Corporate Festival Summer Party for 200

We’ve hosted and coordinated a few corporate events over the years, but last year I worked on the biggest event yet. An epic festival summer party for 200 people. Guests travelled from London to our Spirit Lake location in Surrey on the Friday, had a full day of fun, stayed over in bell tents and headed back the following morning.

I first heard from Leanne of Rede2 (an events company based in Gloucester) back in the February. They were looking to put on an awesome festival party for a media agency based in London. They outsourced some of the more outdoor specific logistics and suppliers to me, while they concentrated on entertainment (day and night), travel logistics, flow of events on the day, branding for the event and countless other logistical elements.

THE BRIEF
Land hire of Spirit Lake
Bell tents to sleep 200 people
A day time marquee, in case the weather wasn’t great
An evening marquee for dining and dancing, including full marquee styling
A caterer to provide a lunch, dinner and breakfast
Festival touches such as hay bales, fire pits and festival flags
Three bars
Posh loos
Security
Power
Full research and coordination of suppliers including set up, de-rig days and on the day coordination.

And the chosen date for this awesome party? My birthday

THE PREP
Over the months that followed, Leanne and I worked closely together, finessing the plans and dealing with the normal changes in guest numbers. For the last couple of weeks I had Louisa (our Fiesta Fields bride turned summer intern) to help me with the final details.

Jump to set up day and Louisa and I had a really busy day meeting lots of suppliers and letting them know where to set up. Starting early with a main marquee down on the lake – a 100 x 40ft vintage pole tent from Four Seasons including flooring, dance floor, fairy lights, festoons, rustic tables and chairs. Plus, a second marquee in the walled garden from Inside Outside, where guests would start their day with lunch and a company meeting

marquee by a lake

I had arranged for Eloise from The Beautiful Day to come in and style the evening marquee with lots of colour paper lanterns and silk bunting hired in from The Event Flag Company. Eloise and her team also prettied up the tables with little flower displays and provided lots of coffee sack covers for the hay bales, blankets and cushions for the fire pit area and some festoons on shepherd’s crooks.

Leanne had booked their regular supplier to set up a large stage and sound system in the marquee along with PA equipment for the daytime marquee. The team also installed lots of outdoor lighting.

Marquee styled with bunting and paper lanterns
styled marquee with decorated tables

Meanwhile we had three bell tent companies (Beautiful Bells, Beneath the Canopy and Great British Bell Tents) busy beavering away setting up a whopping 55 bell tents, predominantly for sleeping, but a couple for face painters, a pamper tent, and a green room for the band. We had created glamping areas that would be marked on a big site map produced by Rede2 to help guests find their tent in three main areas, The Lower Lake, the Walled Garden and The Upper Lake.

 Gastro Catering were set up and ready to go with chiller trailer and catering marquee set up and mini kitchen set up outside the daytime marquee.

bell tents dotted around trees
row of bell tents
inside bell tents

Leanne and Stephen arrived with their van jam packed with bespoke signage, drinks and snacks and overnight mini kits for each guest and plenty of other event essentials.

The unsexy, but very necessary toilet trailers and generators arrived and were all set up along with some Biffa bins.

 By the end of a long day we were ready to go. The marquees were fully set up and decorated. All bell tents complete. Festival flags flying, bunting hung. Registration marquee set up and all signage in place. Spirit Lake looked awesome and we were almost ready.

marquee and bell tents in a field

PARTY TIME
Friday 21st arrived and hooray, after a couple of showery days, the weather report was looking great. A quick Happy Birthday from my husband and I was off. We were all on site early, putting finishing touches and seeing the final suppliers into position, two bars (The Three Cockerels and The Gin Inn) and a VW Photo bus.

Phone locker charging units were delivered and Louisa and I set up the chill out area with the hay bales, the fire pits and stacked up the wood ready to go. We dotted the cushions and blankets around. We got all the main sides off of the daytime marquee to let it cool down in there. Turns out we did need it the marquee, but more for shade than cover from the rain.

mobile bar in front of a lake
mobile horse box bar

9.30 and all guests was on board the coaches, arranged by Rede2 to pick up at a few main meeting spots in London. They arrived around 11am and the landowner began to ferry people down in his tractor/trailer, while others walked through the woodland walk, popping out by the registration tent.

Guests were given their lanyards with the plan for the day and their allocated bell tent number. After dropping belongings to the bell tents everyone made their way to the walled garden for soft drinks and burritos.

 The activity for the day was to be an inflatable type sports day, organised by Rede2. The agency had split themselves into teams with some great team names and fancy dress. We had a team of air hostesses and one of mermaids. Everyone had really gone to town with their outfits and they all looked fab.

bell tents and marquee in a field
people sitting on hay bales in a marquee
people chatting outside a marquee

After a short company meeting and some time to let the burritos and ice cream go down, the summer games championship began. Leanne and team were busy keeping tabs on scores as the teams made their way from giant sumo suits to human table football. From wipe out eliminator to a huge inflatable assault course. Always jealous to not be able to have a go on something like this, Louisa and I met the final suppliers Bubble Bros, face painters and the band and got the pamper tent open and ready.

sumo man inflatable game
inflatable game for a corporate party
inflatables set alongside a lake

After the games had finished, guests had a chance to go to their tent to change and to use the pamper tent to get party-ready. Everyone congregated on the haybales to grab a drink, using their tokens from the bars and winners from the days’ activity were announced. An acoustic band played a set while everyone enjoyed a bit of chill out time. Around 7pm guests were called into the marquee for dinner.

photo booth outside a marquee
summer festival party
a menu sat on a table in a marquee

THE MENU
Starter was an antipasti platters of roasted peppers, aubergine, sun blushed tomato, mozzarella, caper berries and queen olives.

Main BBQ options included;

/ Butterflied Cajun chicken, free range chicken breast, marinated overnight with a house blend of Cajun herbs and spiced served with smoked chilli mayonnaise.
/ British beef burger made with cumin, fresh herbs and seasoning. Served in a brioche bun with red pepper jam and melted Jarlsberg cheese.
/ Vegan burger of garlic roasted beetroot, charred red pepper and goat’s cheese in a malted, multi seed bun.

/ Foil parcels of honey roasted artichoke with garlic hummus, baby leaves and pickles.

Served with salad options;
/ Classic Homemade Coleslaw made with celeriac, honey, paprika and a creamy mayonnaise.
/ New potato salad with red onions, chives, Dijon mustard and mayonnaise.
/ Traditional and pearl cous cous, roasted buckwheat and quinoa, spiced with turmeric and ras el hanout, garnished with cucumber strips and edible flowers/
/ Green Leaf Salad dressed in a light balsamic vinaigrette.

Dessert was mixed platters of;

/ Dark chocolate and salted caramel brownie, with clotted cream, fresh raspberries, and salted granola.
/ Summer berry pavlova topped with whipped cream, fresh summer berries and a red berry coulis.
/ Aerated lime mousse layered with sweet pastry and a coconut tuile.

outdoor bar next to a lake

After the meal everyone got involved with rockeaoke in their teams with the Dominoes, which was so much fun. The Dominoes followed this with a set of their own. At midnight the entertainment switched to DJ and silent disco and the party continued…

Marquee seen from outside, lit up with coloured lights
people dancing in a marquee
Photo booth with people inside

Saturday morning, guests were welcomed to the marquee with breakfast (loaded baps with bacon and egg or mushroom) juice and coffee/tea to ease the sore heads. They collected their bags from the bell tents and headed back to London on the coaches.

What an epic party! I loved working with Leanne, Hannah and Stephen and hope we can work together on another event in the not too distant future. If you are looking to do something different for your company day out, please contact me on nikki@fiestafields.co.uk. From land hire only, to full coordination and anywhere in between, we can help.

“Nikki and the Fiesta Fields team were absolutely great to work with! The team helped us deliver a festival for 200 people in the beautiful Dorking area – Spirit Lake is a real gem hidden in the English countryside. The service was impeccable and nothing was ever too much trouble for Nikki, anything we threw her way she met with gusto…even in the stressful build up to the event. Their commitment and efforts from the beginning shone through and we here at Rede2 very much hope to work with them again on future events!” Hannah at Rede2 

“THANKS again so much for ALL your hard work Nikki – I really could not have done this without you – you have been a complete star and have provided so much support to make this the fantastic event that it was – great feedback from the client!!

We will definitely be putting this forward again so here’s to us working together soon!” Leanne at Rede2

SUPPLIERS

Marquees / Four Seasons and Inside Outside
Catering / Gastro Catering
Bell Tents/ Beautiful Bells, Beneath the Canopy and Great British Bell Tents
Bars / The Three Cockerels, The Gin Inn, Bubbles Bros
Marquee styling / The Beautiful Day
Bunting / The Event Flag Hire Company
PA equipment, staging and lighting / USS
Facepainting / Poppy & Perle
Band / The Dominoes
Inflatables / Active Hire
Photo Booth / VW Photo Bus

bell tents at night

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