116 Pall Mall hosts record number of agents at mia’s Connect Agent Dinner

A record number of agents and venues came together at 116 Pall Mall to enjoy a productive debate over dinner at the Meeting Industry Association’s (mia) Connect Agent Dinner last month.

Glowing praise from the 75 attendees of the event at 116 Pall Mall on 11 November proved that both venues and agents found it hugely beneficial to network within such an informal setting.

Guests attending the event were welcomed with a drinks reception before being given the chance to debate the industry’s hottest topics and pose burning questions over dinner.

Topics discussed on the night included sustainability and single-use plastics; preferences of RFP presentation; thoughts on industry exhibitions and events and what agents can do to make venues’ role simpler.

To ensure questions were answered fully and to maximise networking opportunities, each table was hosted by a different agent, with agents moving tables in between courses.

The event was heavily attended, attracting a record number of agents, who included Venues for Business, Conference Care, Right Angle Events, Hospitality Guaranteed and Venue Queen.

Feedback from attendees was hugely positive with many praising the format of the event and the quality networking opportunities.

Kathleen Edwards, head of venues at glh Hotels, praised the ‘great format’. She said: “The networking prior to dinner was superb. The canapé dessert was a great idea and gave more opportunity to network rather than being sat at a table all evening. Our table champion Rhiannon Thomas was exceptional in managing the table, ensuring conversations were balanced and feedback was rich.”

London Transport Museum’s 1938 stock hosts filming for The Outnet Christmas advert

The Outnet has premiered its 2019 Christmas advert, featuring London Transport Museum’s beautiful 1938 stock.

The advert sees models marking every special moment in the run up to the festive season. From family movie nights, tonights out with friends, the trusty 1938 stock is seen ferrying the group about in style.

When it was introduced in 1940, the 1938-Stock was the most advanced electric tube train in the world. The last 38-stock retired from service in 1988, six weeks short of 50 years’ service and is a great backdrop to shoot magical memories.

Regent’s Conferences & Events wins Best Outdoor Space at Academic Venue Awards 2019

Regent’s Conferences & Events has been named the winner of Best Outdoor Space at the 2019 Academic Venue Awards.

The venue offers a unique private outdoor space within Regent’s Park, comprising of four acres of lush foliage, shrubs, flowers and trees which create a magical setting for parties of up to 1,200 guests. This summer alone has seen 13,000 guests visiting the York Lawns for weddings, family fun days, corporate summer parties, team building events, conferences, graduation and garden parties, demonstrating the tremendous versatility of the venue.

Innovative catering, first-class customer service and impeccably kept grounds with an ivory-lined marquee for the summer months have all helped attract a wide variety of creative events to the York Lawns, from wellness retreats and petting zoos to bootcamps and funfairs.

For an events venue so reliant on its environment, the four acres of outdoor space is a pivotal driver of Regent’s’ green credentials. While the main lawns are kept immaculately tidy throughout the year, biodiversity is largely encouraged in a designated section of the gardens, where the grass is left long and fallen Autumnal leaves are blown into the wild area. Aside from accommodating a variety of events for guests on the lawns, one of the venue’s hospitable initiatives extends to a bug hotel, a log pile built up for endangered stag beetles to feed off the deadwood.

Work is undertaken to ensure that any chemicals used in the gardens are biodegradable, and an efficient irrigation system is in place to minimise water waste. In addition, any garden waste is used to create compost. Anything that has to be cut down is re-used for nutrients and protection on the soil over winter.

Church House Westminster named most innovative and tech-friendly venue at Event Technology Awards

Church House Westminster scooped the award for ‘Most Innovative and Tech-Friendly Venue’ at the 7th annual Event Technology Awards which took place on 6 November 2019.

The prestigious event, which recognises leading event tech companies from all over the world, presented 32 awards during a ceremony held at Troxy, London.

The award was judged on what technology Church House has integrated into its offering and how clients have benefited from the new technology. Testimonials from new and repeat clients demonstrated the successful installation of new event technologies in Church House Westminster and subsequent efficiency of the in-house audio-visual team in terms of exceeding client expectations.

Collecting the award on the night, Bradley Hill, Audio-Visual Manager of Church House Westminster, said, “New lighting, a new encrypted microphone system and a new floating screen are just some of the recent modern facilities we have installed in the venue, with sympathetic consideration to the historic building. The in-house audio-visual team expertly anticipates client requirements and offers value-added solutions as we seek to deliver new ways of producing conference messages and interactive presentations to end-users”.

Robin Parker, General Manager of Church House Westminster, commented, “We are delighted to have won this award. We have invested significantly in our event technology over the last five years, and effectively taken a historic venue and blended it with the latest technology. Our in-house audio-visual team really deserves this special acknowledgment for their ability to work so efficiently with our clients and dedicated event coordinators in creating extraordinary events”.

Co-founder of Event Technology Awards, Adam Parry, commented: “Each year we welcome back industry figures who return year after year and fresh faces who are either new to the industry or new to the Event Tech Awards. This night is always the highlight of the event calendar – so many people make their way to London to help celebrate the accomplishments of their peers”.

For more information please call 020 7390 1590 or email sales@churchhouseconf.co.uk.

The London Library hosts fundraising Gala

On Wednesday 6 November, The London Library had the pleasure of welcoming guests to a Gala Evening hosted by its President Sir Tim Rice.

The event was arranged to raise funds for the Library and in particular for its Emerging Writers Programme which was launched early this year to support aspiring writers at the start of their literary careers.

The evening began with a literary treasure hunt in the amazing “Backstacks” (pictured). Then over dinner in the beautiful Reading Room the Cantabile vocal quartet performed a range of literary-themed songs. Guests were also treated to readings by actor and comedian John Sessions and by cast members of the Victoria television series.

Throughout the evening there was an ongoing silent auction and following the dinner former Trustee, Philip Hook hosted a live auction. The lots included holidays, private tours of exhibitions, signed limited edition books, opportunities to meet authors and much more. All lots were generously donated by a range of individuals and organisations in support of the Library.

The gala has helped to raise £60,000 through ticket sales and donations.

If you are interested in hosting a dinner or similar event at The London Library, get in touch at venuehire@londonlibrary.co.uk.

Global impact of events under the spotlight at QEII roundtable event

The QEII Centre hosted a recent roundtable event to discuss the impact of business events on a global scale.

Following on from an economic impact study by Grant Thornton which revealed gross expenditure associated with events held at the QEII Centre has contributed £327.5m to the UK economy, the centre brought a panel of industry representatives together to discuss the wider impact of events around the world.

Taking part in the debate was Mark Taylor, chief executive of the QEII Centre; Fiona Macdonald, senior manager business events at VisitBritain; Caroline Mackenzie, director of Global Association Partners; and Emma Cashmore, founder and director of Axis Travel Marketing. The roundtable was moderated by Natalie Blachford, senior account manager at Custard Communications; and James Bogle, marketing manager at the QEII Centre.

The discussion began by looking at what impact events have, and it was agreed that the economic impact is the most often referred to and easiest to measure outcome.

Events aren’t just contributing to economies though, as Emma Cashmore said: “Events drive economies – with the destinations I’ve worked with you see how the industry can aid infrastructure in terms of improved transport and accommodation. In Colombia for example, hosting the One Young World Global Summit last year has led to a substantial increase in five-star hotels which then benefit the tourism industry for years to come.”

Education was identified as another key long-term positive impact of events, albeit one that is harder to quantify.

Leveraging sector profile and growth was also talked about as a benefit of events, with London Tech Week used as a prime example of that, as not only is it generating economic value, but it’s helping to drive the image and reputation of London as a tech city. Fiona Macdonald explained: “The reason Tech Week is important to London is because tech is a significant sector for the city, it isn’t only because of delegate spend.”

Looking to the future, the participants in the roundtable agreed that measuring the full ROI of an event is key, considering that different stakeholders are looking for different returns as a measure of success. Trade and investment were cited as ‘the missing piece’ currently, but with initiatives such as JMIC’s Iceberg, the industry is striving to do better and prove the value that everyone working in it already knows to exist.

Royal guests visit St Martin-in-the-Fields for National Emergencies Trust launch

St Martin-in-the-Fields welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to a very special event at its venue last month.

The event followed a string of previous royal visitors, including HRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and even Her Majesty the Queen back in 2015.

On Thursday 7 November, St Martin-in-the-Fields hosted the launch of the National Emergencies Trust (NET). The NET will collaborate with charities and other bodies to raise and distribute money and support victims at the time of a domestic disaster.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were in attendance to support the NET and commend the Charity Commission and associated charities for their work together on the project. Other guests at the event included Tim Henman, John Herriman (CEO of NET), Baroness Barran, Thelma Stober and Lord Dannatt.

Imperial Venues unveils flexible conference and seminar space

Imperial Venues, part of Imperial College London, has unveiled a new highly flexible conference and seminar space, for up to 113 delegates, at its South Kensington campus.

The Blackett lecture theatre has recently been transformed into an innovative space, based around an interactive group-based layout. By utilising group seating rather than a traditional theatre style, the space facilitates and encourages group work and discussion.

The space also follows ‘accessibility by design’ principles including multiple wheelchair places; entry ramps; power and data points to all seats; as well as new digital technologies to help lip reading and sign language interpretation software.

Further lecture theatre upgrades are planned over the next two years.

Cavendish Venues pledges donation of hot meals to Foodinate

Cavendish Venues will be donating a hot meal to charity for every hot meal served at the venue.

Cavendish Venues are delighted to announce that from January 2020 through to May 2020 (initially) the venue will cover the cost of a hot three-course meal for a local disadvantaged person. The venue has teamed up with The Upper Room and Foodinate to provide this. If you book a conference for 200 attendees during this period, you will be helping to feed 200 homeless people during some of the coldest months of the year.

We live in the 7th richest country in the world yet 13,000,000 people in the UK live below the poverty line, one in six parents have reported going without food so they can feed their families. This is a tragedy and we have a responsibility to do what we can to address this. The hot meal is backed up with one to one support for those needing additional support, this can take many forms, a friendly ear or signposting and referring to various external partners who can help with issues such as housing / benefits and physical and mental health services.

Cavendish Venues acknowledge a responsibility to the communities we operate in and have this year further deepened a commitment to sustainability. The venue has built on the zero to landfill commitment by seeking to further localise the venue’s supplier base, and Cavendish’s newest initiative is to only buy English wines. Similarly, earlier this year Cavendish teamed up with Country Landowners Associations to plant 250 trees in Dorset. Other initiatives this year include sponsoring the Society of Women Artists Annual Sculpture award and sponsoring an Under 16’s football club, along with 50 + additional charities that Cavendish Venues have donated to so far this year.

Vibrant views of Westminster

Westminster Venue Collection provides a viewing platform to some of Westminster’s most iconic and spectacular views from many of its member venues. With Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Bridge, The London Eye and a vast stretch of The River Thames adorning the borough, there’s much to be admired aesthetically.

{10-11} Carlton House Terrace

The Grade I-listed {10-11} Carlton House Terrace, home to The British Academy offers five floors of versatile space designed by renowned architect John Nash to give some of the best views of St James’s Park, Whitehall and the Mall from the former residence of Prime Minister William Gladstone. The grandeur of the views is reflected in the striking regal architecture of the venue.

Bateaux London

Housed on The River Thames itself, Bateaux London boasts striking, open panoramic views of London, with Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and further reaching snippets of London life visible from both of its two vessels. Designed to bring the outside in, views can be enjoyed with both outdoor and indoor events hosted on the Glass Room and the River Room.

Church House Westminster

One of the capital’s true hidden gems, Church House Westminster is set within the peaceful and green Dean’s Yard, offering stunning views of Westminster Abbey and only a few minutes’ walk from London attractions including Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament and St James’s Park.

Houses of Parliament

The Houses of Parliament offer 13 event venues, ranging from dining rooms with an historic Pugin design, to the Terrace Pavilion, a purpose-built marquee with panoramic glass doors for uninterrupted views of the River Thames. The venues are able to accommodate between 10 and 200 guests.

IET London: Savoy Place

The exclusive roof terrace of IET London: Savoy Place on the banks of The River Thames boasts 180° views across the iconic London skyline, capturing a wide stretch of aesthetic landmarks. Spectacular by both day and night, the rooftop space lends itself perfectly for receptions and photography shoots.

National Gallery

Twenty-two metres high, the National Gallery’s rooftop has multiple balconies with panoramic views, making an excellent location for live broadcasts and commercial filming. Up among the birds, the views reach Westminster, Pall Mall and St-Martins-in-the-Fields. It is a perfect place to capture the vibrancy of central London.

Prince Philip House

Located in the heart of royal London, with views over the Mall and St James’s Park, Prince Philip House is part of the neo-classical John Nash terrace built in the early 1800s and is the historic home of the Royal Academy of Engineering. The venue’s hidden gem, the roof terrace accommodates 250 guests for summer receptions looking for an exceptional backdrop across Westminster.

The QEII Centre

The QEII Centre offers panoramic views of London from its sixth floor Mountbatten flexible events space. The floor-to-ceiling windows look out over the city skyline with views of all of its most iconic attractions, including the London Eye, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, creating a perfectly Instagrammable backdrop for any event.