FEATURED EVENT: ILLUMINA CHRISTMAS PARTY
Illumina, a Cambridge-based global leader in genomics, tasked us with organising their Christmas party for the first time this year. The clients were keen to have an inflatable dome which they had seen from our 2017 Christmas events, but the challenge was coming-up with a suitable space to put it. Our Operations Director, Sam, suggested combining the Christmas party with the reveal of Illumina’s brand new office headquarters and so began the ambitious planning of a Christmas party with a twist! The event build took one week and needed to be sensitive to the final works of the construction company.
Illumina’s Laurent Seurin, Associate Director of Facilities Management Services, and Rebecca Edwards, Director Human Resources, EMEA, who organised the party, decided to keep the location of the event a secret from all of the staff. They only revealed the venue two weeks before, so the night of the party was the first time all of the guests had seen their new HQ, making it an extra special occasion.
In keeping with the new HQ building, which features an indoor Winter Garden with beautiful lamp posts and floor to ceiling glass windows, we chose a winter wonderland theme to complement the space and fit in with the look of the dome.
The indoor space was decked-out with Christmas trees, a starlit dancefloor, glitter balls and the return of our spectacular lit tree which takes pride of place in our central bar. Inside the dome, the walls were washed in icy blue, with a white welcome carpet and eye-catching light-up candelabra centrepieces. The tables were dressed with frosted charger plates, blue and white glassware and dove grey napkins, and each guest had a personalised menu to help them find their seat.
Guests were invited to adorn themselves with glitter at the Luna Glitter Bar and the popular Christmas photo booth provided guests with mementos from the evening. Our friends at Pro Event DJs kept the dancefloor packed until carriages at 1am.
Delicious, quality food was a key element of the brief and something that we pride ourselves on at CDC Events. On arrival, guests were greeted with a welcome glass of fizz and a selection of canapés including our popular Seared Tuna, Wasabi, Puffed Rice & Coriander Cress.
After the CEO’s welcome speech guests were invited to take their seats inside the amazing dome for a three-course menu of Cured Gin Salmon, Confit Duck Leg and Ginger and Cinnamon Sponge accompanied by a Pays d’Oc Sauvignon Blanc and Rioja Crianza. The last guests standing were treated to Sausage and Onion Chutney Baps, Potato Wedges and Truffle Mayo to finish the night on a high!
As part of our post-event follow-up we will be creating a survey to circulate to each member of staff to gather their feedback which will be used to plan next year’s spectacular Christmas party.
Illumina staff will be moving into their new HQ in January 2019.
This event is the reason I do what I do, from the intricate planning stages to the refined event delivery, our creative hats were very much donned throughout. The clients at Illumina put so much trust in us to look after them. My favourite element of the event was the brief itself! It included a brand new building, two impressive event spaces and a Christmas winter wonderland themed dining experience for 580 guests! We looked after all elements of the event from theming and styling to food and drink. This event is a great reflection of the services CDC Events provide and how we work together as a team alongside a lovely, very appreciative client.
Operations Director, CDC Events
With thanks to our team of suppliers for making the event such a success:
Event management, design & print, styling, food & drink: CDC Events
Dome structure: Evolution Dome
Glitter bar: Luna Glitter Bar
Sound, lighting & DJ: Pro Event Hire
Crockery, cutlery and glassware: CMA, Banqueting Hire & Couvert Hire
Centrepieces: Table Art
Photography: Phil Mynott Photo