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controlling your event during a crisis

Controlling your event during a crisis

As health and safety concerns grow, due to the spread of COVID-19, many businesses are facing doubts as to whether to hold their public or internal events. The important thing is for you to take control of your event before any challenging circumstances run away with you.

With travel restrictions being applied by both companies and countries for an undetermined timescale and articles circulating daily with updates, it can be difficult to know how best to proceed with your event. Whilst waiting for solid government advice to cancel or restrict numbers for events, what’s your best course of action?

If you have an events agency behind you, they’ll have crisis plans in place. But what can you do if you don’t have an events team to take action on your behalf?

Consider what alternatives there are to running your event 

  • A Virtual Event: 

In this modern, technology-friendly environment, an option businesses are looking towards is a live-streamed or broadcasted version of the event. Hosting the event online will allow delegates to tune in and engage from around the world.

It is now possible to stream an awards evening or have a keynote speaker with a live Q &A. Technology has advanced now to include interactive learning, breakout sessions and one-to-one options for event participants, all within a digital space.

  • Postpone the event:

Many events thrive and succeed on the basis of having a personal, physical relationship with attendees. This means that standing two metres away and not being able to share contact with a product during a demonstration is simply not an option. Your only option is going to be to postpone your event until later in the year. This allows for time to gain a better understanding and direction on how to best to proceed with the health and safety of attendees.

The first step when considering postponing your event is to review your contract with your suppliers and exhibitors. This will include contracts for venues through to event speakers. It is best to understand the terms and conditions of your contract and have a new date in mind before reaching out to reschedule and reorganise your event.

Communicating early is essential for all stakeholders. Create a communication plan to keep your partners and audience engaged with your event and informed about future plans. A great way to keep your attendees engaged is to see if any of the event key speakers would record content that could be used in future event teasers or communications. Remember to keep your website updated with key information, this is the most likely place people will visit to find recent updates.

Planning for after the crisis 

While some businesses are taking the opportunity to postpone until the challenges of COVID-19 have passed, this will create high demand and limited space for venues, speakers and other suppliers later in the year. It’s important to work now on these plans rather than waiting until phases 2 and 3 of the virus are over. Look at potential dates for July, August and September, as well as later in the year.

No matter if you’re looking to reschedule, turn your event virtual or adapt your event into a different format, Sleek Events is here to help. If you’re unsure and need advice on how to proceed, #SpeakToSleek. Our experienced events team are ready to help and can be contacted here or by calling our office on +44 (0)20 8939 1397.

 

networking event for startup to meet investors

How to use an event to meet investors

When you’re starting a business, a key fence you need to hurdle is the financial one. You’ve got to find sufficient capital to cover not only your initial costs but also the expenses you’ll incur in the first year or two while the business gets on its feet.

But where do you go to get the money? You could approach your bank, but that’s very much a box-ticking exercise and, often, we simply don’t fit into boxes. (Plus, sometimes we prefer not to 😉).

So, why not think in a more ‘Dragons’ Den’ way and look in the direction of other entrepreneurs and business owners? They’ve almost certainly been in your position themselves and will know how important the non-box things are: drive, creativity, passion, belief, perseverance and, at the heart of it all, a darned good idea. They’ll be able to understand your situation in a way that an employed bank worker can’t and, if you find the right person/people, they’ll probably be able to give you some great advice and could even end up becoming a mentor or coach to you and your fledgling business.

So, get out there!

Events are great vehicles for meeting potential investors. Most industry organisations and associations have annual shows and conferences, which attract both high-profile speakers and people looking for new mutually-beneficial opportunities. Successful people love finding news ways to make money, so there will always be a number of ‘angel investors’ scouting at big events.

Then there are the smaller, more local networking events, which are great opportunities to get your name and business out there among other entrepreneurs and motivated businesspeople in your area. A simple Google search will bring up what’s on and information about where you might be able to meet investors, such as options in London listed on Eventbrite. Not every event you go to will be fantastic, but the more often you get out there, the more quickly you’ll find the best ones. Linkedin is a great source for identifying what’s worth going to and your local business associations should also be happy to make recommendations.

Who should I approach?

This is the first big question for many people: how do you know who to speak to?  Well, often you don’t. While you might recognise the more successful names and faces, when you walk into an event you really have no idea who might be in a position to invest, so simply introduce yourself to as many people as possible.

Tip: Do some online research before an event and try to identify any attendees that you think might be able to help you, in any capacity. Contact them beforehand and arrange to meet at the event – it’s much less scary when you’ve made plans and can be prepared.

What should I say?

Here’s the second big question: what do you say when you’re looking for investment? How do you start and how up-front should you be about what you want? You might be worried about saying either too much or too little – creating the wrong impression or, even worse, no impression at all!

Take a deep breath, relax and think about how you like to be approached by other people. A big smile, eye contact and a warm handshake are your starting points, followed by who you are and what your business is.

Tip: Ask other people questions about what they do. Not only will that make them warm to you, but it’ll help you judge whether they’re the right people to keep chatting with.

It’s certainly worthwhile listening to other people talk about how to present yourself and make the right first impression, particularly if you don’t feel naturally self-confident. This short TEDx talk by Caroline Goyder about breathing your way to confidence is a good starter.

And a great deal of self-confidence comes from knowing your subject inside out so, before you go to an event, make sure you’re clear on:

  • Your business: exactly what it is / the concept
  • Why & how the business is going to be profitable
  • How much capital you need & why
  • When and how investors will see returns.

DIY!

Remember, you can always organise your own event. You might think your business is too small and new to be event-worthy and that there’s no way you could afford it, but it really needn’t be difficult or expensive. And if you have your own premises, you could always offer the space for other people to host their events. In life, you tend to get back what you put out there, so make a name for yourself as someone who’s not only looking for help and investment, but is also prepared to give to others.

If you’re a startup business and would like advice and support on creating events that will really help accelerate your success, why not apply for one of our Sleek consultancy packages? Get in touch with us today to find out more.

5 top tips for your startup event

5 top tips for your first event as a startup

It wasn’t that long ago that Sleek Events was a startup company working out of our founder’s spare bedroom. Five years on, having seen significant growth, we decided the time was right to give back to the brave entrepreneurs taking the leap with their own startup businesses. Along with our pledge to work with one UK-based startup each year to advise on events to support their business growth, this blog is the first in a series of advice for startups looking to harness the power of events.

And the best place to start is at the beginning – our top 5 tips for running your first ever event as a startup

1. Define the aim of the event 

First thing is first, what is the purpose of the event? Are you wanting to launch a new product? Generate new sales? Or is it to say thank you to your suppliers or business network?

No matter the reason, you need to set a goal or purpose for the event. Clearly communicate this to anyone helping you run the event or who may be attending the event on behalf of your business. This then allows everyone to be prepared to help you reach your goal.

By defining the aim of the event, this will also determine your target audience and guest list.

2. Break everything into manageable tasks and create a plan

Running your first event can seem like an overwhelming task when you’re first starting out, but you can easily overcome this by making a detailed plan.

Figure out each element that is required to make your event run smoothly and start breaking it down into smaller, more manageable tasks. Such as:

Venue Sourcing:

  • Set your venue brief – how many people does the venue need to fit, what style of venue are you looking for, etc.
  • Research venues that match your brief
  • Request quotes
  • Visit the site in person
  • Book the venue.

In your event plan, it always helps to set deadlines for tasks assigned to both you and your team. This keeps everyone on track and ensures no tasks are left to the last minute.

3. Set a budget and stick to it

It’s important to be realistic with your budget from the start and to make sure you stick to it. Create a budget document and assign a spending figure that you can afford to each element of the event i.e. venue, catering, etc.

Remember to start gathering quotes early to see how they compare to your budget. If you need to make adjustments, make them before the invitation or promotion stage. This will allow you to see if you have extra money, perhaps to spend on something you couldn’t initially afford or if you need to make some savings.

4. Promote the event 

Promotion of your event will differ depending on the type of event you are running – is it open to the public or closed to your private guests? If it is closed to privately-invited guests, it can be as easy as an emailed Save the Date, followed by an Invitation and reminder to RSVP. For events that are open to the public, where you want a larger number of guests attending, you may need to put a marketing campaign into action. Consider using social media, online advertising, event listing websites and flyers or posters as promotional tools.

5. Have a follow-up plan

Look back at the aim of your event, was it to generate new sales and leads or to create new networking industry contacts? Consider how you are going to collect these contact details during the event to ensure you have a way to follow up after the event. In your event plan, ensure you come up with a communication strategy for after the event to reach out to those who attended.

An event will always cost you something – whether that is money for a venue and refreshments or your time in planning and coordination. It must deliver you a return on your investment.

 

And don’t forget, if all of this seems overwhelming right now, ask for advice from an expert. The best entrepreneurs know when to ask for help – we can’t all be experts at everything! For more tips from our eventprofs, follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter

luxury incentive trip to Prague's evening tour

Top Luxury Incentive Trips for 2020

Have you been looking for luxury incentive location ideas for 2020? Do you want to get your teams motivated after the Christmas break and create some excitement in the office? Well look no further. We have compiled our top 3 locations that will be sure to have a little something to get everyone focused for the new year – and all within a short flight form the UK!

Tenerife, Spain

Tenerife is the largest of the seven Canary Islands and only a 4-hour flight from London or a 2-hour flight from Madrid. This gorgeous island is known for its sandy beaches, clear waters, an active volcano and colourful coastal towns – the perfect location to be as active or relaxed as you want to be.

With luxury hotels on the beach and old villages with renowned architecture to explore throughout the island, there are endless sightseeing opportunities for all kinds of travellers.

luxury incentive kayaking with dolphins in Tenerife

Top Activities 
  • Private whale-watching tour – spend the day watching pods of whales and dolphins in the wild with a Marine Biologist guide whilst also listening to these beautiful creatures through a hydrophone
  • Volcanic sunset and stargazing picnic – spend an incredible evening watching the sunset on top of Mount Teide Volcano, followed by a private stargazing picnic with Spanish cheese, fruits, meats and wine
  • Snorkelling with dolphins and turtles – take a kayak tour along the Guaza Cliffs with spectacular views of the island and volcano. Along the tour get the opportunity to snorkel in the crystal clear waters.

Lake Como, Italy 

Surrounded by mountains and incredible local culture, Lake Como is known as one of Italy’s most picturesque natural destinations. The scenic towns surrounding the lake are known for their Instagram-quality views, exquisite villas, historic churches, museums and fun lake activities.

Whether you’re looking for a quieter adventure or to have an active holiday, Lake Como has so much to offer for everyone. Lake Como will definitely leave you with that “wow” factor if you’re looking to spoil your top performers.

luxury incentive trip sailing on Lake Como

Top Activities
  • Day tour of Bellagio and Varenna towns – explore the photogenic streets, historic cathedrals, unique shops, magnificent restaurants and different views of the lake
  • Take an Italian cooking class – learn from the masters of pasta with a local cooking class, teaching you to prepare traditional Italian dishes while sipping on wine
  • Boat tour of Lake Como – spend your day in true style with a private sightseeing tour of the lake, discovering unique parts only accessible by boat.

Prague, Czech Republic 

Known best for its bridges and castles, Prague is one of the most intact cities from WWII. With cobbled streets and medieval architecture, Prague will have you feeling as though you have stepped back in time. The historical Old Town Square is filled with colourful architecture, the famous Astronomical clock and places to sample the delicious local cuisine.

luxury incentive trip to Prague

Top Activities  
  • Private day tour of the city – explore everything Prague has to offer from Prague Castle to the Charles Bridge on a private city tour with a local guide
  • Villa Ritcher – dine in style with panoramic views over the city in this restored vineyard and villa
  • Prague Beer and Czech Tapas tour – known for having great nightlife but also famous for their beer, explore local beer halls, microbreweries and the best local restaurants in town.

So, those are our top 3 picks to kick-start your 2020 luxury incentive programme. Whether you want team incentive programmes or individual trips for your best performers, Tenerife, Lake Como and Prague can do it all without a long-distance flight!

We offer simple venue sourcing through to full trip management and even onsite support too. All you have to do is kick-back and enjoy yourself. For more on our bespoke luxury incentive packages, follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter or send us an email hello@sleekevents.co.uk

retreat sign in countryside

Wellness incentives: a must for corporates in today’s stressful work environments

As the new year gets underway, the annual flood of resolutions are doubtless being listed, vision-boarded and embarked upon. Top of the chart for most people will be things related to self-improvement: taking more exercise, eating more healthily and losing weight. But just behind those very common pledges will be ‘reduce stress’, according to the results of a YouGov poll published in December, with women being more likely than men to have it on their list (46% of female respondents versus 31% of males).

And that’s really not surprising. A survey of over 2,000 people commissioned by the mental health charity, Mind, found that work is the most stressful factor in people’s lives, with a third of respondents saying their work life was either ‘very’ or ‘quite’ stressful, making it a bigger worry than financial problems and health.

Those working in large organisations (250+ employees) are almost twice as likely as those in small businesses (under 50 employees) to suffer from work-related stress, depression or anxiety, according to the Health & Safety Executive’s most recent statistics. And, while the percentage of staff self-reporting stress-related conditions may be relatively low – 1% in small businesses, rising to 2% in large organisations – there will be many others who are suffering but don’t report it. So, it’s vital that you, as an employer, recognise this growing issue and make sure your staff know they are valued and appreciated and that there are opportunities for them to periodically decompress.

yoga by a lake

Wellness incentives: a growing trend

We’ve seen a big rise in the number of companies offering wellness incentives – in fact, it’s one of the fastest-growing areas of our business. While some companies already provide free or discounted gym memberships, have healthy snack and refreshment stations in offices and provide ‘chill out’ and creative thinking areas, more and more are also introducing trips and retreats to reward their staff.

These incentives are a mix of relaxation, activity, luxury and strategic sessions, giving employees the chance to socialise with both their peers and management. It gives them space to think creatively and perhaps gain a greater appreciation of those they work with, which tends to translate into better relationships back home in the office.

While wellness incentives can be overseas trips of a lifetime (and we love planning and managing those for our clients!) they don’t have to be that extravagant. Travelling abroad doesn’t have to cost a fortune and there are fantastic locations all across the UK that can host tailor-made experiences, like our team away day at the end of last year.

Sleek retreat

Retreating Sleek-style

In a 2019 survey by Career Cast, being an Events Coordinator was voted the sixth most stressful job, behind firefighter, military personnel, police officer, airline pilot and broadcaster. We know that giving your very best every day can take a lot out of you, mentally and physically, so we decided to recharge Sleek’s batteries by whisking the #dreamteam off to a manor house in Somerset for a long weekend of rural downtime mixed with creative planning and goal setting. Taking the time to relax and enjoy each other’s company away from the office – with plenty of fresh air and good food – gave us the chance to look at our business from a different angle and reward everyone with a few extra luxury treats. The result: we made some really exciting plans for 2020 and came home 100% refreshed. You can read more about what we got up to here.

So, as you make your business resolutions and finalise corporate goals for the year, make sure there’s some consideration of what incentives you can put in place to keep your staff motivated and healthy, with a focused and balanced approach to their work.

It’s not indulgence; it’s investment in your most valuable assets.

team wellness incentives retreat

Top tips for choosing an incentive trip

  1. Set a budget
  2. Decide what you want to achieve
  3. Think about the kind of environment that would help you achieve your desired outcome…

…then give us a call and pick our highly imaginative brains 😉  We’ll put together a few different tailor-made experiences, then all you have to do is choose your favourite!

sleek events luxury incentives

You can read more about our approach to bespoke incentive packages online, follow what we’re up to via Instagram and Twitter and, if you’d like to discuss anything, give us a call on 0208 939 1397 or email hello@sleekevents.co.uk and we’ll get right back to you.

2020

20 things to prepare you for a healthy and productive 2020

New Year’s resolutions abound once the Christmas feasting is over but in the lead up to a new decade, the goals and dreams of the general public really move up a notch. We’re here to remind you that in a busy profession like events, setting yourself up for failure with extreme targets or lifestyle changes can be more destructive than not bothering to set yourself objectives at all.

This article by Time magazine shows the change in approaches to what is considered healthy choices from back in 2010 when people were making plans for leaving the noughties. When you look at these few examples, you realise that having an open mind and the flexibility to embrace fresh thinking is just as important as sticking to resolutions.

We polled our office this week and prepared our top 20 list of recommendations for preparing yourself for a happy, healthy and productive 2020…

1. Set goals and ambitions for the year – keep them realistic as many people drop their New Year’s resolutions by about midday on 2nd January!

2. Declutter – whether at home, work or both, start the year off without the mess.

3. Practise what we preach – we talk about personal and professional development as a way to stay ahead of the game and an easy way to do that is to watch inspirational speakers via TED Talks. Try setting yourself a minimum of one a week.

4. Manage stressStress Matters is an organisation specifically for the events industry who have a fantastic programme for employers to sign up to for their employees. Why not make the pledge? And we’ve also had the team in from POINT3 Wellbeing who have helped us embed wellbeing into our workplace culture – stress less and smile more!

5. Dry January – it’s a busy time of year so why not attack it with a clear head and a smug, hangover-free smile. We could list the benefits of a month off the booze but you all know the score.

6. Start something new – get out of the rutt and try a new hobby or activity. You can meet new people, do it with your family or set out on a different route for your dog walks. Whether it’s baking or downloading a mindfulness app, changing it up can bring fantastic rewards.

7. Give back – you know the random acts of kindness you hear about on social media? Something as simple as putting your name down for a charity event, donating blood, or buying one extra food item for your local food bank can get the ball rolling.

8. Enjoy what the Arts have to offer – there are lots of new shows opening next year and some great ones continuing or if the theatre isn’t your bag, what about the band you always promised you’d see live?

9. Want to get fit but not sure where to start? Join ClassPass – it gives you the variety and flexibility to work out at many different venues.

10. Carry a reusable water bottle – you can stay hydrated and reduce your plastic waste footprint. We have our new Sleek branded bottles or you could try a Chillys bottle – these guys were no.1 on The Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100 where we were thrilled to be placed at no. 19 in Britain’s list of fastest-growing companies.

11. Start your day earlierread the Miracle Morning to find out why getting up just 15 minutes earlier can make a huge difference to your day and life.

Still with us? Keep reading on – we promise it’s worth it!

12. Shop local – we like to support small businesses (just like us!) and shopping local is one way to help your community thrive and make personal and professional connections at the same time.

13. Car-free weekends – or could that be carefree weekends? Try to avoid using the car at the weekend as much as possible – walk, cycle or take the bus instead. It’s a good habit to form, reducing CO2 emissions and keeps you fit!

14. Write a to-do list – if you find it hard to drop off to sleep at night, write your list before going to bed to avoid waking up at 3am with random thoughts running your head. Or prepare a next day priority list for work before you leave the office each evening so you don’t drag work home with you.

15. Meatless Mondays – get on board with the campaign that encourages people to improve their health and that of the planet. You don’t have to become vegetarian but plenty of us are flexitarian without even knowing it.

16. Get creative in the kitchen – if you find yourself on a food delivery app because you’re too tired to cook or don’t fancy the same old spag bol, add some pzazz to your mealtimes with a new cookbook. To help with Meatless Mondays, we tried the River Cottage veg recipe book and loved it so much that we’re going to set up a recipe book swap station in our office kitchen.

17. Enjoy work travel – we’re on the go with events further afield every year. To balance the environmental impact of essential travel with our own wellbeing, we recommend taking time out from every work trip to explore. If the world is your oyster, you need to dip your toe in the water from time to time!

18. Reduce your screen time – we know you have work to do and you can’t just close your laptop in the middle of a task BUT you can schedule in periods of downtime. Take a coffee outside, arrange a catch-up with colleagues or go for a walk at lunch. The important thing is to feel comfortable with your mobile out of your hand and your computer turned off – especially when you’re at home.

19. Reconnect with people – make time for family or old friends. Pick up the phone rather than sending a text. We all know that Christmas heightens feelings of loneliness – you can make the difference to someone’s day with a quick call or dropping round with some cake!

20. Appreciate what you’ve got

Finally, we all agreed that we don’t really stop and take stock of what is already working well in our lives. We’re all going to list 20 things we love about our lives to remind ourselves of the people and things we care about, our achievements and how those will affect our happiness, health and productivity throughout 2020 and beyond.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our friends from the team at Sleek Events!

For more advice for #eventprofs, follow us: Instagram LinkedIn Twitter

a view of the Northern Lights

Go North for a Luxury Incentive Trip

With Christmas preparations starting to come to the forefront of everyone’s minds, we’re also starting to turn our thoughts to hot new locations for our clients’ next luxury incentive trips. If all your planning of where and how you’ll be rocking around the Christmas tree has left you at a loss for inspiration, fear not! With most choosing to get some winter sun at this time of year (or maybe a countryside adventure if you read our last blog), we instead want to paint a beautiful starry picture of a destination for you to consider this month.

Tromsø, often dubbed as the ‘Gateway to the Arctic’ and the largest city in Northern Norway, has caught our attention for one awe-inspiring reason – The Northern Lights. Created from a collision between electrically-charged particles from the sun that enter the atmosphere of the earth, the dazzling Northern Lights, or Aurora borealis, are at the top of most people’s bucket lists and are truly a once in a lifetime experience.

luxury incentive trip to see the northern lights

When To Go 

It is said that your best chances to see the Northern Lights are from late September until late March, between 6pm and 4am, with around 10pm being the peak time. This means that you could take your group to do other activities during the day, or even squeeze in a half-day meeting before enjoying a delicious dinner of traditional Norwegian cuisine and heading out on a tour later in the evening.

How To Get There

The best way to get to picturesque Tromsø is by plane directly from London. However, if your guests are flying in from all over it may be easier (and cheaper) to fly to Oslo and then hop on a plane to Tromsø from there, as flights to Oslo are more regular. The plane ride to Tromsø from Oslo is just under 2 hours – so you’ll be there in no time. If you fly at night, you may even see the Northern Lights dancing around you in the sky!

See the Northern Lights as you fly to your luxury incentive trip

Where To Stay

As Tromsø is a city, there is no shortage of luxury accommodation options. Try these options below if you’re looking for true high-end Norwegian hospitality.

Clarion Hotel The Edge

Sommarøy Arctic Hotel

Scandic Ishavshotel

Tromso hotels

What To Do

As well as the Northern Lights, there is a plethora of activities you can treat your group to. These are our top 3 activities to whet your appetite for the Great Outdoors!

Husky Sledding – Drive your own team of dogs across the Arctic plains!

Husky sledding

Whale Watching – Jump on a boat with your team and find yourself some Orcas and dolphins

Visit the famous Tromsø Ice Domesvisit (or stay) at the incredible Ice Domes – a hotel made entirely of ice! Even if you don’t stay here, it is open to visitors to have a look around the bedrooms, marvel at the ice sculptures and enjoy a shot or two in the ice bar!

What To Pack

Camera – but don’t focus too much on trying to get the perfect shot. Live in the moment!

Winter warmers – bring your thermals, it’s going to be nippy.

Patience – as it is a natural phenomenon, sometimes it may take a little while for the Aurora borealis to show itself. Be patient – it will be worth the wait!

Positive attitude – be open minded to all the fun activities you can get up to in this snowy paradise and enjoy spending time with your colleagues experiencing a once in a lifetime occurrence. Talk about team building!

team huddle on the ice

So, if you’re looking for an extremely unique, special and high-end trip to ‘wow’ your top performers or favourite clients, then nothing beats the Northern Lights in Tromsø. Let the incredible natural displays speak for themselves and leave your guests feeling inspired, relaxed and ready for Christmas.

We are more than happy to arrange the whole trip for your group from start to finish, and we even offer onsite support too, so you won’t have to worry about a thing. (Plus it means we get to see the Northern Lights too!). For more information on our bespoke luxury incentives packages, get in touch on our social channels or send us an email at hello@sleekevents.co.uk

Happy star-gazing!

Escape to the Country: Sleek luxury incentives edition!

Are you looking for a luxury countryside escape from the city for your clients or employees? Look no further! We have found the perfect incentives location, just a stone’s throw away from London.

Sleek Events hit the road on Friday 1st November (along with some cheesy car songs and lots of sweets) for the 2.5 hour drive to the picturesque village of Frome, Somerset. The purpose of the weekend was both work and play. Packed with strategic sessions, question time, updates from each department but also with plenty of time to relax and enjoy each other’s company. We decided to treat the weekend as if we were on an incentive, gaining insight into the kind of activities we can offer to clients wanting a countryside getaway! Here’s what we got up to…

Day 1 

At around 4pm, we pulled up (after a few minor wrong turns!) to the aptly named Manor, buried deep in country lanes with huge iron gates to welcome us in. As we crunched across the gravel we could only look up in awe at the mansion we would be calling home for the weekend.

luxury incentive location; the manor, frome

We stepped inside and headed into the heart of the house: the kitchen! Our lovely Finance Manager revealed her secret talent of food art – we were welcomed to a glorious spread of meats, cheeses and various other nibbles, alongside several chilled bottles of prosecco.

We spent the afternoon relaxing, exploring the 8-bedroom house (it was a day for getting lost!), unpacking and chatting by the fire about the structure of the weekend to come. We then enjoyed some dinner and spent the evening gin tasting and playing games.

Day 2

Saturday morning was spent in our comfy clothes (including the lovely arrival welcome gift of a cashmere jumper that was laid out on each of our beds) nibbling on croissants, drinking tea and getting stuck into the rugby!

We quickly recovered from the pain of England losing and headed off for showers and to get ready for the morning session. We transformed the Manor’s grand dining room into a fully-equipped meeting room. We began with a company update from our MD & Founder, Jennifer, on new business developments and strategy as well as a reminder of 12-month goals. After a quick break for lunch and a walk around the grounds (another opportunity to get lost!), we began our afternoon session with some department updates including the news of our recent rebrand.

Next was some schedule downtime. It may have been a rest for our brains but not our bodies as the Sleek bootcamp in the Mansion’s gym kicked off! Luckily, this was followed by some time in the hottub before enjoying a three-course meal courtesy of our very own private chefs from The French Kitchen. The meal was to die for and added a taste of luxury to the experience.

The French Kitchen meal

Day 3

As Sunday is traditionally a day of rest, Day 3 took us on an excursion – no lie in for us! We headed to the local market which visits Frome once a month, spending an hour or so browsing the stalls and sampling some of the delicious food on offer.

Sleek team walk in the country

We then drove to the next village of Mells and set off on a gorgeous autumnal walk through the fields, before rewarding all our efforts with an indulgent roast dinner by the fireplace in The Talbot Inn, a local pub. Feeling full and chilled, we headed back to the Manor and had a little more downtime, enjoying an informal fireside chat about our personal goals and reflections.

After a day of indulgence, all we needed were a few nibbles to accompany a film and everyone was ready for an early night – the fresh country air had beaten us all!

Day 4

Waking up on Monday morning was more luxurious than your average start to the week! After a gym session to liven us up, we packed, made some breakfast and then cracked on with our final workshop. We left for London around 12.30pm, making it back in plenty of time time for the school run.

It’s amazing what you can pack into a luxury incentive weekend. Our agenda and mix of activities might have given you an idea for your own getaway or we can create a completely bespoke itinerary to suit you and your clients. Fancy incorporating more outdoor activities? Remember, we say “how?” not “no” at Sleek Events – so we really can arrange the perfect trip for you.

For more information about our incentive packages, drop us an email at hello@sleekevents.co.uk and make sure you follow us on social media to see all the other exciting destinations we visit – it’s a hard job but someone has to do it!

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breathing in the fresh air - wellness

Sleek Events supports #EventWell19

If you’ve been following our Instagram posts this week (and if not, why not?!), you’ll have seen that we’ve been looking at wellbeing in honour of #EventWell19 – a week dedicated to raising awareness of wellbeing and ways to improve it. This year, Mind is the chosen charity for the #EventWell19 campaign, so we’ve been taking inspiration from their brilliant ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’ initiative. 

EventWell, founded by Helen Moon, is the event industry’s ‘first and only’ charitable organisation dedicated to giving people advice, knowledge and support on topics surrounding wellbeing and health in general. We as #eventprofs are constantly told how stressful our industry is, so it’s great to know that there’s a resource available to us!

In order to celebrate #EventWell19 and raise awareness, we challenged our followers to do one small thing a day in line with Mind’s 5 initiatives, whether that be giving someone a hug, taking the stairs rather than the lift or spending the day volunteering or fundraising for charity.

It’s easy to get lost in the ambiguous term that is ‘wellbeing’, so we find that when you break it down into smaller activities then it’s easy to introduce improvements to your life and to those of others.

Sleek’s Top Tips 

Our top three tips to improve your wellbeing (there really is no excuse!)

1. Communication is key

Talking is SO important. Reachout.com describes how talking to someone can release tension, put things in perspective and make you feel safe. Even just offloading to a friend or family member can help you feel as though a weight has been lifted, making you realise you’re not alone. Ask for help!

2. Treat yourself 

There’s so much pressure in our society and all professional industries, it’s no wonder we’re all so hard on ourselves. It’s important to reward ourselves for all our hard work – praise is not often a huge part of our professional adult lives, so by giving yourself some hard-earned praise in the form of treating yourself to a delicious meal or buying the dress you’ve had your eye on for a while, it can really help to just give you a bit of reassurance that you’re doing great and should believe in yourself more!

3. Exercise 

One bit of exercise everyday can make a world of difference. We all know what it’s like – trying to psych yourself up to go to the gym when all you want to do is snuggle up on the sofa. Well, even doing 10 minutes of yoga after work can help raise your mood, release endorphins and give you a sense of achievement – it’s all about little victories!

EventWell has recently launched Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) courses to educate people on mental health, signs and triggers of mental health issues, and the tools to be able to step in and support someone in need. Their first course was earlier this week, however they have more dates available in November and December, if this is something you feel could be valuable to you and your company.

We hope this gives you a little food for thought – take the time to stop and consider your wellbeing and mental health. It’s so easy to just brush it under the carpet and bottle everything up, so we’re strong supporters of the EventWell initiative. Remember – #ItsOKtonotbeOK!

If you’d like more of our wellbeing tips, follow us: Instagram LinkedIn Twitter

Sleek dream team

Fundraising events: how to raise a lot and still have masses of fun

It seems like just yesterday that summer finally came, as it got warmer and lighter, the planning for our summer party began. Now the nights are slowly drawing in and there is a slight chill in the air… Autumn has crept up on us. So, with a warming cup of tea in hand, we’re looking back to last Thursday when we had our spectacular Sleek summer party to mark the end of the summer! Not only were we fundraising but we were also celebrating our two recent award shortlistings for the Best Businesswoman Awards and it was our 4th birthday!

Our last blog was about how we practised our pitching skills to prepare for the party – how we pulled everything together as a team, pitched our ideas to our boss, and took this event as seriously as any client project. The event, held at Fulham Football Club, was a huge success and was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone!

musical duo

As the event was a fundraiser, the main goal of the evening was to raise as much money as possible for our chosen charity, Buses 4 Homeless – that meant we had a pretty tight budget! In order to make this a hit, we needed to be smart about what we spent and what savings we could make. In a sports day themed party, we wanted to create something memorable but keep the focus on raising money rather than spending it! And it paid off – we raised a HUGE £1,595 for Buses 4 Homeless!

Sleek gets sporty hashtag with Jennifer Davidson

Top tips for fundraising events

Here’s our top tips on how to plan a successful fundraiser so you can plan your own.

 

1. Set a realistic target

 

There is no point setting a fundraising target that is simply unachievable – it can be so disheartening if you don’t quite reach a target. So to set a target that is realistic yet ambitious, do a bit of maths! We took the number of confirmed guests and worked out how much we would raise if everyone donated £10. Now, some people would donate less or more than this, so we just used this as an average to give us a ballpark figure… and then added a little more for luck! Our target was £1,000 – which we exceeded by 50%!

2. Plan how you are going to raise the money

 

 

It sounds silly but it’s easy to just call an event a fundraiser without really thinking it through.  We thought about charging entry or charging to enter each of the games we had dotted around the venue. In the end, we thought the easiest way was to simply hold a raffle and an auction for the biggest prizes. Thanks to our amazing suppliers, we had some really great prizes donated – if you are holding a raffle you need to have prizes that people actually want to spend their money on! It’s also a good idea to keep your guests updated – when people can see how much has been raised so far, this will act as an incentive to reaching the target. Never underestimate how competitive humans can be!

 

3. Utilise your contacts

 

When you work with suppliers so much, you develop great working relationships with them. In honour of a worthy cause, our supplier and partners are more than happy to help out with a favour here and there. We contacted a few who had already RSVPed and they willingly helped out with securing auction lots and donating raffle prizes.

Dan Curran giving a speech

As Founder of Buses 4 Homeless, Dan Atkins, said on the night, “In our industry, we are so used to being flown all over the world and staying in 5-star hotels, it is especially important to be aware that not everyone is so lucky. We never know what situation we could find ourselves in. Even donating £10 is enough to help make a difference to someone who really needs it.”

If you’d like see more from our summer party, keep an eye on our social media: Instagram LinkedIn Twitter