Former Olympic Gold Medalist, Lady Mary Peters is more than just a sporting hero to the people of Northern Ireland. Having trained and won her Olympic Gold Medal through the height of the troubles, she is a figure who transcends sectarian boundaries and became a beacon of hope for many of the people who lived here.
Callow Event Management were tasked with planning and producing an unforgettable evening for Mary for her milestone 80th birthday. An evening that her closest friends & family could enjoy but also an evening that saw some of Belfast’s biggest corporate & personal supporters of Mary, joining together to thank her for her contribution to our society, and give back to her charitable Trust as a result.
Mary’s 80th birthday party was to be personal, reflective, a celebration of her life thus far, but above all, it was a to be a party that was fun and saw guests partying late into the night. The event was also to be commercially driven, raising money for the Mary Peters Trust.
To begin, and working alongside our sister company Mammoth, we curated a bespoke brand identity for the event. This gave us some impactful collateral and an identity to market the event as well as also actively recruit sponsors. We successfully brought Power NI on board as the headline sponsor of the event, a partnership that then developed into a year long campaign which showcased six of the Mary Peters Trust future sporting stars.
The event was privately marketed, taking a personal one-to-one approach in selling a selection of Gold, Silver & Bronze medal table packages to some of Mary’s biggest supporters. This was a way for them to personally contribute to Mary’s Trust, her wish instead of presents and gifts. The event sold out and, on the evening, we welcomed just over 480 guests.
With the event needing to be profitable, our ten-month planning window was also spent curating a bespoke high-end live & silent auction that ran throughout the evening. The live auction was made up of 10 unforgettable lots, offering guests the chance to bid on a trip to the Tour De France or Tickets to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards. We coupled our auctions with an innovative fundraising game, a take on the traditional ‘Pass the Parcel’ birthday game and our events team managed all these initiatives on the evening, promoting the items, collecting bids, and taking payments from successful bidders. Overall, the event raised an amazing £60,000 for The Mary Peter’s Trust.
Of course, no birthday party would be complete without stand out entertainment and special surprises along the way. Callow Event Management were tasked with curating and producing a show that would be sentimental, high-impact and memorable. We in turn produced an Olympic Opening Ceremony, with an athlete from every sport that the Mary’s Trust has supported appearing on the upper balcony during the performance and with a finale appearance from Mary’s favourite artist, Brian Kennedy.
In enhancing the personal and sentimental touches that were so important to this event, we also curated a bespoke pop-up museum in the atrium of the ballroom, with a selection of story boards, branded plinths & displays with amazing items including Mary’s SPOTY trophy to her replica gold medal. A bespoke “lifetime” video was also produced alongside our sister company Mammoth and received a standing ovation on the evening.
Lady Mary Peters -
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