Case Study: Winner of the Best Motivational Event at the 2017 ICE Awards
Strokes are one of the greatest health challenges of our time but they don’t get the attention or funding that they deserve. Stroke is the UK’s fourth biggest killer, with around 40,000 people dying of stroke each year – that’s a life lost every 13 minutes. They are also the leading cause of disability in the UK, often cruelly affecting people’s speech and their ability to live an independent life.
Best Motivational Event sponsored by Hyatt Hotels
The Winning Idea: Stroke Association is the leading charity in the UK changing the world for people affected by stroke. They want to change how people think about this devastating disease and to do this they have created The Life After Stroke Awards event.
Considerations: The brief was to create an event that celebrates stroke survivors for showing tremendous spirit and determination after their stroke. The key objectives for this event were to recognise and celebrate the achievements of everyone affected by stroke, to win sponsorship, to prompt donations, to attract celebrity support and to generate media coverage. The team also wanted to increase their social media reach.
Challenges: One of the key challenges was budget and the team had to stay within their limited allowance. The team also decided to change the event from an afternoon luncheon (for 260 guests) to an evening dinner (for 400 guests) in order to attract a higher profile guest list and generate more media coverage, which added a whole new level of complexity and hard work to their planning. They worked closely with celebrity ambassadors, judges and sponsors to ensure the date avoided major London events and as a result the event was moved to November.
They also needed to ensure that the event had the right balance of celebrities and inspiring stories, making it the go to event in the city for press and media. The team were hugely successful and had a great response with coverage of the event in The Sun, The Daily Mail, OK Magazine, Daily Star, Hello and London Live broadcast from their purple carpet. Lastly, they needed to work to establish the event as an evening function and to achieve this they introduced a sponsored after party, complete with bespoke cocktails and a live performance
To generate excitement and buzz ahead of the event an extensive social media strategy was put in place – utilising hashtag #StrokeAwards to cover behind the scenes build up, exclusive celeb interviews and Facebook live interviews from the purple carpet.
The Event: The Life After Stroke Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of people who have shown remarkable courage and determination in rebuilding their lives following a stroke.
The event was a huge undertaking for the team, who fully managed the nomination process, shortlisting, judging, production of all winners films, and the full event management for the ceremony itself, along with evaluation which was a yearlong project.
The team works closely with the Stroke Association press team, corporate partnerships team, and philanthropy and artist liaison teams. In addition to The Dorchester, other external suppliers included Media Spaces, who filmed and edited all winners films. These films generate significant emotional responses from guests, which ultimately leads to offers of support and donations.
The team wanted to ensure their winners, the unsung heroes of the night, were treated like Royalty. As part of their prize they received a night in the Dorchester Hotel as well as bespoke goodie bags from sponsors. They had their hair styled by Toni & Guy and were welcomed to the event alongside celebrity ambassadors by posing for photos on the purple carpet.
Once seated guests were treated to an exquisite four course dinner shortly after opening words from patron Baroness Karren Brady, and followed by warm up act – Britain’s Got Talent winner Richard Jones who performed some of his awe-inspiring magic.
The highlight of the night was the award ceremony, hosted by stroke survivor Chris Tarrant. Each of the amazing award winner’s stories was shared by celebrity ambassadors and guests were truly blown away by the inspirational achievements of the unsung heroes. Danielle Hope, winner of the BBC’s Over the Rainbow closed the show with a beautiful rendition of her most famous song. Guest were then treated to cocktails and live music at their exclusive after party.
The Results: The Life After Stroke Awards received more sponsorship than ever before, over £100k in total from generous businesses including Toni&Guy, Irwin Mitchell, NEXT, Onecom, Royal Mail, and Vision Express. All guests received goodie bags with special gifts from all of their sponsors. The awards prompted generous donations from many guests on the evening and also via text to donate from their social media coverage.
The award ceremony attracted an array of celebrity ambassadors including Karren Brady, host Chris Tarrant, Martin Lewis, James Norton, stroke survivor Andrew Marr, Alastair Stewart, Russell Howard, Laura Tobin, Lesley Joseph, Steven K Amos, Julian Fellowes, Vogue Williams, Denise Welch, Floella Benjamin and Team GB.
The Life After Stroke Awards media coverage reached 3.4 million UK adults during the month of the event. They secured the Daily Express as an official media partner who exclusively covered some of their winners’ stories. Woman’s Weekly and OK magazine were media partners.
The #StrokeAwards hashtag trended in the UK on Twitter twice – on the evening of the event and the morning after. And Facebook films received over 150,000 views combined.
The Judges Comments: The organizers of the Life After Stroke Awards created an emotionally powerful event that achieved the objectives of engaging with more supporters and raise substantial funds so that the Stroke Association can change the way people think about this devastating disease. The jury was particularly impressed by the fact the event enlisted the support of so many powerful influencers and celebrities but that the focus is truly on stroke survivors by celebrating their achievements and showing the tremendous spirit and determination after their stroke. In the lead-up to the event an extensive and effective social media strategy was put in place, which included celebrity interviews and live interviews on the night, hosted by a previous award winner who is a young stroke survivor and who did a spectacular job in conducting the interview.
The powerful and emotional dinner event highlighted stroke survivors from all ages as well as their families, friends and colleagues which made it relevant to a wide community and could touch so many. In the view of the Jury, the passion of the Stroke Association in creating a memorable, celebratory and relevant event is very clear. The in-house events team is passionate about making a difference to the lives of people affected by stroke, the ultimate belief being that together stroke can be conquered.
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