The Marriot County Hall Hotel was the venue for last week’s Antiques Auction evening event, which is located on the shores of London’s South Bank, next to the London Eye. We created our fictitious antique auction house in the beautiful library room. With amazing views of Westminster, Big Ben and the Thames, the room was specifically set up for private dining.
As guests arrived and mingled for pre-dinner drinks, they met our Auctioneer Sir Clark Sideboard, Financial Director Miss Funnypenny and even our backroom Warehouse Boy! All were, of course, evening entertainers totally in character.
Distributing specially designed auction catalogues and giving a brief outline of the evening’s proceedings, they then left guests to browse, drink and discuss. The catalogues contained photographs and descriptions of the evening’s auction lots. They would soon be ‘buying’ these with a generous £10,000 fun money budget.
As they entered the dining room, our guests wandered round to see up close the lots we had displayed. Even at this stage, I could tell the guests were into the spirit of the evening. There were animated discussions and smiles all round.
Over the next two hours, and in between each course at dinner, we auctioned nearly 20 varied and interesting lots, which included sports memorabilia, art, fine wine and, as a special touch, items from the client’s company.
Diners had to use their own intellectual resources and find out what others on the same table knew so that they could bid, or bale out, successfully. Of course, in doing this, colleagues got to find out more about each other too.
There was, as always, the usual team skullduggery: last second outbidding and under-the-table mobile phone research, to name just two!
After deserts, our Auctioneer and Financial Director, who had been keeping a watchful eye on all the teams’ shifting bank balances, stepped up to the lectern. They released the vital information that everyone wanted to know – the actual values of each lot and which teams had lost or won money.
Lot by lot, the true values were announced to the sounds of cheering and howling, as each table discovered whether they had invested wisely or bought an expensive red herring. There was the obligatory pointing to so-called experts on the same table to say, “I told you so” and “I knew it, I knew it”.
This fun and lighthearted evening entertainment always gets people interacting with each other and, most importantly, sharing many laughs. Our client had arranged champagne for the winning table and it was then time to leave our guests to carry on with their evening.
In true Creative style, Antiques Auction requires no intrusive equipment or logistical fuss so your evening can flow perfectly with very little set up and clearing away. We always work hand-in-hand with venue staff to perfectly synchronize our fun auctioneering with the meal service. I thank the staff at the Marriot County Hall Hotel who were as perfectly accommodating as ever.
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