Strengthening teams with new appointments

Westminster Venue Collection member venues, Regent’s and King’s Venues – Bush House, announce key appointments this month.

Regent’s Conferences and Events is delighted to welcome a new conference and events coordinator to its team, Filippo Viti. Filippo joins the venue from a similar role at Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts. At Regent’s Filippo’s main function is to manage external client relations, from initial sales to planning and on-the-day execution.

Originally from Italy, Filippo has a Masters degree in business communication. He has previously worked as a lecturer and for a communications company before moving to London nine years ago.

Rachel Azzopardi, head of catering and events at Regent’s Conferences and Events said, “We are so pleased to have Filippo as part of the Regent’s Conferences and Events Team. His enthusiasm and flair have already been clear to see and I know he’s going to have a hugely positive impact on all the events he’s involved with.”

LaiHa Diamond joins King’s Venues as venues and events sales manager for King’s Venues – Bush House. In her new role, LaiHa leads the proactive sales and marketing strategy to increase market share in the hospitality market.

With 18 years of experience across PR, marketing, event management and sales, LaiHa joins from Kingsway Hall Hotel where she was senior proactive sales manager. Other previous places of work include, Town Hall Hotel in Shoreditch and the Hotel Indigo Earls Court. LaiHa’s experience lies in establishing and growing client relationships across the hospitality, travel and MICE sector.

Harry Warner, head of sales and marketing at King’s Venues commented, “We are delighted that LaiHa has joined our Sales team. LaiHa’s vast experience and knowledge in the hospitality industry with strong connections across key event agents, PA’s and planners will be invaluable. This will allow King’s College London to increase its brand positioning as an academic venue in the hospitality and MICE industry.”

8 Northumberland Avenue’s five top tips for a secure event

This month 8 Northumberland Avenue shares its top tips to ensure the safety of both private and public events and how to stay diligent:

  1. Work with dedicated security firms

Choosing a low budget firm could cost you later if they mishandle an incident and someone is hurt as a result

  1. Determine your event’s security needs

A security expert can advise you on how many security staff you need for the number of attendees

  1. Advise guests of event security policy

If your speakers or guests include high-profile personnel, you may want to implement a no-phone policy at the venue to prevent attendees from snapping unauthorised photos

  1. Screen guests and staff

Ensure that all attendees and staff have their IDs ready and that their names are on the guest list. Your security staff should be prepared to turn away anyone who has not been invited

  1. Have medical staff onsite

Proper event planning in London calls for onsite medical staff at higher-capacity events. They can immediately attend to unexpected medical emergencies and the higher-profile your event, the greater the risk of an incident. If you’re working with a budget, allocate generously towards event security

For more information about 8 Northumberland Avenue’s events, contact the team here or on 0203 263 1011

Broadway House explore the true value of gold

Following Broadway House’s recent Gold award in BDRC’s VenueVerdict Accreditation Scheme, Amanda Sutton, venue manager at EEF Venues’ BDRC and AIM Gold-rated Broadway House, shares insight into how achieving gold benefits events and return on investment.

A warm glow

Great customer service starts with tuning into needs and wants. It’s also about being warm, welcoming and anticipating clients’ requirements. A gold rating is based entirely on the voice of customers, so showing a venue’s absolute commitment to making the customer journey enjoyable and memorable. Delegates will remember how they have been treated. If you want a venue partner driven by customer service excellence, go for gold.

Shiny, happy delegates

The quality of the food at a venue can have a significant impact on overall satisfaction levels – and can even compensate for other weaker elements of the experience. If it is poor, there is every chance that it may bite you right back by word of mouth.  Share your vision with the venue team to give a clear specification of your expectations so that they understand your ethos and standards. By choosing a gold-rated venue you can expect well thought-out, balanced menus that reflect the seasons and contemporary eating trends. Find out if the venue uses farm assured meat and if the fish served comes from sustainable sources.   Traceability, due diligence and health & safety kite marks all tell a story of a venue with high food standards.

A glittering performance

You should be looking for proactive support, advice and attention to allow you to get on with delivering your event without having to be concerned with any administrative or technical issues. Industry benchmarking schemes like AIM and BDRC ensure consistently high standards and best practice, from the expertise and professionalism of the venue team to the quality of the facilities, technology and the overall venue experience.

Worth its weight

A little due diligence before making a booking could make a big difference to your budget and ROI. Ask about any hidden extras. For example, at Broadway House, flipcharts, projectors, laptops and microphones are all available on a complimentary basis. Again, it’s all about world class customer service. But the return of investment on your event goes far beyond net profit. It covers everything from client and delegate satisfaction to reputational awareness and enhancement. If you are looking for better control of the outcomes and less risk, choosing gold is invaluable because peace of mind is everything.

Cavendish Venues showcase at Buyers Network Club

Cavendish Venues exhibited at the Buyers Network Club (BNC), securing 31 enquiries and generating 260 new contacts.

The event, which took place last month at The Brewery, offers a great opportunity to network with other event professionals. Paul Martins and Mariam Khan were delighted to speak to so many event buyers on Cavendish Venues’ stand.

Church House hosts special reception for honoured British Citizens

The British Citizen Awards chose Church House Westminster to host its bi-annual awards reception for the fourth year running, on Thursday, 25 January.

The event at the Westminster venue took place in the Assembly Hall, and a presentation ceremony followed at the House of Lords. 36 individuals were recognised for the exceptional impact they have had on the community and presented with a British Citizen Awards Medal of Honour.

Hosted by Matt Allwright, eight individual category medals were presented for services to industry, education, arts, business, healthcare, volunteering and charitable giving, community and international achievement. All categories are underpinned by the overarching qualities of transparency, integrity, determination and achievement.

General Manager, Robin Parker commented: “We were delighted to welcome back the British Citizen Awards to Church House, we have hosted the post-awards reception since its inaugural event in 2015, and it is always a pleasure to be involved in such an inspiring event.”

Church House Westminster is one of London’s most versatile event venues. The AIM Gold accredited venue offers 19 flexible event spaces, which accommodate between 2 and 664 guests, and hosts a wide variety of events including meetings, conferences, awards ceremonies, gala dinners and receptions.

For more information call 020 7390 1590 or click here.

QEII Centre hosts illuminating showcase of excellence

More than 200 event planners came together at London’s QEII Centre on Tuesday, 6 February to see the venue present a sparkling showcase of its flagship evening events space.

One of central London’s largest event venues, the QEII Centre invested in the refurbishment of its fifth and sixth floors as part of a £12m capital investment project, creating a combined space perfectly suited to evening receptions, banqueting events and award ceremonies.

Guests arrived into the Cambridge room on the fifth floor through a glimmering tunnel of lights, to see the blank space area totally transformed into a classy cocktail bar ‘The Light Lounge’, where they sipped on lychee and violet martinis and matcha mojitos.

Event theming partners Event-Trees pulled out all the stops to use the theme of ‘illumination’ to showcase the versatility of the event spaces, with a rainbow-coloured backlit staircase leading the way to the sixth floor Mountbatten, where the views of the London city skyline were almost as dazzling as the room itself.

Lit with the warm glow of bejewelled chandeliers, branches radiating light and glowing orbs as table centrepieces, it was a world away from the traditional conference set up many were used to seeing, and provided the ideal backdrop for the three-course dinner served by QEII’s in-house caterers, QEII Taste by Leiths.

Speaking at the event, chief executive of the QEII Centre Mark Taylor said: “Creativity has always been part of the fabric of this great building; it’s one of those stimulating environments that fires the imagination and allows truly imaginative ideas to turn into reality. It’s not just the rooms or the stunning views that spark the imagination and make clients return time and again, it’s also our continued commitment to the latest cutting-edge event production that’s helping brands push the boundaries.”

More information about the QEII Centre can be found here.

Well-read: Westminster Venues Collection highlights literary connections in celebration of World Book Day

Westminster Venues Collection (WVC) reveals it’s a hotbed of literary interest in celebration of World Book Day.

To coincide with the international celebration on 1 March, some of the marketing consortium’s 34 venues tell their own stories of these special connections, which include The Chronicles of Narnia author C.S Lewis, James Bond creator Ian Fleming and poets Sylvia Plath and Andrew Motion

Regent’s Conference and Events at Regent’s University London and poet Sylvia Plath

American poet Sylvia Plath was a frequent visitor to Regent’s Park when she lived in Primrose Hill following her marriage to British poet Ted Hughes in 1956. Her visits to Queen Mary’s Rose Garden, situated immediately opposite Regent’s Conference and Events, inspired the creation of a poem with the same name, which appears in the notes section of her Collected Poems.

Regent’s University London offers a range of meeting and function rooms alongside multiple outdoor spaces in 11 acres of private grounds within Regent’s Park. Rooms include the Tuke Theatre with room for 370 delegates; The Refectory with dining facilities for 200 and Herringham Hall for meetings of 120.

St Martin in the Fields and poet Andrew Motion

Former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion wrote a poem to mark the completion of St Martin’s renewal project, which took place between 2006 and 2008. The verse is inscribed on the railings of The Lightwell and says:

Your stepping inwards from the air to earth

Winds round itself to meet the open sky

So vanishing becomes a second birth.

Fare well. Return. Fare well. Return again.

Here home and elsewhere share one mystery.

Here love and conscience sing the same refrain.

Here time leaps up. And strikes eternity

St Martin’s in the Fields, on the north east corner of Trafalgar Square, has two conference spaces:  The Crypt and the Gallery and three meeting rooms.

10-11 Carlton House Terrace and C.S Lewis

10-11 Carlton House Terrace, once the former residence of Prime Minister William Gladstone, is home to The British Academy, the UK’s national body for the humanities and social sciences. The Chronicles of Narnia author C.S Lewis was made a Fellow of The British Academy in 1955 (although The British Academy was not headquartered at 10-11 Carlton House Terrace at this point).

10-11 Carlton House Terrace can hold conferences, board meetings, training events seminars, lectures, private dining events and weddings for between 10 and 500 people.

116 Pall Mall and Ian Fleming

Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, was a regular visitor to this prestigious address during World War II when it was known as the United Service Club. Fleming, who wrote 12 novels and two collections of short stories, served in the Naval Intelligence Division as Lieutenant Commander RNVR and is said to have had lunch in the dining room every week.

116 Pall Mall, designed by renowned architect John Nash, offers five floors of entertaining space and can accommodate 10-1,000 guests. The space available to hire includes subterranean brick vaulted wine bar, the grand dining room with views over Pall Mall, and two floors of modern conference/meeting suites, boasting state-of-the-art facilities and equipment.

Commenting on WVC’s connections to the literary world, WVC chair and sales and marketing director of the QEII Centre Diane Waldron, said: “The forthcoming arrival of World Book Day gave us an exciting chance to delve into the connections our London venues have with leading figures of the literary world.

“In some way the unique styles and varied subjects covered by each of these authors and poets reflects the scope of our offering at WVC. Whatever the requirements an event booker may have – from an intimate gathering in a Grade 1 listed building to a conference.”

Investigate a new teambuilding activity at Conrad London St James

Conrad London St James Hotel is calling on all budding crime solvers with the launch of its new delegate detective experience.

Inspired by the property’s location near to New Scotland Yard, on the Victoria Embankment, Conrad London St James is working in partnership with The Detective Project to provide an activity-led themed teambuilding exercise, around the science of crime solving.

Run by former Scotland Yard trained detectives and Metropolitan police officers, delegates will practice skills such as chromatography and finger print testing whilst kitted out in forensic suits, in a dedicated crime investigation room at the hotel.

For more information about the hotel’s interesting new activity, contact the team here.

Westminster Venue Collection remain in the spotlight

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) 71st Awards ceremony took place in London on Sunday and Westminster Venue Collection (WVC) revealed its members have experienced up to a 30% increase in film location enquiries in 2017.

With fashionable townhouses and private members’ clubs, luxury hotels, celebrated attractions, historic institutes and societies among the 34 members based in London’s iconic City of Westminster, it is no wonder an impressive 86% of the venues have been used as filming locations.

Keen cinema-goers will recognise the House of Commons (HoC) playing a starring role this year in ‘The Darkest Hour’ – a film about the life of Winston Churchill, which has impressively tallied nine nominations. The HoC is no stranger to the big screen with the Palace of Westminster playing host to Suffragette (2015) and the external river and terrace view featured in the latest James Bond Film, Spectre (2015).

One Great George Street (OGGS) has provided a backdrop in an array of films such as Woman in Gold (2015), War Machine (2017) and Wonder Woman (2017). Against over 2,000 other applicants, OGGS gained further recognition among global industry peers by scooping the award for ‘The World’s Most Prestigious Film Location Venue’ at the global Prestigious Star Awards

Other productions have seen WVC member venues providing key locations for the big and small screen such as Thor (2011) Mr Selfridge (2012) Edge of Tomorrow (2014), The Theory of Everything (2014), Denial (2016) BBC television series Who Do You Think You Are? ITV’s Downtown Abbey, Netflix series The Crown and the nation’s favourite wizarding series, Harry Potter.

Diane Waldron, WVC chair and sales and marketing director of the QEII Centre, commented on the trend: “With such a host of versatile, unique and historical buildings all in once place, Westminster Venue Collection allows for a one-stop-shop for those seeking a great London location for any purpose. We are thrilled with the film and television projects our eclectic mix of venues have been involved with this year and look forward to a prosperous year of partnerships in 2018 and beyond.”