Delivering Complex Projects

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Event planners are bombarded with ideas for their next seminar, conference or product launch. Yet many of these are implemented with little thought for the real value they bring to a delegate. Our Senior Account Manager Alan Clark outlines the key factors that saw us win a place on Network Rail’s Events Framework and the delivery of two significant projects for the rail infrastructure owner.

A great event starts with the relationship between the client and their chosen supplier. Delivering successful events that answer the brief and create memorable experiences requires commitment, dedication and sympathetic collaboration. Suppliers constantly strive to be regarded by their clients as partners, to completely engage with the stakeholders, delivering a high level of return.

For us, this approach was central to the delivery of two, very contrasting events; Network Rail’s Partnership Awards and the Victorian Carnival created for the opening of the redeveloped King’s Cross.

The awards, now in their 5th year, aim to reward and share best practice in the rail industry highlighting partners who play a key role in the success of the rail network. Delegates and their businesses need to feel that the event is for them, a celebration of their work and achievement.

One of the key drivers from the brief was the need to create a buzz, a sense of wonder that wowed the delegates. The solution was a massive 28m wide curved screen. A screen of this size requires bespoke, high quality content to fill it. Our creative team worked alongside the Network Rail event’s team to ensure the content embraced the key themes that Network Rail wanted to portray.

Registration and drinks took place in a separate area, allowing the buzz to build before delegates entered the main room. The result on delegates was noticeable; Network Rail’s Rebecca Harmer commented: “The Partnership Awards were a resounding success and the screen really caught people’s eye with some great imagery that helped convey some of our key messages.”

The second project was more complex, a Victorian themed Funfair experience to run through the opening weekend at King’s Cross Square, London’s newest public space. Designing and delivering this saw us work with the client, the local authority, British Transport Police, TfL and others to ensure that the administrative, health and safety and other related elements were all appropriately delivered.

Despite the complexity and multiple stakeholders to deal with, the event space was up and running as planned; an achievement we would put down to great teamwork. It’s a point also noted by our client, Rebecca Harmer.

“A project like this really tests the mettle of events planners. It’s outside of the scope of your typical event and requires bigger thinking, more robust project management and constant conversations between project teams, the landowner and others. Working with MCL felt like an extension of our team. We had constant updates by email, phone and the reassurance that the numerous small, detailed yet time critical tasks were being sorted. “

Both these projects worked, and worked well because the client trusted us and our expertise. We felt encouraged to make suggestions whilst ensuring that ad-hoc developments didn’t take us off track.

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