Suntory Beverage and Food GB&I’s 10-Year Anniversary Celebration


Suntory Beverage and Food GB&I, known for global brands including Lucozade and Ribena, wanted to bring together its business leaders under one roof to celebrate its 10 year anniversary and set out its business strategy for the next decade and beyond.

The brief to CI Group was to design a conference for 400 attendees in a venue that was easily accessible, offered accommodation on site, as well as inclusive team building activities that would appeal to a wide audience.

The Value We Created

Central to the success of this event was creating an unforgettable experience and ensuring guests felt like they weren’t at a typical conference. This meant designing an immersive experience, with minimal PowerPoint, maximum interactivity and movement, plus highly visual and engaging content.

Early on, CI Group decided the theme of the event should be centred around going on an expedition, with employees encouraged to ‘get their kit bag ready’ to unlock value and prepare for the journey ahead. This meant we wanted a venue that matched the theme – a location where people would feel energised by their surroundings, as well as the business content.

The Problem We Solved

Together we selected Center Parcs in Woburn. Nestled in a 400-acre forest setting, it gave guests space to connect with their surroundings and spend time outdoors between sessions. It also has the advantage of providing different accommodation options in the form of informal shared lodges and hotel rooms.

Before the conference started, guests were encouraged to select activities they would like to do on site and people they would like to share a lodge with. A bespoke passport was given to each guest, complete with agenda, map, activities, and missions to complete around the park to encourage guests to explore Center Parcs and spend time with new people.

Throughout the event we wanted to ensure that the SBF GB&I brand identity was unmissable. This included serving its soft drinks with every meal, drinks ‘on the go’ using chillers in the room, and even included a bespoke bar activation with one of its drinks new to the UK market.

Our Solution

Inside the venue, CI Group completely transformed the space, using a combination of forest and camping themed props, mist, sound effects and lighting. On first arrival guests felt like they were transported into a forest and this theme evolved throughout the event, with speakers embracing the idea by dressing up for an expedition and using props.

In the evening guests returned to the venue for a night ‘under the stars’ resplendent with colourful backdrops, a full-sized Land Rover DJ booth, and decorations and entertainment reminiscent of the Aurora Borealis.

Throughout the event, SBF GB&I employees networked with new team members, building business connections and hearing first-hand the vision of the company’s senior leadership team. Guests were invited to nominate and recognise the heroes and game changers in their business.  These were shortlisted and awards were made during the evening reception.

On the second day, Ash Dykes, adventurer, and extreme athlete, was invited to give a talk to the guests to share his experience of preparing for his two world records, with focus on his mental and physical preparation and how he builds resilience in the face of a challenge. As well as sharing his insights into trekking across Mongolia and Madagascar, he encouraged the audience to think about what should be packed in their own kit bag after they left the event – what behaviours they might need to dial up and pack with them for the expedition ahead and what might be hindering them that could be left behind.


Feedback from attendees has been overwhelmingly positive, with many expressing appreciation in the post event survey for the opportunity to unwind and connect with colleagues in a unique setting. Initial survey results indicate high levels of satisfaction, with participants citing increased motivation and a sense of camaraderie as key takeaways from the event.

 Center Parcs proved to be a hit, too, with 94% of respondents saying they liked the location and venue. 82% of the audience agreed that following the conference they have a shared vision and are all moving together. 75% agreed that ‘the vision depends on me’ and an overwhelming 94.75% said they would like the business to run similar events in the future.

The resounding sentiment among attendees is clear: this experience was truly transformative, and its impact will be felt long after the event has concluded.

In summary, “Expedition to Excellence” isn’t just a one-time event – it’s a testament to the power of immersive storytelling and experiential design in fostering meaningful connections and driving organisational success. By embracing the spirit of adventure, SBF GB&I has set a new standard for internal communications events in its business, inspiring and empowering its leaders to strive for excellence in the years to come.


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