Families Social Evening - National Summer Games 2013 | ZiaBia
Face To Face Event Management
Special Olympics GB

Families Social Evening – National Summer Games 2013

Special Olympics GB were holding their 9th National Summer Games in August 2013, scheduled to take place in Bath. As part of the games, the Families Programme is arranged, for the family members attending and supporting the athletes. The highlight of the programme is a social evening to encourage networking, to relax, enjoy the surroundings of the host city. It is also a chance to meet other families from across the country.

1000 people
Parade Gardens, Bath
Bath, England

The brief was to work closely with Special Olympics GB, and in turn both Bath and North East Somerset Council and the local Lions, who were both sponsors of the evening, to deliver the event. ZiaBia already had an excellent existing relationship with B&NES, due to their work on the Opening Ceremony. It was, therefore, a smooth process to put all documents and requirements in place.

In addition to this, ZiaBia also sourced all the local suppliers and entertainment needed to create the evening. We also ensured local residents were kept updated on what would be happening.

The Opening Ceremony for the 2013 National Summer Games was a great opportunity to get to know Vicky and Debs and to establish an excellent working relationship and, as such, they were the obvious people to turn to when we needed some very last minute support and guidance to organise and deliver our Families Social Night.

This was a much anticipated outdoor evening event with a hog roast supper and entertainment for 1,000 guests.

Although many elements of the event had been started, they was a real need in the final few weeks for some focussed time and professional expertise to pull everything together to ensure that the much anticipated event would be a success.

Once engaged to fulfil this role, Vicky and Debs wasted no time in undertaking a full progress and status review and produced a comprehensive event management plan highlighting any areas of concern or requiring immediate attention and the actions required within strict deadlines to pull us right back on track.

Gaye Barber
Director of Volunteering & Community Engagement, Special Olympics GB


Set up started in the morning as a Hog Roast was being served that evening. This needed to be in situ in the Gardens in order to begin the cooking process. This area was cordoned off from the public, as the park was still open at this time.

The Gardens were closed to the general public at 4.00pm on the day. A local team of Lions and SOGB Volunteers were on hand to assist with the numerous deliveries from suppliers, which included additional catering, furniture, audiovisual and lighting and the entertainment for the evening.

Sound Checks and rehearsals took place quickly and guests then began to arrive and food and drinks were then served.

The Show for the evening, taking place on the band stand in the Gardens, included the Pandemonium Drummers, who had performed at the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, Local Band, The B Sides and Clyve and the Soul City Foundation performing an acoustic version of the Games song within their set.

The evening ended on a high with a collaboration between Clyve and the Soul City Foundation and the Pandemonium Drummers.

Quick and efficient progress was immediate with real attention to detail and we received updates and communication almost daily, so that we were kept fully in the loop. Vicky and Debs maximised their network of contacts across a whole range of areas to include catering and furniture, to sound and lighting and all the suppliers provided a great service.

On the day itself, Vicky and Debs were first to arrive on site for the set up phase and last to leave when the site was finally cleared and took full responsibility for overseeing all operational elements of the evening. They were fully visible throughout the evening keeping a very close eye that we were keeping on schedule. Our Families had a wonderful evening and everything ran like clockwork and yet retained a great feeling of informality ensuring that all our guests could relax and have fun.

Vicky and Debs were integral to the success of the evening. We had full trust and confidence in their understanding of our requirements and what we were hoping to achieve. They were always calm, always focussed and always smiling and we appreciated all their help and support.

I’m sure we will be working with them again in the future and I would recommend their very personal and professional service without reservation.

Gaye Barber 
Director of Volunteering & Community Engagement, Special Olympics GB
A well timed plan was implemented, to ensure deliveries were staggered.

Challenges & Solutions

Access for set up and limited set up time – as Parade Gardens are located centrally in Bath, access for unloading is on an extremely busy road. In addition to this, the gardens are open to the general public all day, so all suppliers were delivering during the same 30 minute period.

A well timed plan was implemented to ensure deliveries were staggered. ZiaBia worked with B&NES to arrange access for street unloading at key times. An army of Volunteers and local Lions were on hand to assist with unloading and everything was moved and installed into the Gardens as quickly as possible.

Rehearsals and sound checks had to take place in a 45 minute period for the 3 bands and in addition sound levels had to be set with B&NES.

Timing again was key, as a huge amount had to be achieved in a short period. ZiaBia worked with all entertainment acts in advance, to ensure this process was as smooth and efficient as possible so that sound levels could be set and tested as required in the timescales set.