Vue West End is reopening its doors for corporate events following months of closure due to COVID-19.
In order to ensure the safety and reassurance of staff, event planners and delegates, Vue West End is adhering to strict new measures in its venue’s meeting spaces. Guests are required to wear a face mask at all times, unless eating and drinking, and a sign-posted one-way directional flow system has been implemented to control interaction throughout the venue.
Hand sanitiser has been made available around the building and enhanced cleaning measures have been implemented, including staff training to confidently deliver the new protocols.
Floor planners are provided to event organisers in order to allocate guest seats, and Vue safety team members are on hand to assist with managing the guests exit for breaks and departure.
Individual microphones are supplied to all necessary speakers, so nobody has to share, reducing shared touch-points wherever possible. Catering has been reassessed to offer lunch bags, canapés and bento boxes for individual consumption.
Lincoln’s Inn has received its ‘Good to Go’ accreditation from Visit Britain as part of preparations to invite guests back into a safe and secure environment at the venue.
The Ashworth Centre provides a perfect setting for small live meetings, complete with hybrid event solutions to extend an event’s reach to a virtual audience. Alternatively, the historic Old Hall also provides a stunning backdrop, a dedicated team on hand, and well-equipped professional supplier partners, lending itself nicely to intimate wedding receptions.
Lincoln’s Inn has worked extensively to put stringent measures in place in time for reopening for events of up to 30 guests, in line with government guidelines and most recent regulations.
116 Pall Mall has successfully reopened its building once again for meetings, weddings, hybrid events and for IoD members.
With the safety of visitors and employees of utmost importance, the venue has taken extensive measures to ensure they provide a safe venue, including distancing, enhanced cleaning regimes, reduced capacities and staggered arrival times.
Another key development is the ability to offer hybrid and virtual events, and 116 Pall Mall hosted their first fully virtual event since reopening – in the format of an awards ceremony for the Institute of Directors.
The award hosts were present in the venue and were filmed and streamed virtually out to ‘attendees’ by experts from their in-house AV company – Oxygen Events.
Jeremy Warrillow, Head of Hospitality said: “We are delighted to have reopened the venue due to demand from IoD members and increased meeting enquiries. It’s great to see visitors back in the building and we can see that usage is really picking up – especially the demand for meetings. This just shows how important face-to-face interactions are for people after so long working from home and having to work with colleagues virtually.
“We’ve also seen a flurry of enquiries for micro-weddings which highlights that couples are less inclined to wait for full restrictions to lift as this virus continues. Having held many smaller weddings over the years, and after hosting our first for 30 guests since lockdown last week, we want to reassure couples that micro-weddings can be incredibly beautiful and just as much fun.
“With the regular changing of government restrictions making planning more difficult, we are keen to stress we will remain flexible on all bookings to ensure we can deliver the best possible experience for our clients.”
Find out more about hosting safe meetings here.
Find out more about weddings at 116 here.
Church House Westminster recently ran a hybrid event to highlight the power of face-to-face conversations.
The keynote speech was delivered by Mark Herring, Founder of Urbano Network, who took to the stage of the Assembly Hall of the Westminster venue. An online audience tuned in to the event which was live streamed utilising the venue’s in-situ audio-visual and event technology, managed by the in-house Audio-Visual team. The talk was followed by an interactive question and answer session. Post event, the AV team edited and produced a professional event video which was made available on-demand online.
Mark Herring commented: “When the initial idea for the event was conceived, I knew it was paramount for me, as the speaker, to attend the venue in-person, as the theme centred on the value of a conversation. We all recognise the possibilities that flow from physically being in an event space, it is after all where we meet new people and explore future collaborations, discuss supply chain and project delivery, sound out new ideas and socialise.
Elana Kruger, Marketing Manager of Church House Westminster, added: “Following the challenges posed by Covid-19, event formats are evolving rapidly to provide more interactive alternatives as the industry prepares itself for larger in-person events. This comes with a huge sigh of relief as we wave goodbye to what has been a strange and awkward overreliance on virtual-only platforms – hence the elephant in the room. Collaborating with Mark on this event, underscores the fact that we are actively planning for an exciting new future of events where we look forward to welcoming back face to face events, safely”.
For more information about hosting an event with Church House Westminster, contact the team on 020 7390 1590.
Award-winning central London wedding venue RSA House, catering specialists CH&CO and renowned florist Mary Jane Vaughan joined forces to host their first physically distanced wedding.
RSA House practise stringent measures and procedures to prove that an intimate wedding can be carried out safely in-line with all new Covid-19 safety measures, without losing the magic of the day.
The wedding day was held in accordance with safety guidelines established in the ‘Safer events – A Framework for Action’ white paper and Visit Britain accreditations, Westminster council risk assessments and in accordance with public health and government guidance. All guests were sent a personalised RSA House pre-wedding guide and floor plans adhering to household bubbles prior to the wedding day, to help guests feel comfortable and at ease before stepping through the door.
Thorough signage was placed around the venue, including two-metre physical distancing floor markers outside in order to manage queues. Additionally, floor markings and signage in the event spaces and public areas were in place to manage a one-way flow of traffic around the venue. Capacities of the event spaces have been reduced to two metres or one metre where mitigation is in place and all guests were required to wear masks when moving around the venue. During the wedding ceremony, a two-metre distance between the couple and registrars was adhered to. All RSA House event staff have completed COVID-secure training and wore masks, aprons and gloves throughout the day.
The arrival of guests was staggered and digital contactless temperature checks were taken by a member of the RSA reception team and guests sanitised their hands on entry.
After the ceremony, guests were guided outside the beautifully historic exterior of RSA House, for picture-perfect wedding snaps, followed by a canape reception. A call for dinner was announced and guests made their way to the Great Room, steeped in history and providing a spacious and memorable setting for the wedding dining experience.
RSA House has gained the Hire Space ‘Safer Events’ accreditation and Visit England ‘Good to Go’ accreditation. The venue is open to host wedding ceremonies and receptions for up to 15 guests.
Showrounds and venue visits are a vital part of the decision-making process when it comes to choosing a venue for an event.
Pre Covid-19, RIBA were hosting on average 25 face-to-face showrounds per month, with a conversion rate of 62%. However, when when the venue had to close its doors in March, the team worked hard (and quickly) to create a virtual tour to ensure potential clients could still have access to RIBA at 66 Portland Place so they could see for themselves exactly what the venue has to offer.
For many clients and agents, still images or brochures are just not enough to give a feel for the space or to imagine what could be achieved. Virtual tours and showrounds provide the perfect alternative to navigate event bookings during Covid-19, enabling clients to see the spaces first-hand and understand how they could work for their next event. But, as with a physical showround, it’s important you get the most out of your hour in the venue with the event manager, so RIBA have put together some top tips on what to consider:
- Send over your brief for the event prior to the showround. If the event manager knows the type of set up, you require, they can send supplementary images of similar event setups or even ‘mock’ up the seating arrangement for you to see during the virtual tour
- Highlight any of the specific spaces you’ve seen online or in the brochure that you think might work for your event and ask the event manager to walk you around the entire space so you can get a feel for the size of the room, as well as seeing any of its unique features up close as you consider theming and décor options.
- Ask if you can be taken through the delegate journey as they would experience on the day so you can see how guests will be greeted on the day, as well as the route they will take as they head to the event space
- Ask lots of questions! Use the opportunity to ask the event manager about previous events that have been hosted there and how the space was transformed, as well as any quirky facts about the venue and of course, the Covid compliant procedures that will be in place
- See if it is possible to speak to the catering team or any specific suppliers on the same virtual tour so you can understand the options available if you were to go ahead and host your event at the venue
- Ask about additional collateral that you can view post-tour such as brochures, videos, images of previous event setups etc. to help you make a final decision
- Don’t be shy about asking for another virtual showround or tour if you have more questions or want to see the space again!
Virtual showounds may have been an enforced strategy for many, but they’ve become a mainstay and there are so many benefits of being able to view a venue virtually from your desk as we navigate the new ‘normal’ of events.