The benefits of being part of a venue collection from One Great George Street

Being a stand-alone, independent venue is not always easy. While it definitely has its advantages, such as full control over day-to-day management and procurement which allows us to pass on the very best produce and services to our clients, we do everything ourselves without the helping hand of a sister organisation. Without drawing on a larger pool of manpower, Marion and I need to be selective in choosing which trade shows, forums and networking events will best showcase our fabulous venue, One Great George Street (OGGS).

We jumped on The Westminster Collection (TWC) bandwagon 5 years ago and are still current members due to the excellent ROI we receive year on year. For example, in the last 12 months we have received approximately 77 referrals and confirmed over £25,000 worth of business – a very healthy return on our membership fee of just £1,700! There’s also very real value in the affordable access the collection gives us to exhibition shows, FAM trips and networking events.

For example, The Meetings Show is a very popular industry trade show which we try to attend as part of TWC (offered on a first-come-first-serve basis). It takes place once a year, attracts over 3,000 industry professionals and provides us with pre-scheduled buyer appointments. This year we received 17 new enquiries and over 300 scanned leads which we are now in the process of prospecting for new OGGS business. This is a free event which has provided me with over 300 fresh contacts – sounds too good to be true right? But it’s true and it’s great! The next event will be TWC’s very own showcase which takes place on Monday 3rd October – sign up to our newsletters for more info.

When contemplating the advantages of joining a collection, I can say that One Great George Street has been able to utilize collections such as The Westminster Collection to support us with sales opportunities and also become part of a friendly and constructive environment with our competitors and industry peers.

Please find the original blog post from One Great George Street here.

The Clubhouse opens new flagship site

The Clubhouse, London’s leading business club and meeting space has opened a new flagship site on St. James’s Square, one of London’s most prestigious garden squares and one of the Capital’s most prominent businesses addresses.

The brand new building at 8 St James’s Square was designed by renowned architect Eric Parry and sits on a site that was once home to Josiah Wedgwood, founder of Wedgwood Pottery. With an interior designed to a high specification the space redefines the concept of flexible working and boasts a stylish members’ club feel. The new Clubhouse has been designed around the needs of its members and offers a unique, sophisticated and flexible meeting and work space tailored to the needs of today’s entrepreneurs and growing businesses.

Home to businesses of all shapes and sizes and across all industry sectors, The Clubhouse offers a range of individually designed meeting rooms, hot desks, lounge areas, dedicated desks, flexible meeting areas, a Club deli, event spaces and conference facilities for up to 80 delegates. In addition, The Clubhouse has launched its first innovation hub with a fully interactive video wall in partnership with MultiTaction.

For more information or to enquire about your next event click here.

QEII to create new banqueting floor with stunning city skyline views

The QEII Centre is continuing its £12 million refurbishment and rebranding project this summer by transforming its 6th floor into an open-plan banqueting space with breath-taking views of Westminster and the London city skyline.

Work has commenced and will be complete by September, when the renovated space will be revealed at a dazzling dinner to celebrate QEII’s 30th birthday.

QEII’s ongoing programme of refurbishments is focused on improving the customer experience and opening up the venue to a wider variety of events including banqueting, awards ceremonies, cocktail parties, product launches and other corporate and private special events.

The renovation of the 6th floor will give event planners greater flexibility for how they wish to use the space, with a retractable wall opening up what is now the Mountbatten room into one large, open-plan floor with a stunning glazed elevation providing dramatic views out towards the Thames, capturing Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, London Eye and the Shard.

The 6th floor refurbishment, which has been designed by architects AHMM, the 2015 winners of the RIBA Sterling prize, comes as QEII celebrates its 30th year at the heart of the UK’s event industry, contributing £122 million to the economy annually.

QEII’s in-house catering team, QEII Taste by Leith’s, has recently appointed Jean Michel Viala as its new head chef.

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

Event buyers enjoyed business breakfast at Victory Services Club

On Friday, 15 July, member venue Victory Services Club (VSC) showcased its newly refurbished El Alamein & Trafalgar Suite to event buyers, industry professionals and fellow member venues, at a breakfast networking event.

Guests enjoyed delicious breakfast samples prepared by the venue’s executive chef and a chilled glass of prosecco while they networked with other attendees and explored the new and improved events space.

Rosa Davies, events manager at VSC commented on the event: “After investing £1.5 million into the new space and adjoining state-of-the-art banqueting kitchen, we were very proud to share the new rooms with fellow event professionals and would like to thank all those who attended. It was a pleasure to host you and we look forward to seeing you at the many more TWC events in the future.”

Private members club website gets a new lease of life

The Victory Services Club website has been given a brand new look and the finished website is better than ever. Updated to include some of the latest features in web design, the new site gives online visitors an enjoyable experience that matches that offered at the club itself.

The new site’s navigation makes it easier than ever before for online visitors to find what they’re looking for, and to find out more about the fantastic venue and exceptional in-house catering on offer at the 100 year old Club.

The revamped events section of the new site has been designed to encourage individuals and corporate event bookers to engage with our first class in-house events team. Event bookers looking for somewhere to host a corporate event, from award ceremonies to private dining, are now just one click away from finding the perfect venue.

With more and more internet users using their smartphones and tablets to browse the web, having a website that’s mobile optimised is essential for the modern marketplace. The new Victory Services Club website is responsive so whether visitors view it from a mobile, tablet, laptop or PC the site will automatically adjust itself to suit the device it’s being viewed on.

The Club’s investment in the new website reflects its commitment to offering visitors the very best in customer service and will help take the venue, so richly steeped in history and heritage, into the next chapter of its story.

For more information about the Victory Services Club and to check out the new website visit www.vsc.co.uk

Central Hall Westminster launches new virtual reality experience in China

Central Hall Westminster announced the launch of its new virtual reality (VR) experience during a week-long visit to China.

It was showcased at the IT&CM Exhibition Shanghai, the Department of Commerce in Zhejiang Province and at a meeting with the team at Alibaba HQ Hangzhou.

Central Hall’s new virtual reality technology aims to showcase the venue’s versatility and range of event spaces to both international and UK buyers. The VR experience not only enables viewers to get a 360 degree view of the event spaces on offer throughout the central London venue in a virtual show-round, but also features a variety of live events scenarios as a fully immersive viewing experience. VR live events include the BBC’s New Year’s Bryan Adam’s concert 2015, amongst other high profile events.

Paul Southern, Managing Director at Central Hall Westminster, said: “This has been an exciting development for us at Central Hall. Our ability to harness this technology and connect the venue to the most remote places in China, and indeed anywhere else in the world we take it, is an extraordinary advance within our sales process. We anticipate that this will help to strengthen our position within the Chinese market as we continue to develop relationships in this sector.”

Maria Schuett, Head of Marketing at Central Hall Westminster, added: “The objective is to support our clients to conceptualise their ideas within our flexible event spaces, not replace the physical experience. The new virtual reality package, showcasing various layouts, productions and visual settings, adds a new dimension to those earlier discussions with clients.”

The VR experience has been created by Trek Wireless, creators of interactive digital assets for the retail and hospitality industries that work seamlessly across PC, tablet, mobile and VR devices. For further information about Central Hall’s virtual reality offering please visit https://www.c-h-w.com/vr.

Welcome Regent’s Conferences & Events

The Westminster Collection is proud to introduce our newest member venue Regent’s Conferences & Events.

Just a few short minutes from Baker Street Station and located within 11 acres of private grounds in Regent’s Park, the venue offers capacities of up to 370 for conferences as well as vast opportunities for outdoor events such as team building or barbeques.

Chairman of the collection Robin Parker commented on the new member venue: “We are delighted to welcome Regent’s Conferences & Events to our collection and look forward to involving them in all our activities. We are in the middle of a really exciting period for the collection and it is the perfect time for our new member to immerse themselves in everything we have coming up. To welcome a venue with such impressive outdoor space is fantastic and I know they will be a real asset to the collection.”

If you are reading this on behalf of a Westminster venue and are interested in becoming part of the collection please contact robin.parker@churchhouseconf.co.uk

Church House unveils new identity

From February 29th, Church House Conference Centre will be known as Church House Westminster.

The rebrand forms part of a strategic plan as the venue looks to the future and its continued investment, in particular in the technical facilities of its larger rooms.

Church House Westminster worked with design agency Deep on the rebrand which includes a new logo, a redesign of all marketing materials and the launch of a new website. With a logo inspired by their domed Assembly Hall and black and gold colour scheme, Church House Westminster new branding reflects the quality of the venue.

General Manager Robin Parker commented: “The rebrand is a milestone in the venue’s history. It highlights that we are no longer just a conference centre but a venue that can host a variety of events, from product launches and exhibitions to national consumer events and large award dinners. We wanted our new name to reflect not only this but also our location in the heart of London.

“Since opening in 1991 Church House has established itself as one of the highest quality venues in London known for its exceptional levels of service and friendly staff. Church House may have a new name but we will still be providing our clients and their guests with the same high levels of service that they have come to expect of us over the last 26 years.”

Church House Westminster is an AIM Gold accredited venue, and a frequent winner of the BDRC Gold Standard, placing it amongst a select group to achieve both awards. It has also been recognised for its audio visual capabilities, in which further significant investment is being planned for later in the year.

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

116 Pall Mall unveils renewed beauty following renovation

Over the past few months, 116 Pall Mall has been undergoing interior and exterior refurbishment to help improve the upkeep of the building and restore its stunning original features.

The front of house reception area now boasts an elegant and accessible reception desk, beautiful period furnishings and the original mosaic floor has been renovated, in-keeping with the unique heritage of the building. Interior designers, Russell Sage Studios, have restored some original features and transformed the ground floor and grand staircase area to reflect the building’s Regency elegance and former glory.

The Purbeck stone colour enhances the building’s beautiful features, taking you back in time as you walk through the front doors. The entire exterior of the building has been repainted and restored and stands out once again as one of the most iconic Pall Mall landmarks.

To view the venue or book a site visit, call 020 7451 3107 or email functions@iod.com.

Central Hall Westminster commits portion of £1.3m profit to charity

In December 2015, Central Hall Westminster announced record profits for its 2014/15 financial year, ending August 2015, resulting in £1.3m being invested in facility improvements, visitor services and charitable organisations.

As a not-for-profit organisation, Central Hall is committed to using substantial profits to develop the building as a visitor attraction and venue, as well as supporting the work of the Methodist Church, which owns the building. In this way, support is provided to a number of local charities including the St. Vincent’s Family Project, a registered charity that operates within Central Hall Westminster.

Speaking of the venue’s performance, Paul Souther, managing director, said: “2014/15 was an exceptionally strong year for the business and we have generated some fantastic profit. This would be a welcome result in any business situation, but it is made all the more rewarding by knowing that every penny is being used to make the building better for visitors and to support important charity work.”

The St. Vincent’s Family Project aims to support young families especially where there are difficulties. It addresses the issues of parenting, child welfare and social exclusion by providing services for parents, carers and children.