The 170 delegates were SGS Yarsley International Certification employees from all around Britain, mostly system auditors or trainers, and members of the support and administration team. The theme of the event was "Connections" and incorporated team building for remote team workers. "Our local teams only see each other around once a month," explains Peter Marriott, the General Manager of SGS. "Two of our field staff may be put together on a contract, but they might not meet again for months."
SGS has an experienced events team to manage the overall logistics of the event, but felt it was important to use the right organisation for the staging and presentation of the conference. QVS was recommended by the hotel to stage such an interactive and demanding event. Lee Francis, QVS' account manager, worked closely from the original concept with Gayle Oliver, administration manager of SGS and Peter Marriot. "We staged a main presentation room cum formal syndicate rooms, into which we installed an audience voting system, various break-out rooms for seminars and discussion groups, and a ‘clean’ room for juggling and playing Jenga! With four speakers in the morning, and six in the afternoon, the delegates had to absorb a lot of information, so for the evening's entertainment we really wanted it to be very relaxing. We based it around an evening's karaoke entertainment, and supplied casino tables, a disco and a games room as well."
This was the first occasion that QVS and SGS had worked together, although QVS has worked frequently with Alton Towers, who were delighted with the success of the event. QVS supplied plasma screens, televisions, video players and desktop PCs. The set in the main room consisted of a central projection screen, with two plasma columns on the sides and was heavily lit, making use of gauze material, star cloth and 12 intelligent heads. The technical crew was equipped with headsets to communicate throughout the building.
Peter Marriott was very happy with QVS's work. "They steered us into what we should do, creatively. The voting system, for instance, had real value added by Lee as he understood our needs to ensure we used the voting system to its fullest potential and gave us very powerful results data that we can manipulate by various demographics. It allowed us to run an employee satisfaction survey and communicated the interactive idea even more fully."