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Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Cruising Into History - P and O 175 Anniversary

P and O Cruise Liners call on FTF to help them celebrate 175 years of cruising in style

For the first time, on 3 July 2012, all seven P&O cruise liners were docked in their home port of Southampton. As they formed a flotilla that evening on their departure for various exotic locations, there was a great sense of excitement on board the ships and along the shore, with an event co-ordinated by FTF Worldwide Event Management.

During the day, P&O hosted visits on board the ships from their Godmothers, HRH the Princess Royal and Darcey Bussell OBE. As the 15,000 passengers embarked onto one of the seven ships, the excitement was building through the afternoon.

As each ship – Adonia, Azura, Oceana, Ventura, Aurora, Arcadia and Oriana – prepared to depart in the early evening, confetti fluttered down on them and passengers threw streamers to symbolise cutting the ties with the shore. A three-cannon salute (with noises only!) bade each one farewell, with the ship’s captain giving an answering blast on the horn. As each ship then passed a specially-prepared barge, a three-minute firework display ensured their send-off was just about perfect.

All that was missing was the planned RAF Red Arrows display, which was to be held over the heads of the departing passengers as they headed out to open sea in the Solent. The rain had set in a few days earlier and – despite showing glimpses of clearing during the afternoon – visibility was just too poor for the Red Arrows to fly safely, in their traditional wing-tip to wing-tip formation. At 6pm, the disappointing decision was made that the display just wasn’t possible and the flotilla continued out to sea with crowds waving them off from the shore and the amazing firework displays – each one made up of 1,750 effects.

The event itself took nine months of planning, with 38 of the FTF team in town on the day to complete that careful planning. Event Co-ordinator Tracey de Vere White said: “We had six crew working on the firework display for three days and then 15 today who were actually making it all happen. Everyone was else was quayside for the departure ceremonies or out on a launch, making sure everything went smoothly.

“We’ve been working with the team at P & O Cruises for nearly a year, considering every aspect, from security through all the logistics. It’s rewarding to see it become reality and see the seven ships with their gleaming white hulls and signature buff funnels leave the docks to such ceremony and process down through the fireworks.”

The firework displays were produced by Fully Fused Fireworks, carefully designed using special daylight effects and coloured smoke in the P&O corporate colours – red, blue, yellow and white.

For Tracey, having an experienced crew to carry out the plans is critical. She said: “We had to be confident that each one of the seven departures would be exciting for passengers and the crowds on the shore. Despite rain all day, our team managed to get every piece of equipment in the right place, ready at the right time. By the end of the day and the ships had finally left, we were all exhausted but it’s clear from the messages we’ve received online and in person that this was a stunning, historic event that people will remember for years to come. Only in the UK would crowds stand out in the rain for hours on end to enjoy something spectacular like this.”  

Hilary Robertson

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Cunard 3 Queens - FTF PRESS RELEASE 06/06/12

FTF Worldwide helps the Cunard ships of the line to celebrate the Queens’ Diamond Jubilee

The spectacularly splendid dawn of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday Tuesday came up to reveal an historic sight at Southampton as the special convoy of the three ‘Queens’ of the Cunard fleet hove into sight. These hugely impressive liners, the Queen Victoria, the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Elizabeth, made their stately way in line up the Solent to the Docks, all together for the very first time as part of the largest Jubilee celebrations anywhere in the UK outside of London over the special extended weekend to celebrate 60 years of Her Majesty’s reign over us all.

Her Majesty the Queen has long been associated with Cunard, being the only person to have attended the naming of all three Cunard Elizabeths, from the original Queen Elizabeth in 1938, then Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1967, and finally in 2010, the new Queen Elizabeth. 

For the 50-strong crew of the FTF Worldwide Event Management team the arrival of the three Queens on Tuesday, June 5th, was the start of an exciting but exhausting day in Southampton devised to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and to be executed by the company. This was the culmination of months of research, meetings, discussions and meticulous planning with the Cunard executive, Southampton Docks, G4S security and the Association of British Ports in order to conceive, oversee and execute the whole event from start to finish.

This special day of celebrations, run throughout by the FTF Worldwide team, were due to include another ‘first’ when the famous Red Arrows aerial display team should have performed their astonishingly daring and also meticulously planned ‘aerobatics’ over the three Queens, Southampton and the Solent, never before having flown over the area solely for the delight of the ships’ passengers as well as the wider locality. However, the glittering dawn had, by then, given way to rain and very low cloud which prevented the display from taking place – a circumstance wholly outside the control of the FTF team, to their immense regret.

But then later, when the low cloud had lifted somewhat, in an extra highlight to this glorious and joyous day of Jubilee celebrations, all this careful planning was in evidence once again with a spectacular musical firework display from FTF Worldwide above the re-positioned ships, now moored around City Terminal and all fully boarded with their passengers for their own special Jubilee celebration cruises.

This stunning firework display, especially designed to use 2012 individual fireworks to mark the Jubilee and which included only aerial effects that burst over 300 feet in the sky above the ships, was fired from opposite City Cruise Terminal over the three Queens, sitting closely together in the docks in Southampton.

The firework display, produced by Fully Fused Fireworks, was the largest in the UK in 2012 with the exception of the Olympic Games and London New Year’s Eve displays. The display took 20 man-days to prepare in FTF’s factories in the UK and Europe and then required ten qualified technicians two days to organise the eight tonnes of equipment and load the fireworks for the show.

The fireworks lit up the night above the three ships as the climax to a very special day, a fitting tribute to our Queen and her 60-year reign that was literally sparkling, at once both ethereal yet substantial, instant but sustained, regal but with the common touch; a splendid and majestic celebration of colour and effects that was specially created for this auspicious occasion.

The display was accompanied throughout, not only by the usual ‘whistles and bangs’ of regular fireworks, although these sounds were indeed huge, exciting and dramatic, but also by a creatively devised and orchestrated musical soundtrack that was simultaneously broadcast on 87.7 FM, Cunard’s own radio station specially set up and managed by the FTF Worldwide team for this occasion only.  

With the departure of the Three Queens at 11pm that night, this special day of Jubilee splendour came to an end as they sailed away, lights ablaze, leaving behind them a lingering echo of the day’s celebrations that resonated throughout the area – thanks to the combined efforts of the FTF Worldwide team as they headed off for a well-earned rest in the wake of all their combined efforts in executing a splendid celebration for Cunard of the Queen’s 60th Jubilee in Southampton.

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Note to Editors:

1. FTF Worldwide Event Management supplied the following services to Cunard for the Three Queens Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Southampton:
i) The provision of press helicopters to monitor the arrival of the three Queens at Southampton and for photography and videography
ii) The engagement of The Red Arrows for the occasion as the only aerial display outside of London that day
iii) The setting up and management of Cunard FM radio station throughout the day for simultaneous broadcasting of pyro-musical effect, celebrity radio interviews and music
iv) The design and execution of a professional firework display especially created for the occasion
v) Live social media streaming throughout the day
vi) The installation of PA system on Blue Funnel Ferries with feed to Cunard FM
vi) The sponsorship of SS Shieldhall - - to enhance the ship’s opening to the public for the day
Vii) Provision of lighting of the ships bows during the hours of darkness

3. The FTF Worldwide Event Management company is led by experienced event managers from every field that excel in the production and management of all types of events, from parties and weddings to corporate days and both indoor and outdoor concerts. Our clients are always Number 1 with us, no matter their budget, and that’s why it works – we plan it, execute it and see it through to the end, no matter how many or how few the elements. It’s always the same, experienced team at the helm, seeing the whole event through to the very end.
Quality Events in the UK and Worldwide, delivered on time and on budget
Contact:  Tel: 01462 817640;

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

FTF Sponsor Hertfordshire Mavericks Netball

In amongst a busy schedule in January 2012 we had a request from a friend of one of our clients to ask if we’d be interested in sponsoring a local netball team! Not the first thing to spring to mind when considering new marketing ideas but we thought 'Let's do it  - it’s indoors and warm! :)'.

When we looked into it more closely it wasn’t as simple as we first thought. The Hertfordshire Mavericks play in the Netball Superleague and were league champions in 2010/2011 so therefore had high expectations of their sponsors. Still we thought - 'Why not? We can rise to any challenge.....'

So off we went to the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield with sound and lighting equipment to set up ready for the game between Hertfordshire Mavericks and Surrey Storm to be shown live on Sky Sports 4. We were asked to floodlight the players as they ran on to the court and play short music stings at each goal. It all sounded straight forward but then we saw how fast the game is played and realised we’d have to concentrate hard not to miss a goal or play the wrong piece of music!

Since that very chilly night we’ve followed the girls both virtually and in the real world, supplying some of their technical requirements and learning a lot about netball very quickly. We've seen some amazing games and incredible young talent and we are delighted to say that at the moment the team are third in the league with three games to play so on course to make the finals weekend on 18th / 19th May.

So Lets Go Mavericks!! #blackandpurple #englandnetball