Rapport hosts Annual Innovation Expo 2019

A review by Harvey Shackleton

Rapport hosts Annual Innovation Expo 2019

Rapport hosts Annual Innovation Expo 2019 1200 858 admin

“Follow the pink trail! Follow the pink trail!”
exclaimed the front of house staff at the bank in Canary Wharf that was hosting our event.

This was not an alternative version of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ taking place on a beautiful autumnal evening but the start of a journey into another kind of wonderment. Traditionally in a bank at 5pm, cashiers would be tallying up their notes and coins and opening the vaults to secure the bank’s prized assets, but tonight the impressive building was revealing a different kind of treasure trove. It was the Rapport Innovation Expo 2019 and the Rapport representatives, resplendent in pink, provided a luminous route to the delights ahead.

Guests were eager to enter the high-tech lifts to discover what was waiting for them on the 13th floor and were given a warm and enthusiastic welcome by the radiant Rapport Ambassadors once the lift doors opened. Before their eyes lay a miscellany of creativity, delicacies, costumes, magicians and technology. But where should they begin their journey with so many of the displays demanding their attention?

A safe, soft and cushioned beginning was offered by Adriana’s marshmallow stand, highlighting the enormous creative depth across the whole room with a colourful and varied display of mouth-watering creatures and characters. Maybe we were off to see the Wizard of Oz after all? If it was an adventure you wanted then Antonia from the Broadgate team could offer you an incredible illustrated adventure book to flick through, tracing how things had evolved in that famous vast development near Liverpool Street station over the past few years.

Attendees were also invited to exercise their physical and mental agility in a variety of games and challenges set by the Rapport teams, based on the historical contexts of their locations. Nestled next to a replica Wells Fargo stagecoach was the team’s fiendishly difficult cultural quiz. If you knew where in the world it was impolite to show the soles of one’s feet or just how firm a handshake should be in the Far East, then this was the place for you. If you loved a board game then you could drop by the Accenture team who had prepared a challenge of adventures and escapades based on the Marvel universe, accompanied by bespoke personal game cards drawn and designed by team member Marius. Everyone from The Black Panther to the Hulk was present. ‘Outdoor’ sport was offered with a golfing challenge set by another team and many people released their inner ‘Tiger’ on the putting green.

As the sun set over a stunning London skyline and the distant Olympic park in the East, everyone was enticed by the aromas drifting across from the end of the room. From Indian specialities to Mexican Burritos or Japanese Sushi there was something for every taste bud. All washed down with fine wines or craft ales served with style and a smile by ‘Restaurant Associates’. Those wishing to ‘offset’ their guilty indulgences could take in an ‘Earth bowl’ with either a vegetable or salmon variety on offer. Pure nutritional goodness has never slipped down so easily and as all appetites were being satiated, a steady bass sound was increasing from the corner of the floor. John the DJ was warming up. It was 7pm and fashion show time!

The white floor was illuminated, the audience full of anticipation. Never before had this collection of individuals stepped on to a catwalk, let alone one surrounded by such a large and adoring audience. The DJ increased the tempo, the lights flashed, and a sea of smartphones were held aloft as the models positively burst on to the stage. They marched, strutted and glided as if nothing was going to stand in their way and were all adorned by some stunning designs. Putting on your office uniform had never been such fun. The applause and cheers were persistent as the models continued to give it their all and reveal the outfits of the five designers chosen for the event. Some of the audience couldn’t contain themselves, and yelled “Tomasso, Tomasso, let down your hair!” Tomasso duly obliged much to the delight of his admirers. The fervour was captured by the irrepressible Ines Weifenbach who, on completing her performance, insisted on a high-five as she disappeared backstage. There was huge pride and pleasure on the face of Rapport Managing Director Greg Mace.  Will he be tempted to brave the catwalk next year?  Hayley and Ruta, the fashion show organisers can be very persuasive!

As the frisson of excitement and energy came to its inevitable end and the Park Lane Champagne corks managed to contain themselves from popping amidst all the glamour, guests could cool down with a refreshing dessert or a Jude’s ice cream tub and take in some more of the attractions. Oliver B the magician worked the room effortlessly with his tricks, leaving people dazed and confused and if it all became too much there was ‘Optimal spine’ on hand to alleviate possible aches and pains caused by the evening’s exertions.

After a spectacular night the various spinning wheels of fortune gradually came to a halt across the stands and final raffle tickets were sold for ‘Action on Hearing Loss’, it was now time to say farewell to Rapport Innovation Expo 2019.

For any stragglers the girls from another city firm were literally riding some Rugby World Cup mascots and were ‘coming for to carry you home’ if the journey back from Canary Wharf was too daunting.

So, with many memories to savour on a night full of smiles and budding fashionistas, the bar is set suitably high for #RIE2020.