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    Having a ball

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    Thinking of holding your event at a sporting venue? These recent occasions are bound to inspire.

    The SMA Trust fundraising dinner at Chelsea Football Club

    The SMA Trust is a UK charity that funds research into spinal muscular atrophy. The event space for the fundraising dinner needed to have large stage areas, wheelchair access and disabled parking. The SMA Trust felt that the club added prestige to the event, highlighting the unique nature of this charity fundraiser.

    The evening involved a dinner for 500 guests, many of whom were children who required assistance on the night or special menus, which were carefully planned by the catering team at Levy Restaurants. Flaming torches lined the entrance to the Great Hall, and the dining space was made to feel dramatic with a twinkling ?star cloth? ceiling and a monochrome colour scheme. Impersonator Alistair McGowan kept guests entertained, while BBC newsreader Emily Maitlis conveyed what it?s like to live with SMA by interviewing children suffering from the disease.

    ?We wanted to create a ?wow? factor as our guests arrived,? explains Tessa Rice, a trustee of the SMA Trust, ?and the Great Hall did just that. Our guests enjoyed a fun evening in a unique setting, and we would definitely use the space again.?

    BMW Motorrad UK at Silverstone Wing

    BMW Motorrad decided to hold its UK national dealer conference at Silverstone because of the venue?s strong ties to the motor industry. It wanted to create a lasting impression for dealers who attend lots of conferences and venues throughout the year, while at the same time reviewing 2011 and outlining plans for 2012.

    BMW Motorrad?s guests were welcomed with refreshments on one of the Silverstone Wing?s mezzanine floors, overlooking the iconic Grand Prix Circuit. Following this, BMW Motorrad gave several presentations to the audience in the 100-seater auditorium. The dealers then took part in corporate driving experiences, where they had the thrilling opportunity to drive on sections of the Grand Prix Circuit. Conrad Parker, National Aftersales Manager at BMW Motorrad UK, praised the Silverstone Wing hospitality package. ?A fantastic variety of vehicles were available for our dealers to experience,? he says. ?The driving instructors were passionate about what they were doing and very professional. It?s always the people that make the event, and Silverstone?s staff ensured our conference was truly memorable.?

    Women in Business Awards 2012, at The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse

    The Women in Business Awards is an annual event that highlights the achievements of businesswomen in and around Gloucestershire. This was the second year the awards were held at Cheltenham Racecourse, so it was important that the experience made an excellent impression on the 300 attendees and introduced new creative ideas that highlighted the unique venue.

    Before the awards dinner, Cheltenham Racecourse jointly hosted three ?Inspiring Women? networking events with Gloucestershire Media in the Panoramic Suite, with around 50 guests attending each seminar to great success.

    The networking events boosted ticket sales for the final ceremony, which was moved from the Gold Cup room to The Centaur, which not only has a capacity for up to 2,250 people, but also boasts flexible lighting, seating and stage arrangement. Eight awards were presented at the event, which was hosted by Gloucestershire Media?s Managing Director Sarah Pullen. Choosing to make the event larger not only improved profits, but raised the profile of the awards.

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    Molly Dyson

    Former Editor – PA Life

    All stories by: Molly Dyson