Alan Evans, Head of Special Events
This Month I’ll Be Mostly… Staging Major Events.
March is an incredibly busy month for us as we stage the first big events of the year at the resort. In fact we have two major events this weekend alone which poses a logistical challenge, to say the least.
It’s already been a busy week preparing for Brendan Cole: Live at the Manor on Saturday and the Wedding Fayre on Sunday. Now I’ve got the dreaded task of compiling the table plan for Brendan Cole with 500 names on it. I always worry that a name will get lost somewhere along the line but, touch wood, so far it has never happened to me! There will be late additions and cancellations right up to the hours – sometimes the minutes - before the event but we’ll fit them all in, somehow.
Before the show, I’ll sit down with Brendan’s musical director Barry Robinson to look at the running order of the show. Brendan has just finished a nationwide tour but our event is totally unique with the gala dinner element and the programme has to be carefully arranged to fit in between courses of the meal. We also need to look at timings for the new after-party which Brendan and his team of dancers will be attending this year.
We’ll also work with the production crew on the design and construction of the stage and with the marketing team here on getting all the little details right from the menus and table numbers to the little cards for guests to submit their questions on for the Q&A part of the show. It’s all the little touches that people don’t usually notice but help make the experience special.
I’ll also be finalising an itinerary for Brendan for the weekend - spa treatments for his wife Zoe and maybe some nanny childcare for his young baby. There will be other VIPs to look after, as well, both among Brendan’s team and our own guests.
There’s no rest for the wicked as, once the last stragglers have left, we’ll work through the night from 3am-8am to strip the room of all the tables and set up the shell scheme for the Wedding Fayre exhibition. The fayre has 50 stands and we’ll also de-configure the stage from Brendan Cole for the catwalk shows with 12 professional models.
There will be rehearsals in the days leading up to the fayre and we’ll have to do bag-packing for 1,200 goodie bags for all the guests attending. Every member of the special events team will be on site during both events to make sure they run smoothly and work closely with our Conference and Banqueting staff on the final touches.
We’ll work with our linen suppliers, Wow Event Hire, and our florists, Barkways, to dress up eight wedding rooms across four different buildings for the guided tours that are an important part of the day. We work hard to make sure the tour looks seamless on the day and it’s a great opportunity to showcase our wonderful wedding venues.
It will be a hectic weekend but it’s worth it for the buzz of seeing an event you’ve worked on for several months go well… and to see people enjoying themselves.
We’ll debrief both events next week but we’ll also be looking ahead to more events before the end of the month as we’ve got our first two Principality Junior Wales Open qualifiers. At Radyr on March 27 and back at Celtic Manor’s Roman Road course the following day.
We’ll be up early to arrive at the venue at 6.30am and set up for registration from 7.30am with the first tee times at 8.00am. We’ll have already organised the 400 or so entries across the five qualifying venues into start times and playing groups according to their age, handicap and gender.
The golf team will be out on the course early, too, putting down tee markers, pin flags and first tee signage and branding. We’ll brief referees from the Golf Union of Wales on the format of the day and rules of the competition, and technically, I act as tournament director for any queries.
The following week, the Principality Junior Wales Open moves on to Royal St David’s, Harlech, Builth Wells and Langland Bay so it’s quite a roadshow.
While all this is going on during March, we can’t take our eyes off upcoming events and I’ll have regular meetings regarding Golf Live and The Celebrity Cup, a new event we’re all looking forward to from May 10-12. We’re also well into the planning for Elemis Polo at the Manor in June and even the ISPS Handa Wales Open at the end of August. These events don’t just happen on their own you know!