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Sunday, 26 June 2016 Manchester Cathedral

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This year’s Retail Trust Midsummer Celebration was held in the stunning Manchester Cathedral on 16 June. The celebration, attended by almost 280 people, is an annual charity drive for members of the Trust to show their support for their industry and to honour those who dedicate their lives to it.

To help bring this year’s event to life, the Retail Trust enlisted events specialist mclcreate to provide a range of audio and visual solutions to ensure that the audience were treated to a spectacular and engaging event. As AV experts, experienced in delivering events in all sorts of challenging venues, the mclcreate team designed the set and stage for the cathedral, set up and managed display screens, speakers, lighting and provided a tech production team to ensure a smooth performance on the day.

A venue of this heritage and status can make an ideal location for such an event, but it does come with challenges, as mclcreate discovered. To add to the complexity of this project, the space features 28 pillars which required consideration when it came to positioning guests and AV equipment to maximise impact.  mclcreate’s solution utilised its 0.38 super short throw lens to project content onto the screen, rather than rear projection or long throw projection. This, combined with live cameras and delay screens, ensured that all guests could clearly see and enjoy the on-stage activity.  

A more unexpected challenge however, came in the form of water - as many will remember, England had a particularly wet June this year. The night before the event was due to take place, the cathedral flooded. mclcreate stepped in to mop the marble floors which had become slippery, remove the water and re check the AV equipment and lighting to make sure it was still safe to use. These safety precautions were completed moments before guests arrived, meaning they were none the wiser and could enjoy the day.

"The team at mclcreate are absolute professionals and a delight to work with. In the pre-event phase they were accommodating, innovative and flexible, and very mindful that as a charity our budgets were not big.  They advised and supported us in making the stunning venue of Manchester Cathedral really work for our event, and the final event delivery was seamless and perfect!  I would not hesitate to work with them again!" comments Susie Devilliers, Head of Productions at D&G Productions Ltd.

The Trust uses this annual get together to celebrate some of the achievements in the industry, such as the success of its retailHUB team, who have helped employers take Trauma to the next level, and its retailRIGHT career development programmes, which has seen over £1 million invested in helping young disadvantaged people access fruitful careers in retail.

“We had worked with the Retail Trust before but this project presented a new and exciting challenge,” comments Martin Touhey, Project Manager at mclcreate. “We pulled our resources from both the Manchester and Birmingham office to provide the perfect AV solution for the client. Having many different bases around the country means we offer a wide range of options to make each event special.”

This year’s celebration honoured retail legend, Eddie Bentley, and with performances from The X-Factor’s Lauren Murray and Andrea Faustini, managed to raise over £113,000, which will allow the trust to continue delivering key programmes and initiatives that support the wellbeing of all involved in retail.

The event also included a drinks reception, three course meal by top chefs from Harvey Nichols.

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