Background

Specsavers Optical Group Ltd is a £2.6 billion company which operates in 10 countries and has the largest market share in the UK optical retail market.  Specsavers is one of the most recognisable brands with its long-running successful advertising campaign with the strapline ‘Should’ve gone to Specsavers’.

We have worked with Specsavers for the past four years and were invited once again to help the company stage its National Seminar attended by 2000 store partners, managers and members of the UK leadership team.

Objective

The purpose of the event at the ICC Birmingham was to celebrate the company’s successes over the year, to brief store partners and
managers on strategy and highlight new developments for 2019. An awards dinner on the Saturday evening showcased the achievements of store teams.

Our brief was to devise an exhibition layout that would continue to inspire and motivate Specsavers’ partners and managers, keeping them engaged during 2019.

Strategy

Building on the success of the previous year, the event took the form of a multi-track conference with accompanying shell scheme exhibition for support service departments and suppliers.   

In previous years, the exhibition element of the event has been staged in Hall 3, but in 2018 this area was in use for the plenary during the day and the awards dinner in the evening. This meant that the exhibition was staged in the Hall 3 registration area and the corridors on Level 4.

We supplied the shell scheme, lighting and power sockets, full graphic clad covering to all stands and furniture. 

Working closely with the Specsavers in-house creative team, we developed a layout comprising 43 stands, with 243 panels of bespoke graphic cladding - a total of 607 metres in length.

While the build-up period was the same as previously, the new location at the ICC required some creative bespoke solutions.
Narrow corridors with minimum gangway widths which had to be maintained, meant that the stands took longer to unload and distribute as additional care was needed not to damage the fabric of the building. It also resulted in some irregular stand lengths and depths, while the lower height areas required a reduced height shell scheme. This change in stand dimensions necessitated customised graphic clad panels which we supplied.

The break-down of the event was challenging. The exhibition finished at 3.00 pm on Saturday afternoon and had to be dismantled and removed in a pre-agreed sequence so that the area could be cleaned and Hall 3 could be set up for the awards dinner that evening.  All the materials had to be loaded onto barrows and pushed out of the building by 6.00pm. We achieved this with 15 minutes to spare and then moved all the materials round to the loading bay for loading onto our wagon before leaving site at 8.00pm.

As Hall 3 was already in use, the lunch and refreshment stations located there in previous years had to be relocated to the Mall on Level 2 & 3, necessitating the supply of additional bar and other furniture.  As the area was in use for the seminar programme during the day on Friday and Saturday, existing and additional furniture was needed to create a Saturday evening pre-dinner layout.  Once all the delegates had gone into dinner the pre-dinner furniture had to be removed from site and additional lounge furniture was delivered to the Hall 3 registration area (where the exhibition had been staged some four hours previously) for post-dinner relaxing.

Result

At the close of the event Specsavers surveyed participants and all agreed that the objectives had been successfully achieved.  Specsavers plans to repeat the exhibition in future years.

Tina Bury, Events Manager, UK Retail, our principle contact on this project added: “The exhibition was especially challenging this year due to the restricted space and breakdown time we had to work within. Charles and the Joe Manby Limited team were key to its
success with their 'can-do' approach to the design and the on-site logistics.”