Cities in change

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that took place in London over five days in April was notable as the largest Heads of Government event to take place in the UK, with 53 world leaders present.

For one London company – M, a leading strategy, marketing, communications and events agency – the spectacular success of CHOGM is a source of considerable pride because the Foreign and Commonwealth office entrusted M to create the infrastructure for the numerous events that made up the gathering, from the formal opening at Buckingham Palace, to dinner at Sky Garden, and a private retreat for heads of government at Windsor Castle. M’s team worked across all venues, amongst them Lancaster House, Marlborough House and Hyde Park. M also provided media services and acted as host broadcaster providing feed to all international media from the 53 Commonwealth nations. M delivered edited packages and wider media services for smaller countries requiring infrastructure support. M built and ran the main media facilities at Marlborough House and the smaller media centre in Windsor.

M’s integrated approach and skill-set allowed it to deliver both events and media services. Janet Dodd, Head of Events at M, said:

“Challenges inherent in working in historic venues as well as multiple stakeholders and many delegates amongst who were many VIPS, made delivering the infrastructure for CHOGM 2018 a major feat. This was not one summit. This was summits within summits, meetings within meetings, from the formal opening at Buckingham Palace to the countless specific events for the Commonwealth’s many constituencies, organisations and networks. The planning was intense and the delivery critical.

“Our 1000 staff worked industriously to ensure the smooth-running of the summit. It’s precisely what we do in the Events division here at M, albeit this was extraordinary for the close work carried out in London’s most remarkable spaces, for the pomp and ceremony that accompanies such things and for the integration of comprehensive security arrangements.” Trevor Andrews, Head of Events at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, M’s direct client, said: “The M Team and all its contractors worked exceptionally hard to help us overcome the numerous logistical challenges that a Summit of this scale inevitably presents. Our collective efforts really did pay off – the feedback from our visitors and our senior UK colleagues has been overwhelmingly positive. We could not have achieved what we did without your energy, commitment, professionalism and patience!”

Stakeholders included The Cabinet Office, No.10, The Metropolitan Police, The Royal Parks, Westminster Council, The Royal Household and The Foreign & Commonwealth Office, M’s direct client. M is well-known for its high-level contacts and access. It has government clients globally, across events and communications.