By March 9, 2013on
8 months work. 40 hours of meetings (possibly more). Extreme scheduling (don’t move unless we say so). Road closures and parking suspensions (thank you Westminster). Train tickets and taxis. Some very early starts (yep, 2am). Lots of time at The Savoy (such hardship). 180 guests and almost as many crew. Endless cups of tea. Some of our favourite celebs; Melanie C, Rylan, Denise Van Outen and Fiona Phillips. One Spark & Fuser, gymnast Louis Smith and Hollywood’s Will Smith TOGETHER IN THE SAME LIFT! Fan stake out for Il Divo. Easy rider for the The Overtones (lovely boys). Secret doors and side entrances. Longest red carpet in the world (not official). A couple of gate crashers. Endless cups of tea. A few tears. Approx 6 blisters. 7 amazing and totally deserving winners. One TV show.
Highlights here http://www.tescomagazine.com/mum-of-the-year.html
Or see for yourself – C5, Mothers Day, 12pm.
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By February 25, 2013on
Only 6 sleeps until Tesco Mum of the Year awards (well actually 5 if you factor in the set up and rehearsals the day before) and of course, there really won’t be much sleeping…
Although it’s the eight time we’ve organised the event, for us this year it’s definitely the best because for the first time ever, the awards will be televised by C5 on Mother’s Day. We can’t think of a more fitting tribute to the amazing winning mums.
There were thousands of entries and the judging panel – which included Cherry Healey, Denise Lewis and Emma Forbes – chose six women for their outstanding achievements. Kate Hardcastle, Ann Maxwell, Margaret Aspinall, Claire Lomas, Mireille Williams and Anna Kennedy OBE with Melanie C selected as the celebrity mum of the year. You can read their stories here http://www.tescomagazine.com/mum-of-the-year/moty-blog.html
The awards take place at The Savoy in London and with only 5 working days left we’re co-ordinating car pick-ups, road closures, a red carpet schedule (we’ve possibly got the longest red carpet ever seen), menus , goody bags, rooms service, entertainment and so much more – we have schedules that could probably stretch around the world. Twice.
And we’re really excited – excited that months of planning is finally all coming together, excited that we’re helping to bring some incredible stories into the nation’s homes but most of all excited to have the honour of meeting some truly inspirational women.
- C5, Kate Hardcastle; Ann Maxwell; Margaret Aspinall; Claire Lomas; Mireille Williams; Anna Kennedy OBE; Melanie C, Tesco Mum of the Year 2013
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By September 10, 2012on
Last week, we were really busy event planning for Tesco Mum of the Year 2013. It may not be until next March, but the detail that goes into the day means it takes almost a year to pull all the elements together. The awards are now in their eighth year and Spark & Fuse has organised the event every year since its creation but we believe this 2013 set to be the best one yet because we’re taking it to London’s iconic hotel The Savoy! We can’t wait to see which celebrities walk the red carpet and present awards to the winning mums. Of course, there’s one celebrity who we already know will be there for the day as just week last Denise Van Outen was announced as the official ambassador for Tesco Mum of the Year 2013!
At the press launch Denise said: “I’m thrilled to be part of the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards. Mums are so important and are our country’s true unsung heroes. There are so many mums across the UK who are inspirational, courageous and selfless and most have no idea how special they are – so it is great to be part of a campaign that recognises them. If you know a mum who has done something amazing for charity, improved her local community or who always puts others before herself despite having challenges of her own, nominate her now!”
The event is truly an exceptional day for all those who attend and if you know an amazing mum who deserves to win an award and come to London to experience it first thand , there’s still time to nominate – all the details are at www.tescomagazine.com. Nominations close on 21st September 2012.
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By July 23, 2012on
An exciting week for Spark & Fuse as we found out that for the eighth consecutive year we are the event management agency for Tesco Mum of the Year 2013! We’ve already secured a new venue for the 2013 event and plan to help make it bigger and better than ever before.
We’re delighted to be working on this fabulous and rewarding project again. Over the years we’ve had the privilege of meeting some exceptional mums who have made a real difference to the lives of others. And each time when the awards finally close, after 7 months of hard work, we find ourselves in tears as we say goodbye to the winners. And no doubt it will be the same for the 2013 event.
If you know a mum who you think deserves to be honoured as a Tesco Mum of the Year, the 2013 nominations are now open, http://www.tescomagazine.com/mum-of-the-year/nominate.html
- Award ceremony, event management, Event organisers, Event planning, mum of the year, Tesco, Tesco mum of the year, Tesco Mum of the Year 2013
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By June 8, 2012on
Football tournaments such as the Euro and World Cups are always fun in our house. For those that don’t already know, I’m Scottish and my husband is English. Given that Scotland doesn’t often make the final cut, I’m always looking for an alternative team to get behind. While my husband dreams that I am cheering on England alongside him, he’s getting used to the fact that I am more likely to be found rooting for England’s opposition (but let’s not get into that now).
I know that football is going to take over our house from today until the end of Euro 2012. As a somewhat less-enthusiastic fan, I’ve discovered that rather than sulk in another room while the game is on, it is far more fun to embrace football by throwing parties themed around ‘whoever England is playing’.
With my friends and me each hosting an England game in the first round, I’ve drawn Sweden from the hat. Our pre-party and half-time music will be Swedish House Mafia (interspersed with ABBA, naturally). Swedish food sales in the UK have risen by almost 30% in the past five years and I’ve searched the internet for some inspiration to discover some really interesting treats to offer my guests.
We’ll be serving the brilliantly named God Lager. A pilsner style beer from the Swedish microbrewery, Nils Oscar. And for those that want to try something a little different we’ll have OP Andersson – a very popular Swedish aquavit with a distinct flavour of caraway, fennel and aniseed and also Elderflower flavoured aquavit (best served chilled apparently and accompanied with some singing!). For those that are looking for a softer option there will be Organic Lingonberry Cordial.
Nibbles will be roll mops and also Kavli Rakost on crispbread (a very interesting looking cream cheese with prawns from a tube) as well as some speciality cheeses too.
It has to be meatballs for the main course, served with lingonberry jam and creamy mashed potatoes. Rather than serve up IKEA’s best offering (which is very tempting I have to say), I’m going to attempt this homemade version instead.
At half time, there will be homemade Swedish Chocolate Coconut Balls (if, of course I haven’t eaten them all by kick off).
So, if anyone asks me if I’m looking forward to Euro 2012 I can wholeheartedly say ‘yes’. I can’t wait to try some these Swedish treats and to teach my guests a Swedish drinking song, or two.
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By March 14, 2012on
It was our intention to blog throughout Tesco Mum of the Year. What on earth were we thinking? There was barely time to eat and sleep over the weekend, let alone write detailed accounts about exactly what we were doing. For anyone who missed the extensive press coverage, Tesco Mum of the Year took place on Sunday at the Waldorf Hilton in central London. It represented a year’s worth of work and by heck it was good, even if we do say so ourselves.
Our team arrived at the hotel on Saturday to meet the winning mums and their families and help get them prepared for the big day. We already knew the mums’ stories and there were moments when we genuinely struggled to hold back tears knowing what a few of these women had been through.
We worked throughout the day to finalise the finer details for Sunday and facilitate late celebrity requests, juggle room allocation and ensure our plans for the big day were precise.
When Sunday arrived we were beyond excitement – all our work was about to fall into place and everything would finally come together. It was full on from the minute we got out of bed and started zipping our way through the schedule – styling, hair and make-up, security, more rehearsals, gossiping with Fiona Phillips, photo shoots, sound checks, taxis, checking riders and table plans. And as soon as we saw the sheer volume of paparazzi waiting outside on the red carpet we knew it had all been worth it. TOWIE’s Amy Childs attended as did Pixie Lott with her mum and boyfriend Oliver Cheshire. Sinitta brought her mum (they are both absolutely gorgeous) and the legend that is Arlene Phillips came with her daughter. Denise Lewis and Cherry Healey were totally charming and think what you like about Lee Ryan, the kids loved him!
Highlights of the event included meeting the winning celebrity mum, Gabby Logan, who was just so lovely, seeing both Estelle and Dionne Bromfield perform live, and accidentally catching a celebrity’s dad in his pants (don’t ask). But ultimately, it was an absolute honour to meet women who have made such a big difference to the lives of others and to create a wonderful moment in which their achievements were recognised. Ladies, we salute you.
- amy childs, cherry healey, denise lewis, dionne bromfield, estelle, event, event management, event organiser, fiona phillips, heidi range, Mary Byrne, mum of the year, pixie lott, sinitta, Tesco Mum of the Year 2012
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By March 10, 2012on
This weekend we see a year’s worth of planning come to life. It’s the Tesco Mum of the Year awards, where 8 extraordinary mums are celebrated for remarkable achievements and for which we are the event organisers. The last few weeks have been totally bonkers for us as we pull together the final pieces of what will be the biggest event of its kind. We’re stationed at the hotel already, and we’ve met the winning mums and now we’re getting ready for tonight’s rehearsals. Production is in the middle of building the most spectacular custom-made set for the event tomorrow. We’ve juggling rooms, checking deliveries and facilitating last minute requests from a very impressive celebrity guest list. And we’re checking that everything is in place for the performers – Mary Byrne (Tesco Mary!), Estelle and Dionne Broomfield. We simply cannot wait. Follow us on twitter @sparkandfuse for more updates – we’ll have behind the scene chat and pics – and well before the paps.
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This weekend we see a year worth’s of planning come to life. It’s the Tesco Mum of the Year awards, where 8 extraordinary mums are celebrated for remarkable achievements and for which we are the event organisers. The last few weeks have been totally bonkers for us as we pull together the final pieces of what will be the biggest event of its kind. We’re stationed at the hotel already waiting for the winning mums – who we can’t wait to meet – and getting ready for tonight’s rehearsals. Production is in the middle of building the most spectacular custom-made set for the event tomorrow. We’ve juggling rooms, checking deliveries and facilitating last minute requests from a very impressive celebratory guest list. And we’re checking that everything is in place for the performers – Mary Byrne (Tesco Mary!), Estelle and Dionne Broomfield. We simply cannot wait. Follow us on twitter @sparkandfuse for more updates – we’ll have behind the scene chat and pics – and well before the paps.
- Tesco mum of the year
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By February 6, 2012on
Today marks the Queen’s 60th anniversary of her accession to the throne. Celebrations will continue over the next few months and end in a four-day long UK Bank Holiday weekend in June. Woo hoo! Last year’s royal occasion encouraged over one million people to go to a street party and if you’re thinking of celebrating the Diamond Jubilee in a similar style then early planning is key to pulling off a successful, and stress-free, event. And when we say early planning, we mean NOW.
Here are our top tips to get you started:
• Firstly start speaking to your neighbours as early as possible – preferably this week while the anniversary is really in the spotlight. Getting people excited, on-board, and agreeing a date can take longer than expected. Not everyone will be up for it and it could take some negotiation to get their agreement and involvement.
• Don’t forget to consult with your local council to get the necessary permission to close your road to traffic. They may ask you to sign an indemnity, and you might need to take out an insurance policy for your event. You’ll need to think how this might be funded.
• If the necessary permission isn’t granted to close the road don’t give up, but look at alternative places to celebrate. You could use a local park, car-park or driveways, for example.
• You, or your local council, will need to talk to the fire, ambulance and police services prior to your street party as closing the road will impact them.
• For those planning to sell tickets or alcohol or include regulated entertainment (such as live music) you’ll also need to apply to your local Council for a Temporary Events Notice (TEN).
• Will everyone in the street be happy sharing their bathrooms or are you going to need port-a-loos and mobile sink units? There are 600 festivals across the UK this summer – yes, 600 – and these facilities get booked very early, so get researching now.
• Including a raffle as part of your event, is a great way to raise money for a local charity. Check with the Gambling Commission first so you don’t fall foul with an illegal lottery.
• Bear in mind if you’re throwing your street-party to tie into a key event then services such as caterers, St John’s Ambulance and not to forget Royal Family look-a-likes, could be in high demand. And event suppliers will be adjusting their prices to match. Get in early to secure your choice of suppliers and at the best rate.
• Have a wet weather plan. Let’s face it, we can’t rely on the British weather to promise a weekend of glorious sunshine. Make a Plan B to ensure you can still celebrate the event even if it pours with rain all day long.
• And finally don’t forget to divide up the tasks between you and your neighbours. This will not only make the event more manageable but also involving as many people as possible will create a wonderful feeling of community.
If you would like some advice on planning your street party, email us at email@example.com
- Diamond Jubilee, Diamond Jubilee street party, event, event management, event organiser, Queen 60 years, street-party, streetparty
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By December 21, 2011on
We organised an awesome Christmas party for publishing agency, Redwood, that will be remembered well into 2012. Don’t take our word for it, this is what the client said.
‘Thank you so much for arranging such a fabulous party last night. I really appreciate all the hard work that went into it – from finding such a different venue to getting that rather marvellous ‘golden ticket’ sound track! Thank you. There are rumours it was the ‘best one ever!’ I think everyone had a lot of fun… and we’re all paying for it now.’
The masquerade-themed party was held at nightclub of the moment, Cirque Du Soir, and costumed guests were welcomed with Circus Passion cocktails and enjoyed extraordinary circus acts, including a record-breaking contortionist. There was also a golden ticket draw where five people each won a very nice cash prize. Canapes and a vodka ice luge kept the partygoers dancing well into the night… and we were there until the very end to make sure everyone got home safely.
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