This month 8 Northumberland Avenue shares its top tips to ensure the safety of both private and public events and how to stay diligent:
Work with dedicated security firms
Choosing a low budget firm could cost you later if they mishandle an incident and someone is hurt as a result
Determine your event’s security needs
A security expert can advise you on how many security staff you need for the number of attendees
Advise guests of event security policy
If your speakers or guests include high-profile personnel, you may want to implement a no-phone policy at the venue to prevent attendees from snapping unauthorised photos
Screen guests and staff
Ensure that all attendees and staff have their IDs ready and that their names are on the guest list. Your security staff should be prepared to turn away anyone who has not been invited
Have medical staff onsite
Proper event planning in London calls for onsite medical staff at higher-capacity events. They can immediately attend to unexpected medical emergencies and the higher-profile your event, the greater the risk of an incident. If you’re working with a budget, allocate generously towards event security
For more information about 8 Northumberland Avenue’s events, contact the team here or on 0203 263 1011
Delivering a fantastic event on a budget can be a challenge but certainly not impossible. To help you make sure your budget goes that little bit further, 8 Northumberland Avenue has rounded-up their top tips for cutting down on cost, not quality:
Be flexible with your dates:
Choosing a Monday or Friday for your event can save you, on average, 25% on venue hire and sometimes even up to 50%. A Monday conference is a great way to initiate a productive week and a Friday reception will allow your guests to really let their hair down and with potential savings of up to half-price, you really have nothing to lose.
Think about the month
As with days of the week, some months are more popular than others. We have found that January and April are great months to book when your budget is limited, as they tend to be slightly less popular meaning prices are generally lower than more sought-after months like August or July.
Limit your options, not your quality
Opting for a limited menu means saving up to 10% on costs but at 8 Northumberland Avenue we ensure this does not compromise on quality for our guests. Our event partners AlchemyLive will guarantee impeccable food and service no matter what your budget may be and will work with you to deliver your event vision at a realistic and achievable cost.
For more information on how to deliver a fantastic event regardless of your budget, contact the team, today at [email protected]
Fresh off the back of Sunday night’s glitzy Oscar ceremony, Westminster Venue Collection (WVC) has revealed its members witnessed a 30% increase in film location enquiries in 2016.
The recently rebranded collection, which features 34 members all based in London’s iconic City of Westminster, announced film locations bookings now amount up to 10% of their yearly event revenue.
With fashionable townhouses and private members’ clubs to luxury hotels, celebrated attractions, historic institutes and societies, it’s no wonder an impressive 86% of the eclectic mix of venues have been used as the locations for both the big and small screens.
Keen cinema-goers will know member venue One Great George Street has played a starring role in a range of productions including last year’s Hollywood blockbuster ‘War Machine’ featuring Brad Pitt as well as Woman in Gold (2015). The venue’s Great Hall became the Guildhall for Mark Darcy’s law society dinner in Bridget Jones’ Edge of Reason (2004) and doubled as the National Gallery where Mr Bean is a guard in Bean (1997).
The QEII Centre’s impressive and highly versatile space – the Churchill – which regularly offers a backdrop for a variety of large events ranging from conferences, award ceremonies, corporate dinners, parties and presentations provided an Oscar-winning performance in ‘The Theory of Everything’ (2014).
Other productions have seen member venues providing key locations in Calendar Girls (2003), Spectre (2015), Sherlock Holmes (TV series) and the nation’s favourite wizarding series, Harry Potter.
Commenting on the trend, Kate McCarthy, marketing manager at member venue One Great George Street, said: “From the enquiries we’re receiving, the positive trend for location bookings definitely looks set to continue for One Great George Street in 2017. We’re looking forward to welcoming a whole host of new names and stars to our venue in the coming years.”
Clare Arouche, WVC chair and head of business development at 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, added: “With a host of iconic, unique and historical buildings within our membership, Westminster Venue Collection truly is a location scout’s dream and with our new and improved search function on its website, the perfect setting is just a few clicks away. We look forward to hearing about all the fantastic film and television projects our venues are involved in throughout 2017 and beyond.”
If you would like to find out more about booking one of WVC’s venues for an upcoming film, television or documentary piece please visit the venue collection page and place your enquiry.
Come and explore the characterful St James Theatre, newly available to the London corporate and private events venue market, at an exclusive, private tour hosted by event manager Adam and his team. The coffee morning takes place on Wednesday 25 February at 8:30am. If you’d like to be there, please email [email protected] to request a place.
St James Theatre is the first newly-built theatre complex in Central London in 30 years. Located just around the corner from Buckingham Palace, it plays host to cabaret, comedy, music and theatre with current shows including the critically acclaimed Bad Jews.
The theatre is a perfect venue for product launches, private screenings and for more intimate creative workshops. It’s only a few minutes from Victoria station and boasts an intimate 312-seat theatre available for daytime events and a flexible 100-seat studio, a wonderful live entertainment space that lends itself to becoming a flexible and self-contained corporate events venue. The St. James Bar and Brasserie and the Carrara Restaurant offer a range of stylish, informal dining options.
The venue you choose can have a big impact on the success of your event. From conferences to training, the location and facilities set the tone for the day and can influence the productivity of your get-together. Choosing the perfect location can be tricky. To give you a helping hand, we’ve put together a list of reasons why Westminster makes the ultimate destination for your events, both large and small.
The City of Westminster is world famous as a site of historic and political importance. Surrounded by stunning architecture, including the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Cathedral, Westminster is the heart of London.
With so much cultural and historical significance, Westminster cannot fail to add a sense of prestige to your conference or meeting. When it comes to training events, choosing Westminster as your location can highlight the importance of the day and demonstrate the company’s values and aspirations.
Being central in any city has many great advantages, even more so in London. For a start, Westminster is incredibly easy to get to, with links via road, tube, bus, or on foot. An easy-to-reach venue is a big bonus for conference guests, many of whom may have had to travel large distances to attend. Unexpected difficulties could make it hard for staff, delegates, or meeting invitees to reach a venue located far from transport links, wasting you valuable time and money. With a venue in Westminster, access won’t be an issue.
Being in London has many benefits. Westminster is a cultural hub in which art, shopping, dining, performance and entertainment collide. You’ll find a range of different experiences through the area and with easy connections to other parts of London, all tastes are catered for. From fine dining to theatre, shopping to music, Westminster itself provides plenty of opportunities to keep delegates amused.
This flexibility allows you to combine other activities with your event. Conference delegates will enjoy the local area and the entertainment, sights and tastes on offer add another great benefit to your promising conference package. Staff can end training days with a meal out, helping to build team spirit and once formal meetings are over, a more casual sightseeing trip can be an effective way to close a deal.
Choosing your venue won’t be hard
Once you have settled on Westminster, you’ll need to choose your venue. Believe it or not, this is the easy part. With The Westminster Collection, you can find out information on some of the area’s leading venues, all from our website. You can even send your request for a quote to multiple venues at once, taking the hassle out of finding the perfect place for your conference, meetings, or training days.
RSVP now to secure your attendance at London’s finest event venue showcase, The Westminster Collection’s ‘Destination Westminster 2014’, this year being held at the iconic BAFTA 195 Piccadilly. Famously the home of British film, BAFTA 195 Piccadilly is looking forward to opening its doors to event planners from all across London and beyond for a productive morning of networking, event planning and conversation with 43 of the city’s most celebrated venues, available for corporate or private hire.
Exclusively promoting venues within central London’s City of Westminster – which encompasses Pimlico in the south, to Regent’s Park in the north and from the borders of Kensington in the west, to Covent Garden in the east – guests of this enjoyable breakfast networking event can look forward to discovering luxury hotels, world-renowned conference centres, training facilities, historic institutes and societies, celebrated attractions, galleries, museums and private members clubs.
It’s free to attend. All you need to do is click here to register!
For updates follow @Venues_Wminster #DestinationWestminster
116 Pall Mall will open its doors to brides and grooms to be as it showcases its pristine wedding services in a special event taking place this coming Sunday 3rd November 2013.
Meet more than 40 of the most respected wedding suppliers in London, participate in interactive wedding workshops and have fun watching a couture bridal fashion show while you taste wine and enjoy complimentary food. Explore the facilities of this stunning central London venue before taking advantage of a personal consultation with a member of 116 Pall Mall’s wedding and events team.
All guests can participate in prize draws and a competition to win 50% off the hire cost of 116 Pall Mall for a wedding, as well as taking advantage of special offers exclusively available on the day. With guaranteed exclusive use at weekends, 116 Pall Mall provides a unique and memorable setting for civil ceremonies and receptions.
116 Pall Mall features eight magnificent and individually designed function rooms with capacity for up to 400 people. Its grand and ornate staircase and adjoining gardens are the perfect backdrop for photos in the heart of St James. The stunning architecture and beautifully decorated rooms all receive natural daylight and are fully air conditioned.
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 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 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 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 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 has 25 years’ experience in business, founding, financing and operating a number of companies, including IP-Config.com, 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 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.
The Westminster Collection (TWC) is pleased to welcome anyone in the business of booking corporate and private events, meetings and conferences to register now for Destination Westminster, its 10th anniversary London venue showcase. The event takes place on Friday 13th September 2013 at London’s most central venue, 8 Northumberland Avenue, from 8.30am – 11.30am.
The breakfast showcase event, which is free to attend, is an opportunity for event buyers and planners to spend a morning with the sales and marketing teams at 50 of central London’s most iconic venues. The Westminster Collection is renowned for its eclectic portfolio of member venues, which encompass everything from historic institutes and societies, colleges, museums and private members clubs, to luxury hotels, concert halls, modern training venues, churches and Thames river boats.
New for 2013 is an Unleash Your Creativity forum, designed to inspire new and innovative ways of creating cost-effective events. It will feature a panel of renowned creative talents from venues, suppliers, agencies and production. Details of the panellists can be found here.
Host venue 8 Northumberland Avenue will also take the opportunity to showcase its prowess as the first venue in the UK to offer clients a permanent high definition holographic projection system within its stunning Ballroom, with a presentation by Musion, the world leaders in holographic projection technology and telepresence.
Speaking of the TWC showcase, marketing director Robin Parker said: “It is 10 years since The Westminster Collection formed to create a community of like-minded venues that believed in championing Westminster as a top-class destination for business and events. In this time we’ve grown and gained prominence as a reliable venue sourcing service for event organisers and as a credible marketing platform for venues.
“Our annual showcase has always been a popular date in the calendar and with new features like the creativity workshop, a host of venues eager to introduce you to investments and brand new services, plus eight new member venues to discover since our last showcase, we hope that guests will make the most of this opportunity to explore, learn, socialise and better understand what’s on offer in Westminster. It really is the go-to destination for events, lifestyle, culture and entertainment.”
Registration is open now at http://destination-westminster.eventbrite.co.uk/. This is a free business event especially for professionals responsible for sourcing venues and planning events and as such, TWC does reserve the right to limit or refuse registrations.
If you wish to stay in London the night before Destination Westminster 2013, a number of TWC hotels are happy to offer promotional rates to event guests on Thursday 12th September and over that weekend. Click here for details.
It’s a misconception that cost limits creativity, says Robin Parker, marketing director for The Westminster Collection (TWC). Venues face this challenge daily but it’s incredible the impact you can make when you deconstruct each stage of the planning process and apply a little imagination.
Not every event organiser has the luxury of large event budgets at their disposal. Fortunately they needn’t panic that they have to work miracles alone. Just because funds aren’t excessive doesn’t mean events have to present any less of a wow-factor.
Venues are used to their clients’ tightened purse strings. In the same way that event organisers feverishly brainstorm for the hook that will snag delegates (who are dubious about whether it will be time well spent), so too do venue event teams and their suppliers. We’ve become extremely resourceful at conjuring up alternative ways of working to deliver maximum value.
The real definition of being creative is being resourceful, practical and (dare I say it) original. At Church House, generally we can be more flexible with our hire prices on Mondays and Fridays. Buying into a package with a fixed day delegate rate (DDR) is not always the most cost-effective option. Sometimes it is worth looking at the breakdown of costs and questioning if you really need everything that is included.
Plan ahead and think about what comes next. Expressing interest in booking a series of events in one go creates great bargaining power, as does trying to negotiate with people face-to-face whenever you can. It’s a lot easier to be shot down with a ‘no’ over the phone.
If entertainment is on your agenda, be smart about how you source your act. Is it really essential to blow so much of your budget on a big-name, high-cost performance? How about unearthing an act that’s less well known? Showcase new talent, introduce something new.
The Westminster Collection will be discussing the challenge of cost versus creativity and bringing practical solutions and advice within a dedicated ‘Unleash Your Creativity’ workshop at Destination Westminster 2013, our annual London venue showcase event, featuring all 50 members of TWC. The event will take place from 8.30 – 11.30am on Friday 13th September, at 8 Northumberland Avenue.
Here’s what some of our venue members have to say about how to marry resourcefulness and creativity:
“Creativity in the event industry is about bringing a brand or someone’s vision to life. Increasingly we are being asked by our clients how they can make their events more impactful, punchy and memorable.
“Providing an ‘umbrella’ concept, under which all activities fall, helps the event become more focused and effective. Taking 1920s style influences from The Great Gatsby and Bugsy Malone, we recently created a themed conference for our client Pret. Delegates were invited to dress the part with feather boas, spats and headbands galore and they were welcomed into our townhouse with Prosecco served in saucers. After lunch, a flapper girl troupe performed the Charleston and blackjack and roulette tables encouraged team play and socialising.
“Styles and themes are particularly successful for private conferences where we are seeing companies combining their annual conference with an away day, by adding an entertainment element to an information based day. Holding the two events together saves on time and budget and maximises the benefits of having all staff or delegates together.”
“Any fool can be creative with a pile of money. It doesn’t matter if it’s £500,000 worth of lights and software or an interesting toilet roll holder, show the client, your staff or your boss that you have engaged your mind positively and have created and tested an imaginative solution that will in turn engage the client and guests.
“But first you need to talk, get into the culture of the company or situation, then ask what do you want to achieve, what are the key concerns, what is the true budget?”
“It is paramount for us to create an environment that our guests want to spend their time in, whether for corporate meetings and press briefings or dinners and drinks receptions. The finer details really are essential.
“I use a lot of references from Pinterest, where I find ideas for DIY event dressing and creative ways to set up the rooms. The 41 Portland Place summer showcase was no different. The theme was Street.Food.Party which took influence from the fashionable street food culture of East London. Our venue isn’t in the east, nor does it resemble anything like a warehouse that could be found in the east end. It was therefore my job to bring Shoreditch to Marylebone.
“My favourite trick is to use fishbowls which I borrow from our florist, fill them with fruit (chillis, lemons, limes, apples) and top up with water. Instantly you have a centrepiece or room filler. We also made garlands from chillies to hang around the venue and we filled every surface with spice scented tea lights.”
“Creativity is a big focus at etc.venues as we try to have both creative and functional space in the venue. We have lots of contemporary art work and bright colours throughout the venue to provide discussion and stimulate the attendees. We also have a few pieces of art work from one of our members of staff that he created him self from recycled coffee stirrers.
“As we do everything in house at the venue it really gives us the ability to work with clients’ budgets closely. Our chefs can do food challenges and really get involved with the delegates and we work closely with teambuilding companies, which means they know the space well and can offer the best value for money. They’re also always happy to come along for a show-round with the client at our venue which means they can rest secure in knowing they are being looked after and can brainstorm face to face in the space they want to use!”
Feed your imagination with ideas for how and where to hold your next event within London’s most illustrious business and lifestyle destination, Westminster, at our special 10th anniversary venue showcase, taking place at London’s most central venue, 8 Northumberland Avenue.
This is a FREE breakfast networking and educational event for anyone* in the business of booking corporate and private events, meetings and conferences. Click here to REGISTER NOW.
Hire prestigious, unique and unusual London venues and facilities with Westminster Venue Collection.
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