Street Soccer Women Inspired Gala Lunch
Friday 8 March | 300 Guests

Interview with Sian Downes, Head of Corporate Events & Marketing, Street Soccer Scotland


Photo: Street Soccer Scotland team with Gok Wan

Street Soccer Team with Gok Wan

Could you describe the background of the event?
Street Soccer Scotland have been building up to hosting a lunch on International Women’s Day for several years. We host a large scale Gala Dinner in Glasgow where the guests have been Sir Alex Ferguson and Eric Cantona however we wanted to do something east coast for this event. 

Street Soccer Scotland are really lucky to receive a tremendous amount of support from corporate Scotland so we had many of our sponsors in the room including Burness Paull, Barclays and DataLab but we also has sports governing bodies including Sport Scotland we and also had many third sector and political leaders join us.  

What did your event set out to achieve?
We had two clear goals, to raise awareness of Street Soccer Scotland and our female only programme, whilst also raising vital funds for the organisation. We believe we did both well.

What made you choose the EICC as host venue?
The EICC add a certain amount of credibility to your event plus its ease of location and also the staff are experienced in dealing with high profile VIPs which was very important to us.  We were very well looked after, with EICC team helping us to achieve our sponsorship goals, and kindly obliging us by wearing our Scotch Beef aprons! 

What were the highlights of the event?
Certainly for us, having Dame Anne Gloag DBE join us on stage with BBC reporter Edi Stark was a huge milestone. Not only is Ann an amazing entrepreneur but also an absolute pioneer in the third sector. Her interview was both awe inspiring and moving all in one.

How important is creativity to your event planning process?
Being a charity, creativity becomes second nature, and working with the EICC, for instance on building a DJ booth for Gok Wan so close to the day was brilliant. Corporate events are a competitive market so we strive to deliver excellent and memorable events. 

Where do you look for ideas and inspiration in delivering creative events?
We have a small but very experienced team so we work hard to pull out great ideas from within our people. We also try and think of how each thing we do can be made more fun!

You had a lot of inspiring people attend your lunch - who would be your dream guest for a future event?
I mean, as a football charity it really is hard to see beyond someone like David Beckham, however I would love to host someone like Serena Williams or Valentino Rossi - being a huge MotoGP fan myself!