Creating the ultimate experience for event professionals is a huge challenge but if anyone is up for accepting this challenge and smashing it then it is Make Events! And boy did they smash this challenge when we returned to Manchester for our Manchester 48.v2 FAM trip! Last year, we approached Make Events to showcase the best that Manchester can offer us event professionals after seeing the huge investment in the city by large organisations including within the events and hospitality industry. We had such an amazing time, we knew we had to return to explore what else the city has to offer us so that is what we did!
Audience engagement with events is key, this is not limited just to engagement throughout the event itself but also in the lead up to the event. To build excitement and engagement in the lead up to Manchester 48, a pre-communications branded event pack was sent to all attendees which included:
- a booklet setting out the itinerary for the 48 hours, an introduction to our hosts and the services of Make Events;
- luggage tags with the brand ID on; and
- details of how to download our own bespoke event app! The fully branded app contained all the information on the 48 hours with the full agenda, venue information including capacities, host details, attire suggestions for the weekend, suggestions for on-board entertainment for our journey to and from Manchester and much more!! It really was one of the most useful apps we’ve seen for an event.
Make Events are famous for creating the ultimate experience and a lot of this is down to the magic touches that they add to their events, throughout the 48 hours we experienced many of these magic touches which blew us away. The magic touches we experienced:
- being greeted with our favourite hot drink at House of Make in their very own coffee shop;
- being front page on their very own “Make News” newspaper regarding our return to Manchester;
- our names being on the screens throughout Etihad Stadium including around the screens on the pitch;
- our favourite drinks being ready before we’ve even asked for them at the bar;
- our go to quotes/sayings being printed on bespoke menus and projected at venues;
- a surprise trip on a canal boat with hats and personalised Eventprofslive branded items;
- the amazing “Big Al’s Hangover Kit” being delivered to all rooms pre-empting some sore heads after a fun night; and
- magazines being dropped off at our hotel room before we checked out for reading on the train which also included a loyalty card for their own coffee shop – a great excuse for us to return to House of Make very soon!!
The team at Make Events are amazing at delivering an unforgettable experience for yourself and your delegates. Not only can they work with you to create the ultimate experience, they can also assist you with venue finding via their free venue finding offering, full event management and design services – a true one-stop shop for all your event needs! They may be based in Manchester but they are able to help you with any event requirements within the UK and worldwide. Holly Moore, Alex Morrisroe and Emily Hume are your contacts!
During the 48 hours we explored an incredible 13 venues – we really did make the most of our time!
House of Make: this is where all the Make Events magic takes place! Make Events moved into House of Make back in May and after seeing lots of fabulous pictures of the grand opening we couldn’t wait to see the space ourselves. House of Make really is a true reflection of the team from a Kylie dressing room, a Mrs Hinch cleaning room, Sue’s Shed as an honour to their longest serving member of staff, two great meeting spaces (which you can hire) and their very own coffee shop!!! It was a great opportunity for us to catch up with each other, have a tour of the space and meet the wider Make Events team whilst enjoying a delicious brunch provided by Hotel Indigo all being washed down with our favourite hot drink which was waiting for us as we arrived.
The Mere Golf Resort and Spa: as well as exploring city centre options for events, we were keen to see what options there are for retreats outside of the city as we all know that when you get away from distractions you can be much more productive!! The Mere Golf Resort and Spa has a lot to offer from private dining options, outside space for drinks receptions or BBQs (apparently the sun does shine in the north as well!), an outdoor gym area, event spaces for up to 700 people as well as great incentive options from the spa, the golf course and the UK’s only floating driving range! As well as seeing the event spaces, we got very competitive on the floating driving range which meant we had built up an appetite to sample the delicious afternoon tea.
Etihad Stadium: being either a red or a blue fan is key in Manchester and very much part of the culture of the city. Despite the majority of the group being football fans of London clubs, we were all very excited to visit the world famous Etihad Stadium which not only offers first class football facilities but equally first class hospitality and events spaces. We were very lucky to have a private tour of the home and away changing rooms and even walked through the tunnel to the stadium where we were welcomed by our names being in lights on the rolling screens around the stadium – we never thought we would see that!! These examples of the magic touches demonstrate how you can create the ultimate experience for your delegates within the Tunnel Club that offers excellent facilities and catering in a unique and memorable setting.
Great John Street Hotel: we all love a bit of history so we were very excited to be staying at the Great John Street Hotel which used to be a school! The hotel is beautiful with lots of nods to the history of the venue throughout the hotel. We enjoyed pre-dinner drinks within the library bar and also explored the terrace (aka the Playground) which is perfect for a drinks reception (don’t worry there is a wet weather option as well…). The bedrooms (some being split level with a separate lounge area) were all beautifully appointed with lovely features throughout – we honestly all had the best night’s sleep the beds were so comfortable!!
King Street Townhouse: the sister hotel to the Great John Street Hotel is the King Street Townhouse which is where we enjoyed an amazing private dining experience in their private dining room. The food was outstanding with each course being matched with wine – the sommelier was extremely knowledgeable! As well as a private dining room, the townhouse has a rooftop bar with adjacent indoor space, a rooftop swimming pool, a screening room and fabulous bedrooms!
20 Stories: we finished off the first 24 hours 20 stories high (well not quite 20 stories but…) with incredible views of the city at 20 Stories which offers great options for exclusive and semi-private hire. The outdoor space is so vast with lots of different seating areas including pods where you can drink and dance the night away. The indoor bar area and restaurant are also equally as beautiful with private dining options.
Science and Industry Museum: after fuelling up with a delicious breakfast we headed to the Science and Industry Museum which is located in the centre of town which provides some great options for a drinks reception, dinner, awards or even a conference in a unique setting. We all fell in love with the 1830 Warehouse which is just an incredible blank canvas space providing so many options to create amazing events – our minds were blown away and we all left feeling rather jealous that we don’t have a space like this in London!
Manchester Central: this was a highlight last year so we had to return! Manchester Central has such a vast amount of spaces from small meeting rooms for 10 up to 10,000 in the main hall which is just incredible! As well as the smaller meeting rooms and the large main hall which is packed with original features and character, there is also the auditorium perfect for screenings, conferences etc as well as a large exhibition space. One of the great things about Manchester Central is that there are multiple entrances so if you hire the auditorium you would be completely separate from the other spaces within the facility.
The Principal: we couldn’t return to Manchester without returning to the Principal! Not only is the Principal gorgeous, full of history and has the largest ballroom in Manchester it also has the lovely Sharon!!! Sharon is full of enthusiasm, excitement and amazing knowledge of how the Principal can make your event that extra special! All the meeting spaces are brilliant with natural daylight, great amenities and a super central location in town! We enjoyed a delicious lunch along with our favourite drinks in the restaurant which is beautiful, a must if you are in Manchester!
Imperial War Museum: we stepped back in time and explored the Imperial War Museum which is located in media city – we were very excited when we saw the Coronation Street sign and the back of the houses, we had to keep one or two members from trying to jump onto the tour of the famous cobbles!! Back to the Imperial War Museum….if you are looking for a museum with lots of branding / screen content opportunities then this is the place! They have brilliant technology within the main space which enables you very easily to be able to have lots of branding and screen content being projected around the space during either a drinks reception, awards or dinner.
Midland Hotel: after walking through Media City, we were heading towards the tram to go to the Midland Hotel or so we thought….another fabulous magic touch from Make Events! We actually were getting on a canal boat to make our way to the Midland Hotel, it was a brilliant way to travel from one point to another and certainly a unique way to transport your guests whilst in Manchester, City Centre Cruises were great! After enjoying a leisurely cruise down the canal, we were ready for a little snooze before our final night out in Manchester! The Midland Hotel is one of the city’s most iconic hotels with ample event spaces, spacious bedrooms, an award winning restaurant and of course the gorgeous spa. We can’t wait to return after the refurb, it sounds amazing!!
Dakota: the latest hotel to open in Manchester and it is creating quite the buzz! At Dakota there are no event spaces at the hotel for conferences but there are some great options for smaller drinks receptions / private dining etc from the Champagne Room which is a semi-private area within the main bar area for small drinks receptions, wine tastings etc for up to 20 people, the private dining room for up to 20 which is where we enjoyed dinner and a gorgeous terrace for up to 50 people.
Alberts Schloss: before we danced the night away, we saw the beautiful Albert Hall which is connected to Alberts Schloss, Albert Hall has been loving restored and would make for a wonderful venue for a drinks reception for up to 2,000 or a stunning dinner for up to 300 guests – it really is something special! After being amazed by the space, we headed downstairs to Alberts Schloss which has a really fun vibe for a fun night out with live music, lots of dancing and flowing drinks. You can also hire booths for smaller groups, it would be a great place for a team get together over Christmas!!!
Swans Travel: provided us with travel throughout the weekend and they were fantastic! Swans Travel’s VIP bus was spacious, clean and comfortable for our journey with wireless charging points and lots of drinks and sweets for our time aboard!