Equinox ‘Rocket to Recovery’: event management
Equinox provides support services to people with mental ill health, history of homelessness and drug / alcohol dependence. The brief was to create a day of recognition, celebration and fun for Equinox service users, family members and volunteers (120 guests). Equinox service users were to be involved in planning and delivering their day.
I brought together and managed a team of Equinox service users to create and shape their day. For four months, I held fortnightly planning meetings to shape event theming, content, team roles etc. This required sensitivity to the needs of a diverse group, including people with mental ill health and physical disability.
- Located central London venue, 4749 Creative Studio – negotiated reduced venue hire for full day event and set up the day before. The venue was a large creative studio space near Tower Bridge that required theming, furnishing and decorating for the event.
- Theming / venue transformation – devised ‘Rocket to Recovery’ theme in group brainstorming process.
- Event theming carried through to posters, invitations, venue decorations, themed event content (Planet Laughter, Planet Recovery, Planet Party, Planet Giving), venue artwork and photography.
- Managed invitation process, including guest list creation, invitations, reminders, venue map, special requests
- Arranged VIP guest appearances, including: Alastair Campbell (free appearance, speech and book signing); Arthur Smith (free stand up comedy performance + event coverage on Arthur’s Facebook page)
- Arranged graffiti artist Alex McLelland to paint a bespoke mural for Equinox in record time!
- Produced and directed Equinox “Family Matters” film – 12 minute film featuring interviews with Equinox service users, edited to produce clear narrative celebrating individual recovery and family experiences (available to view on request).
- Arranged photographer Phil Bourne – free photography services for the event.
- Creativity Zone – working closely with Equinox service user Lloyd, we brought together a selection of artwork from Equinox services in London and the South East for an exhibition, as well as creating bespoke themed artworks and decorations for the venue.
- Sourced top sponsor for raffle – Tesco (donated prizes of electrical goods).
- Facilitated service users to find additional raffle sponsors (Waterstones, WH Smiths, Boots).
- Sourced free drinks and snacks for the event from sponsor Tesco.
- Catering for 120 people (hot Caribbean food sourced by event team member, tea / coffee, selection of cakes for afternoon tea) – achieved within budget.
- Wrote, published and tweeted post-event website news stories for Equinox website + Twitter, plus provided content for internal service user magazine.