One Great George Street releases potential new room capacities for future events

One Great George Street has shared its new potential room capacities, which have been carefully considered, taking into account current government guidelines pertaining to social distancing.

The time the world will return to ‘normal’ is currently uncertain, however, the venue has been working to make room for a new ‘normal’, in anticipation of the time it can re-open.

To see the revised capacities, visit:

The nine best mental health podcasts according to Church House Westminster

During the challenges of lockdown and in aid of Mental Health Awareness month last month, Church House Westminster has shared its favourite mental health podcasts.

It’s a challenging time for many of us, making sense of social distancing, and the impact of not seeing loved ones on our well-being. In addition, some of us may have been furloughed, others are trying to work from home during the crisis, some are juggling homeschooling and we’re also rekindling relationships that have previously been neglected as we chased other dreams in our “busy” lives prior to COVID-19.

How have you been looking after your physical and mental wellbeing during lockdown? The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week was kindness. Be kind to yourself, and others. We invite you to take some time for yourself by setting aside an allocated time every day, just for you. Whether it is trying something new, exercising, or sharing your skills. Take a look at our self-care bingo ideas on LinkedIn for more inspiration.

Another great way to boost our wellbeing is to listen to mental health podcasts. Put on those headphones, find somewhere quiet, sit back in your favourite armchair (or comfortably in bed), close your eyes and relax with one of these podcasts.

For the full list of podcasts, visit

IET London: Savoy Place shares top tips for staying true to your brand values at home

Excellence, Integrity and Teamwork; these are the values of the IET, and as such, are mirrored by the events team at IET London: Savoy Place, even in this new and challenging time.

While making the necessary decision to postpone all scheduled events until at least the end of June, our world has by no means stopped. This lull in immediate proceedings has given us the added opportunity to look deeper into the customer experience, how we can apply the latest technology for networking, and how we can adapt future events to cut avoidable costs for clients through digital alternatives.

Our team organises events all over the world, with some as far away as September 2023, so there is always important work to be done. Here’s how we’re practicing our values while working from home, with some top tips on living out your own businesses’ brand values.



Efficient planning means never sitting still. Now is a great opportunity to action that long list of ideas for development that tends to get overshadowed by more urgent necessities in every day working life. It’s time to scrutinise internal strategies and procedures with a fine-tooth comb to ensure efficient online registration processes for events, optimum website usability and tech-based state-of-the-art innovations.

While we talk about physical isolation, we remain limitless in the possibilities of imagination and innovation. A few weeks back, we were part of an online company town hall meeting for over 400 IET staff with a Q&A for everybody to get involved. The meeting was a great practice for us as we gear up for the rise of hybrid events. This is a time of both expansion and refinement to ensure that the moment our doors reopen, we’re accelerating at top speed.

Top tip: As a team, make a list of the ideas and actions that have so far been avoided because of time restraints, not budget restraints. Rank them in order of priority, breaking down both the immediate benefits and the long-term benefits to business. While we’re inclined to prioritise those things that offer a quicker ROI, we should not neglect the bigger picture.



We believe businesses have a social responsibility to consider the needs of the vulnerable during these difficult times, identifying ways to help with the resources they have.  We have opened our doors again at Savoy Place to set up the venue as a rest area for emergency services and key workers for the next few weeks, offering moments of respite with fresh water and use of the private facilities.

In addition, we have spent a lot of time considering our environmental responsibility and are using this period of closure to explore new ways to make both the IET Venues and the events we hold more sustainable for when we re-open. This includes the removal of paper and plastic, working with our sponsors and exhibitors on giveaways, and reviewing our supply chains to ensure we are running the greenest events we can.

Top tip: Now is a great time to re-evaluate how your business can give back to your local community. Keep the momentum going, get in touch with local charities to understand their biggest needs, and look at how you can still deliver on your core values.



A virtual team catch up to stay focused, discuss priorities and assign responsibilities among the team is a great way to start the day, as well as sharing thoughts and cups of tea!

It is important for us that our team remains connected and grounded, and that we build on the great relationship we have when we are in the venue, running events. We normally spend a lot of time together and this hasn’t really changed just because we are working from home – albeit virtually.

Wellbeing has become more important than ever and as such, several initiatives have been implemented to build upon skills and communication, with a central resource hub made available to every team with online learning sessions and virtual discussion groups. Our next session will cover resilience in times of change, developing healthy routines and self-compassion.

Colleagues have also been invited to take part in The Global Wellbeing Challenge, a worldwide initiative to stay fit and mentally well during these extraordinary times. In teams, staff are required to log all activity that keeps them mentally and physically fit; for example, running, painting, reading, and each 10 minutes of activity is awarded one mile. At the end of four weeks, the team that has accrued the most mileage will win a prize.

Top tip: Tough times don’t last, tough teams do! Take the time to regroup as a unit, even when you’re not physically together. Check in on each other. Take part in fun activities. It will make the return to the office environment so much easier.

Regent’s Conferences & Events share its top green tips for World Environment Day

Regent’s Conferences & Events, crowned Best Outdoor Space at the Academic Venue Awards, has shared its horticultural secrets for success during lockdown in celebration of World Environment Day on 5 June 2020.

While the four acres of central London event space has remained temporarily closed to the public, Regent’s has embraced the rarity of silence during lockdown as an opportunity to rebirth a habitat for nature and wildlife to flourish. The venue’s gardening team has been hard at work reaping the environmental benefits of lockdown and keeping on top of the unique tranquillity of the university’s landscaped grounds.

Comprising of pristine lawns, lush foliage, flowers and trees, the gardeners have deemed ‘unrelenting weeding and watering’ as the answer to maintaining the natural magic at Regent’s during closure.

Delving deeper into the depths of Regent’s’ enchanting surroundings and beyond its immaculate appearance, biodiversity has been given a platform to thrive in designated sections of the gardens. Tucked away, grass is left long and fallen leaves are blown into the wild area where wildlife is actively encouraged.

Though guests have been unable to attend events in recent months, the venue’s hospitality has remained rife over at its bug hotel, a log pile built up for endangered stag beetles to feed off the deadwood.

On the formula for building a successful bug hotel at home, Regent’s’ head gardener said: “It is best to allocate a particular area to let wildlife grow, even if it is just a small section of space behind a shed. Grass should be left longer around the base of trees as it creates a safe passageway for the insects that live on the lower parts of the trees. If you can, plant bee-friendly plants around your bug hotel as it will encourage Mason bees who tend to make their homes in naturally occurring gaps and small cavities. The hotel itself is a great way to use rotting wood with little other use, and you can get creative with natural adornments to make it as luxury as you like!”

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.

As the events team continues to work remotely to build upon a sustainable future for the industry, the gardening team has continued on-site to implement practices that help sustain a green environment with physical longevity for events in the future.

10-11 Carlton House Terrace shares how to choose the right London conference venue

Choosing the perfect venue for your London conference is one of the most important decisions an organiser has to make. But conference venue hire in London can be an overwhelming world for even the most seasoned event professionals let alone for an uninitiated rookie. New spaces are launching all the time and it’s worth starting from scratch every time you begin the planning journey for your next London conference venue, whatever your previous experience.

First things first: conference venue deal breakers

London is a big old place, so you need to narrow down your search by using some of your deal-breaking criteria. Perhaps you want to be near a certain tube station, or you have a particularly large number of guests to host or it might be that you know you want a contemporary look and feel to your venue.

Take your one ‘must-have’ and start researching online, bringing in your next couple of priorities if this still leaves you with too many to choose from. Your research at this stage need only be relatively superficial to leave you with no more than 10 options.

You can now start asking the questions that will ultimately lead you to the venue that most suits your next project.

The crucial numbers

There are three Big Numbers every organiser needs to keep in mind at the beginning of any conference venue search: cost, capacity and date.

Is the venue in budget?

The price tag on conference venue hire in London varies wildly, so before you visit any of your favourites make sure you have some upfront conversations with the venue team to avoid wasting everybody’s time. Make sure you ask about catering, furniture hireAV costs and any other extras so you can get an accurate idea of the total spend you’ll be looking at. (Not forgetting to leave a little contingency fund for unexpected extras and last-minute creative ideas).

Read the full article here:

RIBA shares 7 top tips for working from home successfully

Whether you’re a working from home pro or you’re new to the game, RIBA has shared its top tips for adapting to a life of remote working for the foreseeable future.

Whilst for some this might be a total dream, others might be finding this transition tricky. Regardless of which camp you fall into it’s important to build a routine and set some boundaries whilst working at home to help keep you feeling happy, healthy and productive.

Maintain set working hours
It’s easy to lose track of time when you work from home and research has shown that people tend to work an average of two hours longer! Try and keep to normal working hours, starting and finishing at the same time and taking your regular lunch break. Be sure to turn your laptop and work phone off or store them away at the end of the day so you’re not tempted to check your emails. The more you stick to this the more of a habit you’ll be in, and it’ll become easier each day!

Have a to do list
Structure your day. When you are working from home you have to be your own manager and therefore you have to manage your productivity (and potentially those in your team). At the end of each day, look at everything you have achieved and write your to do list and goals for the following day. There’s nothing more satisfying than ticking off jobs on a list, no matter how small they are!

Make a dedicated work area
When deciding where you are going to be working in your home, the best thing to do is to find somewhere that is separate from where you relax. Try and make yourself your own designated working area, even if you don’t have the luxury of a separate room, create yourself a little area with a table and chair – optimise your environment and keep your desk space and area as tidy as possible.

Take breaks
At the office you wouldn’t sit at your desk solidly from 9-5, so make sure you get up and stretch your legs every so often, even if it’s just to go and make a cup of tea! Take a full lunch hour and enjoy an activity that’s away from your desk or laptop -go for a walk (if you’re well) to get your daily dose of Vitamin D, have a little boogie to some music or just call a friend so you’re not tempted to sit at your laptop all day.

Stay connected
It’s easy to feel isolated when you’re not able to leave the house very often so make sure you stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues. Make video calls part of your daily routine and not just to chat about work, try hosting a virtual team lunch or after work drinks to keep morale up!

Use the additional time you’ve gained from not commuting to take up or improve your skillset. Look for online training courses or webinars that will be beneficial to your job and you can add to your CV – perhaps you’ll be able to go for that promotion when all this is over!

With the majority of our day now being spent indoors, it’s important to stay active. It will help to get those endorphins flowing and can be a real mood booster. Lots of gyms and studios are now offering free online classes making it easy to get your daily fix of exercise, from gentle yoga flows to high tempo HIIT sessions. Check out Sports England for a handy list of online exercise platforms and free content!

COVID-19 recovery could make industry even stronger, says QEII Centre chief executive

Mark Taylor, chief executive of the QEII Centre, recently spoke exclusively to M&IT about how he feels the business meetings and events industry’s recovery from the impact of Covid-19, could see it become even stronger…

As Alan Watts said: “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

This concept, I believe, is one that will apply to the business and events industry if it is to be successful. Covid-19 has already forced changes on our organisations, and we must understand these changes, and adapt as we plan our return.

What is apparent is the situation changes rapidly. What looked likely six weeks ago is now looking unlikely. Subsequently everyone’s plans – both organisers’ and venues’ – are continually evolving. This makes it difficult to plan, but we can begin.

Meetings and events associations, trade bodies, organisers and venues around the world are studying the measures they should apply to their operations post-Covid-19. AIPC has just published a Good Practice Guide for reopening, while UFI has released a Global Framework for reopening exhibitions and B2B trade events – both of which draw upon the immense experience from their global memberships.


New reality

The QEII Centre has been on an interesting journey already with Covid-19. I believe we were the first UK venue to have a delegate attend an event in early February, who was subsequently diagnosed with the virus a few days later.

We implemented a range of measures by mid-February: hand sanitisers were installed across all entrances, floors and meeting spaces and increased cleaning frequency measures were in place.

This new hygiene requirement will, in the immediate term, become a new reality, and when the industry re-opens, health and security – ensuring that customer environments are safe and that organisers and delegates are confident in our measures – will be key to success.

We have reviewed additional measures and equipment, including thermal body temperature scanners to read temperatures of anyone entering the venue; hospital standard room disinfection for rooms, furniture and equipment; sneeze screens for reception and registration desks and a catalogue of other operational measures and signage that is all ready to roll out when we get the green light.

Like other venues, we’ve also assessed our meeting rooms from a social distancing perspective. We know this will reduce capacities, but the big question is which guidance on the measurements will apply – 1, 1.5, or 2 metres? By the autumn some think that prescribed social distancing may not be applicable at all, so we will have to wait and see.


Hybrid model

One area that will inevitably become the ‘new normal’ for events, especially those that usually welcome international delegates, is the hybrid model, where delegates can attend the event in person, while others attend online. Like others, QEII is expecting, and is already planning for, the expansion of our internal audio-visual operation and have created event packages offering virtual connectivity and live-streaming of our clients’ events. It is hard to say at this point how much hybrid will become a new norm and for how long.

We have seen some organisations replacing all their live events with digital ones, while others are adamant that streaming will not be part of their event formula because face-to-face contact is paramount. What has been encouraging to see is the progressive approach to business recovery being taken by different cities and nations, based on the timing and severity of the virus’ impact in their region.

I have been genuinely excited by news of recovery elsewhere. Berlin’s large consumer electronics and home appliances fair, IFA, is happening in September and Munich is commencing its trade shows in the same month; Paris will start with smaller events in June and July and larger events from September while Finland will hold some events in June and July, and a fuller programme for August.


Bodes well for recovery

Meanwhile, Austria has implemented new maximum numbers for events with 100 people from 1 June – rising to 250 people by 1 July and then to 500 people by 1 August. This all bodes well for the sector both in the UK and across the globe and provides those countries, who are phased slightly later along the Covid-19 impact curve, some real learning, guidance, and optimism.

While venues across the globe and our clients are planning enhanced hygiene measures, we still can’t be absolutely sure how effective they will be, particularly with the lag time for virus infections so apparent. Therefore, it seems obvious that the concept of organised events, where attendees are tracked, traced and vetted is definitely a positive way for the business events sector to commence the process of recovery. Germany, Australia and Malaysia are among those adopting this principle, and organisers and venues across other countries, including the UK are lobbying for the same approach.

All these factors must be taken into account as we plan for the industry’s re-opening, but most importantly, I think it is essential that the industry works together to ensure its future success. Venues must work proactively with event planners in a stronger, and more collaborative partnership approach.

We all need each other in order to flourish, but in order to do so, it is crucial that all parties act openly and fairly across every area of the supply chain. If we can all adapt to these new measures and ways of working, stay agile and respond to updates, be flexible in accommodating every party’s needs, and support one-another, I think we will do more than successfully rebuild the industry, we will have the potential to make it even stronger.