When you’re given just two weeks to pull an event together you know you have your work cut out! We love a challenge. So when a client gave us just fourteen days to pull together a launch event we got straight to work.

The brief

Building launchOur client was launching a brand new 28,000 square foot freight building at Heathrow Airport and would be showcasing the space to around 350 delegates – representatives of the world’s major airlines. With such a large number of visitors wanting to experience the new facility, it was important to our client that we create a free flowing, immersive experience that would allow guests to come and go at their leisure, take tours and casually explore the stunning new space in their own time.

With a large contingent of visitors connected to major American companies, the theming and catering brief was American pop culture. Just like the big new facility being launched, Americana is anything but subtle; so we decided to create a suitably bold event to showcase the space to the world.

The event

Upon arrival guests were treated to a choreographed cheerleading display performed by a team of professional cheerleaders. Delegates entered the building to discovered that we’d used part of the space to create a 1950’s themed American diner.

The space featured a classic American diner style lunch counter with guests sat at high top tables. Tables were tended by our energetic team of waiting staff, all dressed in cool, retro 1950’s outfits. American pop culture is nothing if not bold; we added an extra touch of Americana with a New York style hot dog cycle.

Outside, Uncle Sam – on stilts no less -paraded the grounds, posing for photos and handing goody bags out to delegates as they explored the facility. Our giant Uncle Sam ensured that every visitor had a memento of the day, and plenty of information about the new facility to take home with them.

The menu

In addition to the afore mentioned hot dog cycle, the menu featured a variety of other American diner classics. From a BBQ brisket bagel with Frenches American mustard and tangy cornichons, to Fried Alaskan salmon and triple cooked fries.

Of course it wouldn’t have been a true American diner experience without beef burgers. Our ground steak sliders feature high quality sustainably sourced British beef, smoked cheese and candied onions and were a firm favourite. Our delicious lentil sliders with a tangy coriander and chili pickle, ensured that vegetarian and vegan visitors were able to enjoy the same high quality dining experience as their carnivorous colleagues.

For dessert we offered ‘fried to order’ mini cinnamon doughnuts served with an opulent 70% coco chocolate dipping sauce. Needless to say, our interactive live cooking station went down a storm with the guests.

From the bar we served deliciously thick American style strawberry milkshakes, home-made sodas and, of course, classic craft cola; all served with cool and funky retro straws. The devil is in the detail and it’s the little touches that guests always remember.

Event de-brief and client comments

This was a high energy event, and a very important occasion for our enthusiastic client. From a Vanilla Bean standpoint it was a fantastic project to be a part of; even with such a short time frame to work within.

And from our client’s point of view?

‘The food, the diner and the entertainment were thoroughly enjoyed by everyone! We want to thank you and the team for the great work put into making our event a super success… and for working with us in such a short time scale’

We loved every moment of it too. Events, event production and event catering are part of our DNA.

Find out more about our event services

Whether you need to pull together a last minute event or have more time to plan your product launch, customer event, family fun day, team building day, internal sales team event… or anything else, we’d love to be involved. We offer comprehensive event planning, theming and management service, paired with a top tier catering experience. Contact our team to discuss your next event: 01932 356180, surrey@vanilla-bean.co.uk or london@vanilla-bean.co.uk