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CO-OP – Pioneer Awards


Co-op invited Make Events to tender for their 14th Annual Pioneer Awards to be held at Manchester Central for over 1200 of their Partners and Suppliers. Pitching alongside nine competitor agencies Make Events won the opportunity to partner with Co-op on this prestigious event.

The challenge was to create something different from previous years, with all the elements of the usual format including 14 awards, an ‘Undiscovered’ music competition, high-end dining experience, A-list entertainment, fundraising and their famous after party – setting this event firmly in the grocery market calendar as a must attend! Create creative and experiential opportunities for brands to activate as part of their sponsorship deal


Make Events drew on their retail and FMCG contacts to delve into what the suppliers wanted from the event. Carrying out extensive industry research which provided invaluable insight, it was used to help shape an event that truly ‘thanked’ their partners and suppliers. 

Guests were invited to the Co-op Live TV studio for an awards event like no other! Think a mix of the best TV awards and Saturday night entertainment! A cross between Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway versus The Golden Globes! Guests entered down the ‘blue’ carpet to a roaming reporter capturing their responses on a live feed into the drinks reception as they passed the bustling paparazzi. The ‘live tv show’ was hosted by Gethin Jones and Denise Van-Outen who guided the guests through the awards! 

Peppered with entertainment suitable to a TV show, we had bespoke films played as cutaways to reveal winning raffle ticket numbers, lots of fun games and TV crew actors keeping energy levels high! With performances from Undiscovered artists guests hit the dancefloor with Sophie-Ellis Bexter before being led by Mr Wilson’s the after party!

The after-party revealed two further TV studios – Including Top of the Shops where internationally acclaimed Superstar DJ Roger Sanchez hit the decks and Supermarket Rocks where guests entered an immersive shopping experience, complete with a Celebrity DJ shopping till check out area, where guests could grab their silent disco headphones. Dancing in the aisles, they were then surprised with a ‘live’ booze aisle as they were handed drinks through the shelves, a vegetable ball pit, a frozen aisle with edible alcoholic snow cones and a confectionary corner. 


Response post event was phenomenal. 

The MD of-Co-op food had received lots of positive feedback and commented that he thought the acts, the look and feel and presenters were superb and is looking forward to working with us on the next event! The Commercial Director said it was a great evening and thanked us for supporting them on delivering such a great event, having received superb feedback from their suppliers too!

Suppliers, sent direct feedback on a wonderful job for this year’s award and that they enjoyed the evening immensely. The Co-op Marketing and events team said it really was a superb Pioneer Awards and have had such positive feedback from both seasoned pioneer veterans and newcomers to the event!

“The main feedback has been it felt like a Co-op event, where as in previous years it has felt like the agencies event” – Zoe Hammond, Events Manager

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0161 549 0699