Inspiration: Creative Space - Asian sensation

Asked to deliver the Carphone Warehouse Ball for the third year, agency Hype managing director Marcus Rendle developed an exotic theme with an intimate feel.

This event was one of the UK's largest Christmas corporate parties last year, and the initial problem was selecting a suitable venue to accommodate 9,000 guests. After much discussion we decided that Alexandra Palace would be the ideal location.

Guests enjoyed headline acts The Cuban Brothers and Jamiroquai in the main room, while the five other spaces were transformed in line with the "Access All Asia" theme. Hype's brief was to create an intimate space where, after a hard year's work, staff would feel like VIPs.

External uplights, gobo projections, searchlights and a runway of gas flambeaux provided a backdrop for the red carpet entrance, before guests were greeted with reception cocktails in the Palm Court.

The Great Hall, which also housed the main stage, had a Bollywood theme and required a full day of rigging to install the sound and lighting.

Two interconnected clearspan temporary structures created an opulent Bollywood Boudoir area, while three funfair rooms divided the main space between the dancefloor and Indian-themed food quarter.

The West Hall was transformed into Chinatown, and we used red and gold draping lowered from the ceiling to make the space feel more intimate. A second stage and Chinese foodstations provided an alternative to the Indian-themed main room.

The Panorama Room was turned into a chill-out area, with 100 steel decks clad in carved wooden fascias providing the base for thousands of foam seat pads that were covered with cushions. Low-level tables were dressed in red in line with Carphone Warehouses's association with Motorola, with whom they raise funds for Africa. A Geisha Karaoke Room and Maharaja Palace disco completed the spaces at the 10-hour event.

Our brief was to ensure guests did not have to wait more than a couple of minutes for food or drinks. As the venue doesn't have a preferred suppliers list, this year saw the inauguration of a partnership between between Marcus Rendle and Julian Dyer Catering, who provided various dishes. Sweet and Chilli operated the eight main bars, and with so many guests it was decided to load all stock into refrigerated lorries off site and then simply drive them into position on site and conceal them behind each bar.

To add to the exoticism of the event, all front of house staff wore special make-up, as did the performers. These included a 20-person Bollywood procession, 12 Bhangra dancers, Chinese dragons, snake charmers, belly dancers and henna tattooists.


Have your say

Only registered users may comment. Sign in now or register for free.

Follow us

Latest Event Jobs