Southport Flower Show 2015 Gala Dinner Review

We all seem to be getting more and more obsessed about what we ‘the customer’ gets for our money, and we do have high standards. With reviews that can now be posted online easily, sometimes it is difficult to get an honest overview of a restaurant, hotel or act before we visit or see them.

Sometimes I wonder if a good review was written by staff or employees of the venue!

Sometimes I wonder if a bad review was actually written by another competitor! Obviously that’s not always the case, but in order for improvements to be made within the entertainment and leisure industry, honest and constructive reviews need to be made without ulterior motives, which is the purpose of my column.

I don’t want a free meal or a free product for writing a review, but in return I would like to use my industry experience to consult local businesses and make them the best they can be. I would like to provide positive ways to make quick, simple and effective changes to processes and strategies, that will provide overall better customer experiences and increase profits for clients.

Being a well-established professional vocalist for 13 years and Director of Actastic Entertainment Agency, I have vast experience within the entertainment industry. From starting as a local club singer to performing for some of the world’s largest corporate clients, 25 entertainment agencies, festivals and hotel chains, I worked my way up from the bottom and learned most things the hard way. Actastic was set up eight years ago and is now one of the UK’s busiest and most reputable entertainment agencies that provides live entertainment and consultancy to venue owners, clients and artists. With a proven track record to improve core business revenues, my team and I are looking forward to reviewing and offering consultation services to the entertainment and leisure industry

A Look at The Southport Flower Show Gala Dinner 2015

Paula with Jean Christophe
Entertainment Consultant Paula Bolton at the Southport Flower Show 2015 Gala Dinner, pictured with celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli

Attending the Southport Flower Show’s’ prestigious annual ball was a real treat. After a sneak preview of the exquisite floral displays and grounds, i’m ashamed now to admit that in all my years I have never attended the highly renowned Flower Show and boy, I wish I had done sooner.

Following the Gala Dinner, I booked tickets to attend and view the entire event over the subsequent weekend. I felt so lucky getting to view the displays before the masses of people who were due to flock to Southport over the coming days.

After strolling through what I can only describe as a fairy-tale wonderland of beautiful floral displays, my favourite being the sunflowers, I was seated for dinner in the Grand Patrons Marquee. This year’s theme was China.

The marquee was decorated with class and elegance, nothing tacky about it. Naturally the food served reflected the theme, not in the way you would imagine though! Prawns and salmon with a wasabi dressing, fillet of beef with black bean sauce and a beautiful assiette of fine deserts. I always shudder slightly when attending events where “mass food” is served, rarely does it seem to be as it should be when you attend a more private affair. However the food was outstanding, the service impeccable and the atmosphere bright and easy, eased along with an ice breaking magician, always a great touch for events like this.

Entertainment on arrival was a stilt walker dressed to suit the flower show theme, personally I think it was old hat, but he was very interactive and well worth the money for the demographic of people attending. A vintage band played live on entry to the marquee, I love live, so that was a great start, however, the band failed to kick it up a notch in their second set once people had finished eating. The band were good though and they filled the stage, their first set was better being more fitting with background style of entertainment. The band were suited to the average age group in the room 60+!

I was slightly disappointed to find that the demographic of attendees was not more diverse! There was not a good cross section of ages and from experience I think providing entertainment to only suit the age group attending, means next year, more than likely the same age group will attend. They are not offering a variety of entertainment to suit a wider age range.

Jean-Christophe Novelli and Paul Crone, yes absolutely on the mark. When Jean-Christophe spoke, the ladies went weak at the knees! Paul Crone kicked us all back into touch with his charming and fantastic personality.

All in all, the gala night affair was a marvel to behold, it was well organised and I never checked the time once.

I would strongly advise that the younger generations should attend this lavish Flower Show. From my own experience, it’s not just for the older generation, you will be impressed with the effort and skills that have gone into the displays, and the glamour and prestige of the Gala Dinner!

Paula Bolton – The Entertainment Consultant

View Full report at the Southport Visiter

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