Perkbox for self-selection
  14. Gift a proportion of the budget for each employee to spend on Samaritan’s purse – a charity supporting those in need (both children and adults). With prizes awarded for the most creatively constructed gift boxes
  15. Gift a budget for each employees to spend on a charity of their choice.
  16. Create a multi-choice opt in based on a selection of the above for individuals to choose for themselves.

…or if all else fails, revert to an end of year well-earned celebration with a good old knees up for everyone to relax in and celebrate in each other’s company.

You can’t please all of the people all of the time and overthinking it can waste time. By keeping it simple and selecting a different venue that satisfies the majority of your people is the best route to opt for.

Click here to contact us for ideas on how you could create a different experience for your employees this Christmas.

Be Vivid Mon, 10 Jun 2019 14:01:23 +0000
<![CDATA[Giving employees a voice]]> Growing Internal Communications teams have a job on their hands these days. Keeping everyone informed with good comms across the organisation requires almighty focus and skill. With increased responsibilities falling upon the shoulders of these teams from the ever-growing list of both global and local factors being a concern for every employee, the pressure for organisations to motivate and retain their good people is almost tangible.

One way to harness motivation is by opening up a channel, not only for employees to have a voice but to be actively involved in decision-making. According to a recent survey, by The Centre for People, Work and Organizational Practice at Nottingham Trent University, as referenced in CIPD report for February 2019,

"half (50%) of employees are satisfied or very satisfied with the amount of involvement they have in decision-making at work"

For large organisations in particular, this figure reduces to 32% being satisfied with their level of voice, leaving the majority feeling they have no opportunity for input.

What if we created environments at events, whether town hall, team away days or company-wide conferences that embraced this notion of inclusion for those individuals who feel they have a voice? What would that look like? How could that improve the above statistics? How could it be curated to ensure that the session doesn’t become swamped with far-fetched ideas, but carefully constructed to pave the way for innovation and gain greater buy-in from the business?

We’ve discussed this concept in planning sessions with clients for their upcoming conferences and successfully curated this in conference break-out sessions to positive effect (click here to view case study). There are many techniques that can be deployed for those brave enough to embrace a culture of inclusion and openness. To avoid getting over-ruled by a senior manager is to ensure that any proposal for open discussion formats include clarity in the following five areas:

  1. Clear objectives – set out what the issues/challenges/problems are that you want to address. Keep it simple and don’t overload yourself with too many items. Think quality and depth to ensure you stay on point.
  2. Appropriate format – depending on who the participants will be, there’s a whole host of creative formats to shake up the session and encourage involvement (click here for eventbrite’s Top 20 Creative Formats)
  3. Experienced facilitator – more often than not it’s someone from the training team or an experienced manager. It’s not always as straight-forward as you might think, but a skill that can be learned by any enthusiasts keen to learn the art of facilitating and managing and fleshing-out multiple opinions.
  4. Participants – audience selection is vital to drive a constructive level of collaboration. Whether a departmental team, horizontal sector or whole business section, they key is ensuring the topic is relevant to that particular group of participants to maximise value from the session.
  5. Agreed ownership – it’s all very good introducing ideas, but transforming them into tangible results from a viable project to benefit the business, requires commitment and accountability. Asking for keen volunteers to take on key project roles is a good way to start.

What are you waiting for? If you work for an organisation where you feel that you could add more value by getting your opinion heard, try suggesting the above. Owners of businesses love nothing more than committed employees who care about the business they work for as they know that highly engaged teams are 21% more productive (according to Gallup).

Charlie Hepburn, MD BE Vivid

Be Vivid Tue, 04 Jun 2019 14:46:42 +0000
<![CDATA[C&IT Industry Awards 2019]]> Leading publishers, C&IT Magazine, add BE Vivid MD, Charlie Hepburn, to their judging panel

Leading event industry publication, C&IT Magazine, are hosting yet another awards programme to celebrate the best in the industry. Gaining industry recognition is a great opportunity for agencies, corporates, associations and trade body event professionals working across all sectors and event types to celebrate their work and be acknowledged for the output of outstanding achievement and creativity.

The early bird deadline is 13th June 2019 to be included in the judging for the prestigious awards, held on 20th September 2019.

The publication has an audience of over 18,500 agency / corporate event planners both online and in print. The awards night itself attracts over 500 event professionals made up of nominations, finalists, sponsors and industry contributors who gather to celebrate their hard-earned efforts together.

Judging is headed up by C&IT Magazine editor, Calum di Leto who will be joined by a range of industry professionals to review the nominations for this year. Here's what three judges say they are looking for from this year's nominations:

The Awards have evolved over the years to become more inclusive for the full breadth of the industry so that whoever you are and whatever the event, there is a category for you and an accolade with your name on it.

Click here to find out more and submit your entry.
Be Vivid Thu, 30 May 2019 14:01:26 +0000
<![CDATA[Leading Innovation in hospitality]]> Hilton Hotels lead the way in innovation for their EMEA and MEA F&B conferences

Hilton Hotels are 100 years old this year, but no stranger to innovation. They pretty much invented business class way back when, and are now, are working hard to develop new services and new smarter ways of working, with more responsible outcomes.

With challenges all around, the storytelling is an excellent vehicle for managing change and stimulating innovation. The Food & Beverage sector employee conference EMEA and MEA events were planned centring on leadership and performance, and above all, people.

The entire value exchange, the experience and the service is as up close and personal as you can get. Hilton customers will see, touch, taste and sip and slurp everything that this team produces on time everywhere. Each event story was based on a series of Food and Beverage duets. Two local host presenters mix it up on a central challenge stage drawing in a mixed audience to comment and contribute on global content visuals. The voice for the event was created live from the audience response being drawn into the challenge and re-define, design just how good they can deliver.

There are learnings for event planner in this story-idea approach. The conference was not a conclusion, but the start of something as the audience listened and then took ownership of the content and the delivery. The story evolved live as the assembly debated and agreed on their actions. This was documented live within the visuals as the voice took ownership of the outcome.

The framework pattern passes the story telling tests. Innovation was rewarded and the events were both playful and empathetic with a signature tribute to the kitchens as all staff were brought out to musical tributes at the close of the event. The story was not only human-centric but live, the voice of the audience shaped the visuals as it developed taking ownership of the event.

Click the links to read more on our case studies for EMEA and MEA.

Charlie Hepburn, Founder & MD, BE Vivid

All photography - OCD Media

Be Vivid Fri, 10 May 2019 17:01:02 +0000
<![CDATA[Conferences... does this sound familiar?]]> Our MD Charlie Hepburn talks engaging your people with "change"

The scenario, your business has been going through a period of change. There have been comings and goings of unknown consultants, the executive team has changed, some of the regular faces have departed, the vision of the firm has pivoted and it looks like your role might now be different. A feeling of uncertainty and trepidation is beginning to cast a long shadows across the open plan floors of your office. People huddle around water coolers, hushed whispers in the kitchen and tears in the toilets all add to the atmosphere of uncertainty and ambiguity.

The time comes for the formal announcement and the firm is to have a leadership conference, during which all will be explained. There is a sense of relief and ‘thank goodness’ along with excitement that a better understanding of the future is on the horizon. Hopeful anticipation awaits to reconnect with the original reasons for joining the business mixed with optimism for a new sense of direction and purpose.

The day of the conference arrives; the excitement of seeing distant colleagues; meeting new faces and the expectation of coming away with a clear image of the path ahead. The day begins – the CEO with his vision, the CCO with his figures, the HR team with their plans for addressing diversity and inclusion and so it goes on – broadcast after broadcast. The energy in the room is dropping but still the broadcasts come; the marketing team talk about new brand values, the IT heads talk about data security…and so it goes on. By the end of the day you are a shell of your former self. Ok, you have an understanding the new business purpose but have you been engaged with it and will you been able to have your say? You leave disillusioned. Sound familiar?

These types of events should be more about addressing the transition and transformation rather than straight talking leadership. A recent survey indicated that 82% of delegates don’t engage with conference content – a huge proportion of the audience not absorbing the content, not to mention the waste of time, effort and financial cost to the business. Talented people are smart and better informed, they expect more, they want to fix things that don’t work and they have minds to be spoken; so why aren’t more companies tapping into this?

In today’s world businesses are struggling to define themselves and keep up with their increasingly agile customers and demanding employees. Dr Brian Kropp, Group Vice President at Gartner states “In 2009, just over 80% of organisations were going through some sort of major change, such as mergers and acquisitions or senior leader transition". By the time 2019 is done, this figure will be closer to 99%.

The pace of change is faster than ever, but as we keep explaining, this is a fact that dominates everyone’s business today. Companies need to find a balance between organisational purpose that comes from the top and the ‘grass routes’ that connects them to the ground.

By using formats that deliver 'debate' and 'exchange' you're able to unleash the talent in the room. Audiences feel that they are being taken seriously and are of value when given an opportunity to connect and input; being part of the conversation. By contributing to the solution, employees are far more likely to play their part in realising the vision.

As a bi-product, this format also proves a great way to identify the more active talent – the positive ones who are capable of shaping the future.

Case study: Business transformation on a global scale

Be Vivid Fri, 12 Apr 2019 14:10:36 +0000
<![CDATA[Conference News - January 2018]]>

Be Vivid Wed, 10 Apr 2019 17:21:11 +0000
<![CDATA[Event Lab explore Fab? or Fad? Tech]]> Our friends at Event Lab invited us to contribute to this article, as written by George Barker...

Every year brings new and exciting technology and when you’re working in events, this means new possibilities to enhance the experiences you create. From flashy ways to put a smile on your guests’ faces to improvements that just make the whole event slicker to innovations behind the scenes that help organisers better understand their guests, there are hundreds of ways events benefit from technology.

But knowing which new innovations you should consider can be tricky and it’s all too easy to get caught up in the cult of new. With that in mind, we’ve asked a range of experts from tech companies to journalists for their 2019 predictions. We’ve asked them for one new technology that will be Fab - a new technology that will prove valuable to the events industry going forward - and one new technology that will be a Fad - something that is certainly new and exciting, but ultimately will have little tangible impact on transforming and improving events.


Fab: Different screen formats: revolving, moving, embedded, curved, transparent… they are now getting brighter and incredibly hi res.. but this is only great when utilised with the right content.

Fad: Tech for tech’s sake, technology should be used with a purpose and have a narrative.


Fab: Digital signage is continuing to grow beyond retail and infiltrate into events. Customisation and interaction with personal devices will make digital signage an opportunity for engagement with additional content and to push revenue streams.

Fad: Virtual reality is still trying to find itself in large events but ‘Augmented Reality’ is on the rise. Epson’s Moverio AR glasses are one example of a manufacturer partnering with developers to create amazing AR experiences and accessible services for events.


Fab: Event technology that integrates well with other systems. Organisers are using so many different data collection tools to capture and manage information around their events (reg systems, apps, check-in, survey tools etc). Having an ecosystem where all these solutions automatically talk to each other not only saves time but gives events the ‘big picture’ insight they need on all their event data. We believe 2019 will bring significant advances in data integration and analytics from tech providers – and this will help organisers improve attendee experiences and make more informed decisions around their events.


Fad: Non-autonomous robots. Remote controlled robots at events don't really signify the advances in AI and where robotics is going as intelligent work and engagement tools. Intelligent machine learning robots that autonomously roam an event space is what we really want in order to create staffing and other cost efficiencies.


Fab: Event Wi-Fi hotspots that don't require a username and password for access - they already know who you are, and that you are allowed to connect to that event network. Saves time and hassle especially for international delegates.

Fad: 5G phones and devices. There’s lots of hype but it’s still some way off, and even when it does arrive its like adding another lane to the M25 during a busy event, slow traffic is still inevitable!


Fab: I'm really excited to see whether 5G begins to take off in 2019. It has the potential to enable a huge range of cutting-edge technologies and interesting creative options, by making high-speed bandwidth as accessible as hot and cold running water.

Fad: I'm less excited by facial recognition technologies for event registration - from a data privacy standpoint this isn't something that I am comfortable with yet - and it will take time for that trust to build.


Fab: New facial recognition and RFID softwares are allowing us to shape more meaningful, personalised experiences for guests, while digital swag bags provide them with fully sustainable takeaways. I'm excited to see a surge in automation; voice-operated devices are on the increase to mainstream audiences and I can see adaptations of this technology moving into the experiences space in 2019.

Fad: Virtual, augmented and mixed reality devices continue to evolve as media formats but adoption remains limited due to high price points and poor quality. VR technologies should be seamlessly enhanced user experiences — immersing the user in a believable, easily interactive experience. Right now, there are just too many hang-ups in the technology to make the product and content at a reasonably affordable price.


Fab: Wearable technology is something I think should be, and hopefully will be, utilised more in 2019. The most obvious use is data collection, and this is a very powerful use indeed - although slightly controversial. However, I have been to events where wearable tech has been used for content interaction, networking or even simply splitting large numbers into groups. Festivals are already utilising the tech for consumers, it's time business events did the same for their delegates.

Fad: I don't think any technology is a 'fad' in itself. It depends on how the tech is being used. VR goggles are a perfect example of something that has been labelled as a 'fad' and in a conference setting does seclude people from each other. However, if you want to quickly teleport the audience to a completely different destination, or even get them to look in the future, then VR is the answer. In summary, it's not what you use, it's how you use it.


Fab: One technology I’m increasingly hearing organisers express an interest in is matchmaking services. This seems to be split into two distinct camps: the human concierge service and an automated service powered by artificial intelligence. Either way, it’s another way for organisers to make sure their exhibitors and visitors attain that all-important ROI.

Fad: My answer has been the same for several years: I think VR is still struggling to prove it is worth the time and effort when it comes to the events industry, maybe with the exception of venue tours.


Fab: In 2019 it's likely that we will start to see real-world impact from cognitive technologies such as AI and natural language programming. Intelligent machines are becoming increasingly sophisticated and readily available, so be on the lookout for intelligent, personalised greeting messages and virtual assistance around event venues. The rollout of 5G mobile networks could also have a huge impact on events this year, but it remains to be seen whether the tech will be ready in time. Live event streaming will also continue to grow in popularity, but it won't replace or devalue the in-person experience and great events will continue to draw eager crowds.


Fab: I strongly believe that we will see artificial intelligence make huge strides in 2019, specifically around personalisation. Delegates don’t want to waste time in sessions that are of no use, so automatically-generated scheduling in accordance with their needs will be welcomed.

Fad: I’m not sure it’s a fad, but I think the jury is still out on wearable technology. While I personally like it, I fear the average delegate will view it as an unnecessary distraction and will continue to share knowledge and details in a more traditional way.


Fab: The greatest tech innovation for 2019 will be an increase in online availability and instant booking. This technology is already common for small meeting rooms but 2019 will see it spread to DDRs, party packages and larger events. While more complex events will always require a human touch, I think that this year we will see some big steps towards online venue booking.

Fad: While much has been made of virtual reality, and I've certainly seen some engaging stands at some events, it seems that the technology hasn't really caught on in a meaningful way and will pass. While there is lots to come from augmented reality, virtual reality feels more like a gimmick from an events perspective.


Fab: Blockchain – a complex system but a fascinating model to watch. As NPD and innovation teams across many industry sectors will be testing out the viability of using blockchain for their business functions (we know the big banks are engaged with this already), it will be interesting to see the full capability of this system that will enhance the value and security to/of event data beyond simple ticketing.

Fad: All tech can have a positive effect in theory and should be considered wherever it might enhance engagement. I am no Steve Jobs and I certainly don’t want to discourage any innovation within our industry. Being able to predict what or wont be a fad is impossible – remember ‘chatbots’ and how they haven’t taken off in our world, compared with the success of Siri or Alexa. Or Google Glass which was launched to much hype about bringing a whole new dimension to how and where ‘content’ could be delivered.

Be Vivid Fri, 01 Mar 2019 16:07:08 +0000
<![CDATA[Industry panel debate ‘the future of events’]]> Our MD, Charlie Hepburn joins industry colleagues to discuss what the ‘event experience’ means in 2019.

Organised by The Fitting Room and held at Café de Paris in conjunction with Maxwell’s Group Events, the January 2019 round table event was designed to stimulate conversation. BE Vivid managing director, Charlie Hepburn, along with fellow panellists, Craig Anderson-Woodley from Maxwells Group Events, Nick Telson from Design My Night, Tom Hobbs from Bacardi and Emily Morbey at Miss London Concierge, all joined the conversation hosted by Charlotte Mair, founder of The Fitting Room.

The ‘in the round’ audience included clients, industry suppliers, students and experts, who participated and joined in the conversation soaking up opinions from the panel. Debating questions such as what does the event experience mean in 2019, and how to ensure that technology enhances the experience rather than being included as a ‘bolt-on’ because it will seemingly 'hit the trend', brought about lively conversation among both audience and the panel alike.

The largest question however, was in the territory of how to bring value to the event experience. Hepburn stressed that it is “vitally important to truly understand the client brief, question its reasoning, then build a strategy around it which delivers on-point and creates an on-going legacy”.

Hepburn continued “agencies have a duty to their clients to offer expertise and guidance to ensure their events are not only current, but pushing the boundaries for the future with relevant innovation to continually engage, whilst allowing space for delegates to reflect and absorb”.

Be Vivid Thu, 14 Feb 2019 15:03:19 +0000
<![CDATA[International Stage]]> BE Vivid curates a global stage across three continents for one of the world leaders in customer data science

The BE Vivid team had the pleasure of working with a global business that has experienced rapid growth in recent years. The leading data science firm were looking for an agency to partner with in order to share their new single vision with their employees and, more importantly engage with them to encourage personal ownership.

This global client enables their own customers to compete, thrive and grow through their unique mix of technology, software and consulting. Employing up to 2,400 experts across Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas, the firm has ambitious, forward-thinking plans for its collective of customers which include iconic, well-known retail brands.

After establishing the agency as being the right ‘fit’ for the client, the eight-month project led the agency to dove-tail with the client’s people engagement team in addition to their executive board. Collective working with suppliers, partners and agencies across three different continents to curate and deliver three, 3-day conferences over a five-week period for 2,400 employees in India, Mexico and Wales consecutively.

The events brought about conversation, debate and exchange, providing the client with an established platform of understanding with empowered employees engaged and connected to move the business forward in a highly competitive marketplace.

A little fun was had along the way with some competitive team building, time and space for networking and meeting colleagues from other offices. For more details click here to read the full case study.

The project involved enlisting the expertise of suppliers such as Epic India Group, OCD Media, Andaz Delhi by Hyatt, Marriott Cancun Resort, Celtic Manor Resort, Aztec Production and Kru Live to name but a few.

The BE Vivid collaborative approach to projects is why clients keep coming back to us! By challenging the status-quo with a curated guest experience, there is an opportunity to create dynamic change.

Do you have an events programme, consumer experience or conference that needs reviewing for a fresh perspective? If so, please get in touch!

Be Vivid Wed, 06 Feb 2019 13:17:18 +0000
<![CDATA[Sky High Entertaining]]> BE Vivid curates a global stage across three continents for one of the world leaders in customer data science

BE Vivid were recently commissioned to cover a major event for a business giant from Japan at the gorgeous Sky Garden in London.

The company is one of the world’s most diversified and comprehensive trading, investment, and service companies. They have been taking a vital role of operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa with its offices and subsidiaries spread across the region.

Once a year they host their exclusive Annual Client Reception in a statement venue of their choice and this year the honour went to the famous enlarged glass dome of Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street.

It was within these three storeys of exquisitely landscaped gardens and London’s most stunning observation decks that BE Vivid were honoured to be asked to source, curate and deliver the entire event for the President and Chief Executive Officer, top company executives and distinguished guests.

Working alongside our friends at the super talented photographers, OCD Media, and bringing in top event suppliers such as Rhubarb, Simon Lycett Floristry and Fisher Productions, we navigated the strict Japanese protocol and challenging high temperatures to deliver the large-scale event, in its lavish setting with high profile attendees. For more details, click here to read the full case study.

BE Vivid always try to work as close as we can with the client to ensure the curated guest experience is the result of a collaborative effort. By challenging the status-quo, there is an opportunity to create dynamic change and it’s why our clients keep coming back to us!

Do you have an events programme or conference that needs reviewing for a fresh perspective? If so, please get in touch!

All photography - OCD Media

Be Vivid Wed, 06 Feb 2019 12:53:27 +0000
<![CDATA[5,4,3,2,1...gone]]> “You have five years to reinvent the legal profession…” according to renowned legal futurologist Richard Susskind speaking at the Law Society’s annual conference some six months ago.

I, nor anyone from BE Vivid, were present to hear Richard in April but energy created at live events tends to live on - I just googled it.

Nine months earlier however, we had experienced his son and co-author preview a similar plea during a showcase of their latest book “the future of the professions” at London’s Design Museum. Most of our clients qualify as these “professions” and the journey toward their new “normal” tends to launch, much like the speech or this book, with a live event.

ALM are a significant voice in the legal industry and they get this. The 'five-year apocalypse' or in reality, the ways in which we live and work are transforming, so it was their idea to bring BE Vivid in to support them in creating a new event.

It was a project with ambition. To go beyond mere reinvention, to re-imagine and re-engineer a new event for the ALM portfolio fit to debate the near future of the legal profession and the disruptive issues and forces facing them.

ALM has a strong operational production unit, but identified the event had to have a new approach and present itself beyond anything they had done before. They turned to us to plug their skill gap, identify the issues and come up with ideas and format.

Reverse engineering. The deconstruction was tackled with a series of workshops to unpick the current knot of industry problems, clarify and re-define them as issues to populate the event streams. It’s a liberating process that will make rapid progress if you get the right expertise in the room to interrogate.

An event as an info-graphic. Early on we took the content threads of our unravelled “knot” and began expressing the streams in an info-graphic form; a road-map to visualise the event as a solution. ALM began to see their event as we scripted a visual and verbal language whilst creating a tonal rationale for colour coding the issues, including identifying the 'pathways' in the building.

The BE Vivid and ALM team effectively benefited from a shared experience, which in turn fast tracked the decision-making process based on the same shared insight and intelligence. The only time the process faltered was on the colour for the talent stream, when we turned to the master painter, Raphael, and borrowed his purple hew - the colour of devotional love in the Renaissance.

From there on, all assets from the brand logo to the website and marketing collateral shared a decisive language and a set of unique semiotics that informed and presented the event with a common DNA.

The consultative approach gave ALM control of their event with clear agreement on the issues, clear agreement on the idea, which in turn gave the team more freedom and the confidence to focus resources on the all-important delivery.

We wanted to turn 5,4,3,2,1 gone into 1,2,3 go…

It’s a bold approach, but it works. A clear creative strategy for Legal Week Connect to build the proposition upon, attract the right alumni, the best quality speakers and a format for delivering an event as a solution with the most ambitious content – and it looks great.

At BE Vivid, we create powerful brand engagement programmes that have at their heart an extraordinary live event

Robert Dunsmore, BE VIVID, Creative Director

Legal Week Connect: 29–30 November 2017 at The IET, 2 Savoy Place, London, WC2R 0BL

Be Vivid Wed, 01 Nov 2017 12:32:00 +0000
<![CDATA[CEI Asia Magazine April 2017]]>

Be Vivid Tue, 25 Apr 2017 15:39:19 +0000
<![CDATA[It’s about the journey, not the destination]]> This re-brand is a very exciting time for us.

Having set up Vivid Event Group from home in my spare room in 2001, I would have never foreseen the journey we’ve been on to arrive at where we are today. We are now a tight team of 10 people working on over a 100 events a year for the likes of Havas Media, Posterscope, Mitsui, Allianz, White & Case and Fremantle Media.

The shift started about two years ago when the conversations we were having with clients were evolving and I realised that our value proposition needed to evolve too. Our working process had to become more consultative with our clients; to develop experiences that are transformational by changing hearts, minds and follow-up behaviour.

The key question was how do we pivot? Many business leaders advocate the principle of surround yourself with people who do things much better than you, so I approached Kevin Jackson (founder of ‘Experience in the Marketing’ and former vice president, EMEA at George P Johnson). We had an inspiring lunch over which we chatted through ideas and how he might be able to help us on our new journey. Our conversation confirmed my thoughts and the wheels of change had begun to turn.

It was never going to be easy. Stripping a business you’ve nurtured for over 15 years in order to then re-build it was a truly emotional experience. I knew we were doing it for the right reasons but being metaphorically naked in front of your team and clients is always uncomfortable (but strangely cathartic). We reviewed everything internally from top to bottom; where we thought we excelled; where we fell down through to how we could help clients better. We asked the same questions to clients and the findings enabled us to draw the map for future growth.

Collaboration with brilliant thinkers such as Kevin, Robert Dunsmore, Gareth Dimelow (Lift’d), Franco Reda (Creative Lab), Tim Jenkins (Wheelspinner), and Michael Miley (Creative Lab), galvanised our new way of thinking and manifesto.

We believe that by challenging the status quo we can create dynamic change. We do this by always seeking to understand the WHY behind every event and we think freely to explore all of the choices, options and issues. Only after this can we deliver smart strategic experiences that change behaviours and have enduring value.

The move towards creating insightful and unique experiences demanded that we are more than just an events company. We knew the name Vivid is a potent adjective ‘producing powerful feelings or strong clear images in the mind’. The desire to work with our clients on events that epitomise the meaning behind vivid, drove us closer towards being vivid…and thus BE Vivid was born.

We’ve driven over some rough terrain for the first part of our journey, but the destination now firmly in sight.

Charlie Hepburn, MD

Be Vivid Tue, 06 Dec 2016 11:39:47 +0000
<![CDATA[Stand Out Magazine Nov 2016]]>

Be Vivid Thu, 10 Nov 2016 16:01:50 +0000
<![CDATA[C&IT Magazine Oct 2016]]>

Be Vivid Thu, 10 Nov 2016 15:24:04 +0000
<![CDATA[M&IT Magazine Sept 2016]]>

Be Vivid Thu, 10 Nov 2016 15:20:19 +0000
<![CDATA[C&IT Magazine Sept 2016]]>

Be Vivid Thu, 10 Nov 2016 15:12:37 +0000
<![CDATA[Platinum Magazine July 2016]]>

Be Vivid Wed, 09 Nov 2016 13:11:06 +0000
<![CDATA[Top brands sign up for M&IT ]]>

Be Vivid Wed, 09 Nov 2016 13:09:28 +0000
<![CDATA[Our top 5 tips on how to embrace change]]> In our experience, when organisations are planning or undergoing ‘change’, they can enter a period of instability as the news ripples throughout the business and clients. This is often brought about by whispers, conjecture and assumptions due to a lack of clear communication and understanding of the reasons why the changes have come about. Your people can end up feeling uncertain, displaced and even (worst-case scenario) begin to lose confidence in the business.

Here are our top five tips on how to embrace change:

1. Engaging with your people at the earliest opportunity - start your communication strategy

“The first thing we had to do was demonstrate that we were all in this together. Once we increased direct communication from senior leadership, including the CEO, we began to see progress and a greater sense of shared purpose and collaboration.” Jo Sweetland, head of HR practice at Green Park Interim and Executive here to read more

2. Create a powerful dialogue - have a coalition that drives the change and ensures that there is a dialogue with all delegates

"Internal communications should be seen through the prism of being an ‘enabler’. It allows for the smooth running of an organisation through clear and effective channels. There is a clear link between organisations that are successful, and those that have an operational internal communications strategy." Investors in People: Engaging here to read more

3. Identifying current mind sets that must change - identify a strategy to change them

"A sense of purpose has to be ingrained within each member of staff so that they know the importance of their role and how they can contribute to expected outcomes" Cary Cooper - Creating a vision employees connect here to read more

4. Deal with fears - and change them into a belief in the vision

"Staff were desperate to have a degree of certainty about their future in uncertain times and, as a result, they made assumptions based on gossip, which we called ‘crooked thinking'. The key for HR and business leaders is to focus on fact and communicate with staff regularly - even if they have nothing new to report." Jacky Simmonds, HR director for the UK and Ireland at here to read more

5. Incentives - provide incentives where necessary

"It is however possible to raise employee morale and perhaps engagement through the use of incentives as a method of positive reinforcement. Incentives can help engage employees, and engaged employees enhance your bottom line through higher productivity and satisfied customers." Investors in People: Research by Australian firm Culture here to read more

The common link between all of the five points, is communication. What better way to embrace all of these factors than by creating a meaningful event that will generate success by building a smart strategy with purpose across all platforms ensuring everyone is on the same page with the same goals.

See our case study to find out how we helped our client bring their people together.

Be Vivid Wed, 09 Nov 2016 13:08:09 +0000
<![CDATA[How Thought Leadership can help your people]]> Company retreats are a great way to help get the most out of your delegates. A break away from the confines of the office environment can be just the thing to recharge employees' batteries and provide greater motivation to work at a high standard.

Whether it's an inspiring business conference, a fun-filled series of team building exercises or a relaxing leisure trip with friends and colleagues, all types of company retreats can rejuvenate workers and increase positivity across the team and the business as a whole.

Another aspect of company retreats is through including a specific thought leadership programme into the mix. Thought leadership is a method of building relationships with your people by educating, influencing and inspiring them. This is an approach that uses the extensive knowledge of a trusted individual/organisation around a topic or theme that is of importance to the business.

“There are a lot of definitions of thought leadership floating around these days. People declare themselves thought leaders because they wrote a book or because they have an occasional speaking gig. Thought leadership is more than an article, a book, a speaking gig, or an award: It’s truly leading a space in thought and serving as a resource for others in your area.” John Hall – Forbes Magazine

Using thought leadership can be an effective way of making workers more motivated to produce quality work in order to maintain the brand’s reputation. This may form part of a retreat during a business conference, where public speakers are often brought in to inspire their audience. Retreats can provide an appropriate platform for talks like this to take place and has become a vital component of the company retreat.

Thought leadership methods can provide a unique dimension compared to the other aspects of company retreats. Whereas team building exercises and relaxing breaks can provide positive reactions between workers, using thought leadership through public speaking offers a more immersive experience that can boost morale on a personal level like no other, by getting to the root of potential problems to release positive energy.

TED is one of the finest global communities that creates an area for thought leaders to make their knowledge accessible to a wide audience. Their success is built on spreading the innovative knowledge of individuals, usually in the form of powerful and motivational talks. The success of TED has now resulted in a large platform of free knowledge from some of the world’s most inspirational speakers – which is available for everyone to access and engage with.

See Dan Pick's fascinating talk on 'The puzzle of motivation':

So why are talks such as the ones hosted by TED so successful? As you may have noticed, their catalogue of topics cover a very wide range, which allows them to appeal to a large amount of people from any walk of life.

The topics themselves are relatable with a human story at their core regardless of subject matter, meaning their output is not only relevant today – but will likely be so in years to come.

As TED have now made a name for themselves as one of the forerunners of using thought leadership, it is easy to see how beneficial the effects of these methods are.

How can you organise a thought leadership campaign? An extensive knowledge and detailed research around the area of discussion is vital. A thorough plan of what will be said and why it will help to make sure that the event creates the most interest and interaction from the viewers. An evaluation after the campaign will allow you to assess your performance and improve upon it.

So perhaps choosing to include a thought leadership programme is the way forward for your business in order to reach your people in the most effective way – the benefits are there for all to enjoy.

Be Vivid Wed, 09 Nov 2016 13:07:07 +0000
<![CDATA[Why the best experiences can’t be scripted]]> Those of us in the marketing and events industries are in the business of creating experiences that are memorable, achieve objectives, resonate with our audiences and capture the imagination of attendees.

While the business world can indeed craft and instigate compelling experiences, there’s a reason why many brands out there plough hundreds of hard-earned sponsorship and advertising dollars and pounds into an industry which, in my opinion, is the leader in producing memorable experiences… sport.

Sport has gone through a tough time in recent years with scandal after scandal – all of which have dented fans’ trust in that what they watch is real, kosher and authentic. But every now and then, sport throws up moments which remind us all that at its core is a spectacle that is unrivaled in drama; experiences that can’t be manipulated. Hollywood can script and fashion absorbing experiences, but the clue is in the statement; they’re scripted.

On Sunday a little-known Englishman, Danny Willett, came from nowhere to pip the reigning champ, Jordan Spieth, in The Masters. Spieth is widely recognised as the #1 golfer on the planet, yet showed expectation can lead to nerves, which can lead to throwing away a five shot lead. Easily done on arguably the toughest golf course in the world, and when the stakes are so high, but no one expected the 22-year old who’d shown such poise and composure to blow up so spectacularly. And twenty years on from another sporting episode for the ages; for Willett see Nick Faldo, for Spieth see Greg Norman.

Just a few short days earlier, in the men’s NCAA basketball final (that’s Uni basketball to us Brits, kids), sport threw up another bewildering finale. The two top-ranked teams slugged it out for 40 minutes trading blows, and heading into the final 90 seconds, only 3 points separated them. That was the same scenario heading into the final 13½ seconds – and then this happened:

Victory for North Carolina was snatched by Villanova by the final shot of the final play of the final game. Millions tune in every year to watch these teenagers go toe-to-toe (something unfathomable to us Brits who played out Wednesday afternoon matches at Uni in front of one man and his dog before hitting Vodka Revs that evening…), and perhaps this is why; a Hollywood ending with heartbreak and ecstasy in one take.

There must be something in the water at the moment; days before Kris Jenkins nailed his 3-pointer, Carlos Brathwaite bludgeoned four consecutive sixes off the final over to win the World Twenty20 Final for West Indies over England. Heading into the final over of the match, the West Indies were all but dead and buried; Ben Stokes was faced with bowling six balls, Brathwaite was faced with finding a way to score 19 improbable runs from them. The answer from the Barbados brute was the smash four monstrous shots over the ropes, leaving ‘the Windies’ dancing into the night, and England licking their wounds. Thrilling drama that no-one saw coming.

And finally, no sporting metaphor can ignore the on-going fair tale of Leicester City. If you’ve been living under a rock since last August, you’ll have heard all about their transformation from nearly being relegated from the Premier League a year ago, to now being five games away from winning the whole darn thing. And unlike Spieth, North Carolina and Stokes, all of us (minus those Spurs fans out there) hope they don’t stumble over the final hurdle. Their story is one of sporting drama and beauty that makes us all believe that the smaller fish can survive and thrive in the big open ocean; the underdog, David who slayed the moneybag fat-cat Goliath’s of the Premier League to triumph. If rumours are to be believed, Hollywood is even trying to nab the script for itself – which is testament to how compelling it is – but even if Jamie Vardy and his party does make it to the big screen, it won’t be a scratch on the script playing out in front of our eyes in the real world.

Unscripted, unique, compelling; for events and experiences to capture the imagination of those you strive to engage, seek the unexpected. Sometimes you just need a few key ingredients to come together to produce something no-one saw coming, and will always remember.

By Ben Priest our in-house Senior Relationship Manager

Be Vivid Wed, 09 Nov 2016 13:06:06 +0000
<![CDATA[C&IT Magazine March 2016]]>

Be Vivid Wed, 09 Nov 2016 13:05:03 +0000
<![CDATA[M&IT Magazine March 2016]]>

Be Vivid Wed, 09 Nov 2016 13:03:53 +0000
<![CDATA[The Argus March 2016]]>

Be Vivid Wed, 09 Nov 2016 13:02:10 +0000
<![CDATA[Why face-to-face has a high value]]> Why communicating face-to-face has a high value and sends a message before you say a word

With today’s tech-driven business world, there are arguably more convenient ways to communicate in comparison to the traditional method of face-to-face; whether it's on-the-go with a long-distance client, or even just trying to reach your colleague on the other side of the office. Possible alternatives include the likes of instant messages, phone calls, e-mails, Skype and a number of social media websites. Businesses now have the option to use a variety of platforms to communicate directly with customers, suppliers and other members of the industry with just the click of a button, so why should face-to-face communication remain as a part of the mix?

Despite the takeover of today's fast-paced and high-tech environment, the benefits of setting time aside to sit and have a proper conversation are endless. Communicating face-to-face sends a message before you say a word. People will not only hear what you are saying, they will perceive the greater meaning of your tone, voice inflection, emotion and body language. (1) The benefits of personal interaction are also seen in internal communications through large conferences, external communication through experiential marketing and pitch scenarios to name but a few. Personal communication provides an effective means to enhance credibility and trust, build relationships, gather feedback, strengthen reputations and create that sought-after personal connection with your customers and staff. These are all key factors to achieving long-term success. See comments here from the Community Bank National Conference on why it works…

Live events provide an opportunity to gather a large audience in one space and - with the right content - engage, inspire and communicate your message. Whether you are at a client reception, a conference, round table meeting or employee engagement event, live communications will enhance every aspect and provide the difference. These reward events create an opportunity to build a personal relationship with your audience and establish true leadership.

Live events are commonly viewed as a luxurious tool for reward in times of prosperity. It is in fact true that live events and communications are at their most valuable during the hard times. When a company faces uncertainty, employees can be left feeling insecure - which could result in a lack of motivation and performance. Communication and leadership are key, so what better way show it than to gather everyone as a team and rebuild the future together?

A report has shown that 75% of people believe that live events are the best way to meet a new contact, as the more personal approach creates a bond and a relationship between the brand and the client. This collected data also revealed that 74% of people believe that live events enhance customer engagement and 76% of people believe live events make buying easier (2).

Event companies now have the opportunity to reach their target audience using a variety of platforms; which helps as some individuals are only available via (or have a personal preference for) certain methods. Teenagers growing up in today's society may not have a problem with answering a quick e-mail, however this is not the case for everyone. For example, an elderly audience, who may not use e-mails or social media, may have to be contacted through different means and this is where the beauty of face-to-face shines again. Sitting with an individual, one on one, will help to eliminate visual distractions and create a feeling of unique importance during the conversation. Eye contact can be a crucial part of this, as this is a powerful form of non-verbal communication that keeps interest and maintains engagement in the conversation. Within this industry, you have to be prepared to deal with and help audiences of all ages and abilities in a way that will suit them.

However, it does not stop here - we want to inspire value within face-to-face by questioning your daily choice of communication with others. We urge you today to consider your message and the number of ways that it can be interpreted in black and white. If you were summoned into the boss’s office, would it inspire panic, dread or excitement? With face-to-face, you are able to understand and respond to people’s reactions through facial expressions and body language. Even if it starts with eye contact over a handshake, the value of face-to-face is key to building relationships.
So whether you are congratulating a team for a fantastic working year or holding a meeting when the business hits hard times – face-to-face communication remains essential during periods of both excellence and instability.

Be Vivid Wed, 09 Nov 2016 12:58:03 +0000
<![CDATA[7 rules to Vivid thinking]]> “Be bold. Don’t conform. Balls out, bum out, get whatever you need out in order to do something extraordinary and be noticed”.

Sentiments which have no doubt led to Richard Alford carving himself a hugely successful career in the advertising world and helped him to the position of Managing Director at M&C Saatchi.

I spent some time last week at The BNC Global Event Show, at which the keynote speaker was the impressive Richard. I was keen to listen in and hear what he had to say and thankfully for me and a smattering of other “#eventprofs” in the room, he didn’t disappoint. Taking snippets from industry leaders and cross-pollinate ideas which resonate with what we do throughout the year for our clients is always a welcome opportunity. In the world of marketing, communications, PR, advertising and events, there’s undoubtedly a lot of cross-over which needs to be shared.

So with a nod to Mr Alford, here’s a synopsis of his pearls of wisdom – get ready for insights into Kim Kardashian’s posterior, Jean-Claude Van Damme’s groin and the trippy social media sensation, the ‘#puppymonkeybaby’. If you can do at least one of these per project you’ll have a great chance of creating an event which has enduring value for your stakeholders, so read on…

Be Bold

Kim Kardashian’s bum ‘broke the internet’. Yes it was quite a sight, but more so it was brave, it was bold, it was brash, it was really rather extraordinary. Don’t conform to the norm and do what everyone else does. Don’t do safe.

Be Unexpected

Jean-Claude Van Damme recently starred in this advert (see below). It’s promoting trucks, about as mundane as you can get, yet has over 80 million views online. Jean-Claude’s groin will have undoubtedly felt the strain for a 55 year old, but this utterly daft, unexpected concept clearly caught the eye of the viewer… and I don’t suspect many drive trucks…

Be Relevant

Just because it’s the ‘in thing’, it doesn’t make it the ‘right thing’ for you and your brand. As House of Fraser found out to their cost, emoji’s don’t communicate with everyone; even if you’re trying to engage with a specific audience (young Millennials in this case), the fad you’re putting your message behind might not necessarily be correct for your brand.

Be Itchy

Budweiser’s ‘Whassup?’ advert is seventeen years old. Yikes. Despite all those years, it still resonates today and has inspired this year’s most talked about Superbowl half-time advert from Mountain Dew. Some bright spark in their creative team decided it would be a cracking idea to merge a puppy, a monkey, and a baby; and they were right, with millions of hits for this bonkers advert. Just as Budweiser thought all those years ago, weird is wonderful.

Be Optimistic

Shout about who you are and why you’re great. Us Brits are notoriously shy and self-deprecating, and this can come through in our campaigns, communications and events. The personal care brand, Dove, depicted this beautifully and powerfully in their recent campaign with a lesson for us all; optimism shines through and gets us noticed.

Be Sensitive

Are You Beach Body Ready?’. A campaign which inadvertently drew more exposure to the brand behind it than could ever have been dreamed of. One can look to be bold, itchy and unexpected, but don’t be crass. Know where that fine line is. There is such a thing as bad publicity.

Be Yourself

Don’t preach what others peddle. Create something which is true to you, your company, your colleagues, your clients, your brand. If you’re open, honest, and present you for who you are, more often than not you’ll find those you’re trying to communicate and work with will buy into you.

The seven rules above resonate with me immensely. It’s these which serve as tools to enable me to help my clients challenge the status quo and create an event which reflects them as a business and brand. In other words, it’s ‘Vivid Thinking’.

By Ben Priest our in-house Senior Relationship Manager

Be Vivid Wed, 09 Nov 2016 12:56:41 +0000
<![CDATA[Brand Activation]]> What is brand activation & why do you need it?

By Jack Simpson for Econsultancy

I’ll be honest: when I first heard the term ‘brand activation’ my eyes almost rolled out of my head altogether. It’s got meaningless marketing buzzword written all over it. But as I researched the term further I began to realise that it is actually quite an interesting topic, and that sometimes we actually just need a simple term with which to quickly and easily refer to things. In this post I’m going to go beyond the fluffy words and explore what brand activation is and how it could help your business.

What is brand activation?

The phrase essentially refers to the process of making your brand known to people, increasing awareness and engagement through some kind of brand experience. Think about when you first start a business. Nobody knows who you are and they sure as hell aren’t aware of your brand. Your brand is effectively lifeless. Dead. And it needs to be ‘activated’ before it can be of any use. But it doesn’t just apply to new brands. If a business wants to rebrand itself it can’t just make a few changes and hope people notice. It needs to go through the process of switching people’s minds over to the new brand and making them aware of it.

Isn’t that just brand marketing?

Sort of, yes. Except it specifically refers to the process of getting your brand from one state to another, better, state. Whereas brand marketing is the all-encompassing ongoing process of promoting and maintaining your company’s brand. I’m a writer, so excuse me while I attempt a metaphor. If your brand is a cold and lifeless lump of coal in the dark, brand activation is the firelighter that makes it burn hot and bright for all to see. Or something…

With me so far?

Perhaps it would be helpful to look at a few examples of brand activation and the different types of activities it might involve. How do you ‘activate’ a brand? With an increasing number of channels and touch points comes a growing number of ways to introduce your brand to people. Let’s take a look at some of those methods.

1. Experiential marketing

Perhaps the best way to activate your brand in people’s minds is by allowing them to experience it first-hand. Experiential marketing has become increasingly prevalent in the last few years, perhaps the most famous example being Carlsberg’s ridiculously successful beer poster campaign. This type of campaign can be a powerful way to get your brand in front of people and make it stick in their mind. Take this campaign from water sports equipment brand Tribord as an example. To make people aware of its new flotation jacket, it created a fake drink called ‘WAVE’, which was actually just seawater in a can.

The idea was to mimic part of the drowning experience – i.e. your mouth getting filled with salty water – in a safe way, and remind people of the dangers at sea. This approach is much more likely to make a brand stick in someone’s head in a meaningful way that an online banner ad or piece of junk mail through their letterbox.

2. Sampling campaigns

But the experiential element of a brand activation campaign could be something more stripped-back. It could simply mean giving people the opportunity to try your products. Giving out free samples of a new product can be a great way to introduce people to your brand and get them talking. But make it timely and be creative to ensure the best result. Mountain Dew carried out a sampling campaign in 2012, during which it drove around the country in an enormous branded truck handing out bottles of its product at festivals and other popular events.

Certainly beats standing outside Liverpool Street station desperately trying to stuff product samples into the hands of impatient rush-hour commuters.

3. In-store brand activation

Another opportunity to activate a brand is through in-store promotions or events. Again, this comes down to creating an experiential element whereby customers can touch and interact with your brand. John Lewis took this approach with its Monty the Penguin Christmas campaign in 2014. It built a ‘Monty’s Den’ in 42 stores across the country, using immersive technology to tell stories about the characters in the ad campaign.

This - combined with products such as stuffed Monty toys and clothing, and an app version of Monty’s Christmas Storybook - enabled John Lewis to really bring the brand to life for in-store shoppers. It also created ‘Monty’s Magical Toy Machine’ at its flagship Oxford Street store, which scanned toys bought by children and transformed them into lifelike characters that moved and danced on a screen.

Join it all up

As I mentioned earlier, the marketing world has more channels than ever and it is important to understand how to link up the brand activation experience across the various customer touch points. The first thing to mention is social. If you are running an experiential campaign, for example, it is vital that you coordinate social media activity to ensure the campaign gets the exposure it deserves. There is no point putting a huge amount of time, effort and resource into something if you’re not going to shout about it at the same time. Part of Carlsberg’s experiential success comes from its corresponding efforts on social media, encouraging a huge amount of user-generated content that gives its campaigns an extra boost of publicity. PR is another important part of the process. If you’re handing out cans of seawater then it’s likely the press will be interested in running a story about it. It’s not like that kind of thing happens every day. So make sure you have a strong PR strategy in place so that the right publications know about your campaign at the right time to ensure maximum coverage.

What is the end goal?

As with all types of experiential marketing, brand activation should not always be measured simply in terms of additional sales. Of course the end goal in everything marketers do is to increase revenue, but more directly a brand activation campaign is about raising awareness and opening a two-way dialogue with potential customers about your brand. It is about creating an emotional connection between them and your brand so that it sticks in their mind and they are more likely to engage with it and become long-term customers.

Conclusion: emotional reaction through interaction

We often talk about the need to elicit an emotional reaction through content, and with brand activation it is particularly important. Often it is the first experience somebody will have with your brand, therefore it's important to make the right kind of impact so that your brand sticks firmly in their mind for a significant period of time. Whether you make people laugh, cry, feel anger or excitement (this will all depend on your product and audience), you must create some kind of emotional connection or it is unlikely people will remember the experience or your brand.

Be Vivid Wed, 09 Nov 2016 12:55:14 +0000
<![CDATA[Conference News December 2015]]>

Be Vivid Wed, 09 Nov 2016 12:53:53 +0000
<![CDATA[Sussex Business Times ]]>

Be Vivid Wed, 09 Nov 2016 12:51:36 +0000
<![CDATA[UK brand investment in experiential]]> The number of brands investing in experiential marketing is set to increase on a global scale, with significant growth predicted for the UK.

by Georgi Gyton for Event Magazine January 2016

According to Pearlfinders, the newly-published Global Index 2016 has shown the second consecutive year of significant growth in demand for experiential and events, with the number of UK brands looking to invest in 2016 up 40% on last year.

The report suggests that the widespread rise in investment has been driven by a number of factors, namely sponsors increasing activation budgets and better ROI tracking techniques.

It also predicts that the scope and scale of projects will expand.

Within the top 10 marketing disciplines (global), experiential made up 7.6% of all briefs in 2015 - up 1.6% on the previous year.

Looking at the global picture, the top five sectors for experiential activity are: fast moving consumer goods (FMCG); apparel; financial; travel, transport and hospitality; and retail.

Overall the FMCG sector has increased its share from 19.9% in 2014 to 20.6% in 2015, while the financial sector increased its share by 0.8% to 8.8%, and retail by 2% to 8.3%.

Within the top five sectors in Europe, financial services increased its share by 2.9% to 10.3%, travel, transport and hospitality by 0.5% to 9%, and retail by 0.3% to 6.8%. However despite seeing a decline in share, FMCG and apparel remained the top two sectors for experiential activity in Europe, with a 21.6% and 16.9% claim respectively.

The highest levels of growth between 2014 and 2015 were seen within the retail sector in Asia, with its share increasing from 5.7% to 14.6%.

The focus on youth audiences has also increased, from 8.2% in 2014 to 10% in 2015.

Experiential's meteoric rise

Mike Thorne, editor, Pearlfinders, said: "We’ve been tracking the meteoric rise of experiential as an effective channel in recent years. Buoyed by sponsors’ increasing activation budgets and better ROI tracking, the number of brands investing in this area will continue to climb through 2016. More significantly, we predict that the scope and scale of projects will also grow.

"Brands that previously just sought a bump in awareness are increasingly looking for agencies to deliver more nuanced messaging as an integral element of their brand strategy."

He added: "The bottom line for many companies in 2016 is that the pursuit of volume sales and ecommerce efficiency has led them to neglect investment in their brand. They are now urgently looking to re-inject vitality and affection for their brand and are turning to experiential channels to achieve this." He added: "The bottom line for many companies in 2016 is that the pursuit of volume sales and ecommerce efficiency has led them to neglect investment in their brand. They are now urgently looking to re-inject vitality and affection for their brand and are turning to experiential channels to achieve this. "

The Pearlfinders Global Index 2016 is based upon interviews with 10,000 marketing decision-makers across Europe, the US and Asia.

Be Vivid Wed, 09 Nov 2016 12:47:51 +0000
<![CDATA[Technology Trends for 2016 – And Beyond…]]> The New Year is just around the corner and the hunt is on to seek out the newest gadgets and trends. In an ever-changing technological world, brand-new ideas, products and ground-breakers are hitting the streets all the time. Here is our look at what we think 2016 will bring to the world of techno for both events and everyday life.


We have touched on beacon technology before, but if you haven’t heard of it already, let us introduce you to geo-fencing: A type of software program which allows you to target a customised market within a specific geographical area as an interactive source of engagement. It can be used to send triggers or alerts to mobile devices when an individual enters or exits a specific zone, thanks to GPS and radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology.

As one of the more modern methods of communicating with your target market, it is now gathering pace as a way of engaging with potential clients – or even better – grabbing the attention of would-be passers-by.

Imagine being able to pinpoint the whereabouts of your target market, and using that information to offer your goods and services with a simple push notification – the new standard means of communication through smartphones.

As for event planners, it’s an absolute dream. Say you are hosting an event. One of your attendees shows up but is not entirely sure where to go. Why not send them a quick map to use once they arrive with a breakout timetable? Or allow them to ‘check-in’ on social media to let their friends know where they are (without having to click link after link)? You can even give them information on their on their current surroundings, based on their location. Equally you can store information on statistics such as attendance and peak attendance.

With software programs such as Apple’s iBeacon still at its infant stages, expect the world of geo-fencing to get bigger and bigger…


The growth of wearable technology is an intriguing phenomenon that is beginning to revolutionise how we consume and use information. Wearables are specifically designed to make the most out of the 24/7 business environment and are regularly used in the workplace to track health and productivity. This area of the tech market was valued at $6.3 million in 2010 and is predicted to surpass $12.8 billion by 2016.

The recent release of the Apple Watch has triggered a vast increase in the interest of smartwatches, but despite this being a relatively new market, it seems that this area is heading in the same direction as mobile phones. Sony, Microsoft, Samsung, LG, Pebble Steel and Asus are just a few of the brands that have released smartwatches in this rapidly growing market.

Wearables come in all shapes and sizes; such as the new Smart Ring, which allows you to keep up to date with calls, texts and social media through vibrations in your finger. This is a release that we are expecting to see more of in the New Year. And it comes at a very reasonable price – bonus!

4D Projection Mapping

We are sure you have all become familiar with 2D and maybe event 3D projection mapping, but for 2016, 4D projection mapping is another trend that is predicted to advance, particularly in events and advertising. As standard, projection mapping is achieved by using image mapping and projections onto a surface in order to enhance the overall experience for the audience. This fourth dimension can extend to interacting with senses, such as smell in order to portray a more memorable message – a key concept within experiential marketing.

Ralph Lauren were the first to attempt this, creating the ‘World’s First 4-Dimensional Experience’, which is regarded to be the most memorable example of project mapping to date. The advert brought the streets of New York to life with 3D motion graphics, live action pre-recorded footage and products were put into a 3D projected environment. Scent generators were also used to release the smell of the company’s latest fragrances throughout the streets.

This is an idea that could revolutionise product and event launches and is arguably one of the best ways to get a message across to the target audience. We will therefore be hoping to see an increase of 4D projection mapping in the near future and can’t wait to use it ourselves.

Drone Deliveries

The idea of a drone or a robot delivering your shopping directly to your front door in just 30 minutes seems almost laughable, but in 2016 this could become reality.

A six-wheeled, small and self-driving robot has been designed by the co-founders of Skype and is rumoured to be making test appearances on the streets of London in 2016. This new device is designed to cut down delivery costs and increase shopping efficiency for a variety of customers in the near future. These robots will use GPS, sensors and cameras to travel along the streets at walking-speed, with the ability to climb kerbs and small stairs. A two-way communication system will be installed with a human operator at the control centre. Don’t worry; your future shopping is in safe hands with a remotely controlled speaker and a direct call to the police to escape potential threats.

Amazon Prime Air are also in the process of producing a similar device that they predict will one day be seen as the expected method of service. Their “octocopters” would be able to carry packages weighing up to 2.3kg; however, we don’t expect to see this for some time.

Mobile Payments

Still a relatively new craze in the world of tech, paying via mobile devices has also gained momentum in recent years. The turning point for this was perhaps the introduction of Apple Pay (from, yes, Apple again), which sent the amount of mobile payments through the roof. In fact, its rapid growth has led some to predict that it will overtake the usage of credit cards and even cash within the next five years – an interesting thought.

More and more, mobile phones are forming a fundamental component of our day-to-day lives. By the end of next year, mobile phone sales are expected to pass the £2bn mark. This is hardly surprising given that, according to the United Nations, only one in seven people do not own a mobile phone worldwide.

So are we set for a wallet-less, cash-less world as mobiles threaten to transform the global side of money and finance for the foreseeable future? Here’s looking at you, 2016.

Mobile Apps

Staying with mobiles, the world of mobile applications is experiencing a similar growth spurt. Apps are continuously in increasing demand and with this comes the desire to have the best app around. Apps are continually becoming smarter, faster and more useful. After all, no one wants to lose a potential client over a low quality standard of service.

One integral part of mobile apps is advertising. Expenditure on mobile advertising is expected to increase – despite studies1 claiming it already accounts for around half of all digital ad spending. Across the next 12 months, spending on mobile ads are expected to top $40bn – a 40% increase on last year. Within the next five years, mobile ads are projected to account for around 75% of all digital ad spending.

With the hype over mobile apps showing no signs of stopping, it seems that the mobile industry is threatening to dominate the world of technology in the years to come. By 2017, apps will have made $77bn in revenue. It could be fair to say apps are becoming something of a beast – watch this space!

So there you have it: Our predictions for 2016 and beyond as we look to innovate our world of events.

One thing is for sure, we are excited to see what the future holds for technology…


  1. Bosomworth (2015) Mobile Marketing Statistics 2015

Be Vivid Wed, 09 Nov 2016 12:45:43 +0000
<![CDATA[Planning a Corporate Christmas Party]]> Dan’s 10 Easy Steps to Planning a Corporate Christmas Party

Organising the company Christmas Party can be overwhelming, especially alongside everyday responsibilities. Here at Vivid Event Group, organising Christmas Parties is our forte so to help you to ease the pressure, we have created this handy checklist.

1. Objectives

First thing’s first, wait patiently for your CEO or manager to give you the go ahead. If this in not forth coming and you feel you and your colleagues deserve a party, start a campaign. Nothing too disruptive. Try to avoid picket lines. Maybe start with a quiet chat in the kitchen. Stress how the team have really worked well this year and an office wide event might just be the pat on the back everyone needs. They deserve it after all. It would also be another chance to see Keith from Finance cutting shapes on the dance floor. It’s been two years since Keith has had a captive audience and he needs an outlet (his office pirouettes en route to the office scanning machine are starting to be a distraction). If not for the betterment of the company morale, do it for Keith.

Then, once you have received the green light from the powers-that-be ask if you want an intimate dinner where the team get a chance to improve relations with other co-workers or a full blown themed party to say thank you and celebrate a successful year. Having a clear idea of the event objectives really helps and this will ensure the event reaches its potential.

Keith will be happy either way.

2. Date

First off find out which dates the key people in your company are available, such as the CEO or board members you’ll want there. This will minimise the date being re-arranged. In order to help choose an available date for attendees, you could send a questionnaire to employees using an easy online survey tool such as Survey Monkey and simply select the most popular date.

Traditionally Thursdays in December are the dates everyone wants for corporate parties. It’s not taking up any personal weekend time and hints at an unspoken agreement - that management want you in the next day, but only to giggle and swap notes on the previous night. This is very important, as it doubles the goodwill with only the slightest dent in productivity. Fridays in December come in a close 2nd in popularity with the benefit of giving the staff a chance to explore their own sofa on Saturday. However days earlier in the week offer more flexibility. Having a few dates in mind will give you more options, especially when the key venues start to book up. If you feel you work with a sensible bunch, or those with great metabolisms you could look to booking a Monday or a Tuesday. This is where deals can be had. Good for Keith also, as he has badminton on Thursday nights.

Once you have a date for your party, send a save the date email out to employees, you may want to create a teaser to start building excitement. Don’t offer up everything straight away, as you’ll want surprises on the night. But certainly a date and time. You can come back to location and dress code at a later date, usually no more than 6 weeks out.

3. Budget

A bit obvious, but we understand that booking the Christmas party is an exciting task. Yes, we all want to dance with dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum, but numbers and budget might prove prohibitive. Find out how much the budget is for the party this will help to determine the type of package and venue available to you. If you are negotiating the budget with the CEO or Financial Director and feeling bold, it might be worth reminding them there is a tax allowance for staff entertainment of £150+VAT per annum. Keith will back us up on this.

4. Location

It is tough to please everyone on this front, but it is safe to assume everyone will know their transport routes to and from the office, so as a location this is a good place to start. Particularly if you wish to encourage everyone to head straight to the venue from work for an early starting event. However, if your dream venue is a bit further away you could always organise unique transport such as a double decker bus or limos.

Please be mindful of everyone’s return journey so it is also important that you choose a location that is easy for your guests to get home from, especially if your party finishes in the early hours of the morning. We always advise hiring a taxi marshall to help guests return home safely. We live in an age of Uber, so less of an issue these days. Though we can assure you that you will have trouble flagging a cab on that 2nd Thursday in December. Keith lives in Balham, so he is well served by most overland train routes. Fear not.

5. Venue

Research undertaken by Vivid Event Group, found that the venue is one of the most important factors to a Christmas Party, and rightly so. If nothing else it will be the identifier in years to come “that time Keith finally pulled off his backflip was the year we had dinner under the Cutty Sark…..”

Take into consideration the type of company you are and the personalities of employees and senior management when choosing a venue. Likewise budget and theme. It would be a shame to stage a barn dance at the Savoy Hotel for instance (though if you would like details how to do that please get in touch).

There is a vast range of venues available for Christmas parties you might not have considered… museums, warehouses, chapels and masonic temples. Speak to your account manager here at Vivid about the hidden gems, if you want a stand out venue that will set your party apart from other companies.

Our detailed proposals can paint a realistic picture of a venue, however we always recommend site visits to any of particular interest. We call them ‘venue safaris’ and they are obviously very useful.

Once a suitable venue is selected, ask your account manager to place it on provisional hold whilst you gain approval from senior management. This will ensure you do not lose your chosen date. Key dates will get snapped up early, beware.

6. Food

Once you have chosen the venue you will need to decide on the food offering, whether this is a formal seated dinner or an informal buffet or bowl food. This might seem daunting, particularly if you are going to be catering for several hundred differing tastes and culinary expectations. Speak to the caterer about the seasonal menu available or you could work with the chef to design a bespoke menu to suit your theme.

Caterers will always take dietary requirements into consideration such as vegetarian, vegan, halal or coeliac, so make sure you ask your guests if they have any special requirements. Don’t worry if you come across a very detailed and specific request, we will have before, as will the caterers and it will be given special attention. We will take care of Keith’s “nothing that had eyes” request, the chef has prepared a lovely tortellini for him. We’ll also let the service staff know where Keith is seated.

7. Drink

In regards to the all-important drinks, unlimited drinks packages are a great way to make sure that the bar does not run dry. Beer, house wines and soft drinks act as standard for most drinks packages, however these are often available to upgrade if you wanted to include spirits for instance. If you are keen to present guests with an open bar, we would always advise that the food menu is substantial, by way of responsibility. Make sure there are some good old fashioned carbohydrates present through the menu. They are all adults, but even the most sensible drinker will be a bit wobbly after two large glasses of white wine having been offered nothing more than a scallop.

Ask if you can try some of the upgrade wines at your menu tasting. A seasonal champagne or cocktail reception is also a great touch. If you have a theme, you might want to consider rolling this out onto the drinks menu. In addition, a great way to ensure the bar isn’t overloaded all evening is to have bottles on tables and waiter service topping up glasses when needed. If you know your team are fairly enthusiastic drinkers, be mindful of this at the point of venue selection (see 6.) and look for a lot of bar frontage. Keith loves a cider so check if that is included in the drinks package. If not we suggest you just run his drinks on account.

8. Theming

Christmas theming can take inspiration from both the traditional and the contemporary to transport guests to a winter wonderland or futuristic masquerade ball. Ask your account manager to send over an assortment of theming mood boards to give you some inspiration, alternatively our Vivid Pinterest page has a plethora of theming boards to keep you busy for hours. If you can think it, we can do it. Involve your committee or trusted colleagues for ideas – they will feel valued by being included. Keith will want a Star Wars theme again, but there is no need to repeat themes.

Pick out the focal points of the venue to decorate such as the entrance, pillars lit with uplighters or a stage backdrop. Impressive lighting can transform a room, and extraordinary sound systems combine to create an unbeatable party.

9. Entertainment

Providing engaging entertainment creates a real buzz among attendees. Depending on your budget, the options for entertainment are endless, ranging from circus performers, musicians, cabaret acts, aerial hoop-performers or ‘drunk and abusive Santa’s’. These things exist. Alternatively, a string quartet is a great option for background music for a more formal occasion.

Most inclusive packages include a DJ, we find a lot of our clients like to send a playlist over to their DJ prior to the event to ensure the genre of music suits the employee’s tastes and style. As you’ll know Keith is a real David Hasselhoff fan, the DJ will have some of the Hoff’s work on his hard drive.

If the venue permits, live music is great. There are many corporate event bands working these days, we will only suggest the very best of them that are tried and tested.

10. Additional Extras

It’s the little things that matter… speak to your account manager about adding special touches to your event….

  • Invitations
  • Hotel rooms
  • Photographer
  • Photo booths
  • Seating plan
  • Flowers
  • RSVP management

Follow these simple instructions and you will organise a Christmas Party you and your guests will be talking about for months to come.

Once the party begins, leave your stress at the door and let your hair down with the rest of them.

Let the event manager handle the organisation on the evening and most importantly have fun!

…eek - look, Keith’s doing the caterpillar!

Be Vivid Tue, 06 Oct 2015 09:59:29 +0000
<![CDATA[M&IT Magazine September 2015]]>

Be Vivid Mon, 28 Sep 2015 17:12:03 +0000
<![CDATA[C&IT Magazine September 2015]]>

Be Vivid Tue, 15 Sep 2015 11:46:44 +0000
<![CDATA[Brighton & Hove Business Awards 2015]]> Vivid Event Group are extremely proud to have won the Professional Services Award at the Brighton and Hove Business Awards on Friday 4th September.

The accolade comes after two years of growth and development for the business. Gaining ISO9001:2008 in Quality Management last year, and recently passing the company’s first 12 month audit, on top of a brand refresh with new website and digital makeover to strengthen the visual identity of the business.

Vivid’s application focussed on a number of areas including the company’s four-point service, which it sees as a critical factor in assuring clients of the level of quality and professionalism across all our brand engagement projects.

Charlie Hepburn, managing director comments “Winning the award signifies a tremendous achievement for us. The award reflects the quality and effort of the whole team and the work that we carry out on behalf of our clients. I’m extremely excited about the future and working on the many projects we have lined up with our clients.”

Be Vivid Wed, 09 Sep 2015 16:22:47 +0000
<![CDATA[Argus September 2015]]>

Be Vivid Tue, 08 Sep 2015 16:52:42 +0000
<![CDATA[C&IT Magazine September 2015]]>

Be Vivid Fri, 04 Sep 2015 13:40:05 +0000
<![CDATA[Bringing mindfulness into the workplace]]> Mindfulness is a relatively new phenomenon storming the business world due to its suggested ability to increase productivity and reduce levels of stress within the workplace. For the purposes of this blog, we shall define it as a non-judgemental concentrated observation of one’s perceptions, thoughts and in emotions within the present. (1) The concept revolves around the exercise of breathing in order to bring awareness to the present and ‘quiet the mind’. Common mindfulness practices include yoga and meditation but can also involve journaling or attention training and therefore, mindfulness can be made applicable to all. In fact, this new form of meditation is being used very prominently within society, with the military adopting mindfulness in order for soldiers to improve emotional health and mental performance within combat situations.

Therefore with roots dating back 2500 years this is no new concept. So why has the movement only just come to the forefront of techniques used to aid mental wellbeing? The answer is simple. In today’s world, we face multiple stress inducing demands as well as high levels of pressure and continuous connectivity through smart phones and social media. Such over-stimulating environments, increased expectations and constant requirements to stay alert are resulting in significantly high levels of workplace stress. (2) In a study conducted in 2011 by Opinion Matters, of the 500 IT administrators studied 72% claimed they were stressed, with a massive 67% considering a change in career as a result. (3)

Therefore, it is no surprise that the main obstacle blocking the successful implementation of mindfulness is a lack of time to do so. It is extremely difficult to slow down within society today but it is essential we do just that in order to achieve in the long-term. William George, a former chief executive argued;

“The main business case for (mindfulness) is that if you’re fully present on the job, you will be a more effective leader, you will make better decisions, and you will work better with other people.” (4)

It is no secret that western society today is experiencing a major mental health crisis, with no less than 921,498 individuals in contact with mental health services last year in the UK and levels are rising. (5) More specifically, work-related stress caused workers to lose 11.3 million working days in 2013/2014. (6)

For those of you still sceptical by Buddhist influence, it does have scientific backing. Cortisol levels are positively correlated to levels of stress and in a recent study conducted by the Centre for Mind and Brain at the University of California, those who undertook a three-month mindfulness and meditation retreat had far lower levels of cortisol in their system. (7)

So how do we achieve this in the everyday without taking a significant time out of our working day, as heralded by businesses such as Google, NASA and the World Bank? It’s simple really – just follow the steps below.

The concept is becoming increasingly popular with Google having a six-month waiting list for their ‘Search Inside Yourself’ mindfulness course. This consists of a 2½ day retreat involving 19 sessions with the aim of helping participants learn to relate to themselves and others in a more successful way. The course is constituted of three sections; attention training, self-knowledge development in a bid to master emotions and ‘creating mental habits’, such as kindness. This teaching of emotional intelligence helps understand others’ motivations within the workplace and as a consequence, a better handling of stress, higher patience levels and a calmer attitude. (8)

This ability to psychologically step away from the stresses of the workplace for even a few moments improves creativity and innovation as well as a resilience to stress, a form of psychological hardiness. It’s not all meditation and dreadlocks but a revolution in methods of improving productivity by simply pausing, observing your presence within a situation and proceeding with your day. The technique isn’t just about increasing productivity, however. In fact, mindfulness is also about gaining the ability to open up to new information from different points of view as well as controlling stress. In a report by Vickers & Overholt, 85% agreed that mindfulness helped them resist high levels of stress. (9) In dismantling the process, we can understand that mindfulness practices reduce these levels of stress and increase productivity by helping individuals becoming more accepting of their work situation, obtain more realistic work goals and enjoy their work more as a consequence.

Happy employees = an harmonious working environment

However, much the same as everything within the workplace, without mindful leadership, this working environment will not be maintained. Only a quarter of respondents felt their leaders were above average in this respect. (10) However it is an effective method of improving leadership quality. Bill George, a professor at Harvard Business School found from experience that some form of meditation, whether that be praying, journaling and so on, led to a calmer mind. This in turn accounted for a dismissal of trivial matters in order to understand the bigger picture and make better decisions as a result, through helping leaders become less reactive. Mindful leadership promotes an increased self-awareness and a sensitivity to the influence their actions have over others. (11) So why not replicate Google’s success and get your own team motivated and inspired with our incentive programmes - improving your internal communications, whilst creating tomorrow’s business leaders. Through the design of bespoke programmes on our management retreats, your future leaders will learn to work more effectively together, often through the inclusion of mindfulness which we’re sure you’re now sold on, just like us!

Therefore, it is clear to see what a positive influence taking a few moments of your day to calm your mind has on your work life, as well as your personal life. Practicing mindfulness doesn’t have to be a chore and is widely used within the business world - you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.


  1. Bishop (2004) and Brown & Ryan (2003) in Hunter, J. and McCormick, D. W. (2008) ‘Mindfulness in the Workplace: An Exploratory Study’. In S.E. Newell (Facilitator), Weickian Ideas. Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management, Anaheim, CA.
  2. Schaufenbuel, K. (2014) ‘Bringing Mindfulness to the Workplace’. UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
  3. Beyer Clausen, M. (2013) ‘How mindfulness can help your employees and impact your company’s bottom line’. Mental Workout
  4. Gelles (2012) in Schaufenbuel, K. (2014) ‘Bringing Mindfulness to the Workplace’. UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
  5. Health & Social Care Information Centre. (2015) ‘Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Statistics Monthly Report: Final December and Provisional January’
  6. Health and Safety Executive. (2014) ‘Stress-related and Psychological Disorders in Great Britain 2014’
  7. Catalina-Romero, C. et al. (2013) The relationship between job stress and dyslipidemia. Scandinanian Journal of Public Health. 41(2). 142-149.
  8. Kelly (2012) in Hunter, J. and McCormick, D. W. (2008) ‘Mindfulness in the Workplace: An Exploratory Study’. In S.E. Newell (Facilitator), Weickian Ideas. Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management, Anaheim, CA.
  9. Overholt, M. & Vickers, M. (2015). ‘Stress Management and Mindfulness in the Workplace’. American Management Association
  10. Ibid
  11. George, B. (2012) ‘Mindfulness Helps You Become a Better Leader. Harvard Business Review

Be Vivid Thu, 03 Sep 2015 15:28:48 +0000
<![CDATA[M&IT Meetpie]]>

Be Vivid Thu, 27 Aug 2015 15:40:21 +0000
<![CDATA[C&IT Top 50 Agencies 2015]]> This June witnessed Vivid Event Group’s return to the highly accredited industry publication, C&IT Magazine’s Top 50 UK Live Event Agencies list. The rankings highlight event-based turnover in 2014 amongst a total of 200 agency and corporate event planners; with Zibrant, Ashfield Meetings & Events and Jack Morton Worldwide snapping up the top 3 spots. The awards celebrate those planning creative and innovative events within B2B sectors with best practice to the planning and production of such occasions. We are all so proud of the company’s success in providing tailored, hassle-free action plans for our clients in such a competitive, fast-paced and challenging industry. To see the full report
click here

Be Vivid Mon, 24 Aug 2015 14:31:40 +0000
<![CDATA[Brighton & Hove Business Awards 2015]]> We are so proud to have been nominated not once, not twice but three times for the Brighton & Hove Business Awards 2015, with the ceremony to take place on the 4th December. We couldn’t be more excited that we’re being recognised as helping our clients reconnect with their brands and establish and portray a chosen message though their events.

The nominations include; MD of the year award for our fabulously driven, focused and motivational Charlie Hepburn, who regards personal development as essential for our employees as well as advocating positive and personal relationships with clients. A regular on industry judging panels, such as Event Magazine awards, he is a strong believer in communication as they key to our business and has featured on short lists such as Event Magazine’s ‘Top 100 Industry Influencers 2015’.

We are also up for the ‘Creative Industries’ award with a real focus on our unique nature stemming from such an attention to client requirements and motivation. With this in mind, check out two of our case studies here and here to fully see how we do this.

Finally, we have been nominated for the ‘Professional Services’ award. Our IS09001:2008 accreditation highlights this commitment to quality and post-event feedback, we achieved a 92% intention to book with Vivid again in 2014.

It has been a phenomenal year for Vivid and we look forward to a successful year ahead.

Be Vivid Fri, 21 Aug 2015 15:17:56 +0000
<![CDATA[Conference News August 2015]]>

Be Vivid Thu, 20 Aug 2015 12:11:05 +0000
<![CDATA[Creating a high performance team]]> It would be too obvious to state that success is built on harmonious team work, with 91% of respondents agreeing to this in a recent survey and research report from the Centre for Creative Leadership. But what makes these teams succeed? The answer, according to research conducted by Lencioni (2002) is trust. (1) As a result, the real question is what happens when a team lacks a sense of trust? The consequent effects can be catastrophic for business since team members will be less likely to ask for assistance, take constructive criticism or wish to go beyond minimal expectations. Furthermore, from a top-down perspective, productivity will be reduced and unnecessary time spent on aiding conflict, with managers spending 18%-26% of their time dealing with such issues. (2) In today’s society, however, the necessity of teams is consistently overlooked by business leaders and this needs to change.

So how do we create these high performing teams (commonly referred to as HPT)? Rialto, specialists in business and leadership transformation, believe it to be a group of individuals who are committed, focused, coordinated and adaptable to diverse talents and skills. Often, such teams are relatively small, typically between 5 and 9 people consistently working together, which runs alongside Belbin’s team model and ensures the correct mix of essential skills and characteristics. (3) Mutual accountability is also a must within HPT, requiring trust, transparency and candour as well as a passion for a well-defined and unifying goal. Therefore, it is clear to see that such strong teams are unlikely to be formed without careful thought and analysis.

Enter, team building initiatives. This concept is largely misunderstood today in the world of business with many employees viewing it as a day out of the office to have fun playing golf or working out the best way to pass your colleagues through a spider’s web without touching the sides. Although of course this is the aim, there is always the underlying motivation of lasting change for an underperforming team as opposed to sporadic one time responses in a bid to ‘fix’ in the short term and so can in fact be undertaken in the office during the day to day. (4)

Therefore, we must discover ways of empirically testing personality traits in order to create and manage HPT and in turn, aid team building. The introduction of personality tests into team building programmes is advantageous since individuals within the team can understand their own preferences and work styles in amongst the broader style of the team as a whole. Examples of personality testing include Belbin’s ‘Team Role’ Model, the DISC Model and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Each of these processes assess the behavioural characteristics of individuals within a workplace setting and more specifically, how they behave in a team situation. Therefore, individuals’ inherent strengths and weaknesses are identified as well as natural roles adjusted and as a consequence, they are likely to become more motivated since they are aware of their place and worth within the team and are compatible with the characteristics of others. As a result trust is formed, ultimately creating open lines of communication in order to organise individuals in accordance to their differing strengths and understand the mix of profiles within a team. (5)

The most successful companies tend to be composed of a variety of personalities, such as Google. Voted the No. 1 company to work for in 2011, they really seem to care about their employee’s wellbeing, as reflected in the weekly TGIF get-together in which new employees are able to break the ice with their colleagues and most importantly, openness and honesty are encouraged with Q & A sessions with the most senior of leaders, broadcast worldwide. (6) This is just one example of how team building initiatives can be implemented into business in order to create the most important factor needed for HTP, trust (but Google’s free breakfasts, lunches and dinners would be enough to win us over!).

Therefore, we must be clear on the fact that despite the successful creation of HTP, often by external coaches, it is unlikely they will prosper and evolve in the long term without strong leadership. Such team leaders are not necessarily the most senior individuals in a team (7), but those able to consistently motivate and successfully get the job done, as shown below from a study conducted by Harvard Business School focusing on the significance of both task and relationship success. (8)

As a result it is clear to see that it would be highly beneficial for organisations to allocate time, resources and thought into these types of team building exercises which fully embrace all personality types. It is commonly known that it takes all sorts to make the world go round and this situation is no different, so why not rise through the ranks and join Google at the top by embracing your employees’ differences and nurturing their strengths to top your competition.


  1. Coddington, C. (2013) Team Building through Trust Building. Caliper Corporation
  2. Thomas. K. W. (2006) Making Conflict Management a Strategic Advantage. Psychometrics
  3. Rialto Consultancy. (2011) How to Create High Performing Teams. Rialto
  4. Six Sense Inc & Drake International. (2014) Team Building Magic: The Secret behind High Performing Teams. Drake International
  5. Chatterjee, S. (2012) Top 5 Reasons Why Google is the Best Company to Work For. International Business Times
  6. Coddington, C. (2013) Team Building through Trust Building. Caliper Corporation.
  7. Rialto Consultancy. (2011) How to Create High Performing Teams. Rialto
  8. Ibid

Be Vivid Wed, 12 Aug 2015 16:55:33 +0000
<![CDATA[C&IT Magazine June 2015]]>

Be Vivid Thu, 06 Aug 2015 16:10:18 +0000
<![CDATA[The Argus July 2015]]>

Be Vivid Mon, 27 Jul 2015 16:16:38 +0000
<![CDATA[Exhibition News July 2015]]>

Be Vivid Thu, 23 Jul 2015 15:54:08 +0000
<![CDATA[M&IT Magazine July 2015]]>

Be Vivid Thu, 09 Jul 2015 16:36:07 +0000
<![CDATA[Stand Out Magazine July 2015]]>

Be Vivid Thu, 09 Jul 2015 16:10:05 +0000
<![CDATA[C&IT Magazine June 2015]]>

Be Vivid Thu, 25 Jun 2015 09:54:09 +0000
<![CDATA[Event Magazine Agenda 2015]]>

Be Vivid Tue, 23 Jun 2015 12:10:22 +0000
<![CDATA[Event Magazine June 2015]]>

Be Vivid Tue, 16 Jun 2015 14:41:32 +0000
<![CDATA[C&IT Online 11th June 2015]]>

Be Vivid Fri, 12 Jun 2015 12:29:57 +0000
<![CDATA[C&IT Magazine June 2015]]>

Be Vivid Thu, 11 Jun 2015 16:09:42 +0000
<![CDATA[Conference News May 2015]]>

Be Vivid Fri, 05 Jun 2015 15:41:04 +0000
<![CDATA[Conference News February 2015]]>

Be Vivid Fri, 05 Jun 2015 15:37:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Vivid expands its team and looks for new talent]]> Vivid Event Group are continuing to expand their account management team and are now seeking a new business development manager. Following 12 months of increased turnover driven from both new clients and organic growth with existing customers, the company are looking to add to their services, particularly in the area of conference and team building.

Charlie Hepburn, Vivid's managing director comments "It's an exciting time for all. We've looked at where the opportunities are coming in, and are shaping our business to ensure that we're well placed to service our client's needs".

The exciting new role will focus on sales of team building, conference and brand engagement programmes, as well as supporting our existing resources. The successful candidate will pro-actively seek new business, develop client relationships and work with the operational team to manage projects from start to end.

Closing date for applications is 20th June 2015. For further details on the role click here.

Be Vivid Tue, 19 May 2015 15:08:48 +0000
<![CDATA[M&IT Magazine April 2015]]>

Be Vivid Wed, 13 May 2015 16:46:27 +0000
<![CDATA[Colour in event production]]> We all know event planners aspire to give guests the best possible experience, continually yearning for guests to leave with butterflies in their stomach and a smile on their faces. Event production plays a key role in the execution of a project; it can mean the transformation from another mundane presentation to a real experience that leaves us with a lasting message (Perception, 2015).(1) With the current digital age and technology capabilities, the opportunities really are endless.

A highly positive way of engaging and communicating with audiences is through the connection of live experiences. The selection of aspects within event production can account for this, including colour, lighting, audio, video, set and staging, design and styling and also entertainment.

So, do you need help getting that extra edge to connect with your customers on a personal level? According to Haller (2) , colour is the answer, with the absolute power to make or break your brand. This applied colour psychology expert considers this particularly misunderstood marketing tool that has the potential to trigger emotional reactions, the ultimate craving for an events business.

KISSmetrics (2015) (3), a customer intelligence program, state that 85% of shoppers place colour as the predominant reason in buying a certain product or service, proving the significance of colour in a buyer’s journey, whilst also quietly making those sought-after emotive connections with brands. Thus, colour is more than just a visual experience; colour is a very potent phenomenon that influences us every day of our lives. Colour is effective in influencing our feelings, our behaviour and our moods, capable of making us feel more relaxed, while also encouraging us to spend more or eat more, for example. Hence, colour can guide purchasing behaviour.

So when asked to identify the colours of highly renowned brands such as Coca Cola and Facebook, the majority of our population will most likely answer without hesitation: red and blue. Hence, while colour forms such a significant impact at an event, it is necessary to mention the different associations that come with them. An online Event Magazine article (Carter, 2015) (4) talks of Robert Dunsmore, Director of live events at GMS EMEA, and his view on the hidden meanings behind brand colour. For example, red is a colour that grabs attention and is high energy, while green is associated with authenticity and spring. Pink suggests romance and femininity, while the colour yellow creates positivity and joyfulness. In a study of 18 brands within the financial services sector, Dunsmore concluded that 52.5% have blue branding, while 28% choose red. Selecting a particular colour or combination for brand identity will allow attendees to take away these associations.

While colours can each have a meaning, it can also dramatically influence certain physiological reactions and evoke feelings both personally and culturally (Stoltz, 2012) (5). When creating an event and forming an appropriate colour scheme, it is essential to consider cultural traditions and life experiences to add to the overall experience. This requires time and preparation in establishing who is giving the event, what type of event it is and the guest profile. Gaining knowledge in what colours are ‘hot’ can assist you in the instant impact and lasting memory of your event.

Colour is a major foundation of the look and feel of an event. Brands can no longer afford to undervalue the use and impacts of colour on overall sales and customer experiences. Branding an event to the pantone of the client has become fundamental.

(1) Perception (2015) ‘The Importance of Lighting Design Colours in Event Branding’, Click here...

(2) Haller, K. (2015) ‘Colour theory: why colour could make or break your brand’, Click here...

(3) KISSmetrics (2015) Click here...

(4) Carter, B. (2015) ‘ISES Talks: Behind the brand – how colours carry different meanings’, Click here...

(5) Stoltz, N. (2012) ‘Events in colour: choosing ideal colour schemes to create memorable special events’, Click here...

Be Vivid Tue, 12 May 2015 10:41:01 +0000
<![CDATA[Why your company needs a Christmas party]]> The company Christmas party, the annual festive celebration, the talk of the office for the next few weeks…or longer depending on how memorable the experience is.

There's sometimes a negative perception of company Christmas parties, fuelled by relaxed inhibitions, office gossip and inappropriate photocopying. However these views are short-sighted and ignore the benefits Christmas functions can deliver.

The questions frequently asked by the Christmas party sceptics out there include… Is it appropriate to spend money on a party? Is it acceptable for employees to take the afternoon off during the busiest time of the year?

Despite these queries, it turns out Christmas parties are a wise investment for businesses and their employees. Here are some reasons why you need this event in your company calendar:

Employee Reward and Engagement

A company Christmas party offers the chance to reward and engage with employees, in the process of boosting morale and many companies achieve a ‘halo effect’ of productivity after the event.

Companies renowned for their employee engagement such as Google, Facebook and Coca-Cola invest time and money into their employees which pay dividends throughout the rest of the year with loyalty and productivity. What better way to reward your employees than by showering them with food, fun and merriment? You may find that giving your employees the chance to enjoy themselves out of the office will boost their morale and sense of belonging at the company.

A great way to reflect on the year’s achievements and celebrate success is with an address from the company’s CEO. Has your company had a breakthrough year, exceeding all of its KPI's and finally starting to turn a profit? Has it survived a difficult year by everyone pulling together? A speech which acknowledges the vital role employees have played in this situation can increase personal future productivity.


The end of year event allows the entire company to get together and have a bit of fun while getting to know each other better. This can allow employees to build rapport with each other and cement relationships which can yield long-term results further down the line in a working environment.

The event also provides employees an opportunity to bond and network with colleagues who many not have the opportunity to socialise with during working hours. Especially if departments in the organisation rarely have the chance to meet face to face, facilitating interdepartmental cooperation. The seasonal function allows teams to get to know each other and also breaks down any barriers of hierarchy.

Return on Investment

Christmas parties have a proven record for return on investment… and entertaining employees outweighs the costs in regards to loyalty, networking, motivation and team spirit. The average salary in a UK company is £26,000, therefore a Christmas party with a budget of £125 per head is less than 0.5% of their salary!

Traditionally recognised as a jolly, Christmas parties are evolving and more and more companies are combining business content or employee development with their seasonal events to get the most for their money. Team-building activities can be linked with the festive function, for example a seasonal themed treasure hunt or building bikes to give as Christmas presents to a children’s charity. Alternatively why not combine the party with the annual company conference accompanied with mince pies.

Low budget

It should also be considered that it is not essential to spend excessively to reach the desired motivation of employees. A small adjustment such as a change of scenery can have the desired effect. If money is really tight bring the party to the office using creative theming and production to hide the filing cabinets; a karaoke machine and mobile bar make great additions.

Thursday and Fridays are the kings of December’s party calendar, however holding your event towards the beginning of the week can result in a cheaper package, as well as better availability for the more exclusive venues.

Here at Vivid headquarters, we understand that despite Christmas being the most wonderful time of the year, it can also be the busiest! Some companies therefore cannot afford to hold a party in December and many of our clients hold events at the end of November or in January, post the Christmas rush, to mark the start of a fresh year. Holding your event outside of the peak season can provide a cheaper package resulting in a win-win all round.

Great, when shall I book?

Our advice is always to book earlier rather than later… some of our clients even book in December for the following Christmas! Booking early means you have more choice of venues, key dates and entertainment, as well as reducing the stress factor and pressure every Christmas organiser has to deliver an exceptional event.

Be Vivid Mon, 11 May 2015 15:29:57 +0000
<![CDATA[Catering for the future]]> Increased sustainability and environmental focus is becoming more essential in today’s events environment than ever before. The continuing demands of an increasingly conscientious younger generation means that organisers need to address their green initiatives in a more transparent manner in order to reduce their carbon footprint and engage in corporate social responsibility.

Events are known to use up many different resources, create emissions and generate mountain ranges of waste.(1) Subsequently, event managers face the challenge of making the transition between traditional practices and applying environmental diligence. Sustainability in business not only incorporates environmental issues, but is the essence of adopting a realistic practice which can be implemented in a practical, economical and commercially viable way for the present and long term.

Sustainability has become a trend across many industry sectors and has been embraced by a number of event and hospitality planners with the aim to decrease waste and minimise environmental hazards.(2) Environmental risks can be decreased by making changes in the early planning stages and through to delivery. Achieving an ‘environmentally friendly’ ethos can be executed by focusing on certain key issues and implementing them by hand-picking sustainable resources. Some of these elements include food and drink, transportation, resources, materials, and venues.

Create less waste and energy consumption, avoid over ordering and reduce emissions

For this blog we have selected to focus on event catering, as we have become all the more conscious that food sourcing may cause threats to the environment and may demand transportation from other continents which impacts fuel consumption and air pollution.(3) Choosing local caterers who are patrons of regional food systems and procurement stand to help lessen these impacts. A collaborative effort to build more locally based, self-reliant food economies - in which sustainable food production, processing, distribution, and consumption is integrated to enhance the economic, environmental and social health of a particular place. (4)

We've found three UK-based event caterers to highlight in our feature, who incorporate sustainable catering.

Eden Caterers

Eden Caterers have been creating stylish sustainable food for events in London and the Home Counties since 1993. For them sustainability is a big subject and their aim is to minimise both their impact on the world's resources and any harmful waste they produce. They do this by sending no waste to landfill, everything is recycled, use as much UK seasonal produce as possible, and minimise their water and energy use. These are only a few of the things Eden Caterers do to be sustainable, you can find everything they do as well as their sustainable development policy on their website by clicking on the link below.

Click here...


Are committed to working with our suppliers to create a supply chain which is built on a principle of sustainable and, wherever possible, local sourcing. They look for long term relationships – fixed term contracts. Environmental objective are: To reduce the amount of non-recyclable disposable good used by units; Units to work with their Clients to encourage recycling and other “green” initiatives at a local level; CH&Co approved suppliers to encourage supply-chain trace-ability and the procurement of sustainable and fair-trade food and drink items whilst not entailing excessive costs. Read more by taking a look at their website below.

Click here...

Bartlett Mitchell

An award winning contract catering service for business, industry, education and government. They are the only contract caterer to be awarded the top Three-star champion status rating by the Sustainable Restaurant Association – known as the Michelin stars of sustainability. They have been accredited with ISO 14001 Environmental Management System as well as having received numerous other accolades.

Click here...

1. Jones, M. (2014) Sustainable Event Management: A Practical Guide. 2nd Ed. Routledge: Oxon.

2. Raj, R. and Musgrave, J. (2009) Event Management and Sustainability. CAB International: Oxford.

3. Van Der Wagen, L. and White, L. (2010) Events Management: For tourism, cultural, business and sporting events. 4th Ed. Pearson Education: AU.

4. Feenstra, G. (2002) Creating space for sustainable food systems: lessons from the field. Agriculture and Human Values. 19(2). 99-106.

Be Vivid Thu, 30 Apr 2015 13:44:09 +0000
<![CDATA[Vivid one of the top 3 selling agents for D&D London]]> Vivid have built long standing relationships with D&D and are keen to place clients where they’re sure to receive the very best of service, whilst supporting the notion of ethical events. D&D London group (formally Conran) own and operate 34 restaurants across the UK, Paris, New York, Copenhagen and Tokyo. The group was also accredited in 2014 with a prestigious two stars from the SRA (Sustainable Restaurant Association), dubbed by The Sunday Times as ‘The Michelin Stars of Sustainability’. To achieve SRA status, restaurants are examined in 14 key focus areas and provide detailed evidence to support their answers across three main sustainability categories of:

  • Sourcing
  • Environment
  • Society

Helen Giles, Client Relationship Manager at D&D London, comments "Vivid Event Group are one of our favorite agencies to work with. The team are so knowledgeable about D&D’s venues and come to us with event briefs we love working on. It’s evident they take the time to get to know their clients’ needs before proposing options and work alongside them right up to and during the event itself. The relationship between D&D and Vivid is one that we are really proud of, and are sure will continue going from strength to strength."

Charlie Hepburn, Vivid’s Managing Director, comments “We are not contractually obligated to any of our suppliers, however we choose to present D&D London venues to our clients time and time again. They provide a product of superior quality and service of the highest levels that our clients look for.”

D&D London restaurants include: Almeida * Angelica * Angler * Avenue * Bluebird * Blueprint Café * Cantina del Ponte * Carom * Coq d’Argent * Crafthouse * Fish Market * Floridita * Kensington Place * Launceston Place * Le Pont de la Tour * Madison * New Street Grill * New Street Wine Shop * Old Bengal Bar * Orrery * Paternoster Chop House * Plateau * Quaglino’s * Royal Exchange Grand Café * Sartoria

Be Vivid Thu, 30 Apr 2015 12:21:53 +0000
<![CDATA[‘Top 3 Picks’ to encourage employee engagement]]> For this month’s talking topic of ‘people engagement’, we’ve taken a look at Investors in People guide for Top 30 Employee Engagement Strategies for Modern Leaders. A leading authority in engaging people, IIP provide invaluable insight to help organisations of any size or type.

Numerous studies tell us that when people feel good about their work, they carry that feeling through to areas outside of the office too. We’ve selected three key areas from the IIP guide and added our own case studies that illustrate how we’ve helped our clients in specific areas.

Reward and recognition

Rewarding employees for successful work is vital to ensure they feel valued which impacts not only their personal performance but that of the company as a whole. When employees own actions are rewarded for effective communication, teamwork and innovation, the process of public recognition benefits everyone. Individual competitiveness associated with reward should not be discouraged if it is recognised for hard work, excellent performance or fairness. Rewards are often seen in the form of financial benefits and job rotations, but there are many other ways to inspire excellence.

At BE Vivid, we create an annual awards ceremony for one of our clients - a leading international financial analysts, for 150 guests. The awards ceremony and reception celebrates the achievements and hard work of their employees from the past year. Complete with awards, employees were personally recognised by the company and acknowledged in front of their peers.

Communicate the Vision

A company’s vision can be defined as the short and long-term goals, and how the business aims to achieve these. However, it is important to ensure that the company vision is clearly laid out by the leaders to its people by creating purpose to all, particularly when there are significant changes to board level which may impact strategy. Each member should understand their departmental objectives and how their role as an individual will contribute towards the common goal. Ensuring that the whole process of establishing the vision and setting departmental objectives gains buy-in from the management team, it is vital to involve key stakeholders as early as possible to gain buy-in before cascading throughout the organisation.

Case study: A conference held at the Natural History Museum for the managers of a large organisation was created in order to introduce the company’s newly appointed CEO. Specific goals and objectives were set out for the high profile event. The evening’s event involved senior management and board members engaging delegates with the company’s vision for the future and how they would like to see their managers promote this to their staff. Read more...

Get to know your people

To be an effective leader, understanding your team’s strengths, weaknesses and motivations puts you in a better position to guide them effectively. Understanding your people and giving them encouragement in more difficult situations allows them the ability to grow in more challenging situations. As a leader your people will want to get to know you too. It’s central to success to become a modern leader. Getting to know your team within the office environment as well as outside is important to provide an integrated team. Team building designed to improve interpersonal relations and group social interactions is a successful activity in helping to accomplish goals and results. Engaging employees to take part in a strategically designed tasks, enables these goals and results to be accomplished.

Case study: 400 employees of an international media company experienced an Olympic style event, with a chance to raise £1,000 for charity at the glorious Beaumont House in Old Windsor. A key element to the event was to engage employees in the company’s growth and expansion, as well as to motivate and reward. All employees were engaged as they took part in multiple activities, including sumo wrestling and human table football. The day was rounded off with an awards ceremony in the grounds with food, drink and music enjoyed festival-style. Read more...

Visit our Pinterest page for more ideas on employee engagement

Be Vivid Tue, 21 Apr 2015 16:10:18 +0000
<![CDATA[Conference News April 2015]]>

Be Vivid Thu, 02 Apr 2015 12:50:54 +0000
<![CDATA[The rise of the experience economy]]> The rise of the ‘experience economy’ has seen an increase in companies engaging their consumers in brand experience events all over the world. Some examples of this range from Colgate’s appearance at the Kumbh Mela pilgrimage in India educating attendees about oral hygiene, to Coca Cola using drones to deliver crates of drinks to refresh migrant construction workers in Singapore.

By incorporating consumer experiences into a marketing campaign, companies can create a new form of communication, and buzz about their brand or product. Brand or product events give customers an experience which arms them with information to make a purchase. Marketing authors, Pine and Gilmore state "when a person buys a service, he purchases a set of intangible activities carried out on his behalf. But when he buys an experience, he pays to spend time enjoying a series of memorable events that a company stages to engage him in a personal way."

By creating a memorable consumer experience, a company is able to amplify the essence of a brand message into a physical and tangible experience which reinforces the brand promise. Consumers have an involvement in defining and co-creating value within these brand experiences.

According to research conducted by Atwal and Williams (2009), there are four different types of consumer engagement:


Examples: fashion show, performances, road-shows

The aim of entertainment events are purely to entertain consumers. Customers will therefore associate their brand with the great time they experienced and are more likely to make a future purchase.

Case Study: T-Mobile Welcome Home Campaign: to watch the YouTube video click here

T-Mobile are well known for their flash mobs as part of their ‘Life’s for Sharing’ campaign. Their ‘Welcome Home’ experience saw passengers at Heathrow Terminal 5 arrive home to a crowd of 300 people including a-cappella singers, T-mobile employees and the general public. As well as brightening up the day of those arriving home from their travels, the experience was filmed and used as a national television campaign.


Educational experiences aim to teach participants a new skill or increase those they already have.

Examples: demonstrations, road-shows, experiential

Case Study: Samsung’s Kick for Kids: to watch the YouTube video click here

Samsung Home Appliances ran a free ‘Kicks for Kids’ campaign were children had the chance to train with Chelsea Football Club coaches. The event reached over 16,000 children and the waiting area was host to a range of the latest Samsung electronics which parents browsed at throughout the day, gaining exposure to Samsung’s new products.


Escapist events allow attendees to escape their identity for the duration of the experience and act outside of their normal routine. This could be created through a themed pop up event where consumers are emerged within a unique and memorable experience. New technology such as Google Cardboard and virtual reality headsets can act as a new portal for escapist events by visually transporting clients into fantasy locations or giving tours inside video games or cars.

Examples: themed events, road shows, pop up events

Case Study: IKEA Big Sleepover: to watch the YouTube video click here

After discovering a Facebook page called ‘I want a sleepover in IKEA’, the marketing department decided to grant the wish of 100 lucky consumers, who got to spend the night in one of the stores warehouses. Guests were given sleepover goodie bags with eye masks and slippers, as well as massages and a bedtime story from reality TV star. This experience created a vast amount of press, whilst fully engaging 100 of their customers through an ‘escapist’ event which allowed attendees to step outside of their normal routine and create a memorable experience.


Examples: visual displays e.g. statues, lighting displays, pop ups

Through engaging the five senses, brands can immerse themselves in a brand experience, with little active communication. These activities can reach a much wider audience and can also be run alongside a social media campaign, using the visual imagery to communicate a brands messages worldwide.

Case Study: PS4 Launch, OXO Tower, London: to read The Telegraph report on the event click here

Sony took over the London skyline to host the launch of their PlayStation 4, changing the buildings iconic ‘OXO’ letters to represent PlayStation controller buttons. This display was photographed and shared all over the world.

Another example includes Nokia Lumia mobile phone launch, which saw an extraordinary visual lighting display in London. To watch the video click this link.

Take a look at two more of our favourite brand experiences:

  • Colgate at Kumbh Mela, India - click here to watch the YouTube film
  • Coca-Cola delivering coke to migrant workers in Singapore - click here to watch the film

Written by guest writer, Josie Pether, Vision PR


  • Atwal, G. and Williams, A. (2009) Luxury brand marketing – The experience is everything! Journal of Brand Management, 16, 338-346.
  • Pine , B. and Gilmore , J . (1999) The Experience Economy. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Be Vivid Wed, 18 Mar 2015 14:29:05 +0000
<![CDATA[Event Magazine Article 23rd Feb 2015]]>

Be Vivid Thu, 05 Mar 2015 14:06:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Vivid Event Group unveils new brand identity ]]> Brighton-based event management agency Vivid Event Group, has launched a new brand identity and website to take it into the next phase of business growth.

The new identity reflects Vivid’s continued development of its brand engagement offer. Says Charlie Hepburn, Vivid’s managing director:

“The industry has changed massively over the last few years. Clients now expect a lot more than just event management. They’re looking for a much deeper connection with their clients and employees. Brand engagement lies firmly at the heart of everything we do and you can see this in our new brand collateral.”

Vivid’s new identity has been implemented across the company’s digital platform as well as all print communications. Vivid’s new blog will also regularly feature the company’s thoughts on industry hot topics as well as publicise recent work and internal news.

Vivid Event Group has grown by 421% in turnover over the last four years with delegate attendance up by 349%. The company now employs 12 people, and last year, moved into new premises to accommodate its growing team. Vivid’s commitment to quality was also rewarded recently when it achieved the ISO 9001:2008 accreditation for Quality Management.

Be Vivid Tue, 03 Mar 2015 13:52:08 +0000
<![CDATA[Stand Out Magazine February 2015]]>

Be Vivid Tue, 03 Mar 2015 12:50:41 +0000
<![CDATA[Virtual events...into the future]]> As we know, technology is all around us; 36 million adults reportedly access the Internet each day (Office for National Statistics). Technology is everywhere, you may have one, two or even three phones/devices and multiple pieces of technology in your home, which all help to improve and ease your life. Vivid Event Group, like any other 21st century business, need technology to stay in touch with customers and suppliers on a daily basis, and also encompass some interactive technology into their events where needed.

Whether it’s eye catching flame effects built around sculptures for an exciting red carpet event or real time feedback straight from the iPads used at conferences, we’re are always open to any new techniques that can support a client’s brief for ‘forward-thinking’ attitude. The events industry has flourished with the introduction of new technology, many of which show cased at this year’s Confex industry exhibition, enabling more dynamic events to lead the way.

The Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing, digital trends 2015, revealed that 43% of 6,000 companies surveyed, used digital marketing for the majority of their campaigns. However, it is not only the area of marketing that has been simplified and targeted in terms of scope and ability. It has also improved operations, communication and the overall customer experience. Attendee involvement is key to any event and we help our clients design engaging content that gets everyone on board and stimulated. Rising customer expectations are pushing the boundaries leading to an exciting future ahead.

Whilst Google Glass is being taken off the shelves, there are many more gadgets out there that could help complement an event. Technology aims to simplify our lives, which can be used in events with digital ticketing, cashless payments and Apps that can help to collect information about individuals so products can be created in real time for the audience.

We've identified some of our favourite technology trends - click here to read more on Pinterest

For this article however, we’ve picked our top three pieces of technology that could help innovate events and put your company at the forefront of technology.


Event Type: Team building, Product Launches, Experiential Events, Road shows

The Samsung Gear VR provides an immersive experience, displaying films and games. The headset allows for the user to be thrown into a different world. This product is the beginning of something new in technology and can be used to provide customers a unique experience. With the use of the headset, team-building activities could be incorporated so a virtual situation can be created and resolved through technology. Click here to visit Samsung website and read more about the product.

Product: BEACONS

Event Type: Product Launches, Conferences, Live Events

Do you want to improve the impact of your brand with a live audience? Beacons are a great way of doing this. A beacon is a wireless transmitter, which will transmit signals to smart phones. These signals can allow you to send personal messages, detailed information on specific products or simply invite the customer to join you at other events. This specific technology could be used in many situations such as product launches, conferences and exhibitions, giving your consumer the best information you can. The recent use of beacons at the Super Bowl XLIX allowed for customers to receive live updates on special offers around the venue as well as useful information on queuing times enhancing their overall experience.

Very much a hot-topic for the high street, The Guardian talks about the commercial opportunity for retailers and the challenges of gaining 'buy-in' from the much sought-after purchaser.


Event Type: Summer Events, Christmas Parties, Live Events

The use of 3D holographic technology could transform an event by amplifying the experience for sheer audience enjoyment or equally on a practical level by reaching a global audience without the cost of travel. The use of interactive 3D holographic videos and effects allows guests to view extraordinary performances without the aid of goggles. This technology will provide global organisations a vehicle to connect and engage with their audience in a single live event. Touchable holograms developed in Tokyo and real time holograms developed in Arizona will not only enhance client engagement within an event, but also can be used to present lectures in real time or allow for telemedicine, amongst other uses.

Leading providers in the field of holographic technology, Musion have some great examples on how this technology can be used to enhance the live event experience.

Be Vivid Tue, 24 Feb 2015 13:49:33 +0000
<![CDATA[Event Magazine September 2014]]>

Be Vivid Thu, 05 Feb 2015 17:16:09 +0000
<![CDATA[Working away from home...]]> According to a 2012 study conducted by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), business travel spending in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain is set to increase by 3.4%, rendering it the largest projected gain since the recession. As Catherine McGavock, regional director for Europe for GBTA states, "Challenges remain but we cannot ignore the economic progress that has been made and the impact that this will have on both domestic and international travel across Western Europe".

Despite this positive outlook, as published in Forbes, the United Kingdom ranked 5th, with a total spend of £40.2 billion, in 2012, behind Germany, in the list of top ten business travel markets. Compared with 2011, the UK market only showed a 0.1% growth, with China having grown 13.2%. So, what can the UK business travel industry do to boost its corporate travel incentives?

Head of the World Tourism Organisation (WTO), Taleb Rifai, affirms that a country enjoyed by his clients is "a destination where visitors can enjoy". If we consider that nearly 50% of business travellers are between 34 and 54 years of age, with another 26% aged between 18 and 34 years of age, as reported by IHS (Information Handling Services), then business trips need to adopt an interactive or dynamic outlook, in order to keep this majority of young attendees engaged.

A member of the PCMA's research team stated (Professional Convention Management Association), "If you motivate the millennial with an inspiring and fun event, they will come." This statement supported the finding of the research team, who, after surveying a group of conference participants aged between 18 and 30, found that 89% listed career networking as a main motive for meetings, with 93% looking for a mix of education and entertainment.

A new study, also conducted by GBTA in 10 countries, with the sponsorship of AirPlus International, aimed to identify the top priorities of business travellers when working away from home and what they require to increase their productivity levels. According to this study, main matters of concern related to security, health, communication, and interestingly, sustainability. Click here to view the full GBTA findings.

To list some statistics, approximately 65% of employees seemed keen on maintaining their daily diet and exercise regimen, while 75% also listed the ability to contact friends and family as a top priority. The environmental impact of frequent trips concerned 65% of employees, 58% of whom expressed a need for recycling facilities and the ability to take public transport or walk to meetings.In terms of what could be the cause of increased stress levels during a business trip, the majority of employees stated lengthy travel times. Approximately 44% of those interviewed stated that late night or weekend travel was a key reason for stress. On the other hand, the major requisite for a successful business travel was the ability to discover new locations and local cultures.

From the various studies mentioned above, it can be concluded that if companies organising meetings and conferences factor in some time for attendees to have the possibility to schedule in some of their own interests during their trip, whether in the UK or abroad, the outcome is far more likely to be positive.

Be Vivid Sun, 01 Feb 2015 20:56:01 +0000
<![CDATA[Where we've been & what we've learnt...]]> 2013 started off pretty quietly for the our office - we weren't going anywhere but mainly because we had our busiest Northern Lights season to date with over 90 guests travelling to Swedish Lapland or Iceland!

Overall, about 85% of guests 'saw the lights' on at least one occasion - not bad considering the weather was a little unpredictable for a change. One or two of the trips gave us a bit of a headache, mainly surrounding the dusting of snow that hit the south-east of England on a couple of dates... 6 feet of snow in Scandinavia, no problem, 1/2 inch at Heathrow = total chaos!

The first BIG travel expedition for the office was a wedding anniversary - 10 nights in Las Vegas, Arizona and Utah. Did we organise this, we hear you ask... errr, no - we made the boss do his own planning (OK, so we all helped). 3 nights at the southern end of the Las Vegas strip in a more 'traditional' LV hotel were followed by a road trip taking in the south rim of the Grand Canyon ("WOW, but seriously, call that an hotel?") and Page (Utah) for the world-famous Horseshoe Bend ("now that's a great little hotel for not a lot of money, and the food at the place that looks like a paddle steamer was excellent, especially at the price!" - trust the boss not to remember the name of the place...).

The trip back was directed by Hertz Neverlost (aka a GPS unit), which was described as "a guide to every piece of National Park possible" - and hence claims that Hertz and the Park Service must be in cahoots - entry to US National Parks is chargeable! The trip ended back in Las Vegas at one of the newest and most impressive hotels on 'The Strip' - The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. With stunning views from most rooms (many with their own terrace), superb food options, large but unobtrusive casino and, we're told, a fabulous pool deck overlooking Las Vegas Boulevard.'LV' was quickly followed by an office outing to look after clients in Monaco - it was time for the Monaco Grand Prix. Guests were in the finest of 4 and 5* hotels, whilst our 'digs' were comfortable, 2* was maybe a little generous and 'walking distance' was a good 1 hour hike... (and when we were route marched back in the evening the hill at the end was nearly a killer!).

But the compensation - the views. Where else can you watch an F1 car at speed from just a few feet away whilst stood on the Garden Terrace of the Hotel de Paris, or the balcony of the Garnier Suite, or enjoying the panoramic views across the Principality from the incredible Winston Churchill Suite - the Hotel de Paris' penthouse suite (accessed via a private lift).

Travel then took a back seat for quite a while, until we were invited to attend the C&IT Magazine Middle East Forum and FAM trip in October. Abu Dhabi here we come! And before you ask, no this wasn't a holiday. 8am starts most days, 10pm finishes, barely time for lunch - a full-on week was had by all, lost count of the number of hotels and other potential venues we saw (and that assumes we didn't hit the bars/clubs and we've declined to answer those questions). Abu Dhabi has to be one of the most impressive places we've ever visited. As a destination, around 70% of the world's population is within a 7 hour flight. It's also a very safe feeling place, crime is reportedly almost non-existent.

Want a drink? An alcoholic drink? OK, no problem - you might be asked to sit in a specific area, but that's all about respecting your hosts - just don't be drunk in public. Everything looks and feels so new - yet it doesn't quite have the dumped-from-space feel of Dubai. There's been plenty of thought gone into planning developments on the various islands where the majority of the population live and play (and equally where most tourists or business travellers would see).

Our highlights of the region? There are many - the catamaran trip to a barrier island was exceptionally relaxing, the food at the Arabian Nights adventure excellent (as was the dune bashing), Yas Viceroy hotel (accommodation, food, views) spoilt us for all that followed, Ferrari World was an experience, the view at the Monte Carlo Beach Club rivals any beach-front property in the world... if we carry on, we'll still be writing come next year!

Be Vivid Sun, 01 Feb 2015 20:49:47 +0000
<![CDATA[Social Events & Parties Tax allowance]]> With most of companies organising employee gatherings throughout the year, it is imperative that every financial director is fully briefed about the tax break afforded by HM Revenue and Customs. Briefly, the whole cost of any social event and parties, provided that it does not exceed £150 per head per year, is an allowable expense for a business.

Such annual events include Christmas parties, summer barbecues, fun-days and more. Be aware that the cost of the function includes VAT and any accommodation or transportation costs. It is not an allowance, meaning that if the cost of the event is £151, the whole benefit is taxable. The organised event must be open to all staff (in that location, if you have several branches or departments). It is possible to claim back input VAT. However, this may be restricted where you are also entertaining customers.

Overall, if each private sector business (estimated at more than 4.8 million across the UK) spent £150 per employee on their annual events, there could be a potential national spend of approximately £35 billion.Estimated to be worth more than £48 billion to the UK economy by 2020, the events industry are providing options for businesses that keep within the £150 limit, so that they may take full advantage of the tax break.

Sadly, the instigation of this increased tax exemption in 2003, from £75 to £150, is still relatively unknown to many businesses. In our experience, once clients gain a full understanding of the exemption, they feel confident about factoring it into their expenditures. It all really comes down to staying informed and keeping a close eye on budget.

Click here to read through the HMRC tax allowance.

Be Vivid Sun, 01 Feb 2015 20:46:11 +0000
<![CDATA[Northern Lights experiences]]> With the aurora borealis raging during the autumn, our partners at Vivid Luxury Travel have had a tranche of questions asked about our northern lights breaks. We thought we'd share some typical FAQ's...

Q. What's included in our break?

A. Depends which break you choose! But seriously, flights, transfers, accommodation (bed & breakfast) on all Lapland events. Most Swedish events include dinner, and if your activities cross mealtimes then food will be provided. The only destination that this doesn't apply to is the Ice Hotel where you have a choice of restaurants and should settle your bill locally. Icelandic breaks include a hire car, and lunches/dinners should be settled locally.

Q. Are drinks included?

A. Sweden: Hot drinks/soft drinks, generally yes. Alcohol, generally no. Iceland: No.

Q. What clothing should we take?

A. For our Arctic breaks in Sweden, you'll need to take thermal underclothes (socks, long-johns, shirts), and casual clothing (jeans, trousers, shirts/blouse, t-shirts, sweater or fleece etc.We will loan you outer clothing such as boots, over-trousers, parka style coat, gloves, hat and (if required) balaclava.If you're travelling to Iceland, then we don't include the clothing loan, but temperatures generally aren't as extreme. Look to the weather forecast and pack appropriately.

Q. I'm booked on the photographic experience, what camera equipment do I need?

A. An SD card - we'd suggest something between 8Mb and 16Mb. Beyond that, all will be provided for you.

Q. Is it cold?

A. You could say that! In the last five years we've seen temperatures as low as -40C - cold enough that the snow mobiles didn't really want to start. It's fair to say the dogs loved it!

Q. How likely are we to see the Northern Lights?

A. Around 85% of Lapland 2013/14 season guests saw the lights on at least one evening. Over the past few years it's averaging 80%. The lights are naturally occurring and no guarantees can be provided - however we take you to the best possible locations for seeing the lights.

Hope this helps anyone who's not sure about our breaks - if you want to find out more about Northern Lights experiences provided by Vivid Luxury Travel click here.

Be Vivid Sun, 01 Feb 2015 20:41:06 +0000
<![CDATA[What's in a star...]]> Restaurants across Great Britain and Ireland were on tender hooks last October, as Michelin released its 2015 Guide to Restaurants and Hotels in London. While some were left disappointed, others proudly rushed to reprint their menus, hoping to add more gourmet foodies and even some celebrities, to their client lists.

This yearly phenomenon has left me wondering, what's in this tiny little star that leaves us expecting fancy dress and a gourmet feast? How these privileged restaurants are selected among so many fine contestants, and can we really trust them to deliver what we expect?

Our curiosity led us to dig deep behind the scenes of the Michelin Guide, the Big Brother of restaurants and hotels worldwide. What many do not realise is that, much like MI5, the Michelin Guide has secret agents scattered across the globe at its service.

Their mission is to survey the premises for recommended hotels and restaurants, over a range of budgets and styles. Once these high-quality establishments have been identified, the agents are ready to infiltrate. Obsessed with quality and reliability, they dine several times at the same restaurant or spend several nights at the same hotel (naturally, always undercover), in order to adequately assess every aspect of their experience. When sitting in front of a plate, a Michelin secret agent does not merely 'dig in'. Rather, they scrutinize it according to very specific criteria, namely...the quality of the products - are they seasonal, fresh? The mastering of flavours - do they mix well, are they original, do they relate to the chosen cuisine, if any the mastering of cooking - too little, too much? The personality of the cuisine - is it distinctive? The value for the money paid consistency in what the restaurant has to offer its customers throughout the year.

Once they've minutely gone over the list above, and following several trials, the agents are ready to report back to Michelin headquarters, where the power to distribute stars resides. Briefly, a glittering star next to a name is a marker of success, and reaching a maximum of three stars places one at the top of the game.

Deciphering the 'Star Code':

  • One star: Indicates a very good restaurant in its category, offering cuisine of a consistently high standard. It is a place to stop on your journey.
  • Two stars: Denotes a restaurant offering an excellent cuisine, with skilfully crafted dishes of outstanding quality. It is definitely worth a detour.
  • Three stars: Awarded to a restaurant offering exceptional cuisine, where diners can eat superbly. Distinctive dishes are executed to precision, using superlative ingredients. It is worth a special journey (aka Gordon Ramsay Royal Hospital Road).

Aside for the stars, the Michelin Guide also uses several symbols to rate the specialities, ambiance and wine, among other factors, of the establishments. For instance, comfort is measured by a certain number of illustrated forks and spoons (restaurants) or pavilions (hotels). Whatever your opinion of the Michelin Guide may be, the truth remains that earning one of its stars remains one of the highest honours in the hospitality industry. Its agents are always watching, possibly a motivation for restaurants and hotels worldwide to never cease being creative and neglect their clients. For whilst a star can be won, it can just as easily be lost.

To find a Michelin starred restaurant near to you click here.

To learn more about how the Michelin Guides work, click here.

Be Vivid Sun, 01 Feb 2015 20:28:35 +0000
<![CDATA[Day out with the kids...]]> Before our company director, Rachel, spent the day at Goodwood Festival of Speed, her pre-conception was that this type of event was for all those ‘over-grown boys' out there who never grew up. Her opinion post-event since visiting with her sister and their 3 boys, aged 5yrs, 6yrs and 10yrs changed. Here's what she had to say about a great day out for anyone who has an interest in cars, speed and engineering...

"The day started with a jaw-dropping air display by the Red-Arrows as soon as we got out of the car. They never fail to impress – a combination of aircraft power and the pilots co-ordination skills – both combined reminded me that as a mere mortal, I would never possess the skills to fly such a thing. The kids just loved the noisy dramatic display with lots of ‘wow's' and ‘mum, look at that'.Before we had even gotten into the event, the military displays leading up to the entrance kept usamused for at least half an hour. The most exciting was the search and rescue helicopter which of course the boys had to climb inside and fiddle with all the switches, before trying out the winch.

Thankfully the engineer in charge had obviously ‘seen it all before' and was more than happy for the boys to have some fun.Once we'd entered the show itself, we were greeted by the most over-powering engine noise which resembled a rocket launch. The F1 cars racing up the hill from the start position by the entrance were, no doubt, nectar to all those car enthusiasts. For us, not being able to see and touch meant the boyswandered off to look around all the flashy sports cars which flanked the entrance walk-way. I have to admit that one or two took my eye…maybe a next birthday present from my husband (in my dreams)!

Further inside the event, the plethora of car manufacturer exhibition stands was music to the eyes of my 6yr old and my 10yr old nephew, both of whom read their Dad's Top Gear magazines in their spare time and know the engine performance and BHP of most leading cars (actually this knowledge could in fact be down to Top Trumps)!

The Motocross display was also a hit with the boys, with its bikes flying up into the air providing thrilling entertainment to all onlookers. Bumper cars were an exciting distraction and shelter during the rainstorm,followed by a lemonade and cuppa in the BMW owner's hospitality lounge - an exciting moment when Tiff Needell arrived and the boys could watch his brief appearance from the gallery above.

During a second rainstorm, the Bloodhound exhibition area provided not only shelter but great entertainment for the boys for at least an hour. The organisation is trying to encourage children's interest in engineering and had a whole load of Kinetix building parts. Children were invited to make their own model car, attach a paper tube, and then shoot it down a track using air pressure. For corporate entertaining, it's a no-brainer as there's plenty of options to entertain in style."

Our general conclusion - anyone considering taking their family to this event who have boys from 5yrs and upwards that are fascinated by cars are guaranteed a place in auto-heaven!

Be Vivid Sun, 01 Feb 2015 20:19:28 +0000
<![CDATA[M&IT Magazine September 2014]]>

Be Vivid Fri, 30 Jan 2015 15:11:53 +0000
<![CDATA[Findings From Go Ape Survey...]]> A 2013 survey conducted by Go Ape, the UK's top forest adventure company, affirms what we've long suspected – corporate days out are beneficial to a company's overall well being and productivity.

Corporate employees are now craving adventure, with 91% testifying to the benefit of a day out and 41% preferring that a fun day be followed by a brief company update The majority of employees expressed a strong desire to have a say in the choice of their team building event. Clearly, employees are looking to take advantage of corporate outings to fill their lungs with fresh air and enjoy some genuine fun with their colleagues.

These statistics can help us to tailor our events to better suit your preferences. If you’re looking for inspiring ideas on how to better engage with your employees, get in touch.

Be Vivid Fri, 30 Jan 2015 15:10:11 +0000
<![CDATA[Incentive Travel & Corporate Meetings June 2014]]>

Be Vivid Fri, 30 Jan 2015 15:05:06 +0000
<![CDATA[What you should know about F1 hospitality...]]> The F1 British Grand Prix is probably the UK's biggest annual sporting event - and with big demand, not just from corporate groups but individuals, hospitality is at a premium. What's included in most hospitality packages...

  • Circuit admission and suite pass
  • Catering - breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea
  • Drinks package - beer, wine and soft drinks throughout; possibly a glass of Champagne too
  • Event programme
  • A base for the day - your seats at a table for 10 or 12 normally
  • A view, normally just a short walk from hospitality

You'll notice we said 'most hospitality packages'. Each year people still get hoodwinked by 'off site' hospitality - it might be in a marquee in a field opposite the circuit, or even be completely non-existent. Off-site hospitality cannot be official. Silverstone always state that they have the right to refuse admission to any guests who appear to be coming from such a facility. We only provide Official Hospitality and all of that is inside the ticket line.

To access the hospitality you park in the official car parks, pass through a ticket barrier and then proceed to your hospitality suite - whether that's one of the marquees set up by the circuit, to the Brooklands or Woodcote buildings or even the Silverstone Wing for Formula One Paddock Club.

To read more about F1 hospitality at Silverstone with our partner,, click here.

Be Vivid Fri, 30 Jan 2015 15:02:41 +0000
<![CDATA[Conference News January 2014]]>

Be Vivid Fri, 30 Jan 2015 15:02:13 +0000
<![CDATA[Financial Times January 2014]]>

Be Vivid Fri, 30 Jan 2015 14:58:21 +0000
<![CDATA[What makes Abu Dhabi a place to do business...]]> A director of our hospitality sister company recently attended the CIT Magazine Middle East Forum, which was hosted at Yas Island in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Just about 5 years old, Yas Island demonstrates what can be achieved with determination, money and a desire to do business. Simon had an unsurprisingly positive experience to share with us...

From our arrival at the recently constructed airport, transfers to the Yas Viceroy and beyond, clearly the purpose of the forum was to showcase Abu Dhabi and its "open for business" attitude. Yas Island itself is just 15 minutes or so from the airport, and is a mixed use development aimed squarely at business and recreation. From a plethora of hotels (in addition to the aforementioned Yas Viceroy, there are a range of 3-5* properties including Crowne Plaza, Radisson Blu, Park Inn and Staybridge Suites to name a few) to a race circuit that hosts the Etihad Formula 1 Grand Prix each year (perfect for driving activities), the site also contains superb conference facilities at the Yas Event Centre, plus opportunities for entertaining at venues such as the new du Arena.

Want a bit of fun? Then take to the world's fastest roller coaster (Maranello Rosso at Ferrari World) or head to your exclusive area at Yas Waterpark. Moving on from Yas Island, Abu Dhabi city is a mix of beautiful relaxing Corniche - with the beach and sea one side and a selection of high-rise construction the other, to islands set aside in their entirety for nature such as the Eastern Mangrove. The next major area of development is the gulf-front Saadiyat Island - just 20 minutes further on from Yas Island, and around the same to the centre of Abu Dhabi City, this current desert is being transformed by mixed use development including beach front resort hotels, private housing and commercial enterprise. But its 'piece de resistance' will be the cultural district which will include the Guggenheim and Louvre museums, together with other facilities to display the art of the Middle East.

And of course, if you’re looking for culture then Abu Dhabi is right at the heart of the region. Travel around an hour from Abu Dhabi City and you’re into the desert on the edge of the ‘Empty Quarter’ – a region that stretches across the Arabian Peninsula through Saudi Arabia. Here you can experience the nomadic life of the Emirati before the discovery of oil changed the life of the inhabitants of the area. With such a vast array of event spaces, activities and opportunities, Abu Dhabi really demonstrated how they are ready to do business around the world – and why the world should beat a door to the UAE. Americans use the phrase “Have a nice day!” and I’m never quite sure they mean it – in Abu Dhabi they surely do, and more importantly they’ll really make sure it happens!

Be Vivid Fri, 30 Jan 2015 14:57:47 +0000
<![CDATA[C&IT Magazine October 2014]]>

Be Vivid Fri, 30 Jan 2015 14:51:48 +0000
<![CDATA[Vivid Event Group awarded ISO9001: 2008]]> Vivid Event Group is proud to announce it is now certified as an ISO 9001:2008 compliant company.

Recognised internationally, the standard helps companies define and improve their quality management systems in order to increase efficiency and help build international business opportunities. The certification of the ISO 9001:2008 standard recognises Vivid Event Group’s quality driven processes to provide consistency in the provision of event, hospitality and brand engagement services.

Certification body QMS International, awarded the certificate to Company Director, Rachel Hepburn and Events and Marketing Assistant, Josie Pether on Wednesday 30th August 2014. The accreditation was presented after every internal process was assessed and new systems added, including employee training, senior management input and the creation and implementation of an extensive staff processes handbook. Managing Director, Charlie Hepburn comments, ‘We made the decision to enforce the ISO 9001:2008 standard to our processes due to rising headcount.

This means that we can ensure our continued commercial growth from a solid and consistent foundation. We also felt that having such an accreditation sends a strong message to clients of our commitment to quality.’ ISO 9001 Quality Management certification ensures the events company complies with the requirements for the standard eight quality management principles of: customer focus, leadership, involvement of people at all levels, process approach, system approach to management, continual improvement, factual approach to decision making, and mutual beneficial partner relationships.

Be Vivid Fri, 30 Jan 2015 14:45:10 +0000
<![CDATA[C&IT Magazine April 2014]]>

Be Vivid Fri, 30 Jan 2015 14:36:42 +0000
<![CDATA[Conference News December 2013]]>

Be Vivid Fri, 30 Jan 2015 14:32:55 +0000
<![CDATA[Conference News October 2013]]>

Be Vivid Fri, 30 Jan 2015 14:30:44 +0000
<![CDATA[C&IT Magazine September 2013]]>

Be Vivid Fri, 30 Jan 2015 14:26:39 +0000
<![CDATA[Meetings & Incentive Travel August 2011]]>

Be Vivid Fri, 30 Jan 2015 14:23:54 +0000
<![CDATA[C&IT Awards 2014]]> 2014 witnessed our first entry into the foray of awards. Industry publication, C&IT Magazine, was selected as an ideal platform for us to showcase our skills of helping our clients improve their employee engagement through team building activities. We thought we’d share the details of our entry with you.

Planning a team-building event is always a challenge to any business. With so many ages, personalities and interests to combine into one event, engagement and entertainment is key whilst still remaining knowledgeable and informative. At Vivid Event Group, we strive to take the hassle out of this task and ensure our clients receive a tailored plan of action and that meets all their needs and objectives.

The client discussed below is an international media company, who operate in an industry that is competitive, fast-paced and challenging.

They were looking for a team building event that would be a game changer and consequently, the following objectives were set:

  1. To get whole company together, over 450 staff members
  2. General update – media is a fast-paced industry, constantly changing
  3. Update on the Bigger Picture – introduce new Senior members of staff, new areas/developments within the business
  4. Thank everyone for their hard work
  5. Highlight individual/groups and teams for any significant achievements
  6. Post update – have a light-hearted and engaging activity that appeals to all, regardless of age or interests
  7. Ensure that the event makes all employees understand that they are part of a company that cares and values the individual as well as the collective inputs
  8. That the style of the event is reflective of the company’s brand values.

Every brief will come across challenges, the key is to overcome them and work through them to deliver a seamless event for our client. The primary challenges in this instance were as follows:

  • Sourcing a location no further than 1 hour from central London
  • Creating an event that appeals to 450 people of a broad range of ages and levels
  • Sourcing accommodation in one location for 450 on an exclusive basis
  • Flexibility from the venue:a. for meeting space to accommodate the large number of delegates for a different space for the evening for a party atmosphere
  • Logistical challenge of transporting 450 people to/from London to the venue.

The concept and solution was developed as a result of a meeting with the client on a sunny day over lunch early in the year at the proposed hotel. During the discussion, many guests of the hotel could be seen coming in and out of the reception with their luggage.

Charlie, Vivid Event Group’s Managing Director commented ‘this is just like being on a summer holiday'. After that meeting, ideas around a holiday were discussed – what you pack, sight-seeing ‘musts’, who you could meet and planned activities. The result was a bespoke ‘Summer Holiday’ theme with treasure hunt as the activity utilising the sights, sounds and existing infrastructure of Brighton Lanes, beach, Palace Pier and beach front activities.

The event itself was held in a large meeting room with 450 people seated within four sections and three aisles perpendicular to the front stage. Two large screens at the front were used to support the presentation.Once the morning business briefing was complete, the lights turned down and the front screens flipped over.When the lights were put back on, the scene was transformed to the feel of an airport/aircraft. The front screens were now airport departure boards and a pilot and several cabin crew, aka the movie ‘Catch me if you can’ entered from behind and walked up the aisles to the front stage. A tannoy announcement along the lines of “This is your captain speaking. We shall shortly be departing for your flight to Brighton International…” and the team on stage delivered the instructions for the afternoon’s treasure hunt.

The briefing was carried out in the style of an on-board cabin safety briefing with hand signals for nearest exits, safety leaflets and bathroom locations! The cabin crew delivered suitcases within the aisles for the teams to collect which contained instructions for the afternoon activity, iPads and clues. The suitcases contained no other holiday belongings as the theme was ‘lost luggage’. Each team of 8 people were sent off into the city to locate various items for their holiday. They were challenged to find various locations, pass challenges, then to beg, scavenge and borrow items needed to fill their suitcase for an enjoyable holiday.Social media was also incorporated into the day with an admin team remaining in the hotel as a support base.

  • Each team were given a secure Twitter group (a lot more flexible and easier to use on iPad App as well as network management) to:
  • Post photos and messages of their findings
  • Receive further clues
  • Receive last minute activities during the afternoon, i.e. first team to send a photo of a seagull wins
  • Message other teams to gather vital information in order to complete their tasks
  • Deliberately mislead other teams to add a competitive edge

The teams eventually returned to base with their suitcases filled with their finds and submitted for scoring.They were then sent to the beach for a welcome drink and enjoy a game of beach volleyball.

The evening was a beach party night with BBQ menu and dancing with the main set being played by a Radio1 DJ. The party continued until 4am. Prizes were awarded the following morning at breakfast to all those who had managed to make it to breakfast at the specified time.The results proved that all our hard work was worth it – the client was delighted with the outcome,engagement was at an all-time high and the staff left the event on a high with it still being talked about weeks later! The next challenge, how do we top this next year!

Executive Assistant, International Media Company, comments: “Our away-day is an annual event that everyone talks about and looks forward too. It is highlighted during recruitment interviews as a huge part of who we are, our culture and why we’re hugely proud of it. The purpose of the day is to say “thank you” to our staff for their hard work throughout the year and it’s an opportunity for everyone to make new friends and meet other colleagues they may not necessarily come across on a day-to-day basis. On the run up to our away-day, staff are incredibly excited and it’s the talk of the office!

Post the event, it is talked about for weeks – most people have made new friends and everyone is left feeling incredibly motivated and happy to be part of such a positive, enthusiastic company that cares about its people. It’s clear to see the rise in morale, it’s infectious! It’s one of few opportunities we have to bring everyone together over the course of the year (alongside the Christmas party). Our away-day really is such a huge part of our company culture, most staff even plan their holidays around it so they don’t miss all the fun!”

Be Vivid Fri, 30 Jan 2015 09:21:57 +0000
<![CDATA[Event Magazine July 2013]]>

Be Vivid Fri, 30 Jan 2015 08:59:25 +0000
<![CDATA[Conference News October 2014]]>

Be Vivid Wed, 28 Jan 2015 17:09:07 +0000
<![CDATA[Event Magazine December 2013]]>

Be Vivid Tue, 27 Jan 2015 12:32:35 +0000
<![CDATA[Event Magazine October 2013]]>

Be Vivid Wed, 21 Jan 2015 15:05:08 +0000