Behind the Scenes of the O2
Lorraine Wood reviews the latest Arena lunch that took place on 13 July 2010 at a new venue for Arena – the impressive O2, London – and offered attendees a behind the scenes tour of the immense catering facilities.
Moving away from our usual event format we decided to hold our summer event at the world’s most popular music venue – The O2. I arrived at the venue early, at 9am, as I knew that our first guests would arrive at 10.30am for the back-of-house tour of the O2’s impressive catering facilities. I was thrilled to see that by 10am over 20 of our guests were already queuing, keen to experience our ‘Arena Lunch with a difference’!
At 10.30am guests were welcomed into Indigo 2’s VIP lounge where they enjoyed a cup of coffee, courtesy of Nescafe Milano, the coffee sponsor for the day, before being whisked off on the tour by Daniel Clark and his team.
Daniel Clark is director of operations for Levy Restaurants, part of Compass Group UK & Ireland, and is responsible for delivering all food and drink inside The O2 Arena. As a highly enthusiastic individual, Daniel gave our guests a real taste of the level of work and detail that goes into ensuring the smooth running and efficiency of such a huge operation.
Guests were not only taken to the main food concessions in the O2 Arena, they were also treated to a behind the scenes tour of the VIP areas and production kitchens.
After the tour, guests returned to the VIP lounge for a pre-lunch drinks and networking reception before experiencing Levy’s catering and hospitality firsthand with a three-course lunch with wine, prepared by Levy’s executive chef, Tom Allen.
After lunch, the man behind the transformation of the Millenium Dome into the O2 – David Campbell, President and CEO of AEG Europe, owners of the O2 – took to the stage. David shared his knowledge, experiences and key learnings during his insightful talk, and he also showed us a very entertaining video of how the O2 came to fruition.
The day ended with another back-of-house tour for those who didn’t make the first one – and also for those who wanted to go again!
From my perspective, the introduction of new venue and new element for the summer Arena lunch was a total success and the feedback I have received from members has been really positive and uplifting. We will certainly be looking to introduce new venues and event ideas in the future.
“A fantastic event – interesting and so different from the normal run of events you attend. Well done Arena.” Gary King, Partner, Collins King & Associates.