Co-op Pioneer Awards – Tropical Paradise

Rear view or artificial rainforest co op awards

When The Black Arts Company approached Bright Green to create a grand entrance for guests at the Co-op pioneer awards at Manchester Central we accepted the challenge with gusto. This awards ceremony, hosted by the Co-op food team, was an opportunity for Co-op colleagues and suppliers to celebrate their achievements over the past year whilst raising thousands of pounds for charity. With travel abroad being so limited due to the pandemic the vision for the event was to transport over 1,000 guests, via an airport themed reception complete with X-ray machine, to a tropical rainforest paradise.  

The Central Hall at Manchester Central Convention Complex, formerly the railway station, was a huge blank canvas to transform with 10,000 square metres of column-free space. Working in collaboration with the Black Arts Company we designed an enclosed area of dense artificial rainforest that would meet guests head-on as they entered the venue through an enclosed walkway which was styled to look like an aeroplane boarding bridge. The dense jungle then broke into a clearing with larger artificial palms and trees, a space for guests to mingle and enjoy their welcome drinks. 

With a limited window to install the tropical landscape planning was key and our expert team created islands, built from sculpted foam blocks and dressed in moss, that would form the foundations of the rainforest planting scheme. These islands were easily transported into the venue and planted in situ, packed to bursting with dense and evergreen artificial vegetation. Shorter artificial plants with broad leaves such as philodendrons, alocasias, ficus lyrata, monstera and palms were selected by the team and positioned carefully to create the lush understory of the rainforest. Camouflage netting was suspended above, with artificial vines, old man’s beard, scindapsus, staghorn, ferns and tree branches woven throughout to create an ultra-realistic upper canopy dripping with foliage. Subtle low-level lighting produced the dappled effect synonymous with the sunlight trying to break through the dense roof of the rainforest and a jungle soundtrack set the scene. 

Guests were greeted by an animatronic gorilla hidden within the foliage, which looked very much at home in its new Bright Green habitat. Within the clearing area populated by large, preserved phoenix palms, longifolia, olive and artificial smilax trees an animatronic elephant roamed. These incredibly realistic trees had been built and transported by our team in sections to ensure the installation process was smooth and stress free. The final landscape and its inhabitants produced an immersive experience for all those who attended.  

 Epic in scale and design this is the type of project that Bright Green really embrace. From the delicate live orchid floral arrangements for the dining tables to the large, preserved phoenix palm trees our team had the expertise, vision and flexibility to deliver this sensational tropical jungle with its wealth of artificial flora. We were delighted to work with The Black Arts Company to realise this landscape and create a truly memorable event with extra wow factor.