Discover Westminster; Showcase Success!

We have long been known for our fantastic Westminster Venue Showcase events and this year was no exception!! The 26th of May 2022 marked the occasion of our Discover Westminster; Around Westminster Venues in 80 minutes, showcase event and how special for us all to be back together and what a fantastic evening it was!

Located at the Royal Society, one of our fabulous member venues, it was great to be back hosting a face-to-face event – You could feel the excitement amongst all. This elegant setting really set the scene and created the perfect backdrop for the occasion.

The showcase was attended by event professionals from London and beyond for the opportunity to celebrate and explore our unique consortium of Westminster’s finest venues. It was amazing to see them all showing off their venues and event packages to new and potential clients. Our venue collection includes a wide variety of venue types and styles, all with their own fascinating backstory and many with historic significance.

Originally home to the United Services Club, Georgian venue 116 Pall Mall was designed by John Nash, and this Grade I listed venue still contains many of the club’s original treasures. Then we move to The Honourable Society of Lincolns Inn. Their Great Hall was opened by Queen Victoria, and not to mention, Edwardian venue One Great George Street, 18th Century RSA House, and the world-famous Houses of Parliament.

The recent Platinum Jubilee celebrations taking place throughout the city have seen these spectacular venues celebrated in all their glory, which has led to more enquiries, but let’s not forget the incredible modern venues within the collection. The QEII Centre got the chance to boast their cutting-edge AV facilities, essential for delivering live and engaging hybrid and studio events. The Westminster London, Curio Collection by Hilton, showcased their stylish conference spaces and luxurious rooms for overnight stays. And if you’re looking for big screen events, Vue West End have got you covered!

We were also joined by key industry suppliers, including Frew & Co rolled ice cream. Their fun and refreshing treats are perfect for outdoor summer events. The talented chefs at the Royal Society also made an appearance to showcase some sweet offerings. Dan and the team plated up a feast for the eyes, demonstrating some impressive techniques, including dry ice!

Thank you to all who attended, and especially to Barbara Wutte and her team at the Royal Society for helping our board and the Paje team to organise the event, it wouldn’t have been a success without all those involved. The drinks were flowing and the delicious canapes went down a treat, and it was fantastic to see members sharing their images across social media.

“We are so excited about the future, we have new members joining our collection, new initiatives planned by the enthusiastic board and Paje Team and our venues are back to business at 2019 levels again!  We look forward to working with you over the coming months and celebrating just how amazing London and our wonderful Westminster Collection are!”  –  Rachel Azzopardi, Chair of Westminster Venue Collection.

Our experienced sales marketing and PR partners, Paje Consultancy, are here to support with enquiries and help you find the best space for your events. If you’re looking to book last minute summer parties, our venues have some stunning, private outdoor spaces available for hire, right in the heart of the Capital. Contact us today and we’ll help you find the perfect fit for your occasion.

Now we’re all back in our offices, some of our members have been brushing up their sales and marketing skills with training and development from our Westminster Venue Collection dedicated learning and development academy in partnership with the team at Paje Consultancy.  If you’d like to do the same, you can find out more about the courses available here.

Get excited for London events again with a virtual tour of Westminster venues

Westminster venues are getting ready to invite people back on site for in-person show-rounds and events. In the meantime, there is plenty of inspiration to help you get ahead in your planning and remind you of the wonderful venues on your doorstep. We’ve pulled together all the virtual tours of event venues in the area in one handy list.

10-11 Carlton House Terrace

116 Pall Mall

Central Hall Westminster

Church House Westminster

Houses of Parliament

IET London: Savoy Place

Lincoln’s Inn

One Great George Street

RIBA

RSA House

The London Library

The QEII Centre

The Royal Society

There are plenty of other venues in Westminster just waiting to be discovered. View the full list here.

The gift of space: summer parties at Regent’s Conferences & Events

Regent’s Conferences & Events reports an uplift in enquiries for summer parties as outside space becomes increasingly appealing and confidence grows among vaccine progress and new of the reopening roadmap.

The London venue, named ‘Best Outdoor Space’ at the 2019 Academic Venue Awards, is seeing enquiries coming in for outdoor events for as many as 1,500 guests. Throughout the turbulence of the changing regulations, the outdoors has consistently been given precedence for both social gatherings and business events, and naturally, demand for expansive outside space appears to be on the rise.

Offering four acres of landscaped private grounds in Regent’s Park, the venue presents a solution for large-scale events unlike any other in London. Regent’s embodies a country feel in the centre of the city, comprising of pristine lawns and lush foliage with an elegant, ivory-lined marquee in the summer months for parties of up to 1,200 guests.

The venue’s show-stopping York Lawns have hosted an array of unique summer events, as well as classically British garden parties, either in the main gardens, or tucked away in a more intimate Secret Garden. Innovative catering, first-class customer service and impeccably kept grounds have all helped attract a wide variety of creative events to the York Lawns, from wellness retreats and petting zoos to bootcamps and funfairs. Entertainment spans from garden games like croquet, giant Jenga and boules; to new activities including archery and a 25-metre inflatable assault course for an unforgettable experience.

To create fresh and exciting experiences for guests, the venue’s award-winning caterers offers street food stalls catering for choices ranging from a New York dirty mac bar and an outdoor pizza oven bar, to a traditional hog roast. With innovative BBQ options, organisers can choose from Caribbean, American, Moroccan or British cuisines, including fun extras like a pick ‘n’ mix sweet shop, gin bar and an ice cream trike.

Find out more about hosting your summer party at Regent’s.

Lincoln’s Inn offers hybrid event facilities from £90 per hour as of April

Lincoln’s Inn is preparing to welcome back guests from 12 April for safe hybrid events. The venue’s Ashworth Centre now offers hybrid meeting solutions in a COVID-secure environment.

To help you re-connect with clients, colleagues and peers, the venue is offering use of its meeting rooms with hybrid facilities from just £90 + VAT per hour.

Subject to conditions and availability, the offer is available to book as of now, for events taking place after 12 April. Please get in touch with the team for more information at [email protected].

The QEII Centre Stage: setting the scene for filming in central London

The QEII Centre sets the scene for filming in central London, catering perfectly for the most intimate of filming projects, down to the finest detail, and here’s why…

As a team of event professionals with extensive combined experience, QEII understands that it’s all about the detail. Filming crews and directors, rightly so, are very particular about lighting, angles, positions, timing and sound to encapsulate a vision for a story. The QEII Centre offers a platform for such creativity and precision, and with over 30 years of experience of running themed events for real guests, the venue is no stranger to responding to a brief and helping to create a believable backdrop.

With 32 varying sized and styled spaces to choose from, it’s no surprise that the centre – the largest dedicated conference and events space in central London – is a popular location for film crews looking for flexibility. Having featured as one of the locations for the BBC series The Capture in 2019 and more recently as a location for political thriller Roadkill starring Hugh Laurie, the team has become well versed in effectively managing all manner of filming projects.

Thanks to strong partnerships with reputable location libraries and an exclusive agreement with  Location Collective,  QEII continues to forge new relationships with top broadcasting and production companies for the seamless delivery of filming projects.

Ranging from suites holding up to 1,300 people, to smaller spaces lending themselves to interrogation room scenes, educational set-ups and promotional shoots, the venue offers spaces for many styles of film shoots.

Whether an advert, TV show or film, state-of-the-art facilities, versatile spaces and stunning backdrops, such as the stunning views of Westminster and Big Ben from the sixth floor, allow visions to become reality. A combination of internal and external spaces are available so, whether it is the lawn, a large reception area, rooms from 40sqm to 1,375sqm or an iconic view that is required, there are an array of facilities that can meet your brief. The blank canvas spaces are easily transformed and suitable for both modern and period sets.

Beyond the team’s confidence in a satisfying end product, they ensure the whole filming process and experience behind the scenes is as comfortable and stress-free as possible. For those requiring crew catering, QEII Taste, the venue’s in-house team are there to keep them fuelled with delectable refreshments, energising breakfasts and filling lunches throughout the day. The AV team, QEII Live, are also on hand to assist location managers. If required, sound, lighting, studio cameras and design and build camera platforms can be provided, as well as helping with bandwidth requirements and IPTV.

If your next filming project needs a home, whether journeying back in the past with an 18th century period drama, or travelling forwards for a futuristic, modern portrayal, consider working with The QEII Centre.

Find out more or get in touch about filming here.

10-11 Carlton House Terrace shares trends for hybrid events in 2021

Following the rapid development of virtual and hybrid events over the past 12 months, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace explores the emerging hybrid trends in the events industry for the year ahead.

So, what is a hybrid event?

A hybrid event incorporates both a physical in-person event with a virtual online audience.

This isn’t a new concept however… Prior to 2020, it’s likely you had already attended a few without realising. Take the popular non-profit TED as an example. What started as an annual conference in the 1990’s became a “viral video phenomenon” and now encompasses a huge platform of hybrid events including TED Talks, TEDx and the TED-Ed series – all with aim of spreading ideas far beyond the room they are presented in.

The global pandemic has certainly thrown a few spanners in the works for event profs who are still running events. There’s increased demand for the best technology for every virtual event element, as well as the COVID-safe considerations for any in-person gatherings.

Over the coming months, the London venue expects the following hybrid event trends:

  • More innovative ways for delegates to engage
  • The necessary introduction of more breaks during events with suggestions like networking, virtual performances and fun icebreakers
  • Bigger and bolder creative ideas to keep people engaged
  • Much broader, far-reaching marketing to attract international virtual audiences
  • The introduction of VR into hybrid events

Read more about these trends here.

Broadway House continues investment programme with upgraded digital event technology

Broadway House, as part of Make Venues, has announced upgrades in the business’ virtual conferencing, hybrid and digital event technology at the London venue.

The upgrades are focused predominantly on video conferencing, hybrid events, and the capture and broadcast, and have been designed to complement the growing number of businesses looking to return to live events, but also reach growing ‘out of the room’ audiences.

The investments include installations of fixed 4K commercial LFD display systems (up to 98”), PTZ cameras for both ‘display’ and ‘presenter views’, microphone arrays that will pick up sound throughout meeting rooms, digital signal processing, including Automatic Echo Cancellation, and ceiling speakers, all of which can be easily used by moderators and organisers through a simple ‘plug and play’ process. As well as permanent installations in larger rooms, there will also be mobile units offering similar technology that can be quickly moved between smaller rooms.

The new digital event technology will be available across the group’s venues, with more exciting investments on their way.

Find out more about the investment here.

Church House Westminster becomes temporary asymptomatic coronavirus testing centre

Church House Westminster has become a temporary asymptomatic coronavirus testing centre for central London.

The coronavirus test for people without symptoms takes less than five minutes and uses the Innova SARS-CoV-2-Antigen lateral flow device which means you will receive your results within an hour.

The symptom-free coronavirus testing centre is open seven days a week. You do not need to book in order to get a free test and you do not have to be a Westminster resident.

For more information, please visit the website of Westminster City Council.

Head of Reactive Sales at Church House Westminster, Vedrana Dancerelle, commented: “Covid-19 testing is a vital tool for protecting people and communities and finding asymptomatic cases can help to control the spread of the virus. As a Covid-secure venue in Westminster, we are delighted to host the asymptomatic testing site, which enables those who need to go to work, and may not display Covid-19 symptoms, an opportunity to protect themselves and others easily by accessing an asymptomatic coronavirus testing centre”.

Filming and other essential meetings taking place at Covid-secure venue Church House Westminster can also make use of this asymptomatic coronavirus testing facility when visiting the events venue.

For more information, give the team a call on 020 7390 1590 to discuss your event.

116 Pall Mall shares venue reopening roadmap

After the government announced their roadmap detailing the easing of lockdown over the next few months, 116 Pall Mall have put together their own venue reopening roadmap based on each key date, giving clients clarity on when they’ll be able to return to the building.

Just like the government roadmap, this will be a phased approach and has full details on exactly what clients can return for, including meeting and working for members, weddings, events, meeting rooms and restaurants.

They’re even opening up their stunning outside terrace and garden to the public for dining for the first time on the 12 April, to coincide with the government’s plans that allow outdoor dining to take place for up to six people. Just a stone’s throw from Piccadilly Circus and Regent Street, you can take a well-deserved break from shopping (which also opens up on the 12 April) and enjoy a delicious lunch in their beautiful secluded garden.

The Terrace at 116 will be open Monday – Friday lunchtimes, with plans to open into the evening for drinks over the summer months. Find out about The Terrace at 116 and make your booking ahead of the popular London venue reopening.

All the key dates, booking information and opening details can be found on the 116 reopening roadmap, which will be updated accordingly if the government makes any changes.

Westminster venues’ acts of COVID kindness

As we look forward to the year ahead, we’re celebrating our favourite good deeds from venues across Westminster who have been helping others and offering their time, resources and generosity throughout the pandemic.

Lincoln’s Inn: opportunity in the midst of chaos
Working in an industry that’s main purpose is to ‘serve’ people, the furloughed hospitality team at Lincoln’s Inn did not rest on their laurels over lockdown. A huge proportion of the front of house and kitchen team assisted with the national effort by providing support for those in need, be it registering to become NHS First Responders, shopping for the vulnerable, volunteering at food banks or cooking for the homeless.

The venue’s Sous Chef, Aaron McLaughlin took this one step further by baking cakes for his local pharmacy and selling homemade sourdough bread and donating the money to a charity close to his heart, SSAFA, helping vulnerable veterans during lockdown. His charitable effort did not stop there as he raised £2400 for the same charity by running the virtual London marathon, and £650 for ‘Support our Paras’ by running 2.6 miles each day for 10 days carrying 26kg. His dedication to these charities elevated him to celebrity status as he was interviewed by Sky News talking about how the pandemic has affected charity fundraising.

Regent’s Conferences & Events’ dream wedding gift to emergency service heroes
Regent’s Conferences & Events gifted a local Wembley emergency services couple a dream wedding worth £20k, following a campaign to recognise the UK’s incredible key workers. The wedding venue was keen to give something back after thousands of couples have been faced with inimitable disruption this year when trying to plan their dream days. After hundreds of humbling accounts from couples around the country, Regent’s faced the difficult decision of choosing just one winner. A final shortlist of four worthy couples culminated in the decision to offer the wedding to paramedic Paige and police officer Rob, and 100 guests of their choice.

As part of the package, Paige and Rob will have grounds and marquee hire at the picturesque London venue with use of a secret garden, and three course wedding menu with drinks for up to 100 guests. The three runner up couples were also offered a complimentary wedding planning service throughout their engagement process as a thank you for their hard work as remarkable key workers.

Wedding marquee at Regent's

The QEII Centre’s PPE donations to St Thomas’s Hospital
During lockdown last year, and while the world was still getting to grips with dealing with COVID, the team at The QEII Centre stepped up to help their local hospital. Due to the lack of personal protective equipment available for frontline NHS staff, the QEII Taste team donated all their hand sanitiser gels and gloves to the key workers at St Thomas’s Hospital in Westminster. QEII Taste were supported by Compass Group colleagues in the initiative to arrange the safe collection and delivery of the essential resources.

IET London: Savoy Place’s respite for emergency workers
While the venue was temporarily closed for events last year, IET London: Savoy Place partially reopened its doors as a respite area for emergency workers. Adhering to necessary social distancing measures, Savoy Place welcomed emergency workers, including the Metropolitan Police, ambulance and fire services from around London to seek relief throughout working hours. The initiative, coordinated by Northbank, offered sanctuary to those still heroically patrolling the London streets during lockdown, with a comfortable place to sit, have a drink, sanitise their hands and use the private facilities. Up to six workers were permitted at any one time between the hours of 10:15am-3:45pm Monday to Friday. With wellness a key focus, the aim was to help relieve the enormous strain on many emergency workers through a small gesture of appreciation for the work they do to keep London safe.