Event of the Month – Blue Dress Ball
This year, 116 Pall Mall hosted the Blue Dress Ball, which was latest in a series of annual events like no other, staged across three floors, with a different theme each year.
Emma Adams is the Managing Director of MMCo Group, the business behind the Ball.
Here, she tells us about her long-standing involvement with 116 and the planning which goes into the event, as well the part both she and this famous venue played in discovering Leona Lewis...
Who is MMCo…
MMCo is the go-to destination management company (DMC) to provide accommodation, ground transportation and flights for music tours for artists such as Snoop Doggy Dog, Mary J Blige, Jodeci, Keith Sweat, Aaliyah, SWV and Black Street.
In 1995, it was reported that we organised the biggest after-show party in London following Jodeci’s performance at Wembley Arena when approximately 6000 people attended one of London’s most prestigious venues in Battersea Park.
Understanding the legacy of this company, I took over as the Managing Director of the MMCo group in 2015.
MMCo Emporium is a fundraising vehicle for the MMCo Group, our way of giving back to the community. Our chosen voluntary organisation is AIS (Achievement in Society) which is part of the SABA charity network which is the Society for the Advancement of Black Arts. Promoting cultural diversity, growth and unity in communities via community-focused projects and services.
The Concept Behind the Ball…
The concept was born partly out of boredom and partly because I wanted to challenge myself. I had organised so many dinner dances myself that when I went to one organised by somebody else, I was bored after two hours. So, I thought I should do something about it. In 2000, I organised “The Mission is a Ball” at 116 Pall Mall. We had a different activity in every room. One of the events was the UK UNSIGNED final, which was a talent competition similar to X Factor but was the first of its kind. The winner was Leona Lewis.
MMCo were then approached by the host of the UK UNSIGNED to recreate the magic of the 2000 event.
Why we chose 116 Pall Mall…
This is a unique venue, there is nowhere in London like it. The space is versatile, and you are only limited by your imagination. We absolutely love the history and heritage of the building and I am always discovering something new.
The staff are simply fantastic, responsive and have a “let’s make it work” attitude. From the time you arrive to the time you leave, you are made to feel welcome. There are not many places that will do that.
How we work with the team at 116…
We start with the floor plan and mark it up with the entertainment we know will happen in that room. For example, turning the Directors Room into the Ball Room.
We also look at the feedback from the previous event. What did people like, is there a demand to do it again? And, if we bring it back, how do we do it differently and make it better?
Next, we look at what new elements can we bring to the event. We take a look at trends, what are people doing, what experiences are they opting for.
Finally, whatever we bring to 116, it must be memorable and have an element of fun.
We worked closely with the 116 team on things like site visits, who are enthusiastic and very generous with their time, as well as being responsive. For them, it is all about the customer experience.
The thing about 116 is that they have your back. They are proactive, with an eye for detail. They have become an extension of our in-house team.
The night itself was a fantastic occasion. Each of the rooms opened and closed on schedule. The highlight of the evening was the Brazilian dancers and drummers.
What makes a successful event…
• If you are still talking about it in a good way, days, months and years later
• If people go out of their way to let you know what a great time, they have had
• If everything goes as planned and people, make it safely home and happy
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Book your event at 116 Pall Mall
One of the most prestigious London venues, 116 Pall Mall is situated in the heart of the West End and offers a range of flexible function rooms across five floors, perfect for any kind of event or venue hire for up to 1,500 people.
You can even hire our whole building exclusively on weekends.