Center Parcs Woburn Forest launch event

Case study

Background

Center Parcs is the UK's number one operator of short breaks and an award winning provider of conference and event spaces for the corporate market. Center Parcs Woburn Forest is the fifth Village and represents a total investment of £250m.

Objective

To launch the new Village to the media and to mark the opening with an upscale celebratory dinner for the key team involved in its planning, development and build. With The Venue, the dedicated events space, as the backdrop; create a memorable event to reinforce Center Parcs premise of enabling 'families to spend time together in a natural forest environment'.

Event Execution

Planning for the event commenced 18 months prior to May 24th and was a closely guarded secret due to the high profile nature of the guests. Two events were created to meet defined audiences:

  • Press launch to national and international print, broadcast and online media
  • Celebration dinner for stakeholders, directors, key contractors and high profile private individuals and their families

Centered around the purpose built The Venue, the space was transformed to draw in influences of nature and the Village's 365 acres forest setting. With direct access from the loading bay into the main room, goods were easily brought in and enabled a quick transformation from the formal 100 person press conference to the richly immersive dinner.

Set up commenced 48 hours prior to the event and saw a crew of 10 riggers create a 17m x 3.8m stage set and two floor mounted trusses for the light and sound.

After the formalities of the press conference, with a turnaround time of 6 hours, a dedicated team of 8 stylists from Eventologists installed 2 distinct forest themed areas for the evening's celebrations. 16 trees were installed across the space and decorated with flora and fauna. The reception area was deliberately kept dark to signify a forest canopy, whereas the main entertaining space used white and silver birch trees laden with vibrant flowers.

On the production side, an AV crew of 10 bought the light and sound to life for the evening's keynote speech, video presentation and live musical performances by a 20 piece big band.

Guests were directed into The Venue by entertainers who were specifically commissioned to help answer questions and to bring traditional signage to life. On entering The Venue guests were drawn under the verdant canopy of hand decorated trees each now laden with bite sized treats. A purpose built rockery stretched up to the ceiling and had been planted with trailing greenery and flowering plants. Reception drinks of champagne and softs were served in retro bottles and gave guests a chance to mix and start the celebrations. Entertainers were on hand to entertain children who enjoyed balloon modelling, magic and specially commissioned oversized colouring in cubes.

When guests were called through for dinner they left the enchanted forest and passed through the petal arch where fairies showered guests with petals. Set for dinner for 350 guests, the room was washed in vibrant hues with tables dressed with oversized birdcages and trailing foliage.

A sumptuous 3 course dinner was interspersed with speeches, videos and entertainment by a 20-piece big band. While guests enjoyed dinner, children were encouraged to enjoy the entertainers and further entertainment.

The celebrations culminated with a troupe of Dhol drummers who encouraged guests to the lakeside for a tumultuous 13 minute firework display. With further attention to detail, guests enjoyed hot chocolate and churros as the fireworks bought the evening to a conclusion and a large signage in fire that bought the opening to reality.