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Tour de France Victory for Sourcerer as Finchingfield Event Attracts 8,000 Visitors

by Shelley from Sourcerer Events

05th August 2014

Post Type: New Member Article
Tour de France Victory for Sourcerer as Finchingfield Event Attracts 8,000 Visitors

The UK branch of the Tour de France was always going to be a major tourist pull, and for businesses along the route from Yorkshire down to Cambridge and London via Essex, it was set to be a very lucrative event. One of the key points on the route was a village called Finchingfield in Essex: the Tour de France competitors were to pass right through it on Monday 7th July. And Finchingfield just happens to be where Sourcerer Events is located!

A Fruitful Opportunity

Recognising such a fruitful opportunity, Sourcerer was keen to lend its support to one of the village’s local businesses, encouraging them to pull out as many stops as possible to take advantage of such an auspicious occasion. Our client, a public house and restaurant, had the perfect opportunity to position itself as the central catering hub for the event, ensuring all visitors to Finchingfield were adequately provided for and thus putting their business on the map courtesy of official Tour de France recognition and a host of PR opportunities.

Twelve Weeks in the Making

After our initial consultation in April, we had 12 weeks to plan the whole event from concept through to delivery. Not a problem for Sourcerer: bring it on we said! Our first task was to meet with the local council to pitch the proposal. This we did and it was well received and accepted. And so it was all systems go! Sourcerer took on both a practical, hands-on coordination role and an advisory one too.

Expert Advice all the way

It was decided that the client’s premises should be extended by way of a marquee, so as to comfortably tend to the expected 2,500 visitors who were to pass through the village throughout the day. Originally the client suggested locating it in the car park, but on our considered suggestion they agreed that a position on the village green would maximise exposure for publicity purposes and that it would appear more like an extension of their premises. To this effect, we suggested erecting a banner across the marquee to ensure instant recognition. And what a good idea that turned out to be, as it was picked up by numerous newspapers, radio and TV stations!

Something for Everyone

To make sure the day would be a memorable one for all who attended, including the media, a host of activities and entertainment was planned and coordinated. This included a hog roast and BBQ, a Pimms bar, a large screen TV (courtesy of Spains Hall event venue), face painting to keep the younger visitors occupied, a performing arts academy show, a live music performance with a DJ and buffet during the evening and of course, the most quintessentially English of all spectacles: Morris dancing! One of Sourcerer’s preferred suppliers is a producer of luxurious picnic hampers, so we introduced them to our client with the suggestion that visitors could pre-order a delectable packed lunch to enjoy on the village green, ensuring that all tastes and dietary needs were catered for with traditional, vegetarian and gluten free options. VIP packages were also arranged and Sourcerer introduced an excellent wine merchant to assist in carefully selecting fine wines to accompany the 4-course lunch. We really do love forging relationships that both our suppliers and clients can benefit from, and we are delighted to report that our wine merchant is now a preferred supplier of our client!

Cultivating Commercial Success

When it came to catering, our client felt that outsourcing was the way to go, but we pointed out that there would be much more scope for commercial success in the long term if they took direct responsibility. We are pleased to say they agreed and went on to provide both the hog roast and the BBQ, both of which were a roaring success and bestowed much kudos upon our client. With such a huge crowd expected, we thought it would be a good idea to offer paid-for fast track wristbands so that visitors wishing to avoid the queues to access the marquee could gain priority access. All of this we coordinated, taking responsibility for design, print and delivery.

Taking Care of the Finer Detail

Throughout the 12 weeks of planning and preparation, numerous meetings were required with the local council, and Sourcerer accompanied the client to all of them. Early on in the organisation of the event we took responsibility for updating the client’s website with promotional information, right down to arranging professional copywriting so the content would benefit from maximum impact. We also took care of organising the design and print of leaflets and for managing a social media campaign. Sourcerer was also responsible for arranging private security to assist with crowd management and to ensure the safety of patrons, given the extended drinking hours and large crowds expected.

And the day of the Event Finally Arrives!


Shelley Morris: Sourcerer Wedding Planning & Event Management

01371 811108

5 simple pleasures you get in a luxury hotel

by Noel Greenwood from GWD

15th July 2014

Post Type: New Member Article

There’s nothing quite like a stay in a luxury hotel.  OK, so you’re not at home but you’ll have all the comforts that you could want while you’re away from the nest. Cleanliness, a decent mattress and a nice hot shower are all things we can expect when we splash the cash on an upmarket hotel.


A charming chocolate box in the shape of a jockey's hat!

A charming jockey hat box created for a high-end hotelier

But these days 5 star hotel rooms offer the paying guest rather a lot more than that. Here’s a list of 5 lovely luxuries that might be waiting to surprise you in your premium room:

1. Spa access. Admission into a deluxe spa for primping and pampering is a great way to relax during your stay.

2. Wifi that actually works. It’s a real benefit when you can surf for leisure or get some real work done, and all the better when you’re not waiting five minutes for every page to load!

3. Flowers. A beautiful arrangement of flowers adds a real touch of glamour and elegance to every room.

4. Fruit. Not only does a bowl of fruit look rather lovely, but it might also go towards making guests feel better about feasting on #5 in my list…

5. Chocolate! How often are we presented with a complimentary box of chocolates in life? Not all that often, I can tell you!

Sometimes when you’re a guest in a 5 star hotel, you’ll find a charming little box of one or two chocolates on your pillow to say goodnight; a very welcome bedtime surprise, as long as you clean your teeth afterwards…

chocolate box elegant hotel

A welcome surprise waiting for you in your hotel room!

Even better is when you find a handsome box of luxury chocolates waiting for you. I don’t imagine I would ever be too unhappy to receive that sort of surprise!

But the beautiful boxes that contain these luxuries don’t just appear out of thin air, and that’s where GWD step in.

We put in real care and precision to create polished wow factor boxes. Our chocolate boxes embody the style and luxuriousness of both the chocolates inside them, and the room in which they sit.

The little ‘goodnight’ chocolate boxes that we create are typically small fold-up boxes that can hold one or two chocolates. That should be all you need after a posh dinner in the restaurant downstairs!

An elegant two choc box made for a luxury hotel

An elegant two choc box made for a luxury hotel

Small boxes like these might be simple ‘ballotin’ boxes, like the sort of thing you see on a chocolate counter in a decent deli. Or they could be more elaborate, with decorative closures and handles.

Chocolate boxes for hotels are normally always personalised so that the box is an extension of the luxury room. It should have that same wow factor that you get when you walk into the room for the first time. We usually personalise the boxes by putting the hotel logo on the lid in foil blocking, or by manufacturing them in the hotel’s colours.

A very appropriate graduate hat box for an Oxford hotel

A very appropriate graduate hat box for an Oxford hotel

If you think that a chocolate box is always rectangular, then think again! We make chocolate boxes for hotels in all sorts ofshapes and sizes; from handbags to hats! We manufactured these mortarboard boxes for a hotel in Oxford; perfect for the historic university town.

The larger boxes usually hold between 5 and 12 chocolates and are generally given away in the most expensive rooms of high-end hotels. Unlike the 1-2 choc boxes, these are typically rigid boxes with either a separate lid or a hinge lid.

Every option looks great and goes towards creating a wow factor box that is equal to that feeling you get when you open an expensive box of chocolates and see the delights inside. And the added beauty is that it’s all part of the service that comes with your luxury room.


Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging.  You can reach him on (01279) 416093 or at the company’s website:

ESOS-new energy reporting regulations for large enterprises

by Steven Godfrey from Auditel

09th July 2014

Post Type: Education Item

As of 2012, UK large enterprises employed nearly 11 million people with a turnover of £1.6 trillion, and consumed approximately one-third of UK energy.
Somewhere between 4,400 and 6,400 UK enterprises already monitor and report energy consumption under legislation such as the CRC, however the EC wished to extend these activities beyond passive monitoring to include detailed recommendations for efficiencies.
On October 25th 2012 the EC agreed the ‘EU Energy Efficiency Directive’ (‘EED’).  Article 8 of this legislation requires each Member State to instruct every ‘large enterprise’ to conduct an energy audit by December 5th 2015, repeating every four years thereafter.  Consultation ceased on Oct 3rd 2013 and in June 2014 the DECC will announce final details of the UK’s version, called the ‘Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme’ (ESOS).  Approved assessors will carry out Article 8 compliant ESOS assessments to measure energy consumption and recommend efficiency measures.  It is estimated that if enterprises implement just 6% of recommended improvements, energy consumption will reduce by 3.3TWh annually by 2016.
Approximately 7,265 UK enterprises will be affected, occupying between 170,000 and 200,000 buildings.  Entities certified to ISO50001 or ISO14001 or where current Display Energy Certificates, Green Deal Assessments, Climate Change Agreements or Green Fleet Reviews are likely to be deemed already ESOS compliant.

Who will it affect ?
A ‘large enterprise’ is an entity engaged in an economic activity, employing more than 250 staff with a turnover greater than € 50m and/or a balance sheet over € 43m.  Some charities, CICs, unincorporated associations and certain universities are theoretically included (11% of the 7,265 enterprises will be not-for-profit).  Public bodies (defined as ‘contracting authorities’ in Directive 2004/18/EC) are exempt from Article 8 because a separate Article – Article 5 – addresses energy efficiency in the public sector.  Universities and colleges financed mostly by other ‘contracting authorities’ will be considered public bodies for the purposes of the EED however some universities – due to their specific funding arrangements – may not be exempt.  SMEs will be exempt unless part of a larger eligible ‘group enterprise’.  In this case eligibility will be determined by the highest UK parent company (as defined under the Companies Act 2006).  In the event a ‘large group enterprise’ is deemed eligible, all subsidiaries – SMEs or not – will require an energy audit.

What do I have to do ?
Audits must be completed by 5 December 2015 and then at least every four years thereafter. Depending on the compliance route chosen, organisations may need to notify the scheme administrator that they have conducted an ESOS assessment, and potentially disclose any key action taken in their annual reports.

What will a typical audit comprise ?
An ESOS assessment seeks to go beyond merely measuring an organisation’s aggregate energy use to incorporate measurements of the efficiency with which it uses it.  It is intended that assessments quantify energy use relative to headcount (or relative to turnover) which will enable comparisons between assessments and potentially within industry sectors.  It will consider variations over time of the energy use within key buildings/operations/transport activities.  The assessment will include clear guidance as to where cost-effective energy savings can be applied.  It is intended that ESOS assessors have discretion as to the granularity of data they collect and as to the parameters by which suggested improvements are deemed cost-effective.
Entities with current Display Energy Certificates or Green Deal Assessments could potentially be deemed ESOS compliant.  In the same way, a transport fleet which has undertaken a ‘Green Fleet Review’ within four years might be deemed already compliant otherwise such fleets will require their efficiency monitored (including “grey” fleets of employee’s own vehicles).

Who will do the assessments ?
Large enterprises will need to identify an approved ESOS assessor (either existing competent staff member or external) to complete the audit. The Government has yet to define a route by which individuals will receive ESOS accreditation.

What will ESOS assessments cost ?
A rough estimate for the initial ESOS survey is £17,000 with subsequent assessments costing in the region of £10,000.  These figures exclude the cost of implementing any recommendations.

Do you still have a home landline ?

by Steven Godfrey from Auditel

30th June 2014

Post Type: Education Item

Landline rentals rose an average of 38% in the past five years.  Some providers had steeper increases – Virgin Media customers saw their landline costs increase by 45% and BT customers by 42%.  Research on behalf of discovered that 37% of households would cancel their landline altogether if it wasn’t needed for broadband access.  In May 2014, TalkTalk will implement a swathe of line rental and broadband price increases.

So why have most UK households still got a landline ?  In the past some lenders regarded a fixed landline on a credit application as a sign of stability, but this is becoming of less importance.  The main reason is that for most people life without wi-fi is unthinkable, and (with the exception of Virgin Media’s fibre optic network and 3G/4G) a copper landline is still the only way to get connectivity.  What can be done to minimise the cost of using a domestic phone line ?

  • Last September BT raised call costs by 6.5% (more than twice the rate of inflation). BT Answer 1571 and aller ID – previously free – are now chargeable at £1.75 per month.  Consider if they are useful, and cancel if not.
  • Avoid calling premium rate number wherever possible.  Call to directory enquiry services cost upwards of £2.39 per minute, and continue to charge at that rate if they make the onwards connection for you (directory enquiries provider ‘118118’ were recently fined £80,000 for incorrectly advertising their charges).  Premium rate numbers have their own regulator, PhonepayPlus.  Before ringing talent show voting lines check the likely charges on their website.
    Pay for your landline yearly and not monthly.  Most providers will offer a discount – with BT this equates to £11.75 per month rather than £15.99.
  • Paying by Direct Debit will save between £24 and £60 per year.  Only the Post Office does not surcharge non-DD payments.
  • If you are receiving Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance or other assistance you might be eligible for ‘BT Basic’ which will reduce your line rental to £5.10 per month rather than £15.99.
  • Make maximum use of any bundled 3G/4G mobile minutes rather than making landline calls.
  • Consider calling via an override provider – users access cheaper call routing by dialling a prefix (such as 18185 or 1899) before the main number.  Further information can be found here.
  • Virgin Media can supply broadband without a conventional landline by using its fibre optic network but – unless bundled with other products – costs might exceed the landline route.
  • As of 23 January 2014, if broadband, mobile phone and landline providers increase prices on fixed contracts, customers have the right to cancel without penalty.  Guidance can be found here.

Tina Dulieu is a contender for GrowthAccelerator Growth Coach of Year Award

by Tina Dulieu from Coaching Dynamics: Tina Dulieu, B.Ed., Dip CEC

25th May 2014

Post Type: Other

Tina Dulieu of Coaching Dynamics, a registered and approved Growth Coach for the Government co-funded GrowthAccelerator programme, is in the running for the prestigious 'Growth Coach of the Year' Awards in Mayfair on June 5th.

Tina was delighted to receive this email from the office of GrowthAccelerator Awards body: "As the the coach for Novo Construction it's our pleasure to inform you that you are also now entered to be considereed for the Best Growth Coach Award in recognition of your role in the success of their growing business."

Novo Construction, one of Coaching Dynamics' GrowthAccelerator clients, is a finalist in 'The Game Changer' category of 'The Brave and Bold Awards.  So Tina Dulieu and Novo Construction are keeping their fingers crossed to pull off the double on the night!