Kick Start 2016

Every January, at the start of our financial year, the business gets everyone together for our annual Kick Start event. Invariably this is held off-site and over the years we have mixed up domestic locations, such as Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Nottingham and York, with more exotic destinations such as Rome and Copenhagen.

The day essentially breaks into three distinct sessions. The morning is made up of presentations that review the year just completed and, more importantly, set out the strategic direction and objectives of the business for the year ahead. After lunch we get everyone involved in team building activities, which vary every year, and the day concludes with a company dinner complete with annual awards and the obligatory night out.

This year we did something quite unique and quite special. Last autumn we helped our client, Bon Coeur Fine Wines, to relocate their business to new premises at Scotch Corner just off the A1. Having been involved with the project throughout, I was delighted to see the finished building. In addition to modern warehousing and distribution space, the property boasts facilities for events and conferences with elegant kitchens and bespoke space for tasting sessions. It didn’t take long for my mental cogs to start whirring and discussions began with the owners…

Three months later, Bon Coeur delivered a fantastic and bespoke event for our business. Split into six teams, each one had to come up with a concept for a new wine – very much in an Apprentice style. Not only did they have to come up with the concept and name, they had to blend the wine from different grapes, complete a wine tasting challenge, design their wine label and even cook a meal from an unknown box of ingredients to compliment their chosen wine! A three minute power pitch to a panel of judges in front of all their peers notched up the tension and created a real buzz as the winners were announced. Great day and a great event – so much so that Bon Coeur intend offering the package to others looking to do something similar.

As the person responsible for these key annual events, I was delighted with the response from the team with many describing 2016 as the “best Kick Start ever”. Its difficult to capture so much of what was great about the day but this tongue-in-cheek “Movie Trailer” will give you a small taste of what we got up to.

Thanks to everyone at Bon Coeur and all the Bluestone team for putting in so much energy to make the day the huge success it was.

Steve Russell

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