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Staff face the boardroom in a 'The Apprentice'-style challenge

St James’ Park  'The Apprentice'-style challenge
Staff at one of the UK’s most famous football grounds are facing the boardroom in an Apprentice-style challenge to boost their creativity.  
Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events, which manages conferencing and events at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park stadium, has taken a leaf out of the top TV programme’s book to launch Project A; a drive to create a series of one-off events to be held at the venue.

Following the format of the BBC1 show, headed by Lord Sugar, staff at the stadium have been split into six teams and tasked with not only generating event suggestions but also with exploring and ensuring their viability.  

And, over the course of the ongoing project, the teams, made up of staff from a variety of departments led by a duty manager in the role of project leader, have had to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges in the boardroom.  

And their teamwork is proving so successful that plans are now underway for the stadium to host an additional 11 public and corporate events – from real ale festivals and tea dances to summer picnics and masquerade balls - in the coming months.  

In the run up to the events, teams will be evaluated on their performance and prizes will be awarded in categories such as Best Team Player, Best Revenue and Best Customer feedback.  

Project A is the brainchild of operations manager, Lucy Goodwin, who said: “The aim was to help develop our duty managers’ business and managerial skills and to harness the creativity of staff who aren’t usually involved in the process of event planning.  

“More than 30 of our staff have taken part and their enthusiasm and drive has been incredibly impressive.  

“The challenge has really inspired everyone and, along with being great fun, it’s improved inter-departmental communication and, most importantly, given people from the North East and further afield even more reason than ever to visit St James’ Park.”

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