Summit Dunelm

A two-day journey, right around the world

The Expedition

Summit Dunelm triumphed as the homeware retailer’s best annual Managers Seminar yet. And that’s not us blowing our own trumpet, it’s according to the client and delegates themselves. Having worked with Dunelm for several years, we’re always faced with the challenge of trumping the previous year’s efforts, and this year was no exception. Based on the theme of adventure and exploration, which was the perfect wrapper to provide a series of creative hooks from which to hang our key strategic messages, this event was a journey of discovery from start to finish as delegates ventured on a trip around the world. The communications for each session were developed using the environment as inspiration, ensuring each session felt unique, both environmentally and in it’s content. The compelling narrative was delivered through various multi-media channels including animation, creative video, live interviews, panel discussions and presentations supported by slick PowerPoint design, to keep delegates engaged and enthused throughout.

7416.jpg - edited

Reaching the Summit

Arriving at passport control, delegates collected their itinerary and travel documents for the two-day adventure. Trekking first into The Clearing, a luscious, green, foliage strewn space with inverted trees, glowing clouds and pendant bulb lighting creating an atmospheric glow, our adventurers fuelled themselves up for the journey ahead.

Soon after refreshments had been served, a rumble of thunder could be heard in the distance and a strong breeze began to blow. The distant thunder quickly manifested into a great storm right overhead, complete with howling winds, lightening bolts and the sound of heavy rain – delegates were ushered through to Base Camp by our Sherpas to take shelter. After a crescendo of thunder, lightening and snow projections, the room decended into darkness and the cinematic opening VT burst into life on a huge 8 metre screen, whilst the creative lighting brought the breathtaking mountainscape to life on the wrap-around background cyc.

On-screen, an adventurer journeyed around the globe, passing through Everest, the Sahara Desert, Antarctica and the Amazon. Creatively brought to life using a mixture of stock footage, new green screen scenes, special effects and motion graphics, the result was epic and the scene was set. Narrated by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, to add an extra level of gravitas, the voiceover subtly brought the key messages of the conference to the fore, setting the foundation from which to build the main plenary and breakout sessions. Seamlessly weaving the content into the production elements was key in creating an immersive environment, surrounding delegates with information and material to motivate.

Following the main plenary presentations at Base Camp, where the business goals, strategy and targets were introduced, each breakout environment was designed and created around one of the four environments introduced in the Opening VT. Breaking the key messages down into bitesize chunks to be digested within each breakout, and ultimately cascaded back to colleagues in-store and at key support sites, was the objective of the two days, as these are the people who can bring the business strategy to life.

It wasn’t simply the clever forms of communication that helped these sessions to stick in mind, but the fact that the communications were wrapped up in the production and environment, each session its own wondrous world of nature. The day ended with a motivational speaker, the greatest living explorer himself, Sir Ranulph Fiennes. He captivated the audience for an hour, with his inspiring life story.

The adventure theme continued into the evening, with an Aurora Borealis inspired gala dinner and awards ceremony. Creative lighting was used to its full potential here as the mountain-scape background was breathtakingly brought to life in a swathe of colour and movement. Of course, the brilliant Soul Brothers did their best to upstage the dancing lights with a very powerful and energetic performance after dinner.

Day Two began as Sense of Sound took to the stage, flash-mob style, to inject some energy back into the room after the previous night’s celebrations, teaching the delegates to sing a harmonised version of Aint No MountainHigh Enough. Once revitalised, delegates were welcomed into ‘The Great Indoors’; a world of wonderful Dunelm product. Each area was produced to showcase key products in a fun, stylish, memorable and informative way. Dubbed by one satisfied delegate as ‘the best product-showcase experience we’ve ever had’, we felt pretty proud.

This sentiment was summed up perfectly by another particularly pleased adventurer, who said “the atmosphere is great…you go in and you feel a sense of magic, and that’s what today’s been about. [Learning] the ins and outs of Dunelm, in a magical way and feeling confident to go back to your store and relay that to colleagues”.

Intended to capture the imagination, suspend dis-belief and inspire delegates to motivate their teams to deliver the business goals, Summit Dunelm delivered on every count.

8521.jpg - edited