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.

Well done to all member venues’ staff shortlisted in miaList 2017

We would like to extend a well done to all staff who were shortlisted for an miaList award and  congratulate Charlotte Best, event manager at Westminster Venue Collection’s member venue QEII Centre, for receiving highly commended for conference and events.

The prestigious miaList 2017 awards celebrate the outstanding and passionate individuals from the meetings, hospitality and events industry who go above and beyond the call of duty. Awards were announced at a lunch event at Park Plaza Victoria, London on Friday 6 October 2017.

Victory Services Club retains mia’s AIM Gold accreditation

Victory Services Club has achieved the mia’s AIM Gold accreditation for a fourth consecutive time, building on the accolade of being the first London venue to achieve the award in 2008.

The conference and events venue has once again achieved the highest possible level of accreditation from the UK’s nationally recognised standard for service providers in the meetings, conferences and events industry, after a panel of independent industry assessors scrutinised the venue against a robust checklist of criteria.

All AIM-accredited venues undergo a vigorous process to ensure they are fit for purpose and implement decent and ethical operations. Covering everything from facilities and legal compliances to performance against a strict code of conduct, to achieve the Gold level accreditation, venues must display superior service throughout the entire customer journey.

Victory Services Club, which is based in Marble Arch, has seven event spaces, 202 bedrooms and can cater for events up to 300 in the Carisbrooke Hall which is now open following an extensive £1.5 million refurbishment. The club was found to be a well-organised, administered and managed operation with each aspect of the business supported by detailed policies, processes and procedures.

The mia also noted the club’s dedication to staff training, with even casual and agency staff put through an induction programme and permanent staff continuously developed. Sustainability is also high on the club’s agenda.

Over the past five years Victory Services Club has undergone a £7m refurbishment. In addition to the Carisbrooke Hall, the club boasts the El Alamein and Trafalgar Suite that seats up to 200 theatre style – and separates into two rooms: the Trafalgar Room seating up to 80 theatre style and the El Alamein Room seating up to 100 theatre style. The Club also has four other meeting rooms for smaller meetings, breakout sessions, seminars and private dinning.

Chief executive of the mia Jane Longhurst said: “The AIM process encourages continuous improvement and can take a venue to the peak of service excellence at Gold level. We’re delighted to see Victory Services Club once again rewarded for their commitments towards operational excellence. AIM Gold provides event buyers with the assurance of the highest quality.”

Mark Field FIH, operations director, Victory Services Club said: “The preparation for assessment is demanding but achieving Gold again is the ultimate benchmark of quality. We view it as a vote of confidence in our facilities, our high standards across what is on offer, and particularly, in our staff. We have a dedicated in-house team who take every measure to ensure an event runs as smoothly as possible and are on hand to deliver the flexibility, knowledge and expertise for every step of a client’s journey with us”.

For more information about AIM and AIM Higher Accreditation, visit www.mia-uk.org/aim.

RIBA, QEII Centre and One Great George Street win at London Venue Awards 2017

Three Westminster Venue Collection member venues triumphed at the annual London Venue Awards, which bring together the best of London’s events industry and celebrate the diverse range of options available to event buyers in the capital.

We would like to congratulate QEII Centre, One Great George Street and RIBA, who won their respective categories at the awards, which were held at The Brewery on Friday 20 October:

  • QEII Centre – ‘Best Venue Customer Service – over 500 attendees’
  • One Great George Street – ‘Best Wedding Venue’
  • RIBA – ‘Most Versatile London Venue (1000 attendees or less)’

Congratulations also goes to Broadway House for receiving a bronze accreditation in the ‘Best Venue Customer Service – under 500 attendees’ category.

Awards success for WVC members

August has been an extremely successful month for our venues in both the 2017 London Venue Awards and Hire Space Awards.

We are delighted to announce that eight of our members have been named as finalists in the 2017 London Venue Awards in the following categories:

Best Historic Venue of Livery Hall: The Royal Horseguards Hotel

Best Catering at a Venue: One Great George Street, QEII Centre

Best Venue Customer Service – Under 500 (Reception): Broadway House, IET:London, One Great George Street, Victory Services Club

Best Venue Customer Service – Over 500 (Reception): QEII Centre

Best Wedding Venue: One Great George Street

Best London Event Venue – 500-1,000 attendees: IET:London

Most Versatile London Venue (1,000 attendees or less): Cavendish Conference Centre, RIBA

Most Versatile London Venue (over 1,000 attendees): QEII Centre

In total, 96 venues have been recognised for excellence and best practice by the awards and all will go through to the finals on Friday, 20 October at The Brewery in London when the overall winners will be announced.

In addition, London Transport Museum and Cavendish Conference Centre have been shortlisted in the 2017 Hire Space Awards in the Best Conference Venue and Greenest Venue categories respectively. The winners will be announced on Friday, 24 October at Landing Forty Two at the Leadenhall Building.

We wish all our member venues the very best of luck in their respective categories.

To find out more about all these venues, click here.

Church House strikes Gold with AIM for the second time

Church House Westminster has once again achieved the highest level of venue accreditation – AIM Gold.

Securing the nationally recognised accreditation for a second time cements the venue’s position in an elite group of venues and it also demonstrates Church House Westminster’s commitment to capability, compliance and competence.

To achieve the Meetings Industry Association’s AIM Gold, the venue underwent a rigorous independent auditing process which saw a panel of independent industry assessors scrutinise the whole customer journey and business processes including resources, creating the customer environment, service delivery and continuous improvement.

Church House Westminster’s general manager Robin Parker said: “We have always taken pride in delivering a consistently high quality of customer service in all areas of our business. To achieve AIM Gold for the second time is an outstanding achievement that the entire team should be proud of as we are assessed on every aspect of our customer’s journey – from the moment they book and event to the time they leave.”

Jane Longhurst, chief executive of mia, said: “AIM Gold is awarded to venues which offer first-class facilities matched by exceptional catering and the highest levels of customer service. The judges were particularly impressed by the enthusiasm of Church House Westminster’s staff who continually identify ways to improve services to exceed customer expectations.”

Church House Westminster is one of London’s most versatile event venues offering 19 flexible event spaces, which can accommodate between 2 and 664 guests, and host 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.

Cavendish Venues and QEII win at Conference Awards 2017

Cavendish Venues and QEII Centre both emerged triumphant at this year’s Conference Awards with the venues winning Best Conference Venue (under 300 delegates) and Best Conference Venue (over 750 theatre-style) respectively.

Held at Tobacco Dock on Friday 30 June, the awards ceremony celebrated the very best venues, suppliers and event organisers in the conference industry, with more than 600 event professionals in attendance.

Both venues beat off stiff competition to take home the awards and WVC would like to wish them many congratulations on all their hard work.

If you would like to find out more about either of these award-winning venues, click here.

WVC members are shortlisted for prestigious 2017 miaList

Westminster Venue Collection is delighted to announce staff from member venues Cavendish Venues and the QEII Centre have been short-listed for a place on the Meetings Industry Association’s coveted miaList.

Paul Martins from Cavendish Venues and Roopi Woodall, Roberto Goncalves, and Charlotte Best from the QEII Centre are all hoping to have secured a place on the prestigious 2017 roll of honour, which recognises key individuals from the meetings, hospitality and events industries who go above and beyond the call of duty.

We wish Paul, Roopi, Roberto and Charlotte the very best of luck when the winners are announced at a celebratory lunch on Friday, 6 October 2017 at Park Plaza Victoria, London.

Follow us @Venues_Wminster for updates and news on this, and all other WVC news.

FOUR VENUES SHORTLISTED FOR CONFERENCE AWARDS

An impressive four venues from the WESTMINSTER VENUE COLLECTION HAVE been SHORTLISTED IN THE PRESTIGIOUS CONFERENCE AWARDS 2017.

The hotly-anticipated announcement saw Cavendish Conference Centre and IET: London Savoy Place shortlisted for the ‘Best Conference Venue (under 300 theatre) category, QEII shortlisted in the ‘Best Conference Venue (over 750 theatre)’ category and both IET: London Savoy Place and One Great George Street in the running for the ‘Best Venue Customer Service (under 500 delegates)’ award.

Clare Arouche, WVC chair said: “While we already know that when event planners select one of our venues to hold their events they are choosing the very best that central London has to offer, it’s great to see this has been officially been recognised by one of the industry’s leading awards. We wish our venues the very best of luck in the finals.”

The winners will be announced on Friday 30 June.

To find out more about our award-winning collection, just click here.

QEII Centre obtains prestigious Investors in People Silver Award

London’s QEII Centre is celebrating after being presented with the highly-coveted Investors in People ‘Silver Standard’ award.

The Investors in People Standard is a framework of best practice, awarded to well-run organisations that meet set criteria in areas including learning and development, leadership skills, as well as recognition and reward.

To achieve the Silver Standard Award, employees of QEII completed an online survey and members of the team were randomly selected for interviews with the assessor, in which they were asked how they felt about working at QEII and the company’s vision and values.

The Investors in People assessor saw the motivation and enthusiasm of the QEII team shine through, acknowledging the hard work and dedication in delivering the venue’s vision to be acclaimed as London’s finest specialist events venue, with a global reputation for excellence, superb client partnership working and the delivery of successful, creative, professional and innovative events.

QEII was first accredited by Investors in People in 1998. Once an organisation has achieved the Core Standard they are encouraged to strive to reach a higher level of accreditation (silver, gold or platinum) to better themselves by demonstrating further evidence to meet tougher criteria.

Raj Pragji, HR director at the QEII Centre said: “Only 24% of Investors in People accredited organisations achieve Silver or Gold status, so I’m really proud to say that QEII Centre is one of the prestigious few. We’ve worked very hard over the past 24 months to engage staff with our Transforming Together Change Programme and it’s really paid off, resulting in us being in an incredibly strong market position. It’s great that we’ve been recognised for going above and beyond in such a key area of people management.”

For more information about the QEII Centre, visit www.qeiicentre.london.