The Iceland Management Conference is one of the biggest annual events in Iceland's diary, where Iceland's store and field managers gather for a briefing on propositions and advertising as well as a banquet with theatrical entertainment.
British food retailer Iceland, which has 750 stores in the UK, chose The CCD to host its annual management conference and banquet in October 2012. The management conference is one of the biggest annual events in Iceland’s diary, where its 1,100 store and field managers gather for a briefing on propositions and advertising, as well as a banquet with theatrical entertainment. For the first time, the 2012 event attracted delegates from overseas including investors from South Africa and Dubai, as well as staff from Spain, the Czech Republic and Iceland.
In its search for the perfect venue, Iceland wanted somewhere that would be easily accessible to its delegates from the UK and further afield, and that could cope with the logistics of a challenging conference schedule and theatrical banqueting event. With many interactive activities and team-building initiatives planned, it was also important that the venue’s surroundings offered delegates an opportunity to get out and explore beyond the confines of a building’s walls.
With Dublin airport just 20 minutes away, The CCD offered the perfect opportunity for Iceland to gather together their UK and International delegates. The CCD’s purpose built, state-of-the-art facilities and expert staff were also central considerations in the venue selection process, together with Dublin’s reputable high levels of customer service and famed welcoming hospitality.
For the 2012 banquet, Iceland used event management company Cascade Productions to help bring its ‘Light up the High Street’ theme to life. Cascade took event theatrics to a whole new level featuring everything from BMX bikers to New York taxis, from drummers to confetti guns, and a dessert that glowed under UV lights. Outside the building the whole front façade of The CCD glowed Iceland’s signature colour red, while open air spotlights projected into the night sky.
A dedicated Event Manager, Technical Manager and Hospitality Manager were on-hand throughout to offer advice and assistance, and some of the CCD team had a very important part to play, “20 of our staff were asked to hold transparent umbrellas as a ‘rain’ sound effect was played, then 30 of our servers paraded on stage holding luminescent jelly desserts that glowed under UV lights before distributing them out to the 111 tables…. It looked really cool” commented Niamh Wilson, CCD Hospitality Manager.
The CCD had to overcome many obstacles in delivering the banquet event including getting permission from Dublin Airport to put lights on the roof of the building, as well as getting approval from Dublin Fire Brigade to use pyrotechnics within the building. The biggest challenge of the event however, was transforming the white-walled Forum room into a completely blacked out box to allow the use of extensive UV lighting. Jennifer Houlihan, Director of Operations in Cascade Productions commented “the event was under some pressure with last-minute additions and very complex logistics, but all the teams at The Convention Centre were fantastic in responding to our various requests.”
The 2012 banquet was definitely one to remember for Iceland’s delegates and certainly raised the bar for banqueting theatrics in the event industry in Ireland and further afield.