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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Diamond Jubilee, Diamond Jubilee street party, event, event management, event organiser, Queen 60 years, street-party, streetparty
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By September 8, 2011on
Our small but perfectly formed bride, Spark, looked beautiful at her equally small and perfectly formed wedding. It was an intimate affair with a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere. As ever, Sarah’s attention to detail played a strong role with a gorgeous table setting, fabulous dress and delicious food. And not every bride can boast four wedding cakes, which all went down a treat.
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By June 5, 2011on
Very exciting week at Spark & Fuse HQ – we’ve been appointed as the Tesco Magazine Mum of the Year Award event management agency again, making it the seventh year in a row!
The glittering awards ceremony, the most prestigious of its kind, will take place early 2012 and honours mums for their extraordinary achievements. There’s a huge amount of organising that needs to be done between now and then, as we’re responsible for guest logistics and venue management as well as overseeing the production company and filming of the winners. Not to mention celebrity guests and all the acts which will perform at the event.
In the meantime, the search to find Tesco Magazine’s Mum of the Year winners has already begun. If you know an inspirational mum that deserves to be thanked, then click here for entry details. Follow us on Twitter @sparkandfuse for regular Tesco Magazine Mum of the Year updates
- competition, Competition management, event, event organiser, mum of the year, Tesco magazine, Tesco magazine Mum of the Year 2011, Tesco magazine Mum of the Year 2012
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By April 5, 2011on
Much excitement at Spark & Fuse – we’ve been asked to organise a party for the launch of new literary sensation Tom Campbell’s debut novel, Fold. Tom’s agent Greene & Heaton describes his writing as ‘Literary but accessible, clear-eyed and wry, FOLD incorporates existential angst and downright dirty dealings. Tom Campbell’s writing is bold and direct; it’s full of humour and a sense of humanity, even when his characters are quietly trying to destroy each other.’ Fold, which is published by Bloomsbury, is out in June. We’re very much looking forward to working with Tom, who we know to be a real character!
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By February 28, 2011on
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house at Tesco Mum of the Year awards this weekend. Even the burly James Haskell was visibly moved by the winning mums’ stories of courage, achievement and heartache. The awards which we spent more than six months meticulously planning were held at the magnificent Waldorf Hilton in Central London and were attended by the eight winning mums, their families and a host of celebrities, including Sara Cox, Matt Dawson, Linda Robson, Emilia Fox and Hustle star Kelly Adams. Sally Dynevor, who attended to receive her Mum of the Year award with her husband and three children, described it as better than winning a BAFTA. Beverley Knight closed the ceremony with an extraordinary rendition of Keep the Fire burning. It was an amazing day of celebration, hosted by the lovely Fiona Phillips, and luckily Tesco magazine’s film crew sat up all night editing the highlights so you could watch them today…
- event, event management, event organiser, mum of the year, Tesco magazine Mum of the Year 2011, Tesco mum of the year
By November 24, 2010on
We’ve been appointed as the Tesco Magazine Mum of the Year Award event management agency for the sixth year in a row! The glittering awards ceremony, which takes place in a swanky central London hotel in February 2011, will honour eight mums for their astonishing achievements.
Debbie Chernin, Publishing Manager, Tesco says ‘It’s a pleasure to be working once again with Spark & Fuse. This is the sixth year they have worked with us coordinating and managing all areas of Tesco magazine Mum of the Year awards; they are absolute professionals, never fazed by the challenges we set or face. The event is now the largest of its kind in the UK so it’s key we work with a team who are strong at organising, prioritising and flexible in their approach. Spark and Fuse tick all the boxes.’
Organising Tesco Magazine of the Year awards is pretty much a full-time job for our events team as we’re responsible for guest logistics and venue management as well as overseeing the production company and filming of the mums. The event has a celebrity guest list and some star performers, too, all of who we have to look after. For us, though, no one is more important as the winning mums themselves and we ensure they are treated like superstars.
We love working with Tesco and the magazine team on this event – the winners are always so deserving, it’s great to work on a project which rewards real people.
Follow us on Twitter @sparkandfuse for regular Mum of the Year updates
- event, event management, event organiser, Mum of the Year 2011, Tesco, Tesco magazine, Tesco magazine Mum fo the Year Awards
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By October 14, 2010on
Orange Exchange business magazine (www.orangeexchange.co.uk) asked S&F’s Director and event guru, Juliette Thomas, to advise its readers how to host a perfect celebration to boost their business. So from under a pile of venue spreadsheets, theming ideas and Christmas party updates for her clients, she retrieved her laptop and sent the magazine her top tips. Here’s what she had to say…
‘If you’re going to throw a party, make it a good one! Your guests’ experience will leave them with positive lasting memories of your company and brand.
Understanding the aim of your event will provide a way to allocate budget and just as importantly measure its success. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with suppliers – like the venue and caterer – on both cost and service that they offer. And at the event itself, a friendly welcome, making it easy for guests and ensuring that they feel looked after are vital elements that don’t cost a penny.
Successful events are all about the details. Walk through the event in your mind’s eye and leave nothing to chance – think about where guests will hang their coats and how to avoid queues for the ladies’!
Take time to reveal the event to your guests – don’t give everything away at once. And, offering a keepsake when they leave will act as a positive reminder long after the hangover has worn off.
Hiring an event planner may seem extravagant, but at Spark & Fuse we know it’s an efficient use of time and budget. An event planner will advise, create, negotiate and plan on your behalf leaving you free to concentrate on what you do best – run your business.’
- christmas party, company party, corporate event, corporate party, event, event management, event organiser, party, party planning, party planning tips
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