On Thursday 10th June the Spirit of Sodexo Awards where held at Headingley Stadium in Leeds. This annual event is a celebration of the hard work, dedication and devotion of our teams throughout the organisation. The occasion usually involves an awards dinner for over 700 guests with an evening of presentations and recognition.
This year, whilst we couldn’t bring everyone together in person, it was more important than ever to acknowledge and thank teams for their incredible effort and achievement throughout this very difficult year. The decision was made to create a hybrid awards ceremony for 2021 with the benefit being that everyone could be invited and with over 1200 guests in attendance on the day, it really was quite an audience!
Headingley Stadium was chosen as the most suitable venue in the PV&E portfolio for the team of presenters. Easily accessible from all parts of the country by road and rail and with plenty of space for a full production set and all catering requirements.
Our communications team liaised closely with the venue team to source the hybrid meeting supplier, Fresh, a live virtual and hybrid events agency based in Cheadle. Together they worked with the presenters to plan the event, ensuring covid-safe protocols were in place whilst still delivering a truly great event experience for all involved.
The Directors Suite at the Headingley Stadium was set up in a socially distanced cabaret style and was used for refreshments and lunch whilst the Emerald Suite was the main space used for the live stream set and filming. Both suites have magnificent panoramic views over the pitch. In fact, the Suite has views over both the rugby and the cricket pitch, the only suite in the world with views over two international stadia.
A sumptuous breakfast and lunch menu was created by Executive Head Chef, Darren Kelly, including mini sausage pate sliders, crisp Croque Madame and banana hotcakes with maple syrup first thing followed by peppered steak sandwiches with crisp salad on a crusty cob, chicken tikka sandwich baguettes with mint yogurt and baby gem leaf and sweet chilli king prawn pots, baby roast potatoes with mascarpone and chives and a selection of mini desserts and treats for lunch.
The event was a great success and it was fabulous to be able to bring together so many people within the organisation at a time when so many have been apart for so long and the feedback was amazing.
‘The facilities were fresh, modern and well kept. It was a high-quality space which I would recommend to others without hesitation. All those involved were full of praise at just how hard the Headingley team worked to support us on the day – The level of professionalism from the team at Headingley was unmatched, they were consummate professionals’ - Rayna Miller, Employee and Change Communications Director