Church House unveils new identity

From February 29th, Church House Conference Centre will be known as Church House Westminster.

The rebrand forms part of a strategic plan as the venue looks to the future and its continued investment, in particular in the technical facilities of its larger rooms.

Church House Westminster worked with design agency Deep on the rebrand which includes a new logo, a redesign of all marketing materials and the launch of a new website. With a logo inspired by their domed Assembly Hall and black and gold colour scheme, Church House Westminster new branding reflects the quality of the venue.

General Manager Robin Parker commented: “The rebrand is a milestone in the venue’s history. It highlights that we are no longer just a conference centre but a venue that can host a variety of events, from product launches and exhibitions to national consumer events and large award dinners. We wanted our new name to reflect not only this but also our location in the heart of London.

“Since opening in 1991 Church House has established itself as one of the highest quality venues in London known for its exceptional levels of service and friendly staff. Church House may have a new name but we will still be providing our clients and their guests with the same high levels of service that they have come to expect of us over the last 26 years.”

Church House Westminster is an AIM Gold accredited venue, and a frequent winner of the BDRC Gold Standard, placing it amongst a select group to achieve both awards. It has also been recognised for its audio visual capabilities, in which further significant investment is being planned for later in the year.

Church House Westminster is one of London’s most versatile event venues offering 19 flexible event spaces, which accommodate between 2 and 664 guests hosting a wide variety of events including meetings, conferences, awards ceremonies, gala dinners and receptions. For more information call 020 7390 1590 or visit www.churchhouseconf.co.uk.

5 reasons why entering awards is good for business

What’s the story behind awards? Why do we enter them and what does it actually mean to win them in business terms? Diane Waldron, sales and marketing director at the QEII Centre, reveals all.

Last year was truly glittering for so many reasons, but the spangled stash of gold we’ve claimed from multiple awards ceremonies is worthy of special mention. We’ve triumphed at showing our best face to judges in a catalogue of awards that celebrate all specialisms in our business – people, customer service, marketing, catering and leadership.

One year on from our Gold win for Best Large Venue at the Eventia Awards 2014, we’ve achieved incredible momentum, with the QEII Centre having now won and been shortlisted for multiple awards for work across all areas of the business, including being named Best Venue Events Team at the EVCOM Live Awards 2015 (we were ‘Highly Commended’ in this same category in 2014), Best Venue Customer Service at the London Venue Awards 2015 and AV Service Team of the Year at the AV Awards 2015.

QEII Live AV Project Manager Jo Shore was also shortlisted as AV Professional of the Year. The centre also achieved a high commendation at the C&IT Awards 2015 for Best UK Conference Venue and was a finalist in the UK Event Awards, for Corporate Event of the Year and Event Marketing & PR Strategy of the Year, both in respect of the experiential rebrand launch party held in November 2014.

QEII Taste has achieved wins too, with Tomas Varo, Karolina Lewandowska and Kimberley Powell all nominated for the Compass Be A Star Awards. It was here where Karolina won the Can Do Award.

Leith’s also received Silver recognition as Best Food & Beverage Supplier in the M&IT Awards 2015. Let’s not forget Mark Taylor either, whose commitment and drive to modernise the centre saw him win the miaList Leadership Award 2015, an accolade for which we nominated him.

So what’s the story behind awards? Why do we enter them and what does it actually mean to win them in business terms? Here are my five key reasons:

1) We can’t overlook the exceptional impact these recent award wins have had on our overall morale and productivity. Being rewarded for being wonderful customer service experts for example is a big pat on the back for the hard work you all put in to nurturing relationships with our clients.

2) Awards like these don’t surface from ‘PR puff’ – the criteria for entry is strict and much of the judges’ assessments are made via our demonstrations of the impact we’ve had on our customers’ experiences in hosting events here at the centre. It’s our clients’ testimonials, our ability to relay results, our skills at tackling challenges head on and finding solutions and our customer satisfaction and retention statistics that secure votes.

3) Awards reward innovation and systematic planning. Our written entries have to detail step-by-step processes and really lead judges through logical, very visual storytelling to paint a picture of a campaign and most importantly demonstrate its impact and outcomes. We use photography, video, data, quotes and social media conversation. Our PR and marketing agency Custard Communications has offered terrific support to help us achieve this impactful storytelling.

4) Winning business awards is great PR because it demonstrates externally that our centre is excelling. They’re a benchmarking tool, they increase our credibility and through strategic selection of categories, they can successfully highlight areas of the business of which we are exceptionally proud, such as our customer service and our AV credentials.

5) They can open doors to securing new contracts, finding new supply channels and breaking into new markets. They can help us attract new talent too. Ultimately, they help shape perceptions of what we can be and do as a centre, so we’re still celebrating our fantastic wins in 2015 and are hopeful of more mantelpiece bling in 2016!

BAFTA 195 Piccadilly shows you how to bring Hollywood glitz to your next dinner party

With the 2016 EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony fast approaching, BAFTA 195 Piccadilly Head Chef Anton Manganaro has been hard at work designing a menu of mouth-watering canapés to feed the A-list guests assembled for the big night.

This year’s ceremony will see guests wowed by the following quartet of show-stopping canapés: Smoked Lincolnshire Poacher puff with chicken and apple salad, spicy tomato pickle and crispy skin; Loch Duart beetroot cured salmon, rye cracker, bergamot and dill mayonnaise; Lincolnshire hot smoked trout on Tattie scones with crème fraiche and lemon caviar; Crispy dark rye with pickled golden beetroot, pear gel and cranberry granola (vegan friendly).

Happily for those without a ticket to the event on 14 February 2016, Anton has adapted his canapé menu specially for preparing at home. These new recipes are straightforward to follow, allowing you to bring a flourish of Hollywood glitz to your next dinner party. Find them on the 195 Piccadilly website.

Cowdray Hall at 20 Cavendish Square welcomes major fashion house showcases

With London Fashion Week kicking off this month, there is a definite sense of style in the air and 20 Cavendish Square’s newly refurbished Cowdray Hall has captured the attention of the fashion world with such big names as Ralph Lauren, L.K Bennett and Two Danes showcasing their collections at the venue.

Cowdray Hall is an elegant yet flexible space with high ceilings ideal to design a spectacular catwalk or presentation. Alongside it the Council Room has a rich decoration of dark wood panelling, carved pilasters and a beautiful glass domed ceiling, making it an impressive backdrop for a showroom or photoshoot.

Exciting times lie ahead for the venue as London Fashion Week takes off towards the end of this month. For more information please check the venue’s new Fashion at 20 Cavendish Square page.

116 Pall Mall unveils renewed beauty following renovation

Over the past few months, 116 Pall Mall has been undergoing interior and exterior refurbishment to help improve the upkeep of the building and restore its stunning original features.

The front of house reception area now boasts an elegant and accessible reception desk, beautiful period furnishings and the original mosaic floor has been renovated, in-keeping with the unique heritage of the building. Interior designers, Russell Sage Studios, have restored some original features and transformed the ground floor and grand staircase area to reflect the building’s Regency elegance and former glory.

The Purbeck stone colour enhances the building’s beautiful features, taking you back in time as you walk through the front doors. The entire exterior of the building has been repainted and restored and stands out once again as one of the most iconic Pall Mall landmarks.

To view the venue or book a site visit, call 020 7451 3107 or email functions@iod.com.

Central Hall Westminster commits portion of £1.3m profit to charity

In December 2015, Central Hall Westminster announced record profits for its 2014/15 financial year, ending August 2015, resulting in £1.3m being invested in facility improvements, visitor services and charitable organisations.

As a not-for-profit organisation, Central Hall is committed to using substantial profits to develop the building as a visitor attraction and venue, as well as supporting the work of the Methodist Church, which owns the building. In this way, support is provided to a number of local charities including the St. Vincent’s Family Project, a registered charity that operates within Central Hall Westminster.

Speaking of the venue’s performance, Paul Souther, managing director, said: “2014/15 was an exceptionally strong year for the business and we have generated some fantastic profit. This would be a welcome result in any business situation, but it is made all the more rewarding by knowing that every penny is being used to make the building better for visitors and to support important charity work.”

The St. Vincent’s Family Project aims to support young families especially where there are difficulties. It addresses the issues of parenting, child welfare and social exclusion by providing services for parents, carers and children.

Breakfast, Buses and Bond: Covent Garden museums host private tour

Event buyers and fellow TWC members were treated to not one but two venue show-rounds on Tuesday 26th January as neighbouring venues London Transport Museum (LTM) and London Film Museum (LFM) welcomed them to their breakfast showcase.

Attendees were given the unique opportunity to take in the museums’ interactive exhibitions like the LTM’s tube driver simulator almost exclusively, as the event took place outside the venues’ normal opening hours.

Showcasing the versatility of their event spaces, both venues were on hand to answer any questions and highlight the opportunities available for corporate and private hire.

Callum Stott, events coordinator at the Royal Television Society, attended the event and said ‘the event was very informative and it was a pleasure to view the events spaces.’ The showcase was also attended by event buyers and planners from companies such as Film London, Bureau van Dijk and Boo Events.

The Westminster Collection and its members are gearing up for another great year. To keep up to date with the latest events and news subscribe to our newsletter here.