Pimm’s O’clock

It was a summer solstice success last Thursday as the Brighton Centre hosted its ‘Ultimate Site Visit’, a truly unique event which saw over 100 VIP conference, exhibition and eventorganisers and media guests experience first-hand the Centre’s recently completed £1million renovation programme. The event featured an immersive and interactive tour of the venue, incorporating the use of film, sound and performance, showcasing the versatility of spaces around the Centre with a distinctBrightontwist, surprising and inspiring visitors and bringing the Centre memorably to life.

The day began with the chance for the guests to take coffee and network in the light and bright extended foyer space before enjoying a short presentation and welcome in Auditorium 1 which was set as a stylish daytime conference in the morning and in the afternoon was ‘magically’ transformed into an evening Awards ceremony, demonstrating the flexibility the space has to offer and the speed in which the staff can turn an event from day to night.

Meanwhile, the Centre’s mass media floorwas arranged as the technology and press hub, featuring a TV news channel room displaying 10 HD Plasma TV screens each tuned into different news channels, as well as a brainstorming room, a tranquil office and a press briefing and conference area.  Each room featured multi-media capabilities and effective props that brought the rooms alive.

A dressing room was transformed into a piece of live theatre, complete with a show girl getting ready in front of a dramatic, full length light bulb mirrorsurrounded by costumes and make-up.  Within the same suite of rooms a factual bedroom had been created to educate guests on the city offer through the medium of printed sheets detailing accommodation facts and figures. A virtual ‘window’ looked out onto a typicalBrightonview and the room was bathed in the sounds of the sea.

The performance element of the day continued on the fourth floorwhere cabaret act, Cherry Shakewell, took centre stage whilst Dolly Rocket manned an ice cream trolley, handing out ice cream to all guests within a sea-side room set to complete the Brighton experience

The ground floor syndicate rooms at the Centre flaunted a Las Vegas-themed champagne and chocolate red carpet experience hosted by Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley and a pair of wise cracking gangster stilt walkers. Whilst upstairs in the syndicates rooms delegates could watch a tourism film from the 1950’s or take part in a business style life drawing class, all of which ensuring an event experience not to be forgotten.

On a more serious note, the tour included a presentation on Event Sustainability in Auditorium 2 amongst bird soundscapes and lit trees, where guest heard about the venue’s continuing commitment to working with organisers to reduce the impact on the environment of events within the city through the implementation of the Centre’s sustainable credentials.

After the tour visitors were invited to enjoy a lunch hosted in the Brighton Centre’s third floorrestaurant, which boasts a stunning backdrop overlooking the famous Brighton and Hove seafront.  The menu was created by celebrity chef Frank Bordoni. Head Chef at the Brighton Centre and member of the Guild of Master Chefs, Dan Loader and Chef Bordoni were on hand to detail the menu and his culinary inspirations.

The afternoon began with a chance for guests to experience the transformation in Auditorium 1 by attending an ‘Awards Night’, complete with awards MC, a performance from special ‘guest’ artist Frank Sinatra and a very special presentation.

The day concluded with a ‘Pimms O’clock’ garden party in the foyer where the space was yet again imaginatively transformed into an English garden scene. Deck chairs, bunting, afternoon tea, of homemade scones with jams and clotted cream, entertainment from a talented harpist, strolling musicians and, of course, a Pimms stand worked together to create the experience. Here, guests could again admire the new glass front to the Brighton Centre looking out at the magnificent sea view.

Barbara Blow, TFI Group reflected on the event, “It was tremendous to be able to take part in yesterday’s Ultimate Site Visit at the Brighton Centre. What a great way to see the Centre and the numerous improvements you’ve made to the facilities on offer. Everyone involved will have worked very hard to put on such a good event and I’d like to congratulate everyone involved. We will certainly have the Centre in the mix when considering destinations forour association clients.”

Howard Barden, General Manager of the Brighton Centre explains, “The idea of the event was to create a platform to bring the Centre to life forconference, event and exhibitionorganisers whilst showcasing our fantastic refurbishment project, with a uniqueBrightonedge. However, it wasn’t only about the Centre, we wanted to promote Brighton andHoveas a city – this location is a majorattraction in itself and that shouldn’t be forgotten by clients and the industry when they’re planning events.”

Howard continues “The creation of the Ultimate Site Visit would not have been possible without the support from our partners, Aeon Events, AVT Connect,Kudos,SussexSigns, VisitBrighton and X-Hibit, who helped visitors imagine the venue’s refurbished spaces and facilities in a fresh way, engaging them through live performance and an unforgettable audio-visual experience.”

The renovation project, completed in January 2012, has significantly enhanced and extended facilities at the Brighton Centre. It has involved the creation of a larger entrance and reception area, with a new fully glazed front to the building and a completed re-designed third floorRestaurant, offering clear, panoramic views of the seafront. Other improvements include 4,000 comfortable, new seats in Auditorium 1, the refurbishment of Auditorium 2, better equipped and re-decorated meeting facilities and break out rooms throughout the Centre alongside new signage, technology upgrades, furnishings and fittings which create a fresh and vibrant new look.

Foradditional information please visit www.brightoncentre.co.uk/conferenceortelephone +44 (0) 1273 292643.