This is a guest post by Chris Fellows, head of sales at Chameleon Live.
After a break of three years, Toyota Material Handling UK (TMH UK) Kick Off Conference for the 2023 financial year, brought a welcome reunion for 300 of the company’s personnel recently, at Birmingham’s ICC.
Covid had broken the continuity of one of the most important events on the TMH UK events calendar after 2019, and thus this year’s event took on additional importance.
It was project managed by the brand’s regular partner, my company Chameleon Event Production. We were tasked with developing this year’s theme of ‘Move the World’.
Taking over Hall 5 for the main morning plenary presentations the gathering then broke out out into Hall 5 (for Sales) and Hall 8 (for Aftersales) conferences. After lunch all 300 staff headed to Hall 4 for the afternoon presentations and an address from keynote speaker Lord Digby Jones, former Director-General of the CBI.
This is where we worked our typical production magic. With a very limited advanced access to Hall 4, and working at breakneck speed, we managed to pull off a minor miracle by having an extensive set design, lighting and PA solution installed in time for the 2:00pm start time. This comprised an expansive, custom-branded set with angled side sections and reveal panel for the evening entertainment, featuring a 5m wide central projection screen and pair of 4m wide side projection screens. We also installed a comprehensive awards lighting package which allowed for the set to transition from day to night.
The event had been five months in the planning and Chameleon was asked to deliver a full event management service, masterminded by myself, project manager Emma Dyer, and Head of Production, Sam Parkins. Chameleon’s creative department produced a set of highly imaginative visuals for all rooms, which met the unconditional approval of the client.
The evening awards element opened with introductions and speeches by members of the TMH UK Board of directors, followed by dinner—when suddenly and unannounced a loud siren played out, air raid style, coinciding with follow spots scanning the room to select six contestants for the following surprise entertainment.
Immediately after dinner the curtain broke to reveal guest presenter Vernon Kay. We had already produced bespoke contestant podiums for the event which were used for Vernon to present six knock-out rounds of Family Fortunes using purpose-designed graphics and tailored questions.
Vernon Kay kept the audience thoroughly entertained, and took time to find out about the contestants. He had the words to Copacabana printed ahead of the set before inviting one of the contestants—a known Barry Manilow fan—to sing the complete song, karaoke style … causing much hilarity.
At the conclusion of the game show, Vernon Kay returned to present the TMH UK annual sales awards in a room that had been beautifully dressed by Chameleon, with an extensive lighting solution adding to the effect.
The evening was an unqualified success as borne out by the unanimous plaudits from the Board of Directors and Head of Marketing (& Project Manager), Simon Rogers, who had pulled the whole event together.
Congratulating Chameleon’s team on delivering a first-class production, Stuart Reilly, Director – Toyota Rental & Used Equipment (& Project Sponsor), said, “Once again, they personally captured our needs and dreams and turned these into a great event.Their entire team was on top form.”
He paid particular tribute to Production Manager, AJ, who took the lead on the day, and Project Manager, Emma Dyer, “who was able to duck and dive and take last minute instructions on the day to accommodate some late agenda needs.”
For her part, the Chameleon Project Manager replied, “We have worked with Toyota Material Handling UK several times now and they are always a pleasure to work with. They come with strong, creative ideas and trust us to run with them to create something spectacular.”
But the final word came from Stuart Reilly. “Chameleon smashed it out the park and made us all look good on the day by delivering a very successful event.”
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