The Challenges

The challenge was to create a VIP Hospitality Unit using an existing public self service catering area which was very basic and quite cold and lacking any furniture. The client would be inviting a wide variety of guests, including royalty, to the suite and we wanted to include an area for young children as well as adults, but ensure that no one felt uncomfortable.

We also wanted to add some different elements to the area which would encourage people to relax when they came to the area. We called the area The Zone rather than the normal signage "VIP Hospitality Area" and this had to be easily demonstrated to guests as soon as they arrived in the NEC. Many of the guests would have been to this type of function previously and would have been looking for "VIP Hospitality" so as well as providing the infomation about The Zone in the guests ticket information, we also had hostesses on hand at all the entrances, who would guide all the guests to The Zone.

How We Reached Our Goal

  • Working to a tight budget and the NEC only having available basic trestle tables for food serving areas we had custom made white block serving areas, which were placed around the area and each one was themed - Relax; Refresh and Replenish
  • Guests could arrive early and have continental breakfast with fresh juice and a variety of coffees, daily papers and even a relaxing head and shoulder massage before the event began. Lunch was served in bowls with a variety of hot dishes and there was a giant cheese display and John Lewis provided a huge Easter display which we gave to the guests to choose an article as they left for the day.
  • We created a quite balcony area outside the main room overlooking the event site, where alcoholic beverages could also be served as well as the food etc, and guests could watch the action on TV monitors throughout The Zone.
  • Guests were welcomed at the reception area to The Zone, which was very clean and filled with the aroma of Jo Malone candles and fresh flowers each day and showed around the whole area so they were able to see all that was on offer, and they were given programmes and shown their seating area from The Zone as well as being provided with supporter items such as wooden rattles, hooters and flags.
  • For the young children we provided a special area which was managed by a specialist child care company who were supervising all the children's activities, including the special food which was provided and all the children received a picnic/lunch bag which had lots of goodies in and which they could take home to use for their school lunches. The children's area was full of games for all ages to keep them occupied whilst they were in the The Zone
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