visitor dining experience at NEC Group venues

12 August 2015 Jenna Hadley

Amadeus have once again pushed the boundaries of traditional catering to develop a beautifully executed afternoon tea concept

Amadeus, the NEC Group’s retail, conference & banqueting, and hospitality caterer, have once again pushed the boundaries of traditional catering to develop a beautifully executed afternoon tea concept named ‘The Ribbon Room’ situated in the Library of Birmingham over the summer. 

The Ribbon Room emerged after the talented team at Amadeus were looking to create an experience that challenged the abundance of readily available afternoon tea offerings in the Birmingham with a new look and feel. The Library was identified as the trial venue as, much like literature transports readers out from reality, The Ribbon Room takes the visitor on a journey into a different world. 

Following the success of the trial, Amadeus will be installing the moveable restaurant to sit within the NEC Group venues – the National Exhibition Centre, The Barclaycard Arena and the Genting Arena – to capitalise on visitors looking for a different food experience at high footfall events. Amadeus currently caters for over 700 conferences, exhibitions and events annually at these venues, and The Ribbon Room will be brought in to support dining demand.

Working with the NEC Group shop fitters, the Atlantic Group, The Ribbon Room was created in the middle of the Library’s third floor by using corrugated cardboard called re-board – an incredibly light yet exceptionally strong   patented paper based board with a unique engineered fluted core. Using weighted posts and hinged construction to form the skeleton of the room allowed the re-board walls to simply slot in. The simplicity of the design permits for the pop-up concept to be removed and re-erected simply, and at the end of the development the material can be recycled as paper in normal waste paper streams.

The interior design was also commissioned to the Atlantic Group under the guidance of Amadeus Head of Marketing Emma Thorn who developed the fantastical concept to provide visitors with a distinctive and fresh experience.

Commenting on the project Emma said, “The Ribbon Room was a real challenge for us.  We work with shop fitters and exhibition stand builders all the time but idea fell out of specialism for both. Atlantic had been talking about re-board as a point of sale solution for some time, so I challenged them to scale up to larger formats and they succeeded.  However, due to the unique nature of the pop-up concept it caused a few headaches and there was learning on both sides with a couple of things we would do differently next time, but the result was worth it.”

Emma added, “With the current location being more of a hidden gem for second city shoppers, we are really excited to put The Ribbon Room in a high footfall area on a show like Gardeners World or Clothes show and watch it flourish. The hidden and quirky aspect of it brings a smile to people’s face and we will hopefully add another exciting food solution to visitors of the NEC Group venues.”

The Ribbon Room is open from Monday to Saturday 12-4pm for a limited time only. Booking is highly recommended and can be done by calling 0121 644 6043.