Date: 12 February, 2016
Where: Panorama Ballroom
Bedford is a trusted and sustainable business that changes the lives of people with disability by building their skills to participate and thrive in the community. Throughout the year, Bedford holds a number of major fundraising initiatives including their flagship event, the Bedford Big BBQ.
The Bedford Big BBQ started in 2003 and has significantly grown to be attended by more than 500 people from the corporate sector, all keen to lend their support to a life changing organisation. In Bedford’s words, this is a great opportunity to network across different industries while raising much needed funds for a great cause ‘while passing the sauce bottle’.
In 2015, Bedford contacted the Centre looking for a change of venue to cater for the event’s growing numbers whilst also looking for a different approach to the catering.
What We Did
The Bedford Big BBQ provided an ideal opportunity for the event to be held in the Centre’s Panorama Ballroom, where guests could enjoy sweeping views of the River Torrens and Riverbank Precinct.
The Australian BBQ is typically associated with the front or backyard and we’re lucky enough to have the Riverbank Precinct as ours.
The Centre was able to play on the BBQ theme by developing a customised lunch menu. For entrée, we added a very contemporary twist to the South Aussie prawn, synonymous with the BBQ, by serving it in a timbale with avocado, micro herbs, basil oil and tomato salsa.
For main course, we kept it simple by serving South Australian loin chops, chicken shasliks and beef sausages, with accompanying salads and sauces placed in the middle of the table for sharing.
The key was to try and keep the Bedford Big BBQ fairly informal in a typically more formal environment.
The change of venue to the Centre helped to reinvigorate the event which attracted record numbers and most importantly achieved a record profit by raising almost $100,000 for the organisation. In part, this was helped by support from the Centre.
Bringing the Bedford Big BBQ to the Adelaide Convention Centre was a good decision. From the beginning, they worked closely with us to plan every detail of the event and no request was too much for their team.
They provided a ‘rest room’ for our volunteers adjacent to the Ballroom so they could have breaks during a busy day, gave us access to the room the night before to set up our wine wall, and arranged onsite car parking to make everything convenient for us.
Their audio-visual team also set up the night before which enabled us to test the systems, and provide us with peace of mind.
They worked with us closely to plan a suitable menu, which although very simple by their standards, comes with challenges as plated BBQ food is hard to present and deliver to a consistent quality for more than 500 guests.
As a not-for-profit organisation it’s comforting to know that the ACC will work with the budget where possible and are flexible with the options they provide.
The food proved to be some of the best we’ve ever experienced at the Bedford Big BBQ. It was generous, flavoursome and excellent value. The food received consistently positive feedback from guests.
The service provided by the Centre was outstanding – from the planning stage, to support on the day, to well after the event had concluded. The staff were warm and friendly and ensured all of our guests were made to feel welcome.
Creating a good experience for guests at a fundraiser is fundamental as it encourages generosity. I’m delighted to say that in 2016 we raised a record amount.
Bedford has held other events at the Adelaide Convention Centre for a number of years and will continue to do so in the future. We’ve already booked the Bedford Big BBQ for 2017.
The Adelaide Convention Centre is a venue South Australians can be proud of.