Visit London Awards: Vote for the top business event

In the second part of our run-down of the Best Business Event of the Year shortlist, we present the final five entries nominated for a prize at next month's star-studded Visit London Awards ceremony. By Mike Fletcher.

The Visit London Awards 2007 has teamed up with Event and category sponsor ISES to allow you to vote for the winner in the Best Business Event of the Year category. The prize will be awarded at a star-studded ceremony at Indigo2 on 29 November. To vote for your choice, log on to before 31 October.

Each voter will have the chance to win a pair of Leisure Select first-class tickets and be among the first to travel on Eurostar when its high-speed services move to St Pancras International station in London from 14 November.

For the full list of shortlisted entries visit

CLIENT: IMAGINATION - Ford Motor Company at the British International Motor Show

Brief: To design and deliver a new global, integrated stand for the entire Ford Motor Company family of brands including Ford, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Mazda.

Execution: The design and creation of an unexpected theme for the stand: ice. The first convertible ice car ever created in the UK, constructed from more than 100 blocks of ice, was used as the centrepiece for the launch of the new bio-ethanol Ford range on press day, when the vehicles were unveiled. A fully functional ice bar was also installed in the space.

Results: According to post-show research, 420,000 visitors attended the motor show. Of these, 94% visited the Ford stand. It was also considered the 'best at show' by visitors questioned when leaving the event. The ice theme was evident throughout the stand with a total of 108,000 ice lollies handed out over the course of the show.

Innovation: The ice sculpture is thought to be the largest to have been exhibited at a British exhibition and was untouched by coolants from the moment it was revealed until the moment the show closed.

Sustainability: Investment into the stand architecture ensured it was produced as a kit of interchangeable parts. These parts are engineered to last more than five years and reused at every show, reconfigured to fit different spaces and provide backdrops to achieve show objectives.

CLIENT: FITCH LIVE - British Airways Club Launch 2006

Brief: To design and produce a memorable event that would launch the new British Airways Club World passenger experience to the press, investors and key customers.

Execution: After gaining a thorough understanding of the British Airways brand - which is widely recognised and respected around the world, and which people are proud to work for - Fitch placed BA staff at the centre of the launch event, highlighting their role in introducing the Club World offer. Choosing the East Wintergarden as a venue reflected the brand strengths of the new British Airways and its Club World product.

Results: The head of brands and marketing communications at British Airways says: "The launch event was a great success and PCI Fitch's energy and creativity was instrumental in delivering this integral part of our marketing communications strategy."

Innovation: Fitch Live focused on intelligence, integration and effectiveness to differentiate the launch, making it engaging and memorable.

Sustainability: The venue was chosen to minimise the distance that guests had to travel. By taking advantage of the infrastructure of the building itself, no significant infrastructure needed to be brought in.

CLIENT: DRP GROUP - National Express Group Leadership Conference

brief: To bring together for the first time the entire National Express Group senior leadership team to start the process of sharing ideas, good practice and becoming an integrated team.

Execution: 150 business leaders from North America, Spain and the UK were brought to London, with four main venues chosen to host a combination of business and interactivity sessions. 'Connect' was adopted as the theme for the conference. A pre-event website was used as a focal point for communicating information and setting a pre-event conference challenge that encouraged integration and communication of the varying aspects of the business.

Results: A 'pulse check' was used to monitor the effectiveness of the conference. The first was carried out as part of the registration process, the second at the end of the conference and a third is planned for six months after the conference to assess understanding of the group's business as a whole and the value of the conference itself in meeting the event brief.

Innovation: DRP Group innovated on many levels delivering aspects such as the conference opening, with no furniture or the normal hype video, the Brand Safari, allowing delegates to enjoy London, and the Share Price Challenge and Dragons' Den teambuilding aspects.

Sustainability: A whole section of the conference was related to environmental issues and the venue was chosen because of its proximity to Paddington station, allowing a simple transfer via the Heathrow Express.


Brief: To raise the profile on TV of emerging music artistes and award artistes through 12 award presentations and an Outstanding Contribution to Music Award. The show is also the main fundraising event for the Brit Trust charity whose mission is to 'support young people in music and education'.

Execution: Each major stakeholder was consulted to make the show credible, relevant and glamorous. These stakeholders were the venue, the broadcasters, the sponsor and the record companies. Live performances meant that both TV and event audiences could vote for Best British Single on the night, making the event inclusive for both those in attendance and those at home.

Results: The event was recognised as the premier UK music event of the year and acts such as Snow Patrol and Amy Winehouse received coverage in a primetime 8pm slot that they otherwise would not achieve. On ticket requests alone, the event could have run for three successive nights.

Innovation: As it is televised in 42 countries, the show gives additional reach to the performing artistes. There is a significant uplift in sales of those acts that are nominated, perform or have won.

Sustainability: The event team worked closely with EC&O Venues to ensure a reduction in waste. The dinner served to VIPs was seasonal and made from UK produce. The event has a measured carbon footprint.


brief: After a survey on the 2006 event, Confex tasked itself with reaffirming International Confex as the leading exhibition within the events industry with an aim to inspire.

Execution: To inspire the visitors and exhibitors, a new creative was designed to closer reflect the changing image of the industry and new features were brought into the show to engage visitors and extend their time there. The new creative gave the event a stylish, inspirational feel and new features such as the Secret Garden gave visitors the chance to relax with a range of contemporary treatments.

Results: The 2007 show saw the first rise in attendance since 2004 with a 16% rise in 'pure' visitors. Approximately 76,000 global events were confirmed at the show, worth an estimated £860m. More than 70% of exhibitors rebooked for next year on the show floor.

Innovation: There were improvements to the visitor experience, networking opportunities and Confex knowledge (introducing new technology and higher-profile speakers).

Sustainability: Confex worked to ensure minimum wastage and focused on recycling. It also operated a paperless press office, replacing releases with USB sticks.

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