Our business has been at the forefront of textiles testing and research since 1918. We are incredibly proud of our history and heritage, and it felt only right to start our centenary celebrations by hosting an event for our staff from the UK and around the world.
We wanted to create an evening to remember for our workforce in Manchester, Leeds and beyond that captured the culture of the business, celebrated a century of achievements and recognised the contributions made by our team.
Working with experienced PR company, The Partners Group, we drew up our wish list for the event.
We agreed that the venue should, if possible, tie in with our history and heritage but also provide a contemporary backdrop for the celebrations. Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry was the perfect setting, showcasing the city’s rich legacy of world changing innovations and scientific discoveries and bringing things up to date with an impressive 52-screen media wall, which we knew we could put to good use.
On the night itself, our guests enjoyed a tour of the museum’s textile gallery before sitting down together for a three-course dinner hosted by a Master of Ceremonies and complemented with an appearance by award-winning comedian and writer Holly Walsh.
We also handed out a series of Oscar-style staff awards for members of the team as part of the evening’s entertainment. Dubbed the ‘RALPHs and SOPHIEs’, after our world-renowned testing mannequins, the awards recognised the company’s ‘Busiest Bee’, ‘Sports Bore’ and ‘Entertainer’ – among others.
We wanted to add a personal touch for all of our guests, which we did with personalised place settings, goody bags and chocolates on every table. Our branded selfie frames also meant there were plenty of opportunities to capture an informal record on the night to complement the official event photographer.
The evening gave us the perfect opportunity to recognise four of our longest serving team members – Clarissa Austin, Mike Nunney, Neil Sorensen and Tony Sagar – with awards to thank them for the significant impact they have had on the success of the business and announcements that we will be naming four of our buildings after them.
We want everyone to feel proud of the business they are part of, and we commissioned a video featuring staff and customer interviews and capturing the company’s vast and impressive achievements – such as the invention of breathable fabrics still in use in the RAF today and the award of the Nobel prize for chemistry – to show at the event and share externally afterwards.
A series of ‘This is Your Life’ style videos paid tribute to our four long serving members of staff on the night, and a ‘100 facts’ animation captured key events in our 100-year history, which played on a loop as a backdrop to the evening.
Meticulous planning and attention to detail at every stage, from concept to delivery, ensured that we delivered a highly polished and professional event, with glowing feedback from guests.
Commercial Director Lesley Hughes says, “At such a poignant moment in our company’s history, we wanted to mark the occasion with a truly memorable event that staff here in the UK and from further afield could be part of and enjoy. The Partners Group worked tirelessly to produce an evening that will live long in the memory of everybody in attendance.”