Crescendo Tailored Events Finalist for Small Agency of the Year
Tailored events specialists Crescendo celebrates being a finalist at Conference News Awards 2021
Run by one of the events industry’s leading titles Conference News, the CN Agency Awards are an annual celebration of all the great work that event management agencies do for the industry as a whole.
CEO & Founder Russell Allen, had this to say: “It has been fabulous to be in the running with such an impressive line-up of businesses. We’re really proud to have been recognised as finalists in the Small Agency of the Year category, especially by a panel of such esteemed event professionals.”
“Congratulations to all the finalists, winners and runners up as well. I am delighted that Crescendo has been in the running. It’s recognition of all my team’s hard work”.
“Thank you to everyone who voted for us.”
Event Director, Hampshire
We are looking for: An exceptional Event Director to join the senior team of this established, creative and respected agency who would be as comfortable being in a field as in a board room and is so organised they use a spreadsheet for their weekly shopping list!
If this is you then read on:
A bit about us:
Founded in 2003 we deliver nearly 100 events from our small but mighty team of hardworking and fun individuals through our two brands.
Crescendo is our original business and as the tailored events agency, we craft each and every event…whether a conference, executive bespoke retreat, incentive or celebration…to perfectly fit the objectives, audience and ethos of our clients.
Fruitful is our team interactions business – which sees us designing, building and delivering world class products for some of the most exciting brands out there!
We have come a long way since our inception in 2003 and have faced the challenges of the last 12 months with great resilience; successfully building a strong proposition in the virtual world, whilst winning new clients we are now seeing the return of our live events once again and are using this strong base to build the senior team to deliver our vision and 5-year plan.
The Event Director role sits on our leadership team – heading up the event team and being responsible for the delivery of our creative and varied event offering. Client obsessed and instinctively taking the lead on the delegate journey and logistics, finding interesting and creative solutions for our larger tailored events, as well as being a driving force in developing the products and services for our team interactions business. The role will be responsible for all aspects of our events of varying sizes and be responsible for on-going client account management and development, including identifying and delivering new opportunities and being able to cross market between the two brands.
This role will see you roll up your sleeves and lead the events and projects whilst working closely with our senior team of Creative Director, Operations Director, Production Partner and CEO, whilst recruiting, developing and nurturing your own team and being able to streamline the processes and systems within this small but busy agency; helping the efficient delivery of up to 100 events per annum, whilst ensuring the right clients keep coming back for more!
The role is based near Hook in Hampshire but will require travel.
We look at the person at Crescendo – and those who will fit in with our friendly, hardworking, considerate and committed team. We strive to create an inspired culture where anything is possible. Where pride, independence and respect are treasured, and each team member and client are respected as an individual.
- Support the CEO, Operations Director and the events team in developing an in-depth understanding of our clients with the ability to drive excellent relationships and client satisfaction
- Being responsible for driving proposals for clients – with a real eye for detail and creativity.
- Being comfortable in leading calls, communications and meetings to lead a project, an event and an account
- Be able to identify and sell events within our existing client base whilst seeking out further opportunities and delivering to higher-than-average GP levels by delivering exceptional service and best in class solutions
- Find creative and fun ways to realise and improve the delegate journey
- Be able to represent and confidently present ideas and concepts to clients, partners and suppliers
- Be obsessed by positive feedback
- Be a natural project lead agreeing critical paths and milestones, ensuring these are followed, maintained and meet the expectations of the client and the other areas of the business
- Deliver to high standards following and enhancing our operational and financial management systems and procedures
- Manage freelance project teams, during pre-production and on site, to ensure high standards and are made to feel part of the Crescendo family
- Being proactive with feedback – designing debriefs across the business from client, to suppliers, publishing reports and sharing best practice
- Work across the team on venue searches ensuring fit for purpose
- Work very closely with suppliers and partner relationships
- Be fanatical about data – whether the registration system, the CRM system or our bespoke operations system – maintain, develop and be data lead and conscious
- Driving and inspiring the team to be the best they can be whilst making sure they feel treasured
- Drive a vision for the department with clear milestones whilst managing holiday sign off, mentoring, coaching, monthly catch ups, reviews and escalations. Identifying areas for improving efficiency
- On-site and virtual event delivery – UK and overseas. Sometimes working weekends and evenings as required.
- A natural leader and top of their game, their curiosity and intrigue in people and experiences will make them stand out – with the ability to direct, manage and mentor, with exceptional communication skills, both written and oral
- Can manage complex budgets (£1m+)
- Experience of running virtual events in an agency environment
- Expert experience and knowledge of all workings of the event process and world; from venues to countries, F&B, logistics, registrations websites, transportation, entertainment
- Have a formidable network of clients, suppliers and potential partners and be able to run critical supplier relationships
- Cool under pressure and able to keep their sense of humour whilst delivering a high level of accuracy and adhere to high standards of quality when working to tight deadlines
- Exceptional IT skills and a love of learning and exploration – proficient and experienced user of Microsoft Office suite is essential, particularly Outlook & Excel
- A strong track record in designing, positioning and delivering complex events for major corporates and high-profile brands
- Exceptional prioritisation skills
- Knowledge of team activities and a real passion to design and deliver new and exciting products both online and face to face
How to apply: Please send your CV, covering letter with notice and salary expectations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diversity and Inclusion: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity and inclusion. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, age, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partners
Juicy Bits – Just Our Cup of Tea
Lhe Langham hotel, located in the heart of London’s Regent Street, is famed for being the birthplace of this decadent British tradition more than 150 years ago. So with our love of tea and cake, we thought what better place to launch the Fruitful Team Events division?
Of course, this year the hotel has a new resident celebrity in Cherish Finden (Award winning Pastry Chef and hard hitting judge of the BBC’s Bake Off Crème de le Crème series) and we were delighted when she joined us to talk about her craft and welcome us to the Palm Court.
The event kicked off with the first ever game of Bingo at the Langham Hotel. But this was not standard Bingo but our bespoke icebreaker activity and laughter was heard echoing along the marbled hotel corridors as everyone took part … it certainly worked well to introduce everybody to each other!
Guests were then whisked off on an exclusive private tour of the hotel showing off not only this wonderful property but also offering an opportunity to spot locations of the 2015 hit movie ‘Burnt’ (starring Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller).
We culminated in the main feature of the day by enjoying the ‘best Afternoon Tea in London’ served in the dazzling Palm Court. As you would expect, the afternoon tea was truly sumptuous with delicate sandwiches, freshly baked scones and incredible hand-crafted cakes. This season the inspiration is Wedgewood and Cherish speaks of her ambition and passion for developing ideas and turning them into mouthwatering morsels for her guests.
Finally, sated with tea, food and a glass of Champagne, our guests left clutching goodie bags complete with a sample of Cherish’s new sumptuous chocolate creation.
“A really wonderful afternoon and evening. You really do spoil us and make everything so personable right down to the gift bags”.
“We were delighted to be working with Fruitful Team Events again. They are always a fun and enthusiastic team of professionals”. Patrick Brady, Sales Manager Langham London.
‘This was a truly “wonderful” experience’. Michelle, DIAGEO
The well know designer Cristina Re, once said “a cup of tea is an excuse to share great thoughts with great minds”. We could not agree more and we would like to thank all our guests that came to join us in making Fruitful Team Events launch a successful occasion and a special thank you to our wonderful hosts at the Langham, London. We look forward to seeing you all again very soon!years, it was lovely to uncover some lesser known locations, restaurants and approach this brief with fresh eyes.”
How Crescendo delivered a one-of-a-kind virtual event that could not go wrong
W hen tailored event agency, Crescendo, was approached by a world-leading international organisation to replace its annual senior leadership conference with a virtual event, they knew they’d be under pressure to deliver a flawless experience. When they learnt that the event was scheduled over three days and required interactive access for 600 participants across 11 time zones and 64 countries, they realised they’d need a powerful technical partner to deliver this one-of-a-kind event without a hitch..
The event took place in March 2021 and began with a presentation to the client’s full employee base of 40 000 staff to launch a new digital, community-based movement. This was followed by the first virtual version of the company’s senior leadership conference.
“It was a colossal undertaking,” says Crescendo founder Russell Allen. ” Our client has a robust fairness and anti-discriminatory policy and it was very important to them that everyone had access. But the organisation comprises many joined-up companies that have come together via acquisitions and mergers over the years, and each has its own technology heritage and firewall structure.”
After testing a variety of virtual event platforms and tools, the client decided that the only way to guarantee access for all staff was to use Microsoft Teams. But there was a snag.
“After the whole-room presentation by the CEO, the brief was to replicate the feeling of a live event, with cabaret-style tables where people talk with their neighbours,” Allen explains. “A standard Microsoft Teams implementation wouldn’t have been able to provide this combination of ‘broadcast’ and small group interactivity.”
Although Crescendo has a strong technical team in house, it needed a production partner that could deliver something that had never been done before, so it brought in audio visual and entertainment technology specialist Anna Valley.
After an exhaustive consultation process to establish exactly what was needed from both a content and technology perspective, and extensive testing, the partners designed the solution for the virtual event from the ground up.
The conference included pre-recorded video contributions and live feeds with remote presenters, as well as the interactive activities across multiple small groups. The Crescendo team produced over 70 individual videos for the event which was run entirely from Anna Valley’s master control room at their virtual event facility in South West London.
The broadcast vs small group conundrum was solved by using 60 individual laptops, each running a separate meeting for 10 participants, thus creating the “cabaret table” format required. “This meant we could begin by pushing a broader show into all the tables at once – so everyone could watch the plenary session together – but attendees could then participate in a workshop among just the people at their own table,” says Allen.
“The client response has been mind-blowing,” says Allen. “The CEO was hugely impressed with the technology, which really fitted with the company’s pioneering spirit. And the level of contingency planning was phenomenal. Every minute was pre-recorded, so if a link had gone down, we would be up and running again within two minutes.”
Anna Valley beat some stiff competition to get the job. “We were looking for the best partners to pull this off, and it became very apparent that Anna Valley were the best partners,” says Allen. “We admired their technical capability, the fact that they had everything on-site and had repurposed their offices into studios. But above all they really understood what we were creating. They understood that the way we were using this technology had never been done before, and that testing was critical. There was a real synergy around the level of perfection we’d need to make this happen.
“This was a business-critical project. The pioneering spirit of designing a new solution that was on brand, but equally it had to work. Anna Valley got that, and they really delivered.”
If we can help with any further information, please don’t hesitate to be in touch.
Behold, the Great Outdoors!
With companies now planning their next big get together Russell Allen, Owner of Team Interactions specialist Fruitful, reveals how clients are thinking outside of the conference room box.
Over the last 18 months, across the nation, workers have spent lockdown sat WFH at their kitchen table or enjoying more time outside than they ever have done before. Now that temperatures are finally beginning to rise, the sun is becoming less of a stranger and as covid restrictions lift, we here at Fruitful are finding that companies and their employees are valuing outdoor space more.
Clients who would usually come to us seeking a nice indoor venue for 500 people, are thinking outside of the conference room box and seeking adventures, or at least space in the great outdoors but not in an obvious field. We were tasked to find creative options for a particular brand that is a lot more urban. This client is now looking to hold their conference on Brighton Pier exclusively.
Companies are not just flocking to the beach however. Another client of ours moving away from the classic hotel suite is eyeing a well-known outdoor covered market offering, where guests can move around freely with a greater flow of air in more inspirational surroundings.
In a time where ‘business as usual’ is a bit of a contradiction in terms for companies
big and small, it is clear that getting the team together to bond again face-to-face remains of paramount importance.
Be it on a beach, in an outdoor market, at a bespoke mini festival or team adventures and sumptuous feasts in the countryside, we really love playing our part in getting employees back together by putting our creative minds, venue partnerships and deep knowledge of venues to good use.
Here’s to the next exciting ‘out there’ brief!
Getting to know Suzanne O’Shea
Both the Crescendo and Fruitful businesses are delighted to have brought on board Suzanne O’Shea as Event Operations Director.
CEO & Founder Russell Allen says, “In line with our strategy to develop our experience in high end production and bring this invaluable skill set in house, Su’s impressive events background and forensic eye for detail has become a huge asset to the business.”
We are very pleased to share below some insights into Su’s role:
Getting to know… Su O’Shea
What do you do at Crescendo? I wear many hats! That’s the beauty of working within a boutique agency with a tight knit team. I get to work on project design and delivery, business development, marketing and strategy and unpacking the production cases after an event, all of which I love doing and wouldn’t have it any other way.
How do you approach your work? Firstly, with gratitude that I get to do what I do. Although what we do can be challenging, I don’t see it as work. I truly cherish what I do and the people I have the honour to work with so feel very lucky every day that we get to create amazing and memorable events and experiences together.
What has been your favourite event to work on? There have been so many but the most spine tingling was producing Tom Fords pre-Oscars fashion show in LA where we managed to fulfil Mr Fords desire to make it ‘snow’ rose petals as a last-minute request for the grand finalé.
What is your top tip for making sure an event runs smoothly? Impeccable planning, clear communication and having an A Team.
What do you keep on your desk? As little as possible, I don’t like clutter!
I never leave home without… Phone and credit card which is pretty much all I need! …and a face mask these days.
How would your colleagues describe you? They call me a machine, not sure if that’s a compliment or not though!
What new skill did you pick up during lockdown? Gardening, I come from a family of gardeners and have resisted for many years but during Lockdown, me and the garden made friends.
What does a good night out look like to you? Good food, wine, company and lots of laughs.
Favourite aftershow party? I produced an after-show party for Michael Kors at the Boom Boom Room at the top of The Standard in New York. The views were stunning, and it was wall to wall beautiful people but the best bit for me was working with Duran Duran who played an intimate set for the party.
Best venue you have held an event at? The iconic and glamorous, mid-century design, Four Seasons Restaurant in New York, the birthplace of the ‘power lunch’ and home to the original Madmen. We had the honour of producing a dinner and fashion show for Tom Ford which was the last activity the space saw before closing its doors and permanently ending an era that had lasted 60 years.
What’s the strangest place you have held an event at? An aircraft hangar, belonging to the client, in Ohio for 1500 guests for the Wexner Foundation 30th Anniversary Gala Dinner. Transport for site visits and to and from the event was via the client’s private jet which was a lot of fun!
What’s your goal for 2021? Stay happy and healthy and continue to create amazing events and experiences for our clients whether they be virtual, hybrid or in person!
Russell Allen, Fruitful Team Interactions
Nice to (re-)meet you…
After months of virtual meetings and nice to ‘e-meet yous’, is it time to get the team back together. But after nearly a year of lockdown, what will people expect when returning to a face-to-face event? Russell Allen, Owner of Team Interactions specialist Fruitful, gives PA Life his top tips.
After months of virtual meetings and nice to ‘e-meet yous’, is it time to get the team back together. But after nearly a year of lockdown, what will people expect when returning to a face-to-face event? Russell Allen, Owner of Team Interactions specialist Fruitful, gives PA Life his top tips.
According to the Economist, in 2019, the workforce spent only five percent of their working time at home. In 2020, that number shot up to 60 percent. So, what will this mix look like in 2021?
Currently nearly all meetings are online – people plug in, listen, take part, and feel they are involved, all while WFH. But for most it is not the same as a face-to-face gathering. As lockdowns begin to ease and people are eyeing up returning to live events – there will be a tipping point when those weekly meetings no longer happen online – suddenly if people don’t attend, they begin to miss out.
At Fruitful we have over twenty years’ experience in the bank of helping businesses big and small inspire and motivate their staff both online and in the flesh. If you’re wondering how to make the most of these first meetings, here are our top ‘back to work’ team interaction tips:
- Begin dialogue with your colleagues by designing a brief questionnaire asking them what they would like to see – this will help define objectives.
- Ensure plenty of networking time – after lockdown, the social aspect is going to be important.
- Mix up the agenda and the room layout so people feel they have space and are comfortable in groups. Communicate this ahead of the event so people know they are going to be safe.
- More than ever, people will value outdoor space. Look to hold your meeting outdoors or somewhere where there is an easily accessible networking area in the fresh air.
- Generate team spirit by creating group activities which will encourage collaboration. If the budget permits, engage with a team interactions specialist.
- Ensure you take a poll on how the day went against your objectives.
And if you need assistance ensuring your meetings hit the mark, please do get in touch, as we would love to help ensure your company hits the ground running this summer.
Information about this interaction will be available shortly.
Please check back soon!
Mystery & Mayhem
Classy, challenging and funny… our comedy entertainment and interactive team game brings out the detective in everyone. From Murder at the Vicarage, to Sherlock to the Nightie before Christmas our range of bespoke murder mystery evenings will have your guests spellbound. The acting team are all professionally trained actors (including some familiar faces from stage and screen) and will bring the stories to life – with a little help from some of your guests and a few props.
Sadly we can’t tell you more without revealing the plot but you won’t be disappointed!
Do you know your Bordeaux from your Beaujolais? Can you rustle up a Negroni? Can you identify the base notes of your favourite whiskey?
Our master experts in these fields will not only open a whole new world of experience but will challenge the group to compete with their new found knowledge.
Best suited to evening events the Delicious Drinks team can run a fun pre-dinner drinks challenge, over dinner wine tasting and competition or a simple informative post dinner bar with a difference.
- Wine Challenge
- Whisky Tasting
- Gin Taste Challenge
- Cocktail Making
- Espresso Martini Workshop
Your event is the ideal time to offer your team some activities that will recharge and refresh their minds and bodies. For example:
This guided session can reduce stress and unblock creative thoughts leading to a more productive afternoon in session.
Fit 2 Travel
Do your team travel far and wide on plane, train and automobile? This session will give groups a workshop in keeping fit and healthy despite travelling.
Our discussion lead workshop will help define what is depleting your energy and what helps restore and recharge you.
Walk With a Purpose
Get out in the fresh air, recharge your batteries and really take in your surroundings. From as little as 30 minutes we guarantee your team will be raring to go once the cobwebs are blown away.
Take a step back to summers past at our local ‘Village Fête’. The activities encourage participation from everyone no matter their interest or sporting prowess. The Fruitful Village Fête works well in a have-a-go format or with a layer of competition for a more team-based approach.
Choose from our menu of options that include trying your luck at the side stalls, indulging in a slice of Victoria sponge decorated by participants in the WI tent, and battling it out in the welly-wanging or tug-of-war challenges.
The central arena is lined with straw bales and shows are timed throughout the day to highlight various activities and demonstrate the skills of our professionals. Following the falconry display, participants can experience flying the birds themselves while the gun dog assault course teaches guests about handling and controlling the dogs. After the thrilling 4×4 display why not take part in blindfold Land Rover driving on our specially designed course. Activities are tailored to the group, the venue and the time available.
Get the team together and become Lords and Ladies of the Estate. Take part in the very best field activities and enjoy the quintessential British country life.
The pace can be changed – fast, furious and competitive or relaxed and leisurely – but either way teams will have a go on all activities as they rotate through the session.
- Gun dog handling
- Duck racing
- Segway driving
- Horse racing
- Laser clay shooting
Our range of food based team events will give your teams
the opportunity to compete, learn a new skill and create some wonderful delicacies. Offering a level platform to all teams whatever your group size or make up, exploring the world
of culinary delights can be themed to match the location of your event or to reflect your business regions. These can be
as competitive or mindful as your group dictates and they are guaranteed to have everyone talking about what they achieved.
- Chocolate Challenge
- Cake Creations
- Bread Bake Off (complete with making your own butter)
- Yes You Canape
Ever fancied trying your hand at sketching â€¦ or ice carving â€¦ or corn dolly weaving? Not only do our creative workshops offer the chance to try something completely different out but they are also a great way of breaking up a day of meetings, rewarding the team and getting everyone feeling creative. Choose from our list of activities including:
- Pottery (using a potter’s wheel)
- Candle making
- Leather workshops
- Mosaic tile making
- Sugar craft
- Ice sculpting
- Terrarium making
- Paper crafting
Music as One
Music is a powerful tool and works with any group no matter what age, nationality or corporate level. Our musical programmes are designed to create unity within the group and result in a powerful performance that will not be forgotten.
The team gradually builds complex rhythms using different instruments and even movement. Choose from African Drumming, Brazilian Salsa or fun and fast paced Boomwhackers.
Everyone can offer something to this choral challenge. Starting with some simple, popular songs our voice coaches help build the group towards a breath-taking finale performance.
Turn your group into a String Orchestra with everyone in the room learning enough to play our simple melody and be part of a wonderful and powerful sound.
Art as One
Whether you are an enthusiastic hobby artist or have not picked up a paintbrush since school, our art challenges offer a level playing field for all team members and result in a memorable item to remind everyone of the day they have had.
The group is divided into teams and each is given a table of resources including a canvas and a picture from a section of a famous painting that they have to recreate. To earn the necessary paint supplies they must answer a series of art-based questions and solve picture clues. Points are then traded at the Fruitful Craft Shop. Once complete, the individual canvases are joined together to make a giant replica of the well-known masterpiece.
Or using the same principles:
- Graffiti Wall
- Mosaic Path
Lights, Camera, Action!
Whether as director, location scout or leading actor, everyone plays his or her part in creating a team movie. Get creative with planning your shots on a scene storyboard. Feel the energy rise as you get out and about shooting your footage. Then back to editing suite to add special effects and a stirring soundtrack.
Using iPad filming technology, teams are tasked with scripting, shooting and editing your own movie, advert or news story. All props, costumes and technical support will be provided by our experienced Fruitful production assistants.
Team briefs are written especially for you and can include:
- Conference specific messaging
- References to challenges faced by the business
- Different challenges for each team to overcome
- Strict rules or a more relaxed approach
- Options to make a trailor, advert, HR video or newsroom bulletin
Follow the Trail…
Tailored to your team, the location and the duration of your event. Below we have listed some previous examples but what we create for you is up to you.
- Tracing the tea trade route through the east end of London, teams take our pirate gold challenge and celebrate ‘shanty’ style.
- Smuggling was the livelihood of many in the south of England. Will your team return with the spoils or will the long arm of the law prevail?
- Code cracking and covert operations were the keys that unlocked victory almost a century ago. Retrace those steps and find out whether your team would have been on the winning side.
- Inheritance of estate properties the length and breadth of the country have been the subject of many a bitter family feud – can your team find the true heir?
- Bring the works of popular authors alive as your teams work to relive key moments from fiction and film by visiting places that inspired our great British authors and screenwriters.
- London Unlock some of the hidden gems in our capital. Themes can include chocolate, cheese, churches, activities or famous people.
- Brighton What makes a British Seaside Holiday a unique experience? Follow our trail to discover the highlights and wish you were here moments that make this a great day out.
- Cambridge Cobbled streets and hushed quadrangle courts hide the secrets your team needs to be the first to uncover.
- Stratford-upon-Avon Retrace the steps of the Bard himself along with key characters from his plays and actors from his time.
- Paris The city that has seen revolution, expositions, artists and, of course, romance. Uncover unusual history while exploring the various arrondissements.
Survive or Thrive
Your group find themselves in a hostile environment and are split into tribes. Each tribe is given a basic kit list and the parameters in which they must operate as a group.
Events start to unravel throughout the game as the tribes battle to survive and ultimately thrive. Experience:
- Shelter building
- The power of water
- Fire starting
- Eating to survive
- Negotiation, cooperation and competition
Design, build and race your very own go kart. Teams pit themselves against each other to create the most competitive vehicle both on the parade ring (it is all about the theme) and on the race track.
Skill, speed and fast thinking will all be required to get to the podium at the finale.
- Learn the basis of kart engineering
- Make critical decisions about the design of their kart to influence their speed
- Develop a theme that is reflected in their finished vehicle
- Have a chance to stand on a podium with a medal hanging from their necks in glorious victory
With only their code board as a guide the teams need to work out how they are going to tackle the challenge of Code Cracker. With team HQ based inside, activities can be located inside and out and teams need to work their way around them to earn points and ultimately time to crack the final code.
Not everyone can leave to do each challenge so this is a real test of team management and fitting skills against challenges.
Challenges can include:
- Reaction testing
- Brain teasers
Agent Training Camp
Immersed in the intriguing world of spies and double agents, participants will need to earn ‘00’ status to become agents of Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Starting with a secret mission broadcast, the pace is fast and furious as teams are put through their paces and rotate around a course of specialised disciplines.
Activity list includes:
- Driver Training
- Sniffer Dog Challenge
- Undercover Skills Workshop
- International Spy of Mystery Training
- ID Clinic
- Shooting Skills (including laser guns and VR games)
- Rock Climbing
The Art Room
This sophisticated, practical workshop is suitable for all levels of experience.
Set in our virtual artist’s studio the workshop begins with a lesson. Our art instructor will give technical advice and demonstrations in key areas to help guests create their own artwork and enjoy the shared experience of learning and expressing a new skill together, all be it online.
Artists will learn about proportion, perspective, anatomy, line, gesture, shading and tone with the opportunity to practise and perfect the techniques in preparation for their final drawings of our professional life model.
Guests will receive their own sketch pad along with charcoal and pencil sets in their kit as a souvenir of the day and a reminder of their achievements.
An indulgent alternative to the traditional Christmas Party, this 3-4 hour experience includes all you need for the perfect event over lunch or dinner. We’ve thought of everything from apéritif activities, to a delicious gourmet meal and sizzling entertainment. Everything you need will be supplied in our bumper Christmas hamper so a great time is guaranteed without even leaving home!
Choose from one of three fun activities. Do you know your Bordeaux from your Beaujolais? Can you rustle up a Negroni? Or would you prefer something a little more creative? We offer a wine tasting session, cocktail class or wreath making workshop.
An amazing opportunity to prepare and cook a gourmet, 3 course meal for you and your partner or friend, at home, under the expert guidance of our world-renowned chef.
Be amazed with Magic Singh’s interactive magic and mind reading, be entertained with a bit of Spontaneous Poetry or try and work out
‘whodunnit’ it in our fabuously fun murder mystery experience.
The Wine Cellar
Become a wine connoisseur
Do you know your Bordeaux from your Beaujolais? Your Sauvignon from your Semillon?
Our master sommelier will open a whole new world of experience as you learn about the wines that have been specially selected and sent to you in advance. Develop your ‘nose’ and refine your palate before being challenged to compete using your new found knowledge and identify the mystery wines.
The Cocktail Cabinet
Become a master mixologist
Recreate your favourite cocktails at our ‘live’ mixologist masterclass. Under expert guidance you’ll learn all the tips and techniques needed to create your very own professional cocktails.
Learn all about the history of the Negroni, Tom Collins and Cosmopolitan cocktails before comparing, rating and of course trying your creations! In your pre-delivered kit will be everything you need:
- Cocktail shaker kit
- Alcohol and mixers
- Flavourings and garnishes
- Recipe cards
The Chef’s Table
A cookery masterclass with Chris Wheeler
An amazing opportunity to prepare and cook a gourmet, 3 course meal for you and your partner or friend, at home, under the expert guidance of our world-renowned chef.
Our event manager will be on hand, working alongside Chris in the kitchen so guests will be able to interact with questions and comments as they work through the menu to create an amazing meal and learn some of the tricks of the trade! In your pre-delivered kit will be all the ingredients you need.
King Prawn, Avocado And Crème fraiche Tian with Cucumber and Pink Grapefruit Dressing
Roast Supreme of Chicken filled with Feta Cheese and Sun-dried Tomatoes with Pesto Mash and Black Olive Jus
Bitter Chocolate Fondant with Mango Puree and Vanilla Ice Cream
Chris Wheeler, author of The Ginger Chef ‘Served Up’, started his career in the French town of Segos at the Michelin-starred Domaine De Bassible Hotel and Restaurant, before going on to become Jean-Christophe Novelli’s right-hand man and the youngest Sous Chef, at the time, in a Michelin-starred restaurant. Chris joined Stoke Park Country Club, Spa and Hotel
in Buckinghamshire in 2003 as Head Chef of Humphry’s (3 AA Rosette Restaurant) and is Executive Chef of the entire club.
A candle making workshop
Candles have been used as a source of light and to illuminate celebrations for more than 5,000 years, yet little is known about their origin. The earliest use of candles is often attributed to the Ancient Egyptians, who made rushlights or torches by soaking the pithy core of reeds in melted animal fat.
Learn more by joining our live workshop broadcast from the candle-making studio in Marlow, where you will be taken through all the candle-making techniques and skills required to make pillar, container, tealights and rolled beeswax candles. In your pre-delivered kit will be everything you need:
- Wax melter
- Dial thermometer
- Tin container and lid
- Reusable pillar mould
- Wicks and wicking sticks
- Fragrance oil
- Soy pillar wax
- Soy container wax
- Beeswax sheets
Create a living garden in a jar
Join our expert horticulturist in his tropical garden, as he shares his green knowledge and leads guests in creating a “jarden” – a living garden in a jar!
Under the right conditions, a perfectly balanced, closed terrarium can last a lifetime, making them an eco-friendly alternative to cut flowers.
After a demonstration, and history of terrariums and how they work, guests are invited to get stuck in and get their hands dirty! Guests will be guided through each step; planting techniques, how to build each layer to contribute to the overall wellbeing of the eco-system, given inspiration on how to add embellishment, and tips on how to look after it afterwards so that the plants can thrive.
At the end of the activity, guests can present their terrariums and, as an optional competitive element, we can judge a winner and send out a prize in the post. In your pre-delivered kit will be everything you need:
- The jar
- A selection of exotic plants
We have been running our wellness workshop sessions successfully face-to-face and now can bring them to life for your team online. These are an opportunity for your teams to come together, connect, and learn new theories, techniques and practical tools that will positively impact their sense of wellbeing.
Introducing the principles of wellbeing to support greater balance during times of great disruption.
Learning how to build resilience in order to better cope with the day-to-day pressures of life.
Fostering empathy and compassion, the key ingredients to high performing teams.
For those with a more literary leaning, our Spontaneous Poetry Show works brilliantly for any size of audience.
Within each show, there will be improvised poems based on audience generated “random words”, some themed ones (either topical, about the group, or about individual members of the audience) and finishing with a spontaneous poem that features at least 10 of their chosen words.
We also offer a fun and inspiring Poetry Workshop. Within 45 minutes, every person will surprise themselves by writing a ‘brilliant’ poem. The workshop also includes a short Spontaneous Poetry Show at the start and end.
You can even commission a bespoke poem for your group. You’ll send words and ideas for this customised poem which will be pre-written and pre-approved by you. This can then be performed as part of either of the above events.
Introducing Magic Singh’s Interactive Magic and Mind Reading Show, live and direct in the comfort of your own home. Mind-blowing and thoroughly engaging, Magic Singh transports his brilliantly unique and modern style of visual magic to our online platform.
Regarded as one of the UK’s finest magical talents, Magic Singh has long been enchanting high-profile audiences across the globe… for companies such as Inmarsat and Odeon and for a plethora of celebrities including Dame Judy Dench, Simon Pegg and Craig David.
Magic Singh will blow your mind by showing you incredible visual magic such as restoring torn playing cards set on fire and turning scraps of paper into cold hard cash. He’ll also demonstrate incredible mind reading feats such as revealing the time you were born, and everyone’s dream…predicting the lottery numbers!
You will believe in magic after this event… guaranteed to impress and astound, it’s definitely an experience to talk about with your family, friends and colleagues for a long time to come.
The Greatest Gameshow
The Greatest Gameshow is hosted by our very own quiz master and involves teams competing in various bespoke rounds.
There are a number of interactive rounds with both visual and audio support. These could include:
- Trivia Questions are read out by the Quizmaster and shown on screen
- Audio “Back Tracks” where teams must guess the popular song that is being played backwards
- Visual eg “Close Up” where teams are shown pictures of household items photographed at weird angles
- Interactive eg ‘Super Ace Face Race’ where you race to get a chocolate biscuit from your forehead into your mouth, without using your hands
For more competitive teams we can invite them to a virtual breakout room where they can confer privately for a while without the rest of the group hearing. To submit their answers, teams nominate a team leader to email their answers and we’ll have someone marking them in0 ‘real time’.
If you have a particular theme or message, we can tailor the quiz to suit.
Mystery & Mayhem
Challenging and fun… our fast-paced, comedy, entertainment and interactive team game brings out the detective in everyone, from the comfort of your own home.
Once ‘gathered’, your live, online host D.I. Butler (played by a professional actor) outlines the mysterious crime under investigation and introduces the motley cast of suspects.
Short witness scripts and character bios will be supplied in advance as crucial evidence but you’ll be encouraged to nominate teammates to take on some of these character parts to re-enact key scenes ‘on-stage’.
Working in teams, the ‘super sleuths’ must examine all the information at hand to reach the correct conclusion. Online interactive elements include evidence videos and access to the ‘police database‘ to search for and solve further clues.
The sleuths come together in their own ‘interview rooms’ where they can share their findings but which team will guess ‘whodunnit’?
As an extra special enhancement we can arrange for an at home visit from one of the ‘cast’. Listen out for a knock at the door!
Introducing Fruitful Virtual Interactions
Special offer: if you confirm 2 interactions with us (which are interchangeable e.g. one wellness, one quiz, one magic etc.) your 3rd is complimentary, (we’re calling it COVID Free!). This will give your team a series of professional interactions, with longevity, as support during these unprecedented and difficult times. You simply need to confirm your interactions before September, to be delivered before the end of the year. It really is that simple…
Fruitful virtual interactions
While for many life has taken a rather abrupt stop, we have been delighted to hear from many of you who are keen to keep your teams engaged during these strange and unprecedented times. With more than 15 years in the industry, and a real desire from our clients who have relied on us to create unique team activities for their teams, it seemed only right that we turned our hand to adapting some of our market leading products to options that can keep the team together… only online!
The result of this is a collection of unique and engaging products which we have compiled in our latest brochure ‘Get the virtual team together’, attached. We are pleased to offer a variety of products, as well as some handy tips to survive or even thrive during these unusual times, highlights include:
- A fully hosted Murder mystery experience
- A live and interactive magic show
- Quizmania – complete with a quizmaster and live marking – we run 2 sessions as standard at your chosen time
- Wellbeing workshops – to support your team with their mind, body and soul
As well as offering a professional webcasting service to should you need to communicate with your teams.
We hope you enjoy the brochure (with costs included) and insights from our experts, do let us know if we are able to help you and your teams.
In the meantime stay safe and connected and we hope to see you in person soon, and on line even sooner!
With very best wishes
Russell and the Fruitful team
Editors letter – independent, spring 2019 issue 1
It is an undisputed fact that the way we buy is changing. Not only is the digital world playing a more and more important role in both marketing and purchasing of goods and services, but increasingly large corporations are owning huge market shares. Sometimes this is very obvious (think Amazon) and other times sub-brands are not linked so you can be unaware that they are connected. In the event world this applies to hotel chains, agencies and caterers. There is no denying that these industry giants have much to offer.
So where does that leave the small independents? As a business we use the services of small, independently owned businesses as well as some of the larger players. As an independent agency ourselves, we feel it is our responsibility to offer our clients the best solution possible. ‘Best’ has many facets – value is one of course but also creativity, quality, flexibility and innovation play a part in our selection of partners. This issue we have chosen to celebrate just a handful of our wonderful independent partners who help us to continue to offer wonderful service and great new products to you, our clients.
Julia and Russell
Sing like no-one is listening… spring 2019 issue 1
It is a well-documented fact that singing makes you feel good and thanks to Tabitha Beaven you don’t need to have a good voice to join a choir and belt out your favourite tunes.
What’s special about your choir and how did it come to be? I deploy a very special type of singing in the choirs I run. I call it ‘carefree’ singing. The kind of singing where you really let rip like you would in the shower or in the safety of your car when no one is listening! My journey with ‘carefree’ singing started in 2016 when I launched a community franchise of ‘Tuneless Choir’ – known as the ‘choir for people who can’t sing’.
This differs to what we call a ‘proper’ choir where you’d usually split into a number of different parts depending on voice type, work on a small number of songs and polish them up for a performance. In a ‘Carefree’ choir there is no intention to be any good and no intention to be any better at the end of a session. It’s about making a choice to embrace whatever sounds come out of your mouth and celebrate the effort you put in rather than the result.
Who can take part in ‘carefree’ singing? I often say that ‘all noise makers’ are welcome so pretty much everyone and anyone. Of course, if someone can sing in tune, it might be they get more value from a ‘proper’ choir where the aim is creating beautiful music together. But as a key element of ‘carefree’ singing is to let go of inhibitions and judgment we place on ourselves, ‘in tune’ singers also reap the benefits of having an exuberant time-out, being compassionate towards less fortunate singers and feeling part of a team. It’s a great leveller of a hierarchy as everyone is equal in a carefree choir.
What are the mental and physical benefits to singing? There are so many benefits to singing. I love that it’s an activity that benefits mind, body and soul. On the physical level, making singing type noises (whether they sound good or not) releases a tidal wave of happy hormones in the body. This includes endorphins which make us feel good but also combat levels of the stress hormone cortisol. When we have high levels of cortisol it negatively impacts our immune system so regular singing keeps us healthy. When singing in a group, we also release oxytocin, the hormone that helps us feel more connected to others. We increase oxygen flow which is great for energy, motivation and productivity. From a mental perspective it provides a much needed ‘time-out’ – it’s very hard to worry about what’s on the to do list when you’re immersed in belting out a power ballad! Because it’s a full-bodied practice it has a magical way of connecting us to ourselves and to others – it lets us ‘feel’.
The concept of ‘carefree’ singing also works for team activities, can you explain how you are able to tailor what you do for corporate groups? There are a huge number of transferrable skills developed using music that translate to the workplace. Music is a really powerful memory anchor so can be used to punctuate the key messages and help delegates remember conference content – even better if it’s a session where delegates co-create new words of a song to capture their take-aways and perform it together.
Carefree singing is a pressure free time-out that builds confidence as people not only ‘find their voice’ but make a choice to embrace it. It encourages risk taking by gently helping people to widen their comfort zone and is a great practice in letting go of judgments which improves collaboration and how people connect with each other.
It’s a readily accessible, fully inclusive team activity that levels any hierarchy instantly. It can also be applied to personal development workshops for example ‘Feel the Fear and Sing it Anyway’ and ‘Change the Record’ are both personal development workshops that develop risk taking.
Finally, there is a great wellbeing message of taking a mental time-out and making choices to do activities because they make us feel good and help us recharge the batteries.
Explore from A to Z, spring 2019 issue 1
We are proud to be partnered with some of the best in the business, experts in their field who add that extra bit of magic and sparkle to our events. In this issue we explain why we love working with the wonderful Blue Badge Guides.
Did you know that the programme to become a Blue Badge Guide is two years – as long as to qualify for The London Knowledge for black cab drivers. And no wonder it takes so long, the depth and breadth of the knowledge of our favourite guides knows no ends and as such they perfectly complement some of our Fruitful Team Event products. Each guide is independent but is a member of the British Guild of Tourist Guides that oversees training and maintains the high standards that we have come to expect. If you visit any of the popular tourist attractions in London you are sure to find a Blue Badge Guide describing a historical moment or sharing an urban legend to their group in one of 30 languages.
We have been using one such guide for a number of years now and she has become a firm favourite for both us and our clients. Not only can she deliver all the programmes you would expect but she is a wonderful source of knowledge anywhere in London – need help for a walking tour around fashion in London? She has a wonderful programme talking about Carnaby Street, Laura Ashley and Bond Street among others. Have clients staying off the beaten track but don’t want to bus them to more tourist based areas? She can make any area fascinating (a recent group in Marylebone were treated to a little snippet about Paul McCartney sneaking out of a girlfriends window!)
The trends of having an experience, learning something, trying out a new skill are pervading many of our events and the Blue Badge team are well placed to hit that brief regardless of group size, time or location.
“This is the second time we have used you to organize a walking tour of the local area, and the second time we have had the pleasure of working with Amanda. She is the absolute best! So very knowledgeable, personable, and wonderful with our group. As a blue badge guide, she has a rich knowledge of the areas she is showing the attendees. Even those who have lived in London their entire life learned a lot on her tour. She has a wonderful personality and we will definitely ask for Amanda in the future. She is a star!”
Interesting facts about Blue Badge guides;
The Blue Badge is the highest level of professional tourist guiding in the UK
Blue Badge tourist guides are the only guides permitted to guide visitors around sites such as the Tower of London and Windsor Castle
Blue Badge tourist guides love to know about their group in advance of the tour – nationality, type of company, interests etc so they can incorporate stories relevant to the group in their tour – every tour is personally tailored to the group
Every Blue Badge tourist guide has been asked why Windsor Castle was built underneath the flightpath of London Heathrow airport!
Blue Badge tourist guides know great stories about hidden areas of well know tourist sites.
Getting to know… Shaneen, spring 2019 issue 1
Do you have an event ritual? At the end of each day onsite, I will always finish the day with a lovely relaxing bath, regardless of what time it is. It helps me unwind and sleep, ready for the next day.
What would be your dream event to organise? I would love to be part of the event team for the Invictus Games.
Favourite work moment of 2018? Gosh, there have been many, but I think my favourite has to be when we were having dinner in a storeroom in a palace with a mouse running around which thankfully, I wasn’t aware of at the time! Events aren’t always as glamourous as they seem!