The Grand Appeal Auction at Aerospace Bristol

Bristol has been a much more colourful place this summer thanks to the return of the city's much-loved unofficial mascots - Wallace, Gromit and their arch-nemesis Feathers McGraw.

For two months, The Grand Appeal’s unique sculptures have been dotted in every corner of the city, drawing in millions of visitors, raising vital funds for Bristol Children’s Hospital. Earlier this month, the bespoke sculptures went under the hammer to find a new permanent home as they were auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Hosted at Aerospace Bristol, the Gromit Unleashed 2 auction was proudly sponsored by the venue’s preferred supplier, SLX.

We played a fundamental role in the design and delivery of this particular event. However, this venue proved challenging as it is home to the most renowned form of transport in aviation history – the Concorde.

Taking place underneath the wings of the Concorde, SLX’s CAD engineers designed the event layout to comfortably seat 600 individuals for the charitable auction with a great view of the auctioneer. In addition, we used CAD technology to ensure that there was also enough space for the sculptures, staging, bars and a VIP area.

SLX supplied, provided and operated the PA system, video production featuring a huge projection screen and installed the truss rig and staging for the event, and 10 staff that worked tirelessly on the installation. During the auction, we provided five staff that operated the video, audio lighting and two project managers, Dan and Rich.

Leading project manager Dan George said:

“It’s been a challenging build for us as there’s so much to consider when designing and installing the event infrastructure. However, the team have worked hard to make this event a success.

“It’s a special event that SLX are proud to sponsor and we are thrilled to have played a part in raising over £1.32 million for the Bristol’s Children’s Hospital.

“We’d also like to congratulate all involved with The Grand Appeal trail and auction, their hard work and determination is indispensable to the success of their fundraising trail campaign each year. We couldn’t think of a better charity to be working alongside, especially as a Bristol based company, the whole campaign is close to our hearts.”

The Grand Appeal’s Auction Project Manager, Suzanne Maverick, commented:

“Aerospace Bristol looked absolutely stunning - SLX did the most amazing job transforming the space into something quite spectacular.  The staging was perfect - everyone had a fantastic view of the auctioneer and the screen was huge!  We loved the personalised gobo lights too - what a great touch. 

“As a charity, it's not often you get the full experience that an AV company can deliver, so thank you to everyone involved for the little extras that took this event to the very top.  We've had outstanding feedback from our guests and almost everyone stayed to the very end as they had such a great time.  We couldn't ask for better results!  

“At every step of this event, you went out of your way to be helpful and accommodating and smiled through the whole thing.  You guys are just brilliant!”