2014 was a special year for Corporate Innovations, it was the year we turned 20! And as event planner extraordinaires it was a fabulous excuse for us to party for the entire year!

We started the year by launching our “20 Events for 20 Years” celebrations with a client event at the amazing Sketch Restaurant in London. The atmosphere was electric and we knew from that night, in a cold January, our 20th year was going to go with a bang! Eighteen more celebratory events followed throughout the year including a ski trip to Val-d'Isère, hospitality at V Festival and glamorous trips down the red carpet at the Noah Premier in Leicester Square and the Emmy Awards in LA!

It turned out to be quite a year! But how were we to tackle the 20th event, the culmination of an extraordinary celebratory year? It was to be the celebration of all our team’s hard work across not only 2014 but the 19 years prior to it. (I’ve seen 13 years of it, so I know first-hand the level of dedication we have seen both past and present. Everyone has been essential in helping successfully build CI’s 20 year history. Thank you all for being part of our rich history.)

Now we all know it’s no mean feat to organise an event for your own people especially when they are a bunch of event planners. I am sure you think it should make it easier…. I can assure you it doesn’t! Expectations and excitement were high. We wanted to treat the whole team, allow them to relax and really let their hair down… somewhere with no signal, so they could step away from their phones for once, and enjoy the party for themselves. We chose Huntsham Court (http://www.huntshamcourt.co.uk) as the setting for this celebration. A spacious, beautiful and exclusive private house near Exeter where the team could enjoy period charm, open fires and sumptuous four poster beds. The peace and tranquility…. who am I kidding? It’s a CI party - there was none of that!

And what a venue it was! A 34 bedroom (with capacity to sleep 80) Baronial Country House set in 5 acres of land situated in the beautiful rolling Devon countryside on the borders of the Exmoor National Park and close to the Somerset border. A property brought back from its derelict state in 1868 under the guidance of Benjamin Ferrey, one of the founder members of the British Institute of Architects, as not considered suitable for the 18 year old bride Katherine Walrond. Married to Charles Arthur William Troyte, the son of the 11th Baronet the newly renovated property became their home and remained, along with the Huntsham Estate, in the Troyte family until 1988. Facilities are flexible and can be used for an occasion of your choice. There are 5 main reception rooms with a wonderful sweeping oak staircase entrance hall, a library with a range of books to suit all ages and a baby grand piano. The dining room can seat up to 120 people in a variety of seating styles, ideal for any type of function.

Tried and tested local suppliers are on hand to provide your every desire from; spa treatments and indulgences, fencing in the great hall, laser clay or archery in the grounds, dance classes to wine tasting in the cellars. The house also provides a Games Box for inside and outside entertainment including badminton, croquet on the croquet lawn and board games. To make it even better for the team, the board of directors took on the role of hosts for the whole 2 days. With our Digital Director serving the wine & canapés, our Chairman leading the way in Christmas cupcake decorating, Tony our trusted FD lovingly hand making bread, I handled the all-important stocking of the bar and our Sales Director Gareth nursed the teams hangovers with freshly cooked full English breakfasts the next morning.

But what about the vital Christmas dinner? I, along with my team of little elves, prepared a delicious traditional turkey with all the trimmings. Standing proudly at the head of the table carving a huge turkey, it was obvious to see our 20th event was proving a huge hit with the whole team. Secret Santa gifts under a huge Christmas tree , the magnificent dining room filled with laughter and fun, games and dancing and a CI tribute song all went into making CI’s 20th event a huge success. But most importantly it was the team who made our 20th year so memorable.

A team who mucks in, works well together and enjoys each other’s company. Well … that’s all I can tell you about the night but I am sure if you ask the team here there are plenty more stories we sadly cannot publish! CI would like to thank everyone involved with making 2014 such a fantastic celebration. To all the clients, suppliers and team members from the last 20 years ‘Thank You’ for being a part of CI’s story. Here’s to the next 20 years! And Huntsham Court, well this venue is not just a wedding venue, there are endless possibilities. In their words an “Un-Hotel Country House Venue”.

Are you looking to do something rewarding for your team or your clients? Get in touch as we have some amazing ideas on how Huntsham Court could work for you.