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On Thursday 4th July, NGN’s H21 team hosted a range of industry, academic and government stakeholders at our Phase 1a Buxton test site. The event marked the official opening of the test site and celebrated the completion of its build.
It was all hands-on deck the day before the event to ensure that the team were well prepped tour guides. In addition to this we became experts at putting up huge banners (which admittedly did have us scratching our heads for a while) and ensuring that delegate packs were in order.
An early start of a bacon sandwich (the breakfast of champions) in the HSE café, (highly recommended by the team) was quickly followed by a very hectic morning of ensuring that the speaker presentations and sound systems were in working order, briefing photographers, videographers and media as well as meeting and greeting our guests.
After this it was on with the main event. The guests were ushered into the main room and speeches, presentations and a panel session (which saw a lively debate take place) commenced. This was undertaken by representatives from NGN, Cadent, Ofgem, HSE, BEIS and the University of Newcastle among others.
Whilst this was underway, our team – playing the role of chaperones and tour guides – were in place making final touches to their explanations of the site ready for our guests’ arrival.
All guests were transported to the site and ushers quickly identified their group members – then it was on to actual tours of the site. This was probably the most enjoyable part of the day for all of us and saw our team become expert tour guides providing an explanation of each aspect of the site to the individual groups.
After the tours were completed, it was time to pack away the huge banners (once you’ve mastered putting them up, taking them down proves much easier) and depart the site.
Because of the event, the team have learned valuable skills in not only how to construct huge event banners, but also in how to impart their valuable project knowledge to stakeholders.
It was definitely felt by all that the event was a huge success, with some of our team members even becoming media stars in print and on radio (Hollywood here we come)!