Volcanic organises the arrival of 1300 international Bonduelle employees at Lille Grand Palais.
Bonduelle recently entrusted the organisation of its international convention to the agency Volcanic. This event gathers 1300 executives from around the world and is supposed to take place in the North, it is logical that Lille Grand Palais responded to this challenge.
Interview with Eric VINCENT, Director, VOLCANIC Agency
The Bonduelle Managers Days: The birth of an extraordinary event
Located in Paris, the Volcanic agency has existed for 30 years: “We are specialised in internal communication and we organise about thirty events a year, conventions for French or international audiences” says Eric Vincent, Director of the Volcanic agency. “We have been working with Bonduelle for 4 years. For this operation, we won a tender for a top managers convention of 350 people which has transformed into an event of 1300 people: The Managers Days. Because of its size, it was a first for Bonduelle. We gathered their managers from all over the world for three days last April in Lille”specifies Eric VINCENT.
The challenge: 6 events in one
Christophe Bonduelle wanted the event to take place in the north of France, the cradle of the company. The event program included an exhibition, a great 45 minutes artistic show, a team building for 350 people, dinner for 1400 people and two plenary conferences (1400 and 350 people): 6 events in one!
“We had several constraints, accommodating our 1300 participants in hotels in the city centre, so they had to be as concentrated as possible, near the train stations. It was decided that the exhibition and the show should take place at the Stade de Liévin and the team building under a big roof. As we wanted to organise the dinner of 1400 people and the two plenary conferences in the same central place, Lille Grand Palais was chosen”adds Eric Vincent.
Why Lille Grand Palais
”Lille Grand Palais corresponded best to the program we had developed and met our requirements. It was almost the only structure able to accommodate 1400 people in Lille for dinner and the two plenaries the next day. “says Eric VINCENT . «The property benefits from an ideal location close to the hotels, 5 minutes walk from the TGV train station, and accessible to all of the stakeholders. Moreover, its reception areas for the dinner, including a large amphitheatre of 1,400 people, were sized for our volume of participants.”
One year of preparation
Lille Grand Palais, the Lievin Stadium and the hotel rooms were booked one year in advance. “Then, after several identifications, the organisation took 8 months of preparation. For example, a plenary requires 3 days of preparation between the assembly, the installation and the rehearsals. We were also busy hosting participants and booking their rooms at hotels. They booked their planes, and we took care of them when they arrived in Paris, Lille, Brussels, and Amsterdam. We organised the bus transfers to the 26 hotels we had booked for them.”adds Eric VINCENT.
Responsive technical stakeholders
Lille Grand Palais provided the services for the reception, hostesses, translation, stage curtains and the breaks. “From a logistic point of view, Lille Grand Palais was successful , our teams had already been to Lille Grand Palais several times and our technical contacts at home were up to it. We were directly connected to the right people. For us, this technical part is essential and for them, our contacts knew their place very well, were very reactive. It’s nice to work with professionals who know our business”says Eric VINCENT .
“The real plus of Lille Grand Palais is that from the moment we, an agency, go into production: we have technicians we can trust , if they say yes, they say yes, if they say no, this is not possible but then they find solutions. My general manager knew the general manager of Lille Grand Palais very well, so that also makes things easier. They are great professionals. They know the place very well, they suggest solutions.They are good partners”
Lille Grand Palais, a beautiful place
For Eric VINCENT, the result is positive: “Bonduelle was delighted, for them this project was very important, and for us too. There were 6 events in one, that’s not common either. The Managers Days went very well. On a project of this size, you cannot take risks. In Lille, there is a very beautiful place, and it’s Lille Grand Palais! it’s easy to access, there is parking, there is the train, the amphitheatres. Everything is there to make the event a success. It is a beautiful and essential tool.”