Networking is an invaluable opportunity to meet professional contacts and create new business opportunities. The team at 8 Northumberland Avenue take us through the dos and don’ts that can help you make the most of your time at a networking event:
Introduce yourself to the event organiser. The organiser can supply additional details about the event, such as who is involved, and in general point you in the right direction
Be yourself – don’t play a role. You are seeking to build lasting business relationships so be genuine
Be respectful. Refrain from interrupting conversations to offer your business card and starting to talk
Have reasonable expectations. When you’re attending an event, know and understand your goals
Show interest in the other person. When you’re talking to someone, maintain eye contact. Nod your head to show that you’re listening. It’s a small gesture that counts
Scatter your cards at random. Nothing comes across as more insincere than handing out your business card to anyone and everyone without being asked
Don’t be afraid to join a conversation. In most cases, there’s nothing untoward about joining a conversation and waiting for an opportunity to introduce yourself
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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?
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@example.com or call 020 7706 7700.
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.
Central Hall Westminster is hosting a free webinar featuring a panel of industry experts who will debate ‘The Event App Challenge – costs, logistics & engagement’
Thursday, 5th February 2015 09.00am – 10.15am
The events industry is talking ‘apps’ but are your questions answered?
What is the service scope of event apps?
Which one is right for your events?
What is the actual cost of an event app?
What is the planning process?
… and most importantly…usage. How do you drive engagement successfully?
Central Hall Westminster’s expert panel will include 3 event app providers (servicing low, medium to high end market segments), an engagement specialist and representatives from the industry.
The session will give you a solid understanding of the opportunities/challenges involved to enhance the event experience through apps, covering practical questions, feasibility, shared best practice and more.
Join this free webinar online at 9am on Thursday 5th February and get a head start to ‘tech-proof’ your future events.
What colours, prints and cuts are influencing uniform fashions this season and next? Will McCann reveals his tips
The event and fashion industries have been and will always be synonymous with extravagance. Both push boundaries, whether it’s the new must-have colour or print, or the latest delicacy to grace the canapé tray.
When it comes to how we dress our staff in the industry, uniform fashion should always remain a focus of an evening, but perfecting that look can be quite an investment. The visual presentation of staff is regularly overlooked, with standard all-black uniforms, or the white shirt, black tie combo rolled out en masse. How very drab, you might say, but actually, 75% of the time the white shirt, black tie ensemble is perfectly appropriate for an awards dinner, for example, or for a drinks and canapé reception.
Why shouldn’t the industry try and adopt more of the trends falling off our catwalks in the booming British fashion industry, though? One of our clients adopted a new style for all of their staff combining a waistcoat (black or tweed) with a pink knitted tie and a tailored white shirt – it’s on-trend and looks fantastic!
While this has meant giving out new uniform at an event and then monitoring stock, it does look truly brilliant and unique and it distinguishes this client’s staff from other event caterers.
A big trend in the Autumn/Winter 2013/14 season has been the use of checks, squares and my personal favourite, tartan. In fact I’ve just recently purchased the most splendid navy tartan suit for myself. As with all winning trends, tartan’s popularity shows no signs of waning and we can expect to see this edgy fabric continue on into the spring/summer season. Its widespread availability makes it a smart and relevant look for special events.
Forget garish red tartan; think of a more toned down, sartorial version. Navy, burgundy and green tartan fabrics are very smart and they look particularly striking in the form of a waistcoat teamed with a tailored white shirt, or as a tie paired with a tailored shirt. That sort of look exudes class.
Floral is another trend with legs for the summer months – a look we’ll see bloom in hospitality uniform fashions this coming spring season. For a summer wedding or other summer event, use the floral uniform trend to bring an event theme to life. Imagine female waiting staff in fitted white shirts or blouses paired with flowing, floral skirts or more figure-hugging pencil skirts adorned with floral prints. It’s professional, yet has a whimsical air of informality, in contrast with the severe look of a black shirt and black trousers.
And for the die-hard monochrome crew, you’re in luck, because this uniform fashion trend is a keeper, but you should make an active effort to keep it updated. A little alteration here and there to the custom event wardrobe can transform the look and feel of a brigade of event staff and the effectiveness of an event theme.
For a trendier event, consider a cropped or turned up trouser with a sockless shoe in the summer. Tailoring is a must – a fitted shirt and trousers always look splendid and exude elegance. Team with simple accessories, such as a monochrome flower tied around the wrist, a plain cravat or a different coloured tie or trousers, and you have easy and affordable techniques for elevating the look and feel of your all-important staff. Never underestimate their ability to make an event experience memorable.
Will McCann is operations manager for leading events industry staffing agency and training academy Off to Work.
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.
Award-winning event staff supplier, recruitment consultancy and professional training academy Off to Work is delighted to launch its Event School for 2013, with a special focus on style and design.
With names like Masterchef winner Keri Moss and former The Apprentice contestant Miriam Staley within the speaker line-up, bookings are expected to be snapped up quickly for the two-day workshop series, which will run on Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th April at the London Irish Centre, Off to Work’s dedicated Training Academy in Camden, London.
Building on the success of last year’s school, Event School 2013: Style & Design will bring together renowned professionals from successful creative businesses to deliver a practical, workshop-led programme focusing on specific areas of the event planning and delivery cycle.
From a designer ‘mocktail’ mixing masterclass with Sejuiced and a lesson in wine buying for events with Blanco & Gomez, to workshops in food styling and event storytelling through photography with Red Photographic, room theming and lighting with Wise Production, plus content marketing and event communication tips from Custard Communications, Event School 2013 is aimed at event planners, event coordinators and managers, event agencies, caterers, F&B staff, chefs, marketing staff and business development teams.
Highlights of the programme include a networking lunch and concurrent panel debate on ‘Menu design for events’, featuring Keri Moss, winner of MasterChef: The Professionals 2012, Nick Mead, director at Eden Caterers, Vicky O’Hare, managing director of Party Ingredients and Gerald Aberdeen, executive head chef for Table Talk. These expert menu developers and chefs will share tips and tricks for planning a show-stopping selection of dishes that are not diluted by challenging dietary restrictions.
The workshop style of the programme means that delegates can pick and choose which ‘modules’ best fit their job role and requirements and attend these sessions as one-off learning experiences.
Attendees working in events and hospitality will leave inspired and equipped with tangible skills to aid their career development and to maximise the impact and profitability of future events.
“We’re pleased to welcome our clients, our team and all events professionals to attend any or all of the Event School’s workshops. We’ve designed workshops to be intimate, with a cap on 20 people, to ensure you can enjoy a focused and interactive learning environment,” said Philip Atkins, managing director, Off to Work. The exceptions to this are the educational, networking lunches.
A vibrant and sociable company, Off to Work has been providing the finest, skilled staff to the events and hospitality industries throughout the UK and overseas since 2001. Throughout this time, the company has stayed true to its guiding principle ‘to help provide some of the best experiences and memories people have ever had’ – something they achieve by remaining committed to hiring only the people most passionate about hospitality.
Event School 2013: Style & Design will take place on 9th & 10th April 2013 at London Irish Centre, Camden Square, London, NW1 9XB. For the full workshop programme, to find out more information or to book, please email Lucy Katan, call 020 3155 1975, or visit the dedicated website page.
Workshops are priced at £40+VAT each and package rates are available if you’d like to attend multiple sessions.
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