Welcome to The Events Raccoon


A unique Events Management Agency providing a personal, dedicated and bespoke full-service event solution.

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We go above and beyond to understand your requirements and use our vast industry understanding, insight into the market and first-hand experience to bring your event to life.

With a passion to succeed and a desire to stand out in the crowd we bring you personality, confidence, fun and professionalism all hand-delivered in a transparent solution.

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At Your Service


Project Management

Venue sourcing, site inspections, food tastings, project meetings, risk assessments, managements of timeframes and key milestones with all suppliers, budget, cashflow and contract management.

Delegate Management

We manage and respond to all questions raised via the registration process, manage attendee numbers to minimise cancellation charges, chase responses from late registrations, provide clear and accurate reporting prior to and during the life of the event.

Transport Management

We arrange and book flights, ground transportation, airport meet-and-greets, VIP transfers, shuttle services between venues, HSSE regulations with all drivers.

Onsite Event Management

We oversee the logistical running of the event ensuring all suppliers deliver their key objectives, manage rooming lists, offsite venues, risk assessments, complete pre-event briefings as well as post event debriefs and onsite budget reconciliations.

See What We Do


Veritas

Annual Summer Event

WRc

Innovation Day

CAMSS World

CAMSS UK

What Our Clients Say


What We Offer


Website build and design

a bespoke registration website to collate and manage the delegate registrations as well as increase attendee numbers. It can form the basis for the communication journey from invite to post-event surveys, pre-event work to speaker bios and workshop selections.

Team building

to include anything from a day making rafts to float down a river to an hour session focused on change management across divisions.

Entertainment and guest speakers

sourcing the correct external party to join an event at the key point in the programme to wow and inspire. This could be a celebrity dance act for a awards dinner, a subject matter expert for a CXO luncheon or a motivational speaker for a changing workforce at a conference.

AV/production/event technology

build and design of a stage set, sound, lighting and backdrop to fit the event brief and purpose. Understanding the ROI for using technology to change a workforce through a social media network, increase productivity through tracked sales incentives and allow attendees to get hands on with a new product through virtual reality.

Our Amazing Team


Click on a Raccoon to find out more about them

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Ready to start your next project with us? That's great! Give us a call or send us an email and let us inspire you!

The Events Raccoon celebrates the end of year two with huge event successes in the UK and worldwide

The Swindon-based event management agency is celebrating its second year having delivered 25 UK and worldwide events, four new client wins and an expanding team

At the end of their first year, The Events Raccoon announced a new global contract with Trace One which has seen them already deliver events internationally in Paris and Madrid with further key destinations planned for 2019. Following on from this, The Events Raccoon have secured a further 4 new client wins including a new contract with CAMSS World to deliver their UK event which led to a contract extension to deliver their Vancouver and Toronto events.

At the end of their first year, The Events Raccoon announced a new global contract with Trace One which has seen them already deliver events internationally in Paris and Madrid with further key destinations planned for 2019. Following on from this, The Events Raccoon have secured a further 4 new client wins including a new contract with CAMSS World to deliver their UK event which led to a contract extension to deliver their Vancouver and Toronto events.

Rob Simms Co-Founder and CEO for CAMSS World had this to say about the service provided by The Events Raccoon: “Professionalism personified! We have been delighted with the level of detail shown throughout the entire project, both pre and onsite for our events at CAMSS World. It's crucial that our attendees feel tremendous value when they attend our conferences and with the support of the Events Raccoon, we've undoubtably elevated our customer experience. The Events Raccoon team are super detailed, highly professional and have no issue problem solving. We love working with the team so much, that we extended our contract to take on international events.”

With the success of the new contracts and continued delivery and growth of their existing client base, The Events Raccoon has recently appointed Emma Sharp as Event Manager to support with the delivery of their growing events programme. Emma joins The Events Raccoon with a strong events background with six years at The Dorchester and a further three years with Cartier and had this to say about joining the company: “When I saw the opportunity to become part of The Events Raccoon, I knew this was the role for me – to be part of a growing company that creates unique experiences for their clients. Once I met with Beckie I realised the full potential in which I could play such an important role in helping to grow the business.”

Beckie Hyson, Director of The Events Raccoon had this to say about the success of their second year and her vision for continued growth: “We couldn’t have asked for a better year having delivered a staggering 25 events, up 19 from the previous year! We’ve been able to develop our existing client base as well as taking on new clients to deliver a very exciting international programme of events. We pride ourselves on providing a personal, dedicated and bespoke full-service event solution and I’m excited that Emma has joined the team to help us enhance our service offering. With her experience at The Dorchester and Cartier, I immediately knew she would make the perfect ‘Raccoon’ with her exceptional attention to detail. I look forward to seeing what Emma brings to the team and supporting me with continued growth as we enter our third year.”


The Events Raccoon appointed to deliver Access's 2019 Event

Access was in need of support from an agency who could work well with a range of stakeholders and were able to project manage a large scale event with a tight turnaround.

We had previously worked with the key stakeholder in a different role and had been recommended by a supplier of Access' based on our attention to detail and project management skillset.

Having already started the planning for their event, with 6 weeks until the event, Access asked us to take the lead for this project to make sure key objectives were met.

We had previously worked with the key stakeholder in a different role and had been recommended by a supplier of Access' based on our attention to detail and project management skillset.

Having already started the planning for their event, with 6 weeks until the event, Access asked us to take the lead for this project to make sure key objectives were met.

The Objective

The event concept was to invite employees to a one-day company conference. The morning session was split into 10 separate agendas relevant for each business function some of which were onsite and others offsite.

The afternoon session bought together all business functions for the full company update followed by a key part of the event – an evening full of fun and entertainment.

The Challenge

Access had previously managed this event in-house and started planning for the 2018 event in February. Due to the growth strategy of Access, the scale of this event had grown from 300 delegates to an anticipated 1,000 over the past few years. It was because of this rapid growth that they recognised the need for external event management support and to centrally manage the team to give that dedicated attention to detail that an event of this scale required.

We came into this project six weeks out from the event and were tasked with managing a core project team of six, where we needed to ensure the event was bought in on time, and on budget. As part of the pre-event project management we were responsible for managing the critical path of timelines to ensure key milestones were met. We also managed the budget to understand the full anticipated event costing.

It was important that each member of the team was aware what their role was, it's importance to the delivery of the event and understood that we were there to support them to deliver a successful event.

Onsite, we faced the challenge of moving 1000 delegates, split into 10 functions, across the university campus where the event was running over three buildings. We also had five different entertainment acts to manage each with their own rider.

The Solution

Coming in with six weeks to go it was important that we managed the entire event and grasped a full understanding of the status of the project. We held individual calls with each member of the core project team to ascertain their work loads and understand if there were pinch points because of other work priorities. With this information we were able to fully manage the critical path and carried out weekly, and then week of event, daily project calls with the core team and all suppliers.

Where the event was spread over the three buildings on the campus, we needed a strong event management team to manage the delegate movements. We had a team of 20 on site that we managed over the course of the event and pulled together a full staff briefing document to support them with detailed roles and responsibilities for each crew member.

The Agenda

  • The
    Morning

    10 bespoke business function agendas running

  • Lunch

    Pianist & saxophonist, graffiti wall and four singing waiters

  • The
    Afternoon

    Company update and digital illusionists

  • The
    Evening

    Street food buffet, jazz trio throughout dinner, 13-piece band, awards ceremony, surprise guest speaker – Hugh Dennis

  • Giving
    Back
    Exhibition

    Access put a key focus on CSR, supporting local charities. At this event they donated 296kg of food to Warwick District Food Bank.

Peter Salmon, Head of Employee Communications, Access: "A massive thank you for everything you’ve done to make this event a success. I’ve had so much positive feedback so far and your work has really made a difference."

Claire Scott, Chief People Officer, Access: "What a day on Friday!!!! I can’t tell you how thrilled I am about how well Staff Day went. What a triumph!! You should all be very proud of the individual and collective part that you played in this."

"What a fantastic day on Friday and how well organised was that? It was like a military exercise and I want to thank the whole team who had smiles on their faces all day even though they must have been shattered!"

"I've fallen in love with Access all over again!"


The Events Raccoon and Capella Marketing are heading to Canada

The Events Raccoon and Capella Marketing have successfully secured new contracts for a combined event and marketing solution for CAMSS World - taking them to Canada later this year.

In February 2018, The Events Raccoon and Capella Marketing, were awarded the event and marketing contract for CAMSS World supporting their CAMSS UK event that was held on 02 May at The Royal Horseguards Hotel in London.

The Events Raccoon and Capella Marketing have successfully secured new contracts for a combined event and marketing solution for CAMSS World - taking them to Canada later this year.

In February 2018, The Events Raccoon and Capella Marketing, were awarded the event and marketing contract for CAMSS World supporting their CAMSS UK event that was held on 02 May at The Royal Horseguards Hotel in London.

With more than 104 attendees, The Events Raccoon delivered an end-to-end event management solution, whilst Capella Marketing provided a digital marketing concept to promote the event and raise the brand profile of CAMSS World in the UK. The two agencies worked collaboratively to provide a seamless approach, resulting in a hugely successful event.

Following the success of the event, The Events Raccoon and Capella Marketing have both secured extended contracts for the onsite event management and social media coverage for events in Vancouver and Toronto later this year.

CAMSS World, a leading facilitating event company, servicing communities throughout the United States, Canada and United Kingdom provide unbeatable platforms for networking and learning between senior IT and Line of Business executives alongside first-class technology service providers. The company, headquartered in Chicago, had previously recognised the need for support in the delivery of their extensive events programme and primarily used the two agencies for CAMSS UK.

CEO Rob Simms from CAMSS World was delighted to announce the contract extension for the Canadian events; “Both The Events Raccoon and Capella Marketing provided a professional service to support in the delivery of CAMSS UK. The Events Raccoon delivered a seamless event solution, demonstrating cost savings throughout the pre-event project management, allowing the event to come under budget. Capella Marketing has supported hugely in building the brand profile of CAMSS World in the UK and worked closely The Events Raccoon on the build up to the event to ensure they delivered an effective digital marketing solution. The support from both agencies allowed us as a business to strategically focus on our events programme to ensure we provided value for money to our delegates by sourcing high-profile speakers and relevant sponsors. That continued one stage further whilst on site, where we were able to follow up on conversations to create business opportunities between our sponsors and delegates - something we’ve not been able to focus on before.

Jason Cenamor, Co-founder and President of CAMSS World supported this with; “Taking on board the professional approach and quality service we received from both The Events Raccoon and Capella Marketing, it didn’t take much for us to agree extended contract terms and we’re delighted to be working with both agencies on our Canadian events later this year.”

Beckie Hyson, Director of The Events Raccoon says; “We’re absolutely delighted to be continuing our relationship with CAMSS World and to be working even closer with Capella Marketing. We’re excited to take our CAMSS World event strategy from the UK to deliver a seamless approach for the two Canadian events.”

Suzi Johnson, Director of Capella Marketing finishes with; “In such a short space of time we’ve been able to support in building the brand profile of CAMSS World. By being on site at the event allows us to get involved in the conversation and encourage social interaction between delegates. The social engagement at CAMSS UK was positive to see and I can’t wait to see what engagement will be in Canada. This is a fantastic opportunity for Capella Marketing and we look forward to continuing our relationship with both CAMSS World and The Events Raccoon.”


The Events Raccoon lands global contract with Trace One

Last year The Events Raccoon announced a new three-year global contract as part of their end of first year successes. They’re now delighted to share more on this contract win with Trace One, and how the contract came about.

Trace One connects retailers and suppliers to develop innovative Private Label products and drive consumer trust. They’re currently in the process of launching a new Executive Club, designed to shape the future of the Private Label industry.

Last year The Events Raccoon announced a new three-year global contract as part of their end of first year successes. They’re now delighted to share more on this contract win with Trace One, and how the contract came about.

Trace One connects retailers and suppliers to develop innovative Private Label products and drive consumer trust. They’re currently in the process of launching a new Executive Club, designed to shape the future of the Private Label industry.

By running a series of business education and networking events, The Events Raccoon will support Trace One’s strategy in working towards a global event to share best practice. Their end goal - to be seen as a key influencer and create a community that will drive the direction of the Private Label sector. 2017 saw the initiation of this programme and objective. The detailed strategy and planning was fundamental to ensure 2018 kicked off with a full events programme and content that will allow the Exec Club to be successful. Over the course of 2018, The Events Raccoon will be supporting in the delivery of a series of silo events in Paris, Madrid, Dusseldorf, London and the US. These events will provide an opportunity for attendees to share their findings and establish a consistency within the sector ahead of the global event in 2019, that will be held in the US.

The contract came through a recommendation from a previous event. MAXX Design, a design and digital communications agency, had been approached to RFP for the original contract and therefore needed an events partner. On a referral from a past event, The Events Raccoon were recommended to pitch alongside MAXX Design to provide an all-encompassing solution to the client. Following a successful pitch, The Events Raccoon and Maxx Design are now working hand-in-hand in the execution of the contract from a digital communication and event delivery perspective.

As part of the contract, and as well as the onsite event execution, The Events Raccoon will provide variety of venue options in the different countries and carry out full site inspections to ensure the suitability of the proposed venues. Within each of the locations, they will liaise with all third-party suppliers, including caterers, production, videography and photography and source any gifts or collateral required for the individual events. Alongside this, The Events Raccoon are supporting in the sourcing of speakers and subject matter experts where they’re in the process of negotiating with key industry influencers to support their own research to give them a platform for their voice to be heard within the Private Label sector.

Beckie Hyson, Director of The Events Raccoon says, “Finishing year one with a global contract of this scale on our books is a huge achievement and something we are delighted to have earnt on our own merit. The opportunity created by MAXX Design and their client was received with open arms and we’re so excited about how well our creative input and logistical input has been received by both client and agent.”

Sabrina Khaida, Global Head of Marketing for Trace One says, “It was critical to us to find just the right events partner – one with experience, creativity and the ability to support our business on a global level. Following an in-depth evaluation, we found The Events Raccoon to be the best choice and we are thrilled to be working with them on the launch of the Trace One Exec Club events.”

For more information about Trace One Exec Club

For more information about Trace One


Top tips for that perfect sizzling summer bash

It may be one of the coldest March's on record earlier this month, but here at The Events Raccoon HQ we're already looking ahead to the summer where we'll be embracing the warmth of the sun back with open arms.

It's traditional for businesses to organise Christmas parties where they can use this as an opportunity for an end-of-year wrap-up or awards dinner. As much as we love Christmas, us Raccoons also love to have an opportunity to celebrate throughout the year. What better way of this than during the summer months where, weather permitting of course, you can enjoy the long evenings and summer cocktails to celebrate your successes within the business.

With only a few months until summer will be on our doorstep, we thought we'd share some of our top tips to help you plan the perfect sizzling summer bash.

It may be one of the coldest March's on record earlier this month, but here at The Events Raccoon HQ we're already looking ahead to the summer where we'll be embracing the warmth of the sun back with open arms.

It's traditional for businesses to organise Christmas parties where they can use this as an opportunity for an end-of-year wrap-up or awards dinner. As much as we love Christmas, us Raccoons also love to have an opportunity to celebrate throughout the year. What better way of this than during the summer months where, weather permitting of course, you can enjoy the long evenings and summer cocktails to celebrate your successes within the business.

With only a few months until summer will be on our doorstep, we thought we'd share some of our top tips to help you plan the perfect sizzling summer bash.

  1. Get that date in the diary!

    Just as with the festive period, the summer months will see people's diaries soon fill up - especially as they'll be planning for their summer getaways. It's important to get the date in the diary as soon as you can to maximise your attendance rate. Sending a 'Save the Date' will buy you some time to sort the finer details before sending the official invite.

  2. Create a theme for your event

    There's so much you can do around theming your event where you can tie this back into business objectives. Here's just some of our top theme ideas that would work for different objectives.

    • Willy Wonka
    • If you're looking to reward employees or want to run an awards dinner, have you considered a Willy Wonka themed event? You could invite your guests with a lucky golden ticket and let the magic commence...

    • Around the world
    • A great way to bring people together either from different office in the UK or from across the world would be an 'Around the World' tying in different elements from the nationalities of the people that work for you. We'd suggest asking what your guests would like to see from this event as you want to ensure you represent the nationalities in the right way and it's a great way of getting them involved and feeling a part of it the build up to the big day.

    • Circus
    • Alternatively, if you want the more family-feel event, how about organising a circus themed party? We're not suggesting you go all out with elephants etc, but there's so much you can do within a circus tent. And what's more - you don't need the outdoor space to make this happen (which means you don't have to rely on the British weather!) By choosing the right venue, you can drape the room where you'd feel like you were under the 'Big Top', and from there the fun begins…

    • Keeping it simple but effective
    • If you don't want to go for a theme, consider using a colour palette to tie everything together. You could easily go with a soft pastel 'vintage' style look or a more vibrant punchy 'party' style. Either option, you can style the décor accordingly and create your own event identity.

  3. Consider your venue carefully

    If you do choose a particular theme, ensure the venue you're considering is fit for purpose. For example, if you're going for a garden party or festival style event, then the venue needs to have adequate outdoor space that will cater for your needs. You may need to consider marquees and the set-up and set-down time required for the this and other infrastructure required that will make your event a success.

    Once you have the venue in mind, how will you dress it? Sometimes the venue only needs simple touches such as fairy lights, balloons or even bunting to help bring the event to life, but it's important to consider your options when budgeting.

  4. Enjoy your own summer cocktails

    Summer is the perfect time to get cocktail-creative and allows you to get imaginative with both alcoholic or non-alcoholic creations. They even provide a fantastic opportunity to get your guests involved with your own cocktail masterclass - trust us your guests will love to sample their own creations - we know we do!

  5. Provide mouth-watering food options

    It's not all about the summer drinks, you get some amazing summer foods as well, with smells that will get your senses running wild. It doesn't need to be complicated either. Christmas parties are traditionally 3-course sat down meals. Well how about a summer BBQ or Hog Roast sat on a hay bale chatting with fellow colleagues? Nothing beats a relaxed theme where colleagues can sit back and enjoy themselves.

  6. Don't forget the entertainment

    You have the theme, venue, food and drink, the only thing missing is your entertainment. You have so many entertainment options; do you need a band to play on a main stage at your event, or do you need to consider 'back garden party' games. Your entertainment needs to work with your event theme and your chosen venue. For example, if you go down the vintage route, a game of croquet out on the back lawn would work perfectly or a country music band for your outdoor summer party.


The summer puts everyone in a great mood so is a great time to get people together. We don't need an excuse for a party at The Events Raccoon and we'd be happy to chat through our ideas if you want to organise a summer party to remember!


Lapland - not your typical ski resort and not just home to Santa

As an event planner I'm fortunate enough to travel to some incredible destinations where I've experienced some truly amazing places and created memories for life.

One of my ultimate trips to date has to be Lapland. A complete contrast to one of my recent blogs on Dubai, where the sun shines all day long and you're staying in 5* hotels. Lapland on the other hand, you embrace the cold and snow and you take in the breath-taking views of the Northern Lights and experience the Sami culture at its best.

As an event planner I'm fortunate enough to travel to some incredible destinations where I've experienced some truly amazing places and created memories for life.

One of my ultimate trips to date has to be Lapland. A complete contrast to one of my recent blogs on Dubai, where the sun shines all day long and you're staying in 5* hotels. Lapland on the other hand, you embrace the cold and snow and you take in the breath-taking views of the Northern Lights and experience the Sami culture at its best.

The flight is not as bad as you may think

When I first found out about this trip, initially I was put off by the thought of the flight, or as it turned out to be, 'flights'. I do a lot of flying with my job, and when you're travelling as much as I do, you just want to get to your destination. Not knowing enough about Lapland and where it was, I had in my head this was going to be a long trip. I soon got over this…

It turns out, the flight and transfers were actually really simple. Our destination - Ivalo. After leaving Heathrow at 10.20 in the morning, we made it to Ivalo by 17.50. Although 7½ hours door to door, the two flights themselves were only 3 and 1½ hours each - so actually this flight flew by with a short changeover at Helsinki Airport. The only challenge you may face is the frequency of these flights, so always best to prepare well in advance.

It may not be 5* luxury resort - but who cares

Lapland isn't a destination where you'd expect to see 5* hotels everywhere you look. It's an opportunity to embrace the culture and your surroundings.

We stayed in Saariselka for three nights, two nights at the Lapland Hotel, Riekonlinna, and our final night in one of the glass igloos at the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort. And they really are what they say they are - made of glass. These Igloos take up to two people with twin beds with an ensuite with toilet and sink. When you get into bed, you look up and before you know it you're sleeping under the stars, and if you're really lucky, you might even get a view of northern lights! Definitely not like any camping trip I've been on!

Another alternative would be the log cabins, again, not 5* but a totally different type of accommodation worth experiencing.

Embrace the cold and you'll make some memories for life

On your first night on a 'ski resort' what do you? You head over to 1.5km high toboggan to watch the Northern Lights of course. And once you've taken in the beauty of the sky, you jump on your toboggan and sledge back down to the resort. Certainly one way to experience your first night and one I'll never forget!

When you think Lapland, what are the animals that first spring to mind? For me it was reindeers and huskies. And yes, you got it, we saw both!

First, we headed over to a reindeer sanctuary. Run by a local tribe from their giant tipi with a huge open fire in the middle, we paired up on sledges only to be taken on gentle reindeer ride through the woods - perfect for the non-adrenaline junkies! We then visited a Huskey farm where they'd just had a litter. Cute is not the word, they're lucky one didn't come home with me. Once we'd had our cuddles, the adult huskies took us sledging across the lakes.

Another of our excursions saw us skidooing onto the ice flats where we went ice fishing - now this was exhilarating and definitely something for your adrenaline junkies out there! The aim of the game was to eat what you catch - safe to say we went hungry. It wasn't all bad though, the wooden huts on the lakes served us hot chocolate which soon warmed us up.

If you really want to embrace the cold, the Ice Hotel has a beautiful Finnish sauna with its own plunge pool. That's right, you jump straight into the plunge pool and then warm up in the saunas. Me personally - just stayed in the sauna watching on as others embraced it.

Appreciating the Finnish culture

It's not all about the exhilarating sleigh rides with the animals and skidooing across the lakes, Lapland has an amazing culture that you really must take the time to appreciate. There are local Sami families, traditional Finnish people living in remote areas, who'll take you in for you to embrace some traditional Sami singing and reindeer soup. The Sami families are proud of their culture and will share the history of farming in their areas. For example, did you know, that if a reindeer dies of natural causes they use every part of the reindeer in one way or another? Nothing goes to waste.

If you want to continue with the Finnish culture theme, there's a Sami culture centre that you can visit that talks about their history, clothing and their way of living.

Adding the business aspect to your event

If you're planning an incentive but need to ensure there's a business aspect to your event, there are several venues in the area that will cater for your needs. We visited the Congress Centre which has plenty of meeting space for the formal business meeting you may require. For something a bit different, we took a sneak peek inside the Ice Church to discover what this venue could offer - perfect for networking and a drinks reception after a busy day.

The pros and cons of Lapland as an incentive destination - and why to ignore the cons

There are many pros and cons of a Destination such as Lapland, but trust me, the pros far outweigh the cons.

  • Weather: Lapland isn't your typical, hot and sunny destination you might consider for an incentive. But that's what is great about it, it makes it something different and offers a truly unique experience. Not everyone is geared up for the cold weather, and you don't want your delegates having to purchase new clothing for this trip and companies in Lapland recognise this. As soon as we arrived, we were provided with the full clothing gear, including; hats, scarves, and not forgetting the fashionable all in-one snow suits.
  • Flights: You may feel the flight be a little longer than you'd want for an incentive trip, but in reality, it's not that much longer. 7 ½ hours door to door isn't that bad, and everything is so close once you're there that you can pack so much in and still make it into a 2-night incentive trip if time isn't on your side. There are also other places to consider in Lapland that maybe you don't need the internal flight which would make it the equivalent as a European destination
  • Accommodation: As I mentioned before, set your expectations and don't expect your luxury 5* resorts. What you're getting is something entirely different, and a completely unique experience to what you can image. I couldn't recommend more that sleeping under the stars in one of the ice igloos - and trust me I love my 5* resorts.
  • Activities: A perception of Lapland is that it's a Christmas destination. It's not and the activities are not limited around snow. With plenty to do, for ages and demographics, you can plan an incentive trip that suits all. If you are a fan of the snow though and want to embrace this as soon as you step off the plane, airport pick-ups on a skidoo are available!

Things to be mindful of…

  • Northern lights aren't guaranteed.
  • Whatever you do, don't think of it only as a Christmas resort or a typical ski resort, because it's not.
  • A time I'd recommend to visit is April, you're out of season so the cost comes down but there's still plenty of snow.
  • It's cold!

So, if you think your next incentive needs to embrace the cold and see what this beautiful country has to offer, get in touch, I'd love to tell you more.


Dubai, the first-class trip of a lifetime

When you think of Dubai, what do you think? I think… money… extravagant hotels… expensive drinks… unusual culture, but all in all a destination I'd love to see. Last month, my dream came true and I was fortunate enough to visit, and not just visit, experience it all first class. Courtesy of DMC Advantage, Jumeriah Hotels, Emirates Airlines and Pure Arabia, I flew out to Dubai for five days to experience what this beautiful city had to offer, and to see if the stories I'd heard were true.

When you think of Dubai, what do you think? I think… money… extravagant hotels… expensive drinks… unusual culture, but all in all a destination I'd love to see. Last month, my dream came true and I was fortunate enough to visit, and not just visit, experience it all first class. Courtesy of DMC Advantage, Jumeriah Hotels, Emirates Airlines and Pure Arabia, I flew out to Dubai for five days to experience what this beautiful city had to offer, and to see if the stories I'd heard were true.

Travelling business class

This amazing experience started as soon as I checked into Heathrow Airport for a business class flight with Emirates, consisting of pure luxury. Never mind the extra leg room, the quality in service provided by the team at Emirates, you wouldn't even know you were on a plane.

We landed just before 3am, and our transfer was there, ready and waiting to take us across to the Jumeriah Emirates Towers for some much-needed shut-eye before our busy schedule starting that morning.

Jumeirah - what do these hotels have to offer?

Arriving in the middle of the night, bleary eyed and all wanting our beds, we didn't take too much notice of what was around us. When we woke up it was a completely different story - we woke up in paradise. With a sumptuous breakfast inside us, we took a transfer over to sister hotel, Jumeirah Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, for a "pick me up" mocktail masterclass class followed by a famous Dubai Brunch at the Sultan's Lounge.

Then it was time head back to Jumeriah Emirates Towers to experience the delights of what this amazing hotel had to offer. We had plenty of free time to take in the first-class facilities of the hotel. Me personally, I was on the terrace enjoying the stunning views from the poolside.

That night, we ascended to Level 122 of Burj Khalifa for drinks at Atmosphere and then is was back to Emirates Tower for dinner at the Alta Badia on the 50th Floor.

Not everyone gets to experience the quality of service provided by Jumeriah, and I was lucky enough to take in three of their hotels in one day and the nightcap at Alta Bar on the 51st Floor was a great way of ending our first night with Jumeriah.

Dubai at high speed

Our first day was about experiencing the delights of the Jumeriah hotels. Although we had more of that to come, our second day was about experiencing Dubai itself. After another satisfying breakfast, our host took us to the Dubai Autodrome for a world-class supercar experience. The Dubai Autodrome has space available for hire all year round and offers one-of-a-kind facilities that guarantees an unforgettable experience.

After the high-speed thrill of the track, our Dubai experience reached new heights as our private helicopter was sat waiting to show us what this amazing city has to offer - from the air. Flying over this vast city, it's almost impossible to imagine it was just a desert only 35 years ago. Flying down the Palm and along the coast to see the six offshore islands that make up the Heart of Europe Development, you really start to appreciate the well-used saying in Dubai; 'The Vision Beyond the Sand. If you can dream it - Dubai can make it happen!'

Misconceptions of Dubai's culture

After our 45-minute flight experience, we landed and made our way onto the water to enjoy lunch on a 'dhow' - a traditional UAE boat. Here we discovered more about the UAE culture, which was a real eye-opener. It proved to me that there are many misconceptions about the UAE culture, and that it's not as strict a country as what has been contrived. My initial perception of Dubai was quite negative, I believed that due to the nature of their culture, it was an extremely strict country that was unaccepting of other cultures. I couldn't have been more wrong…

Simple things such as drinking, affection in public, their strict dress code and how unsafe the country had become was all I'd heard before I travelled. Having now visited the country myself, and by taking the time to understand their culture, I can appreciate that yes, their culture is different, but that there's nothing wrong with different. Providing everything is monitored and in the correct environment, those original misconceptions are all acceptable. All that's required is a little understanding and respect - nothing that we as agents can't be vigilant about and ensure it's a safe destination for our delegates to travel to.

Dubai by night

Following our afternoon in the sun, another hotel was next on the agenda and this time we were off to the Madinat Jumeriah. Once we'd taken a tour of the hotel and understood what facilities they had to offer event delegates in terms of the space and functionality, we headed to their AmBar for drinks and canapes followed by dinner at Shimmer, their beautiful beachside restaurant with a stunning backdrop of the Burj Al Arab.

…and relax

Don't be fooled, it doesn't need to be all go when in Dubai, you can experience a lot of it simply by relaxing. After a late night, Sunday for us was very much about relaxing, and that we certainly did. Mid-morning (after a little lie-in), we boarded a private yacht for a few hours sailing, taking in the views of the country from the water before heading over to Nikki Beach for brunch and to explore their facilities. I'd heard a lot about Nikki Beach as there's 11 other venues across the world, and safe to say, it didn't disappoint - it lived up to its reputation.

A fond farewell

After a day soaking in the sun, we took a buggy transfer to Burj Al Arab for drinks on the 54th floor for a farewell dinner on their new Terrace at Scape. This hotel is a major landmark in the city which you see in all Dubai destination images and to finish our trip here, we couldn't have asked for anything more.

The team at Pure Arabia, Advantage DMC and all our hosts at the various Jumeriah hotels we visited looked after us so well, personalised every element of the trip and have given me plenty of ideas to create the perfect incentive trip.

If you're looking at incentive ideas and want to know more, give me a call, as I'd love to share more of my insights into this amazing country and what it has to offer.

In the meantime, check out some of our fun fast facts…


Year One... It's been a blast!

The Events Raccoon celebrates first birthday

Building on a successful first year, which has consisted of six new clients and 19 successful events delivered, The Events Raccoon is going global in its second year. The new contract will see the team deliver events in Paris, Madrid, Dusseldorf, London and the US in the first year.

Building on a successful first year, which has consisted of six new clients and 19 successful events delivered, The Events Raccoon is going global in its second year. The new contract will see the team deliver events in Paris, Madrid, Dusseldorf, London and the US in the first year.

The Events Raccoon comes with over 10 years industry experience. Starting in the hotel sector in 2006 before moving over to agency side working for both a small family-run agency and a large travel management company (TMC). This wealth of experience has given The Events Raccoon the commercial learning of a TMC and the creativity and passion of a small agency.

Beckie Hyson, director of The Events Raccoon said: "It's been an amazing first year and I've thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Making the decision to go out on my own was a daunting one at the time, but looking back at the year we've had and with what's planned for the next two, it's a decision I'm delighted with."

Key clients for 2017 for The Events Raccoon include Multivac and WRc plc. Jayne Matwiejczyk, head of business support at WRc plc said: "We worked with The Events Raccoon for the first time this year on our Innovation Day 2017. From the word go, Beckie and her team were professional, friendly and very easy to deal with. Everything went smoothly, resulting in a brilliant 2017 event!"

The Events Raccoon prides itself on providing a personal, dedicated and bespoke full-service event solution, Beckie adds: "With some of the events we've delivered this year, we're already looking ahead to determine where we can make enhancements and what new initiatives we can put in place to ensure we're continuously offering innovative solutions to our clients."


The Events Raccoon Launch

Check out the video of our official lauch event!

An evening of food, fun and flapper dresses! Enjoyed by our customers, sponsored by our suppliers:

@steam_museum @Insight_PS @OTFilmsuk @Hospitality_247 @Contraband_Int @SeeSawCharity