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The challenge

 

Abellio operates public transport contracts in Europe, while working in partnership every day to consistently exceed passengers’ and stakeholders’ expectations. Abellio has a strong position in the UK rail market through its successful rail businesses Merseyrail and Northern Rail, and is active in the London bus market through Abellio London and Surrey.

Over a short period of time, Abellio grew from an owning group with two UK rail businesses into a European public transport company with bus and rail businesses in the UK, Germany and the Czech Republic.

Abellio’s international Best Practice Programme facilitates a structured exchange of expertise between staff in all of the Abellio businesses and parent company, Netherlands Railways. Personnel from all companies draw on each other’s experience and achievements. A Best Practice Seminar had been arranged in previous years but the feedback had been quite negative, so the team appointed DWC to plan and manage the event to achieve the following objectives:

  • communicate the Best Practice Seminar in a timely manner
  • encourage early delegate enrolment and enthusiasm for the programme
  • ensure a highly professional event to maximise engagement
  • devise a plan to ensure the best practice learnings are implemented into the Abellio structure after the conference
  • source a suitable venue which provided a large amount of break out rooms, all with natural daylight, that could accommodate 150 pax with varied F&B options.

 

The solution

 

DWC designed and managed a bespoke event website which managed the pre-event communications and enrolment for all delegates, including invitations, registrations and information for the event website. DWC also devised the event schedule, in accordance with the Abellio team, to maximise the impact of the keynote speakers as well as ensure quality workshop sessions and real time implementation planning. The event was held at the Plaza Westminster Bridge in London.  A gala dinner was also arranged at the London Transport Museum, along with other planned F&B arrangements to ensure the event was memorable for all the right reasons.

 

DWC provided the following services:

Venue sourcing, negotiation and management

AV/IT Services including all AV and IT networking, lighting, sound equipment, staging, props, interactive voting systems etc.

Delegate Management including online tool to manage delegate registration, travel and accommodation, dietary requirements etc.

F&B including on-site and external sourcing, entertainment, theming etc.

Onsite Event Management/Support

Production Items

 

The result

 

The two-day best practice conference and seminar was attended by over 150 key stakeholders from the UK, Netherlands, Germany, France and Poland.

 

  • Communication leading up the seminar
- 87% ranked this as very good or excellent
  • The online delegate tool itself
- 80% ranked their experience of the tool as very good or excellent
  • 100% felt the Best Practice Seminar met their expectations
  • Overall organisation of the seminar – 98% ranked it very good or excellent