Three charities mark London Marathon success at Church House Westminster

Church House Westminster hosted post-marathon charity events for more than 650 people on Sunday, 23 April for the British Heart Foundation, The Children’s Society and Sarcoma UK.  

Since the British Heart Foundation (BHF) was formed, the number of deaths each year from heart and circulatory disease in the UK has halved and 70% of people now survive a heart attack. This year the charity, which is the UK’s largest independent funder of cardiovascular research, was represented by over 200 runners who were raising funds to support and  improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all heart and circulatory diseases. Following the marathon, the charity hosted BHF runners and their families making use of the Assembly Hall, Bishop Partridge and Jubilee Rooms.

The Children’s Society, which works to support vulnerable children in England and Wales, held their post-race event for more than 100 people for the fourth time  in its in Church House Westminster’s Hoare Memorial Hall.

Stephanie Drummond, challenge event manager from The Children’s Society said: “We are so proud of our fantastic team of runners who are fundraising to support our work with the most vulnerable children across the country suffering abuse, hardship and neglect. Our post-race party at Church House is an opportunity to thank everybody who has trained so hard and raised vital funds to support The Children’s Society.”

This year the largest team from Sarcoma UK – the bone and soft tissue cancer charity – took on the Virgin Money London Marathon with 45 runners, and they were joined by friends and family for the charity’s After Party in the Harvey Goodwin Suite at Church House Westminster. The team was aiming to raise £100,000 to transform the lives of people affected by the disease, fund ground-breaking research and provide personal support and expert information via its national Support Line.

Robin Parker, general manager at Church House Westminster, said: “It was great to host the post-race events for these three fantastic charities. We have great admiration for all of the runners and the money they have raised for these brilliant causes.”

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 two 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 visit

Spotlight on Cavendish Venue’s event sales executive

After the recent 21st anniversary questions with Cavendish Venues past and present, this month’s spotlight falls on Hadleigh Miles, event sales executive at Cavendish Venues.

 What has been your most embarrassing moment in events?

This would have to be The Westminster Collection’s 2015 Christmas showcase where I ended up sitting on Santa’s lap!

What gets you up and out of bed in the morning?

My cat who has a pre-set alarm for feeding at 7.00AM which doesn’t go down well on Saturday mornings.

What do you enjoy most about working at Cavendish Venues?

As obvious as it may sound, it has to be the events themselves. Coming in every day to see each client put their own stamp on one of our 7 venues is always a joy to see and work with each day.

What is your most-watched film?

This would definitely be Straight Outta Compton. After over 10 times of watching it, I think it’s safe to say this is my new favourite film! (although both Jump Street movies came very close).

What is your favourite band/artist:

Some people may find this surprising but I am a huge heavy metal fan and as the band I have seen live the most times my favourite has to be Slipknot!

Describe yourself in three words:

Amiable, outgoing, determined.

If you could invite five people past and present to dinner who would they be?

Ray Charles, Anthony Hopkins, Corey Taylor, Robin Williams, Ray Liotta.

What would be your dream car?

Pagani, Zonda.

If you would like to find out more about Cavendish Venues or talk to them about your next event, please click here.

Cavendish Venues celebrate 21 years of business

Cavendish Venues is celebrating an impressive 21 years of business and to celebrate the milestone, they asked CEO Tom Mayers and MD Rachel Applegate for an insight into the key secrets of the company’s success and hopes for the future:

What has been the most memorable event of your career?

TM: Party for a group of Saudi Princesses at the Mayfair Conference Centre.

RA: Diabetics UK, London Bridge Walk.

Biggest challenges faced in the industry so far?

TM: Multiple terrorism attacks in London in 2005.

RA: Ensuring all venues are full to capacity.

Most satisfying achievement so far?

TM: Working with happy colleagues.

RA: When an event is a success to all parties concerned.

Biggest challenges you foresee for the industry?

TM: Everywhere is becoming a venue!

RA: Keeping up with trends.

What drives you individually?

TM: Happiness.

RA: Happiness.

If there’s one lesson you’ve learned?

RA: Do not panic or lose heart.

TM: Keep going and do one thing at a time!


During the 21 years, the privately-owned firm has been proud to achieve numerous accolades including securing titles at prestigious Conference Awards for four consecutive years.

Continuing to welcome clients with a high level of service, you can enquire for your next successful events at [email protected] or call 020 7706 7700.

Creative gurus accept challenge to Unleash Your Creativity at TWC showcase

Don’t miss incredible nuggets of creative wisdom from true experts in their fields at a special panel debate taking place at Destination Westminster, The Westminster Collection’s annual venue showcase and networking event.

On Friday 13th September, events professionals are invited to get together and enjoy a delicious, free breakfast prepared by our host venue 8 Northumberland Avenue, while chatting with the 50 wonderful venues we have within The Westminster Collection – all of whom are exhibiting within 8 Northumberland Avenue‘s stunning Ballroom.

At 9:00am, our panel of marketing, food, social media and live event gurus will kick off the Unleash Your Creativity forum. They aim to open your mind to what can be achieved when you inject imagination and resourcefulness into event planning and focus on creating new and memorable experiences.

The Unleash Your Creativity forum panellists include:

Jonathan Byrne, chief operating officer, No.4 Hamilton Place (chairperson)

Katie McPhee, senior community manager, Eventbrite

Jez Paxman, creative strategy director, Live Union

Katy Hadcroft, general manager, Harbour & Jones at RSA House

Sam Michel, founder, Chinwag & executive director, Social Media Week London

Stephen Moore, founder & chairman,

Click here to read speaker biographies.

Learn why you need to think ‘big picture’ and broaden expectations of what an event should do for brand awareness. Be inspired by the digital and social engagement techniques that can be built into an event or marketing campaign to give it legs, to really grip the target audience and to ensure there’s conversation across channels.

Hear how to bring innovation and the ‘wow’ factor to the canapé, lunch or dinner plate and nod to food fashions, while remaining firmly within budget. Discover more about the psychology behind live experiences and how you can maximise the value of your event by viewing your venue as part of a destination, not a standalone site. Take the opportunity to ask these experts questions about your own event plans in a dedicated Q&A session.

Chair of the panel Jonathan Byrne, who is chief operating office at No.4 Hamilton Place and board director at The Westminster Collection, said:

“Destination marketing is vital in order to grow business tourism and to reinforce the breadth of opportunities in London right now. Westminster is so well located, with a wealth of arts, culture and entertainment to absorb in and around the West End of London. This showcase and particularly the panel is about harnessing this energy, bringing together a cluster of seriously creative people and sharing techniques for engagement, event planning and delivery. Our challenge as a panel is to inspire you to be original.”

Destination Westminster takes place from 8:30 – 11:30am on Friday 13th September 2013, at TWC venue 8 Northumberland Avenue. Discover 50 incredible central London venues and network with each of their events teams during a special 10th anniversary showcase, complete with complimentary breakfast and refreshments.

To register for FREE, and for more information about the timings and full programme for the showcase and panel discussion, click here.

Tweet about this event using hashtag #DestinationWestminster #UnleashYourCreativity and our Twitter handle @Venues_Wminster.

Unleash Your Creativity forum: The speakers

Don’t miss incredible nuggets of creative wisdom from true experts in their fields at a special panel debate taking place at Destination Westminster, The Westminster Collection’s annual venue showcase and networking event.

At 9:00am, a specially selected panel of marketing, food, social media and live event gurus will kick off the Unleash Your Creativity forum in the Old Billiard Room. They aim to open your mind to what can be achieved when you inject imagination and resourcefulness into event planning and focus on creating new and memorable experiences.

Katie McPhee, Senior Community Manager, Eventbrite UK

Katie McPhee, EventbriteKatie joined Eventbrite from the BBC in 2011 and was the company’s first employee in Europe. She runs the UK’s social media, co-ordinates all Eventbrite events, sources partnerships and manages a growing community of event organisers in the UK. Katie also works closely with event organisers advising on social media strategy.





Jez Paxman, strategy & creative director, Live Union

Jez Paxman, Live UnionJez helped found Live Union in 2009, based on a belief that the role and potential of events within the business and internal communications landscape was rapidly shifting.

An approach anchored in understanding where the true delegate value lies for a particular audience has seen Live Union build a client base that includes EDF Energy, Oracle, AXA, TripAdvisor, Nokia and Amnesty International.

A particular passion for Jez is the merging of live and digital channels to redefine what an event can be and what it can achieve for audiences.

Jez regularly participates in industry forums, blogs on all things live and contributes to the Narrative Environments MA course at Central Saint Martins.


Katy Hadcroft, general manager, RSA House for Harbour & Jones

Katy Hadcroft, RSA House Katy started her career in London after four years of studying Hospitality Management at Manchester University. She quickly became the Event Manager for Searcy’s at the Royal Opera House which saw her organise many high profile and glamorous events including the BAFTA awards for over 1000 celebrities, Condé Nast flagship GQ Man of the Year Awards and Chelsea Football Club’s Centenary Dinner.

Wanting to develop her skills further, a move into outside event catering led to experiencing a career defining moment…Lewis Hamilton arriving by helicopter to Exxon Mobile’s Silverstone Grand Prix party for 650 with oysters and amazing cocktails.

Katy’s career path then entered the world of contract catering where she joined boutique and sustainable catering company Harbour and Jones as a General Manager in 2010 working at 76 Portland Place before taking a short career break to travel. She re-joined Harbour and jones in January this year firstly working on projects and then becoming the General Manager at the Royal Society of Arts.

Katy is happiest when she is putting together creative quotes for clients, organising events and sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm for food.


Sam Michel, founder, Chinwag

Sam Michel, ChinwagSam founded Chinwag in 1996 to support the nascent digital marketing industry. The organisation has grown alongside the industry, whilst Sam has held positions as arguably the UK’s first paid webmaster for Time Out magazine, part of the founding management team of the UK’s first web agency, Webmedia and the start-up team at digital off-shoot of TV firm Carlton (now part of ITV).

He’s launched numerous events including Chinwag Psych, international startup series Digital Mission and he’s the Executive Director of Social Media Week London, part of a global collaborative event series taking place in 26 cities wordlwide. Sam is a member of the global advisory board. Consultancy clients include UK Trade & Investment, Open Data Institute, the BBC, the Technology Strategy Board and he’s an active participant in a number of start-up accelerators.



Stephen Moore, founder & chairman,

Stephen MooreStephen has 25 years’ experience in business, founding, financing and operating a number of companies, including, a business performance consultancy specialising in innovation and growth. Stephen is also chairman of 8 Northumberland Avenue, HarvestDigital and Visual Voice. He believes that innovation is an evolutionary process for survival, differentiation and sustained business growth. An essential component of every business, the skill is running innovation effectively and making it a core cultural component of the organisation.


Jonathan Byrne, chief operating officer, Royal Aeronautical Society at No.4 Hamilton Place

Jonathan ByrneJonathan Byrne has a wealth of experience in the Events and Hospitality industry, culminating in his current role as Chief Operating Officer of the Royal Aeronautical Society where he is responsible for the operational functions of the learned society, including marketing its Park Lane, Mayfair, headquarters No. 4 Hamilton Place as a meeting and events venue.

Jonathan joined the Society from Westminster’s Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre where, as Commercial Director, he oversaw the planning for the Chilcot Enquiry. He worked previously with Mint Hotels in the group-wide role of General Manager – Meetings & Events, developing the hotel group’s meetings and events product. For the seven years prior to this, Jonathan was Group Sales & Marketing Director, responsible for driving the brand and leading the sales and marketing functions at a strategic level across the nine businesses of the Crown Group.


To register for FREE, and for more information about the timings and full programme for the showcase and panel discussion, click here.

Interview Techniques

By Jo Sweeney, account director at Troika Recruitment


Let’s face it, in Events we are a bunch of extroverts who usually love to meet people, talk about the industry and share our experience. So, with all these great personalities, it would be logical to think that the whole business of sitting down to interview would be relatively easy, almost pleasurable in fact. The truth is though interviewing well requires a whole different approach and all too often candidates can come away from a conversation with that feeling of “I know I could have done better”.

To get the conversation started on how to avoid a disappointing interview, here are some tips to get you thinking:

Be prepared. Such a basic point but you would be amazed how many people come unstuck for both very senior and more junior appointments on this very basic criteria. Research of the broader market is essential; make sure you research the competition as well. Know some key facts about the person you are meeting, their background and career pathway. Research should not be limited to the company’s own website, there is endless information of course on the web but don’t underestimate the information that exists within your own network also. Talk to your clients, have they aware of the business you are hoping to secure employment with and what were their impressions?

Don’t oversell. This one is less obvious and there is a fine line to tread of course between letting someone know how great you are and sharing too much detail. In initial interviews, clients will look for detail to back up your achievements, for example the level of turnover you have been responsible for. But, don’t feel you have to give away the whole of your knowledge at this stage. Interviewers will appreciate a level of professional discretion from you, if you were to join them this would be a quality they would expect to see from you toward their own business.

Be quantifiable. If you are asked to talk about an area of your achievement then you will need to have some strong examples to back this up. Here you can highlight the headlines, what the business was worth, how you won it or how you delivered a fantastic event in a challenging situation. Make sure you can illustrate points and actions that were directly within your personal control, avoid the “we did this” or “the team and I “ type of responses and try to focus on what you personally did. This will illustrate what you have to offer in such a way that the interviewer gets a strong sense of what you can deliver.