Most Disruptive Event at ICEAWARDS19

Case Studies
06.08.2019 23:53

SLAUGHTER AND MAY SUCCESSFULLY delivered a creative and disruptive event which required a huge amount of planning BUT RESULTED IN a positive impact TO challenging the TEAM to think ‘outside the box’.





LOCATION: Victoria and Albert Museum, London 


The Objectives
The key objectives for the event was to create a fully sustainable and transparent immersive culinary experience without compromising on quality and to deliver a nutritionally balanced menu with the concept of having low impact on the environment with sustainability at its core.  

As well as a need to increase the profile of their business initiatives with clients responding to feedback they received, they needed to increase employee engagement through an internal campaign and raise the profile amongst staff around the theme of sustainability and responsible business. 

The Challenges
The environmental and sustainability challenges in creating a fully transparent dining experience of Michelin star quality were the sourcing and transporting of ingredients (including packaging) and the cooking methods used.

The core drivers for the event concept (low impact and sustainability) completely ‘disrupted’ the way the team approached the event and also the external suppliers who worked alongside them. Throughout the planning process they all had to consistently consider the core drivers for each of the individual elements to ensure they were able to share a transparent narrative with the guests at the dinner.

Events of this nature typically generate an enormous amount of waste and the menu needed to be created with the aim of generating zero food waste and maximum nutritional benefit, whilst not compromising on the quality of the food or the dining experience.

In order to ensure a successful delivery of the event concept, they had to approach every event element in a completely different way to that of a ’normal’ corporate dinner.  Suppliers had to be 100% transparent in terms of use and sourcing of materials which disrupted the way in which they asked suppliers to work in terms of quotations and proposals.

The Results
The dinner marked the beginning of a two-year plan that brought together the Firm’s environment, inclusion, pro bono and community work. The plan was shared with core clients at the dinner which raised the profile of their responsible business initiatives. 

The internal campaign featured a staff restaurant pop-up where the Executive Chef delivered an event for all staff around how to live more sustainably, a comms plan with sustainably referenced content and a staff gardening club where Kale was grown for the menu as well as a herb garden.

The team spent a considerable amount of time researching and securing the right Executive Chef who would design a menu that was sustainable, transparent and had the knowledge and network of suppliers. The suppliers planted, tracked and harvested ingredients specifically for this event and documented the process.  

They exposed guests to every element of the menu allowing them to engage with suppliers, including the tracking of ingredients that had been specifically grown for the event and documented on an app.

The ten individual live cooking stations allowed guests to interact with their chefs and watch the cooking/plating for each course. This was a key part of creating the ‘food theatre’ and a positive experience for guests to ask questions and find out more around the narrative. 

This event challenged the team to think differently and the Events team, now consider sustainability and impact when planning and delivering events to a far greater degree.

The Event
The annual General Counsel Programme is Slaughter and May’s flagship client-facing event for general counse, the most senior lawyers within a business. The theme of the dinner was ‘sustainability’ and the programme was designed to show core clients they can add value to them over and above providing expert legal services. 

The aim of the evening was to create a live “food theatre” in the style of a chef's table dining experience. The five course menu was designed to be nutritionally balanced, with the concept of low impact and sustainability as its core driver. The dinner menu took guests on a journey through the five elements (wood, fire, metal, water and earth). The immersive elements of the event allowed guests to see, hear and taste each element during the evening.

Table centres were made up of living plants that were donated to local community projects and schools in Islington for replanting and they used some of the plants to create a herb garden on the office roof terrace, which is now maintained by staff.

The menu was predominantly vegetarian and only low impact cooking methods were used. Food was also pickled, fermented and wind dried in order to avoid unnecessary impact on the environment.

In order to create the ten individual chef's tables, the team sourced twenty chefs who were briefed and trained by the Executive Chef so that they could interact with guests and talk confidently and knowledgeably around the narrative of the evening. This was a really positive ‘disruptive’ element to the event, as typically Chefs are normally behind the scenes.

This event was a huge success and possibly the first fully transparent corporate dinner of this scale and quality and demonstrates it is possible to deliver a high end corporate dinner with sustainability at its core. 

Judge Comments
The submission identified itself very early on as one that stood out against the others. It’s unique take on a gala dinner was delicate and exquisite with its delivery. This made the event very creative but most importantly disruptive, as it was so different to the norm. 

There was a huge amount of planning that went into the concept and detail, especially looking at the various objectives they had undertaken for themselves, for this event. Building on a concept of a sustainable dinner with conforming to no wastage rule was a very ambitious task. They cleverly turned the traditional gala into a new concept and format that stand alone looks simple – but truth be told quite complex

The judges scored this entry highly based upon the fact that they not only met everything it set out to achieve, but that the event itself also provided a real change from the ordinary and clear to see the guests were blown away.

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