The client 

Bell is an internationally-recognised organisation teaching English to young learners and adults, preparing international students for English-speaking universities and training teachers all over the world.

The brief

Following their invitation, Bell's marketing team received the exciting news that HRH Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex would be visiting the Cambridge school. They were delighted and knew how special this one-off event would be for their students and wished it to be just as memorable for HRH.
Aware of how high-profile the visit would be and the sheer volume of work required to make the day a success, they hired us as their event specialists. Together we would welcome royalty to a celebration of education and international cooperation.


Jemma and Justin at The Crane Event were an outstanding extension of our (very) small marketing team for a hugely important event for us: a royal visit by HRH Prince Edward. They worked with us from the planning to the day itself, dealt with all the complexities with ease and good humour, and we really couldn’t have done it without them. We would thoroughly recommend them and wouldn’t consider using anyone else for future events — The Crane Event is all you need!
— Vicky Westmore, Marketing Communications Manager, Bell


The main event

We supported Bell throughout the entire event journey. From initial idea conception, right through to the day itself.
The pre-event planning included:

  • Suggestions on student activity for during the visit, making sure they were the focus of the day.
  • Ideas to make the event memorable - including an engraved Bell which HRH would ring to commemorate his visit (rather than having a more traditional plaque).  
  • Supplier research and liaison - including sourcing a red carpet, hand-waving flags, gifts for HRH, a photographer and videographer.
  • Working closely with the Bell team to create a minute-by-minute schedule for the visit (with a wet weather contingency plan).
  • Creating a detailed event plan, showing all tasks by date, area and responsibility.
  • Attending recce meetings with Bell staff from across the school, the royal office and Cambridgeshire police.

 Our responsibilities on the day included:

  • Meeting with and briefing all suppliers.
  • Setting up all areas alongside the Bell team, making sure everything was in place.
  • Managing the main arrival/welcome area during the visit - responsible for all students, staff and dignitaries.
  • Checking all areas were running to time, that people remained in place and everyone was kept informed at all times during the visit.
  • Communicating with the Cambridgeshire police throughout the day, keeping to schedule and ensuring safety.
  • Event pack down - greeting suppliers on collection and tidying up the event banners and materials.

From day one, Jemma and Justin at The Crane Event made us feel reassured and provided expertise, humour and a calming spirit. Their support with our royal visit was invaluable; together we created an event that will be remembered by our students and staff for years to come. I thoroughly enjoyed working with The Crane Event and would highly recommend them.
— Roseanna Whitelegg, Marketing Executive, Bell

The results

Working as an extended part of their team, we relieved pressure on Bell's marketing team and provided the specialist event expertise and experience needed to run such a prestigious event. 
Through our connections, we were able to deliver considerable savings from suppliers direct to the client. They also had the added reassurance that the suppliers were trusted by us to deliver the quality needed for a royal event.
With well thought out ideas and careful planning, the visit was a great success. It provided the students with a lasting memory of their time at the school and HRH with a sense of Bell's great work.
We can still feel the buzz of excitement as HRH stepped onto the red carpet. It was so rewarding seeing the smiles on each and every student's face. Even with the heavens opening moments before he arrived, their spirits were certainly not dampened. It was an absolute pleasure working with the entire team at Bell on such a special event.
Bell even received a letter from the royal office, following the visit, thanking them for such a special event.