RSA House launches free venue app for event organisers

RSA House has launched a free venue app for busy event organisers with iPhones and Android devices. The easy-to-use app works as a virtual brochure displaying information about the venue, including its history, 360-degree images of all 13 event spaces, with details of room capacity and seasonal menus.

Easily accessible on the move, the app allows organisers to contact the venue directly via telephone and email with one touch. Organisers hosting an event at RSA House have access to an event specific area within the app called ‘My Event’. This section creates a virtual hub for events which can be accessed by the event organiser and delegates, allowing them secure access to practical information such as the event schedule, a list of invitees and the menu.

Other specified content can be created and uploaded to the section by the venue’s dedicated event manager.

Corporate sales and marketing manager Tim Barrett-Jolley said: “Our app makes the event organiser’s job easier not only in terms of relaying details of the event to attendees, but it also enables them to keep vital information in one place and accessible at all times no matter where they are. It will be very useful for Hybrid Events, whether connecting offices globally or live streaming, as everyone will have access to timings, speakers, breaks – all the important information.”

London Transport Museum injects new flavours with revamped accredited caterer partnerships

By Word of Mouth, Ampersand, Table Talk, Jackson Gilmour and Dish are amongst the caterers now accredited for evening events by the London Transport Museum, following a highly competitive tendering process that saw more than 20 companies apply.

The extension of the venue’s accredited list from three to six caterers is the first supplier shake-up since the museum’s reopening in 2007, following its £22.4 million refurbishment.

Searcy’s, which has been a caterer at the museum since 2007, has also extended its on-site contract for a further two years, with exclusive responsibility for the Upper Deck café bar and the venue’s daytime conference spaces.

“We are delighted to extend our accredited list of caterers at this pivotal time as we head into the 150th anniversary celebrations of the London Underground,” said Julie Bouabbane, venue sales and marketing manager at the London Transport Museum.

Located in Covent Garden’s bustling Piazza, the London Transport Museum captures the very essence of London, celebrating one of the capital’s major icons, the classic red double-decker bus.

During the day, the museum can accommodate meetings and conferences for 15-121 guests. In the evenings, the Museum Galleries provide a spectacular backdrop to receptions for up to 500 and to dinner parties for 180, enabling guests to mingle amongst colourful, interactive displays, iconic posters and vintage vehicles.

For more information regarding the catering at London Transport Museum or to enquire about venue hire, please contact Julie Bouabbane on email at julie.bouabbane@ltmuseum.co.uk or by calling 020 7565 7292.

Jonathan Byrne appointed to drive The Westminster Collection’s industry relationships

A new director of industry relations, Jonathan Byrne, has been appointed to The Westminster Collection board to develop the venue marketing consortium’s relationships with business organisations, trade bodies and associations such as London & Partners, International Special Events Society (ISES), Westminster City Council, MPI and the London Chamber of Commerce.

Byrne, who is chief operating officer of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) at No.4 Hamilton Place, brings 17 years’ experience in events and hospitality to the TWC board. His career portfolio includes the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, where he oversaw the venue’s strategic marketing, sales and business management portfolios as commercial director, Crown Group, where he spent seven years as group sales and marketing director, as well as senior sales and marketing roles at City Inn Hotels, London Catering Services and event caterer Payne and Gunter.

A recent past president of the UK chapter of ISES and a well-known character on the events circuit, Byrne’s new TWC board role as director of industry relations will see him engaging government and industry bodies and associations with the commercial challenges currently facing TWC venues and the events industry as a whole.

As a consortium, TWC brings together and supports a community of prestigious and unique venues exclusively located within London’s City of Westminster. The collection’s member venues range from fashionable townhouses and private members clubs, to luxury hotels, celebrated attractions, historic institutes and societies.

Commenting on the appointment, Wendy Greenhalgh, TWC director of partnerships and business trends, and sales and marketing director at One Great George Street, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Jonathan to the TWC board. His knowledge and expertise of the events industry and long standing loyalty to TWC as a full venue member, combined with his active participation on the events industry networking circuit, will be invaluable to strengthening TWC’s voice on behalf of our London venue members.”

Speaking of his new role, Jonathan Byrne said: “TWC needs to have defined relationships with the whole of the industry that leverage tangible benefits for its members. I’m lucky to have built great rapport with many people over the years and am confident I can engage them to establish or strengthen agreements that have a pragmatic value for TWC, rather than being statements of good intent.”

Central Hall’s VIP winter concert raises funds for Prince’s Trust

Central Hall Westminster’s celebrations of 2012’s successes culminated in an exclusive reception for 150 key clients in November, followed by a rousing winter concert in the ever-dramatic surrounds of the Great Hall.

Eclipse Presentations created a spectacular event setting, replicating the blue snowflake theme of the invitation, while Kudos Know How provided the delicious four course menu and reception.

Headlining the evening were multi-award winning musical theatre stars Elaine Paige and Ruthie Henshall and The City of London Sinfonia, conducted by Michael Collins and Chris Egan, presented a programme of musical theatre and popular classics.

Speaking of the event, Paul Southern, managing director said, “The concert was kindly hosted by Huawei Technologies (UK) and raised a substantial sum towards The Prince’s Trust causes for 2013. We thank all our clients for their continuous support.”

Central Hall Westminster is developing a strong concert and arts portfolio. Recent performances include artists from rock, pop and hip hop genres, such as Laura Marling, Kanye West and classical orchestral works from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and The Houses of Parliament Choir.

RSA completes £3m refurbishment and restoration

The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) has completed a £3m nine-month restoration and refurbishment of RSA House. The venue’s Great Room, Benjamin Franklin Room and ground-floor spaces have been developed in close collaboration with the Fellow-led RSA House Development Committee, Matthew Lloyd Architects and other specialist consultants. The refurbishment amplifies the original appearance of the 18th Century building, whilst providing a technologically advanced space it for the 21st century.

Fixed seating was stripped from the Great Room and replaced with movable seating, transforming the space into a multipurpose area that can be used for a wide range of events including conferences, exhibitions and dinners.

The Great Room staircase is enhanced with a new lighting feature by Troika and includes restoration of the glass mosaic floor discovered under the previous carpet. The ground floor areas now offer a more flexible open plan space which incorporates new informal meeting rooms.

All the rooms at the venue have the latest in technology, from high definition cameras for video streaming and simultaneous recording of live images, to 15 channels of discreet audio, capable of 7.1 surround and beyond alongside HD cinema capable projection.

The refurbishment has improved the technological facilities for visitors, including a bespoke, multi-touch interactive wall within the foyer created specifically for the RSA by Vanguardia. It provides the ability for Fellows and guests to interact with the RSA’s rich content whilst also relaying events live into the space from the Great Room.

Another multi touch wall is featured within the central meeting area, based on an interactive projected image and user gesture recognition.  Events can now be streamed across the web in HD, creating real-time links with audiences in the UK and internationally, with the added provision for external guests to connect in to the event itself.

RSA House comprises 13 event spaces and can cater for large events for 200 and intimate events for between 14 and 50 guests. The House boasts 18th Century Georgian design and was purpose built for the Society in 1774 by the celebrated Scottish architects Robert and James Adam.