Over the last few years I have been involved or attended quite a few events, Event Spectator is now my outlet to share my event experience. I believe organic and authentic experiences should be shared and used to help organisers know what they are doing well and what they may need to work on.
I came across this festival via twitter and the dates worked out perfectly because I was planning to be in Chester over the Easter weekend. I love Chester; been there a few times for business and leisure so I am familiar with its charm. The Chester Food, Drink & Lifestyle Festival took place at one of my favourite venues, the Chester Racecourse. The parking area and entrance were abuzz with activity! Since I had booked my tickets online, it was easy to gain entry by scanning our QR code. It’s always a good start to get attendees in swiftly, especially with large events like that with multiple entries.
We entered through The Pavilion which had a lot of food and drink stalls ranging from fresh meats, gin, wines to sauces. It was a lot to take in, and being the main entrance for the event, it was really crowded. We worked our way through and found some great products, Tigg’s Dressings being one of my favourites. The beetroot and other amazing original dressings were delicious.
The strawberry cider from Gwatkin Cider Company Ltd was the best cider I had at the festival whilst Mason’s Yorkshire Gin tea edition was top quality. The day wouldn’t have been complete without some good food! I had a gorgeous Hog Roast with apple sauce. Those olives from Khayri were out of this world!
The highlight for me was the BBC Experience Dome which offered another level of interaction at the festival. I really enjoyed presenting the weather and the news. Was great…I have the videos for my personal amusement.
The festival ends 28th March so if your around Chester I would definitely pop in, the festival also have the CamperFest and ArtFest so there is definitely something for everyone to get involved with, not forgetting the Chef Demonstrations from co-presenter of MasterChef Gregg Wallace and Brian Mellor award winning Master Chef of Great Britain.
The Bride Wedding Show at Tatton Park Knutsford was a great day out for wedding inspirations! I have a few engaged friends and coming from a wedding planning background, I was having such a great time just seeing all the different venues, entertainment, dresses and loads more! Some inspiration for my wedding…when it comes around!
I have been to Tatton Park a few times as I have National Trust Membership, so I was familiar with the venue absolutely lovely. However it was pouring! Chucking it down! It was a wet day and the car park was full so we had to park in the overflow car park on the grass….I witnessed a few cars getting stuck. But, what the heck? It's England it rains!
Signing in was very easy "no queues!" and I noticed they had different sections for people with tickets and for those without. We were given the Bride Magazine and the exhibition floor plan exhibitor summary on arrival which was a nice touch. Will be browsing through them at home.
The online website was great. I got a lot of information on what to expect at the event and all the essential information. There was also a good social media presence which allowed attendees to communicate with the organisers. Tickets were available for purchase online and at the door with options of a general or VIP ticket. The VIP ticket included a glass of fizz, goody bag and guaranteed seat at the catwalk.
There was a very good balance of exhibitions. I discovered a few new beautiful venues all offering different experiences. Knowsley Hall and Thornton Manor stood out for me. I liked how the restaurant, band, the wedding marquee which, I believe was dressed by White Wedding & Event Company and catwalk were in a separate area from the main exhibition floor.
I felt really relaxed walking through the exhibition floor; didn’t feel pressured into anything as what happens at some other similar events. Some of the exhibitors absolutely made an effort with their displays. The floral and wedding cakes displays were exquisite.
Frozen Pleasures stand did freeze me in my track! I would recommend them for wedding evening reception. Basically, they provide a bespoke Ice Cream Catering and Ice Cream Stand where your guests can create their own dessert. It is different and fun! Frozen Pleasures can bring out the child in even the most frigid of hearts!
Another favourite of mine were the dresses! Some exhibitors actually allowed attendees to try the gowns on. That was definitely a great move! J&J Designs Staffordshire impressed me most there. I actually saw a few dresses exactly my style which was great!
Overall, I really enjoyed this event. There is soo much ideas and inspiration at these events. And if you are an events planner like me you can definitely network and make connections with venues and suppliers for your future events.
Brides-to-be, do find yourself a wedding show near you and get prepared. There are a few other wedding shows cross-country so you can choose the best location to suit your fancy. You cannot let anyone else reign on your parade...rain or no rain!!
My first event experience of 2016 was the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival at the Manchester Central convention complex. Being more of a wine and sparkle girl I thought this is something very different for me; my boyfriend is a beer drinker and into the “bitters and ale” so I thought this would be a day out for him and for me to blog about!
Website InformationThe website was well presented and had all the information that visitors will need, with the event running over four days I felt the information was very clear with times, prices, glass hire everything. Just some background, the event feature over 600 beers, ciders and perries. As well as a massive selection of cask conditioned craft ales and traditional ciders & perries there was bottled and draught beers from around the world. The festival is organised by the Greater Manchester Branches of The Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA).
BookingI booked my tickets online via Eventbrite, which was great as on arrival I just scanned in via the barcode on the Eventbrite App; quick and easy. I myself have used Eventbrite for my events so I know how useful it is not only for ticket booking but to monitor attendees and other main factors of your event.
TransportManchester is very connected transport wise. I found it very easy from Manchester Piccadilly to Oxford Rd via train. The direction information on the website was very accurate for walking from the train station. The only suggestion I would make is for a few volunteers in branded tee shirts or signs outside train stations to guide some attendees who are not familiar with Manchester in the right direction.