May 13, 2022

How Grapefruit Graphics Delivered Success For The Glasgow EURO 2020 Fan Zone

Roll-out projects are all about partnerships — cooperation with the client, successful communication with the creative and production teams, and planning of installs. That’s certainly what we value most in the UK Graphic Awards team! 

2021 Roll-out category winner at the UK Graphic Awards, Grapefruit Graphics, showed us exactly how a successful execution looks with their entry, UEFA EURO 2020 Glasgow Fan Zone. The sheer scale of the job — a complex roll-out with a full install, production, and fitting during COVID restrictions — was incredible. The main source of Grapefruit’s inspiration was that they are “mad football fans”, as Gayle Allenby, Major Events Project Manager at Grapefruit Graphics told us in our recent conversation. Gayle told us all us about her experience of working alongside the UEFA organising team and how the Grapefruit team approached such a large scale sport event that reemerged last year after COVID-19. 

What matters most

Cross-team collaboration plays an important role in many sporting events, where projects need every team in on the action. But how else can they tick tasks off their to-do list quickly and more efficiently? 

“Grapefruit Graphics is a fairly small company, we’re a very close-knit bunch of people. Although we're small, we are all very much experienced in our particular fields,” said Gayle about being part of a high-performance team.

In her view teams like this can work together better because they understand everybody’s capabilities and limits, as well as know when to ask for help to avoid putting pressure on themselves or their colleagues. Many projects require the input of multiple skills and voices.

“I think that the kind of strengths of friendship that we have and the transfer of knowledge between one department to another really gives us the confidence to keep going,” added Gayle. 

Grapefruit Graphics was heavily involved with all entities, including the local organising committee, on a day-to-day basis to help with the planning, processing, and organising of onsite installation. They communicated with UEFA for the sign-off of practically every piece that was going on site. 

Keep in mind

“The types of challenges that occur to us working on these types of jobs will primarily be the time pressure and the late sign-offs of our works,” said Gayle.

Working on a project of this scale within the sports event industry, it is essential to remember that sometimes deadlines are missed. Also, one of the biggest challenges is getting the right people in the right places at the right time. Overcoming these challenges helps to ensure projects are completed, approved, and sent to production. In addition, doing so will ease the huge bottleneck towards the start of the installation. 

So, in terms of advice, Gayle added,

“When embarking on projects of this scale, I can't stress enough as a project manager how much I love planning, being organised, and collaborating internally with your company. Clients and stakeholders are very clear on our mission and  deadlines, not just in terms of each stage of the work but throughout the whole project. However, don’t put too much pressure on yourself.  Just enjoy and have lots of fun as well. That’s what the industry is all about.” 

Grapefruit Graphics team at the 2021 UK Graphic Awards

Growing in the wide-format industry

“Winning at the awards last year brought a lot of value to our business. I think that kind of reach that we’ve had on social media, certainly all the posting and tagging that everyone’s been doing, has raised our profile’s presence and given us a good boost in terms of our socials,” said Gayle about how winning at the UK Graphic Awards last year helped company growth.

As a result, the Grapefruit Graphics team has also focused on reconstructing their entire website, realising the importance of online presence and the recognition they’ve received after the ceremony. 

“We weren’t expecting to win the award, just to be nominated was quite exciting for us. To hear our name being shouted out and to take the team up on stage to get our photographs taken was really memorable, something that I will remember forever.  It was definitely one of the most exciting things in terms of our business last year.”

Perfect timing

The sporting event industry needed the right boost last year. Fortunately, the UK Graphic Awards came at the perfect time and gave everyone something to look forward to and celebrate within the industry. 

“For anyone thinking of entering the awards this year, my advice would be 100% go for it. You just never know what you might win. The experience we had of winning the award, well, it’s just been fantastic. Don’t be too humble. If you’re really proud of a project, certainly go for it, and hopefully, we will see you at the next dinner,” said Gayle. 

This year, we’re looking for stand-out examples of event branding at large-scale live events. Eligible projects for this category include sporting events, music festivals, industry conferences, and other live events. Projects will be judged on five areas: meeting the brief, creativity, complexity, sustainable choices, and overall visual impact. Entrants have nothing to lose — it’s free to enter! Enter here