In September we set ourselves a significant challenge; to raise money for Hospitality Action by setting a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® title for the largest number of simultaneously illuminated Christmas Trees ever, all in different hospitality locations around the UK . The project aimed to highlight the fact that, whilst for most people, Christmas is a magical time of year, for many hospitality workers it’s the busiest, most pressurised time in the calendar. Worst still, for those experiencing in-work poverty, it’s a time of huge financial stress.
The interest, enthusiasm and support we have received has been inspiring. However, following the feedback that we’ve received from many operators, we’ve come to realise that in order for the campaign to reach its full potential, they’d prefer to have more time to build this activity into their communications schedules, and make sure they maximise its PR value.
In discussion with supporters, industry bodies and in conjunction with our partners The Caterer and GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS®, we’ve decided that the best way to do justice to our ambition, is to postpone THE GREAT BIG CHRISTMAS TURN ON for a year, to give all partners enough time to build on our current success.
We want to set the bar even higher than we’d originally dreamed. So, our aim is to use the extra time, to enlist the support of as many venues and attractions that employ hospitality workers, as is possible. More time will enable us to exceed the expectations for the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® title attempt, raise as much money as we can for hospitality people in difficulty and create an international festive event, next December.
We very much hope you’ll allow us to count on your support for 2020 and continue your commitment to make THE GREAT BIG CHRISTMAS TURN ON an unforgettable and spectacular hospitality industry event.
For any 2019 signees that have already paid, VIVID can either organise for an immediate refund, or hold donations in escrow for 2020. If VIVID do not receive instructions, donations will be held by default, and any interest raised will be passed to Hospitality Action.
We are going to turn on the largest number of simultaneously illuminated Christmas trees ever, all in different locations around the UK.
In conjunction with Hospitality Action, THE GREAT BIG CHRISTMAS TURN ON is also going to raise thousands of pounds for those of our colleagues that need help, advice and support whenever times get tough, and particularly at this time of year.
We hope that together we can achieve a total of more than 1000 Christmas trees, spread far-and-wide in hospitality venues across the country, and all then simultaneously bursting into light in December 2020.
The trees will be located in hotel receptions, hospital common-rooms, pubs, gardens & terraces, or in-fact anywhere that a beautifully illuminated Christmas tree is ready to be lit up, in a spectacular simultaneous switch-on.
It will be simple for venues to take part. Re-visit this page in January 2020, complete the sign-up form and pledge £99. All proceeds go to Hospitality Action.
Each participating location will receive a unique smart plug, powered by VIVID Hospitality Solutions. We’ll also provide some information on how to make the most of the marketing opportunity, and after the turn-on we’ll send a commemorative certificate, to honour the venue’s part in the event.
VIVID Hospitality Solutions are partnering with Hospitality Action and The Caterer to create THE GREAT BIG CHRISTMAS TURN ON. The big turn-on will use VIVID’s cloud technology, paired with special socket adaptor plugs designed and manufactured by the VIVID team.
THE GREAT BIG CHRISTMAS TURN ON has always been about raising as much money for Hospitality Action as possible.
Whilst we have receieved hundreds of sign ups for the 2019 campaign (thank you again to everyone who has supported the event) we were told by multiple prospective partners that they would prefer more time, in order to make the most of the marketing opportunity.
We believe that we can raise much more money for the charity by undertaking the record attempt in the winter of 2020.
There are two choices:
Thank you for your support. The VIVID team will contact you in 2020 to process the payment, or otherwise please contact us via one of the methods below, if you would rather not participate in 2020.
A new sign-up form will be posted on this web page from January 2020. The sooner that 2020 participants then sign up, the better, as that will help VIVID and Hospitality Action to minimise expense and maximise donations.
(To confirm that if you have signed up for 2019 and do not tell us otherwise, then we will automatically roll your sign-up onto the 2020 campaign. Thank you in anticipation).
GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® has kindly agreed to postpone their support until 2020 too. This will allow THE GREAT BIG CHRISTMAS TURN ON record attempt to be even larger, and for us all to raise even more money for Hospitality Action.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Hopefully any Turn-On events can still be undertaken if venues would like to; albeit without participation in a wider event.
Hospitality Action shaker tins can still be used at any individual Turn-Ons; please contact Giuliana Vittiglio at Hospitality Action if you would like to do so (020 3004 5500, GVittiglio@hospitalityaction.
Should any venue wish to discuss other options, then please initially contact the VIVID team via one of the methods below.
Any venue or partner, operating in or alongside the hospitality industry.
So, for example: hotels, apart-hotels, hospitals, care homes, pubs, restaurants, private rental, gardens & terraces or anywhere that good hospitality is on offer.
VIVID Hospitality Solutions is a partner supplier to the hospitality sector, and other partners are also very welcome to participate, so designers, architects, consultants, contractors, procurement specialists or any business that works with the hospitality sector and has a Christmas tree that needs illuminating.
The smart plug plugs into a standard 13A power socket, and you then plug your Christmas tree’s lights into the smart plug, just as you might with any standard adaptor.
The smart plug has a manual override switch on it, that you can use to turn your Christmas tree’s lights on and off whenever you want to.
YES. The smart plug is compatible with all lighting that is usually powered from a standard 13A socket.
Simply set your tree lights up as described above, and whenever you would like to. When you plug your smart plug in, you can then use the manual override switch on the smart plug to turn your lights on and off.
On the day of the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® title attempt (3rd December) we will ensure that all plugs are centrally turned off prior to the BIG TURN ON.
So, as long as you use the smart plug, you can set up your Christmas tree and lights exactly as you normally would.
Once you’ve signed up above, and made the required donation, we will send the participating venue(s) a smart plug and some simple instructions about how to activate it.
You will also receive a marketing kit, containing information and ideas on how to make the most of the event from a publicity and promotional perspective.
After the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® title has been ratified, you will receive a commemorative certificate to recognise the part that your venue played in establishing the record.
You will receive your smart plug no later than ten days before the record attempt on 3rd December.
Your smart plug should be plugged into a 13A socket (close to where your Christmas tree is situated. Once activated, we will be able to see your smart plug via a central server. At the allotted time of the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® title attempt, we will remotely turn on all activated plugs.
When a smart plug is plugged into a 13A socket it will start generating a small wifi network of its own. The blue light within the power button on the plug flashes continuously.
The person setting up the plug then connects their mobile phone to that new wifi network, and a log in screen will automatically appear on the phone’s screen.
The log in screen guides the user to then connect the smart plug to the venue’s back-of-house wifi network*
Once the smart plug is connected to the venue’s wifi network*, the blue light within the power button remains constantly on and stops flashing. The smart plug is then on-line and activated, and can be controlled by VIVID’s central BIG CHRISTMAS TURN ON server, in readiness for the big turn on.
(*please note that guest wifi services, which require log-in details to be entered via a browser, cannot be used.)
NO, the smart plug is very efficient. It consumes less than 1W of electrical power and very little data from your WiFi network.
YES, but this is usually available as standard with a back-office WiFi service.
In general no. Provided you have the password details for your back-office WiFi, the simple instructions provided will step you through the 2 minute process, which is no more complex than connecting a phone. However, if your back-office WiFi includes additional security that prevents some or all internet access, then you may need some technical help.
The smart plug requires a 2.4GHz, ‘back-office’ WiFi service, with permanent internet access. ‘Back-Office’ means the WiFi service must not use a ‘captive portal’ login page to access the internet, it must be a simple (WPA/2) password. The plug uses IP ports 53 (DNS), 80 and 443 (HTTP) to make an outbound connection to Vivid’s server, no inbound connection needs to be set up. If required for routing, the plug’s MAC address will be printed on the packaging when it arrives.
For an additional £99 donation, we can of course send a second smart plug (or third, or more).
Alternatively, additional lights can be plugged into the smart plug, always being cognisant of the correct management of electrical equipment.
The goal of THE GREAT BIG CHRISTMAS TURN ON, is to raise as much money for Hospitality Action as we can. The campaign does have some costs, but after those are covered, ALL the money raised by donations will be passed to Hospitality Action.
Most of the campaign’s costs are of a fixed total amount, so the more venues that we have participating, the greater the proportion of each £99 donation we can pass on to the charity. We are hoping to raise tens of thousands of pounds, which will make a real difference, particularly at this time of year.
At the alloted time, Jason Atherton will press the button that will activate the signal to all the smart plugs, and which will turn on Christmas tree lights across the country.
GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® require a number of pieces of evidence in order for your part in the record attempt to be included in the overall numbers.
At an allotted time (which will be advised, and which will be prior to the 3rd December), we will switch your tree lights on. At that time, you will need to provide two members of staff, to act as witnesses to the fact that your lights switch and remain on for at least one minute.
You will also need to take a time-stamped video of your tree, to capture the moment that the lights illuminated (this can be done with any camera-equipped mobile phone).
There will effectively be three separate “turn-ons”:
i) The Media Turn On, on December 3rd.
ii) The actual Turn On, which will be ratified by GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS®, and is likely to be 26th November (to be confirmed) – see “WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO TO RATIFY OUR PART IN THE GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® TITLE ATTEMPT?” above, for more details
iii) A test-turn-on prior to the above. This is likely to be a day or two prior to the title attempt and will be advised closer to the date (and once we have a better sense of total participation numbers). The test will take part at a time of day when it will have minimal operational and visual impact.