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Building A Team Of Incredible Mad Hatters, For Our Very Own Immersive Pop-Up

One more week, that’s what we would’ve liked to have had. One more week to finish the installation, one more week for rehearsals. But that’s the big difference between events and most other industries around the world. The day of the launch is the day of the launch, no ifs, buts and maybes. We had tickets sold, VIP’s, bloggers & vloggers ready and waiting. And after all, hell hath no fury for an Instagram influencer scorned.

Let’s look at other industries. Wembley stadium was four years late and cost three times the amount originally planned, White Hart…. (actually, I won’t mention that North London club), and your guess is as good as mine as to when Crossrail or HS2 will open and what the final costs will be. Do I even need to mention the building industry? What sets the wonderful world of events apart is that we have to be on budget, on time every time and at Kit & Caboodle we are proud to achieve this on every project we work on, even if now and again we could do with one more week.

Having dotted the many I’s and crossing numerous T’s, the P&L and the partnership with Fever had been agreed. Now onto the fun part, the design and build of the space we had acquired in Notting Hill.

For the first time ever, Kit & Caboodle had complete creative freedom in rolling out the production, no brief, no corporate colours and no brand guidelines to adhere to. Let the games begin!

How did we build the team I hear you ask? In the words of our very own (digitally created) Cheshire Cat, “you begin at the beginning and go on until you come to the end, and then stop.” So that’s what I’ll do.

We were given the LA script from the already successful activation Fever had produced State Side. It was unanimously agreed, and very quickly that we wouldn’t use the LA script and for several reasons, it was very American and wouldn’t necessarily translate to a more discerning London and UK crowd. Plus, the LA activation was in one room, our venue had three.

We started with a script writer and a very talented one. They were assisted by another of our close contacts who was also our casting and theatrical director. As the script started to take shape and the consumer journey throughout the space had been decided, we began designing and creating the look and feel of each space.

Once again, we dipped into our (not so) little black book of amazing and talented contacts to begin the build. Some of London’s, and therefore probably the world’s finest set designers & builders, carpenters, electricians and scenic painters were recruited to work alongside our in-house teams to create The Mad Hatters Gin & Tea Party venue. As each space evolved, it was on to the recruitment of our BOH and FOH staff. A recently recruited bar GM, specialising in cocktail bars, festival bars and pop ups, started to build the team.

A week before “doors” our actors were confirmed and began rehearsing tirelessly to be ready for friends & family shows in preparation for our VIP and influencer shows and then on to the ones that really matter, the paying public.

Thanks to years of experience, close friendships, the best and most talented people in their fields that we were fortunate enough to call upon, we were able to produce an amazing event that has exceeded all expectations, sold over 7,000 tickets and was extended for another three months.

From getting the keys for a very worn and tired venue, that had been empty for over three years, to opening up an incredible, immersive and very instagramable event, which took a little over three weeks to complete. One more week would’ve been great, but in the end, as with every project, it wasn’t needed. Thanks team.


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