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Big freeze is hot success

Area 51 unleashed a new ice age on a plush London hotel, turning one of the world's biggest conferences into a hyper-cool chill-out zone.

The super-freeze transformed the Hilton London Metropole into an incredible giant ice cave as part of a huge recruitment event staged by the social media firm, Linkedin.

It was the most ambitious and far-reaching project that Area 51's design and installation team had ever embarked upon and the results were staggering as people attending the conference were introduced into an auditorium of cryogenic elegance.

The project was created to lend Linkedin's Talent Connect London, Europe's largest-ever corporate recruiting event, a jaw-dropping visual splendour and the challenge was met with aplomb as globetrotting delegates flew in from all over the planet and fell in love with the big chill.

Rich Moore, Area 51 director, explained: "We were approached and asked to come up with something that was different and unique and create a highly memorable design and installation that would impress everyone.

"We are of course renowned for being innovative but this was an amazing project to work on and something of an engineering feat. It was an intense design, build and installation job but the results were brilliantly received by all."

After coming up with such an idiosyncratic concept of overhauling a giant conference space inside the hotel on Edgware Road into a vast, high tech cavern of ice, a 3D scale model was produced to illustrate how it would look.

After a major programme of constructing parts for the cave the Area 51 crew hired a London venue to carry out a trial run to build the cave because they had such a tight time frame to get the actual installation done in time for the conference start.

Rich Moore added: "We felt it was prudent to do this dry run and then iron out any issues or problems so that we would be able to get everything right when it mattered."

The huge ice cave structure was erected first before ice panels were added and then 5,000 litres of snow poured on the to the floor. PC monitors were sunk into the cave walls and a series of other structures including innovative juice and food bars along with other fixtures including unique shelving designs.

Clever tree seats were also added into networking areas allowing conference guests to sit comfortably. Further structures were added including front desks.

Rich Moore continued: "The space had to be open for business by 7am and we had to design the area  for a capacity of 1,200 people of which half could be comfortably seated and then fed during one sitting.

"There were just 36 hours for us from start to finish to get this right and have it look impeccable. The fact this project also came in at our busiest period of the year for Area 51 added further pressures and the amount of work involved was enormous.

"But with a crew of 35 people we managed to get the job done on time and without any hitches.

"Linkedin were delighted with what we did and it was a tremendous success."

The conference was designed to show delegates best business practices and encourage them to make exciting new connections. With an impressive list of guest speakers in attendance, delegates were treated to an inspiring insight into how organisations can be transformed through best in-class talent acquisition.