Getting to know: Mark Green

Mark has been at The QEII Centre, one of London’s largest dedicated event venues, for almost six years and is working as the UK Business Development Manager. We spoke with Mark this month to find out how his role has changed over the past year.

While the last year or so has been extremely challenging particularly for the business meetings and events industry, what do you personally see as the positives to come out of the pandemic?
I’d say my skills in engaging with people via video calls as this has been one of the more significant changes to interacting with people. In the early phases it felt so awkward and unnatural to me, with me feeling overly self-conscious too. Now, I’ve learned to relax into it and make the most of the one-on-one direct way of meeting.

What lured you to work within the business meetings and events industry and what do you love about it most?
I’ve always loved doing business with people. Many, many moons ago I worked as a kitchen designer where I’d have meetings with clients to help bring their dream (kitchen) to life. Being a pivotal contributor to something like that and then seeing reactions was amazing, with the additional reward of winning a client for life, so to speak, as well as seeing the tangible results at the end. Being in the events industry shares a lot of parallels, but on a much larger scale and it’s a wonderful feeling to see an event brought to life and have a client delighted to have put their trust into me and my team.

What excites you most about the return to live physical events?
I’m truly a people person at heart and I love nothing better than meeting and interacting with people face-to-face, catching up, doing business, sharing stories, everything! I’m so looking forward to meeting new clients, existing clients, other venues and getting back to the pre-lockdown style of doing business.

Do you have a favourite type of event, and if so, why?
Good question. I’m a great fan of all types of events, but when The QEII Centre has hosted super high-profile types of events such as the CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) which we had in 2018, we have royalty in attendance at the centre, ROYALTY – now that’s exciting. These types of events really make you feel part of something special.  I’m also a massive fan of technology events. I’m a closet nerd you’ll be surprised to learn and events where new and emerging technologies are launched and presented in detail are really interesting for me.

If you had one message to give to any hesitant event planners, what would it be?
Event Planners who are hesitating to confirm events can rest assured that the QEII Centre has invested in the very best hygiene and infection safety protocols and accreditations to ensure that our venue is fully Covid-Compliant and has systems in place to keep delegates, organisers, staff and indeed every person visiting the venue, safe. One of the many measures we are taking, for example, can be seen in our cloakroom facilities. We understand that delegates may need to travel with luggage, coats etc. so when checking those items in at the centre, we carefully and individually seal their items in biodegradable packaging so as to ensure zero contact with anyone or anything until the owner is ready to collect.

Why is Westminster the ultimate destination for events?
Westminster is the ultimate destination for events, as with the backdrop of Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament and the London Eye, event attendees are left in no doubt that they are somewhere historically special and that they are right in the heart of London. Even after a client’s event, the images taken with the stunning aforementioned landmarks make it a highly attractive destination for both UK and international event organisers. Keep an eye out for a video I will be releasing soon showing off these landmarks on my way to the QEII Centre.

110 Rochester Row offers 50% off room hire for small meetings

110 Rochester Row, centrally located near Victoria Station, is currently offering 50% off room hire for small meetings from 20 to 50 delegates.

The meeting and events centre boasts six fully equipped spaces ideal for meetings, interviews, training courses and seminars, in addition to the larger Rippington Suite catering up to 180 delegates.

Book now at  [email protected]. Subject to availability and catering order.

 

Regent’s Conferences & Events wins Hitched’s Couples’ Champions award

Regent’s Conferences & Events has been named one of Hitched’s 2020 Couples’ Champions for going the extra mile during the pandemic.

Following more than 400 nominations in a bid to recognise stand-out wedding businesses over the past year, a panel of judges representing Hitched selected Regent’s as one of the winners.

The stunning venue nestled in Regent’s Park was nominated by paramedic Paige Stride and police officer Rob Wilkins after they were gifted their dream wedding by Regent’s worth £20,000 as part of the venue’s ‘giving back’ campaign to identify and reward one deserving keyworker couple who last year had their wedding plans thwarted by the pandemic.

Paige said: “Regent’s has gone far and beyond running a wedding competition, they have strived to make our special day something for all of our emergency service colleagues to get behind and be part of.”

Since winning the competition, the venue’s events manager, Rafael Azzopardi, and the rest of the team have been working with the couple to host their dream wedding later this year.

Rob said: “Rafael’s humour and consistent approach striving for excellent results sets our minds at ease every time we talk.”

Rafael Azzopardi said: “This is such a lovely gesture by Paige and Rob to nominate us for this award. As a venue that can host both indoor and outdoor weddings as well as a complete range of other meetings and events, we were keen to give something back to thank the keyworkers for all of their dedication throughout this last year. We’re really looking forward to playing a part in their special day!”

To find out more about hosting your wedding at Regent’s, contact [email protected].

 

RSA House launches new exclusive Christmas parties

RSA House is offering exclusive Christmas party packages at its unique London venue, featuring multiple spaces that are suitable for parties, seated lunches and dinners, and drinks receptions.

The 2021 Christmas package includes several hours of sparkling and house wine, a live DJ and dance floor, a dedicated Event Manager, bespoke Christmas menus from CH&CO Catering, and even more to create the ultimate unforgettable Christmas party for up to 220 guests. Optional extras include pre-dinner canapés, unlimited sparkling wine or spirits, and the RSA ‘Pudding at the Theatre’ interactive showstopper dessert station to truly indulge in the luxury of the venue.

RSA House combines Georgian splendour with high quality contemporary design and is a versatile space suitable for a variety of events. For a truly magical experience, consider hosting your party in the subterranean Vaults, the ultimate underground venue full of unique character, exposed brickwork and intimate alcoves. Or, for a luxurious space steeped in history, hire the RSA’s flagship Great Room as a memorable backdrop filled with 18th century art: a space like no other.

To book now, visit https://www.thersa.org/rsa-house/contact-us.

 

RIBA hosts the 2021 Royal Gold Medal ceremony

The prestigious 2021 Royal Gold Medal, which is awarded annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), was presented to Sir David Adjaye in a ceremony streamed live from Accra, Ghana and London, UK on Wednesday 26 May.

Presented in recognition of a lifetime’s work, the Royal Gold Medal is approved by Her Majesty The Queen and is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence ‘either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture’. Normally run as a physical event with a dinner for around 240 guests, this year’s ceremony was a virtual occasion featuring live and pre-recorded content; it was the first time in RGM history that the RIBA could open this event up for worldwide attendees.

In order to maintain viewer engagement via this virtual broadcast from London and Ghana, the RIBA team commissioned some excellent films to deliver all of the key aspects of the ceremony; a new online platform was brought in to allow networking among guests, so they could chat with each other in a 1-2-1 capacity as they would at a live in-person event. An Expo section of the platform with additional messages and content that could be accessed during and post-presentation was also included.

The event itself featured a welcome address and speech from the RIBA President and CEO; pre-recorded messages of congratulations from significant people around the world including former US President Barack Obama and U2 signer Bono; a film showing the significance of the medal and Sir David Adjaye receiving it; a conversation between Sir David and Lucy Tilley, Associate Principal at Adjaye Associates, discussing his past and in-progress projects; and a live Q&A with Sir David himself from Ghana, with viewers able to submit their questions.

Despite the challenges of lockdown affecting the creation of the films in London and Ghana, and factoring in sufficient time to make sure the audience understood all aspects of the event platform prior to the live broadcast, the first ever virtual Royal Gold Medal ceremony was a huge success. Most notably, it was a fantastic opportunity to broaden the reach of the presentation to audiences who may otherwise have been unable to attend and celebrate the achievements of Sir David.

For more information about hosting a virtual, hybrid or live event at RIBA, contact [email protected].

10-11 Carlton House Terrace highlights key event regulations

10-11 Carlton House Terrace welcomes guests for events including weddings, conferences, exhibitions, film shoots, meetings and parties after lockdown restrictions relaxed on 17 May.

The venue is following governmental guidelines for event restrictions including social distancing, capacities, and other rules for attendance.

According to government advice, from 17 May some capacity restrictions remain for events, and differ between business and leisure events. Currently, guidance is as follows:

  • Business events includes conferences, meetings, exhibitions, tradeshows, as well as private dining events like award ceremonies, gala or charity dinners, and other corporate hospitality. These can go ahead with up to 1000 guests or 50% of the venue’s total capacity (excluding venue staff) – whichever is lower.
  • Private events such as weddings and birthday or anniversary parties are subject to smaller limits of up to 30 guests, indoors or outdoors.
  • It is not clear whether summer and Christmas parties are included under business or private events. Until we have clarification, we would recommend caution and assume the limit of 30 applies to these occasions too.
  • Outdoor events are permitted to have a maximum of 4000 attendees or 50% of the space’s maximum capacity.
  • The government will make special provisions for large, outdoor seated venues where crowds can be safely spread out. This will be for up to 10,000 attendees or 25% of the venue’s maximum seated capacity.

To read the full blog, including guidance on international travel, visit https://10-11cht.com/news-offers/international-travel-events-in-the-uk.

 

116 Pall Mall launches new summer calendar of activity

116 Pall Mall has launched a new summer calendar packed with events, offers, menus and openings that will be coming up over the next few months.

After numerous lockdowns and being unable to welcome guests properly into the building for well over a year, the team are making up for lost time by putting together lots of exciting activities to welcome you back into the venue.

After the government stuck to the roadmap plan on the 17 May and lifted the latest set of restrictions, 116 has reopened their much-loved Café Duke and Wine Bar for breakfast and lunch to the public for the first time. After the success of launching The Terrace at 116, the team will be continuing their service in this secluded green haven with a new menu of summer cocktails, seasonal dishes, and a bubbles happy hour with 25% off all sparkling wine, prosecco and champagne between 4-5pm every weekday – ideal for work or social gatherings!

Speaking of the terrace, don’t forget to make the most of this outdoor space for private summer parties – with capacity for up to 50 on the terrace, or for hire along with the adjoining Carlton Room for up to 150 guests.

They’ve also been planning social events such as jazz nights in their Wine Bar and a classical piano dinner with world-renowned pianist Francois Xavier in the Carlton Room, providing you with entertainment, delectable dining and exciting drinks and cocktail menus.

Kate Dean, Marketing Manager at 116, said, “We’re so excited to be welcoming visitors back into the venue. Although we’ve been open for a little while for meetings, working, filming and outdoor socialising on the Terrace, the latest lifting in restrictions is going to have a huge impact on everyone in the hospitality industry.

“Our building is definitely filling up more as each day passes and we’re actually opening up a lot of our dining spaces to the public for the first time, so I’d highly recommend making the most of this and booking before we fill up. We wanted to put together some fun and exciting activities for the summer to celebrate reopening and I think we’ve done just that. Keep an eye on our calendar as we’re planning on adding new dates as we go. Let’s celebrate the reopening of hospitality in style – welcome back to 116 Pall Mall!”

View the summer calendar.

QEII Centre awarded Greengage ECOsmart Silver Award for sustainability

The QEII Centre has been awarded a Greengage ECOsmart Silver Award for its efforts in operating more sustainably.

The award is given to hotels and meeting venues who take advanced steps to achieve a wide range of eco-focused actions.

The QEII Centre already holds a Green Tourism Silver Award and works closely with the organisation on ways it can continue to deliver improvements and innovations to lessen its carbon footprint.

Planners booking a venue displaying the ECOsmart award symbol are assured the property has been assessed and taken a range of eco-friendly steps to demonstrate their commitment to environmental sustainability.

For more information on holding your next event sustainably at the QEII Centre, contact [email protected].

Westminster meets again!

Westminster Venue Collection (WVC) are delighted to announce that many of their venues have reopened and are now able to host business meetings and events for up to 1000 delegates (or 50% of the venue’s capacity).

Whether you are organising a conference, hosting a meeting, running an exhibition, or planning a wedding reception or other special celebration, WVC’s hand-picked selection of prestigious, unique, traditional and modern venues will provide the perfect space.

The following venues situated in the iconic city of Westminster are currently open and looking forward to hearing from you:

Getting to know: Marina Papadopoulou

For the last two and a half years, Marina Papadopoulou has been the Business Development Manager for Church House Westminster – a Grade II listed, multi-purpose events venue, located in the heart of Westminster.

Marina offers an extensive experience of 21 years in the events industry. Her journey started as a TV and movie producer followed by a quick transition into events. She worked with the biggest DMCs, event agencies and hotel chains as an Event and Sales Manager delivering a significant amount of corporate, incentive and charity events.

We spoke with Marina this month to find out how her role has changed over the past year and what it means to finally be returning to live events.

What’s been the biggest change to your role over the past 12 months?
As a Business Development Manager there is always an element of diversification and proactiveness, but also going above and beyond. Over the past 12 months all these aspects fell into place and it was a year to try new things and to experiment. On the other hand, as a Business Development Manager, I longed to be around people, to connect live, to engage face-to-face, and this was a real adjustment for me.

What has been your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge for me has been the continuous changes that we had to face as a team, as a building, but also as an industry. The uncertainty and not being able to plan was nerve-wracking. Seeing Church House Westminster almost empty and without clients made me feel very sad.

What’s been the most exciting project you’ve worked on with Church House this year?
As mentioned earlier it was the year of thinking outside the box, a year of thinking collaboratively. Most of my projects involved the creation of strategic partnerships to promote Church House and Westminster as a destination. Whilst I can’t share specific details now, watch this space for exciting announcements!

What type of event are you most looking forward to hosting again?
As a team at Church House Westminster, we always loved innovative and unusual events. With our clients we were always working together to create unique experiences. So, from hybrid conferences, gala dinners, award ceremonies and fashion shows, really anything with just a twist, I can’t wait to be hosting all of these experiences in our lovely spaces.

Are you open now for events?
We have in fact remained partially open since August last year for essential meetings, filming and outside broadcasting (without an audience) but we have all been massively excited to reopen properly again for 50% capacity events as of 17 May.

What’s your favourite thing about Westminster as a destination?
For me personally, Westminster is the heart of London, vibrant, innovative, with cultural and historical influences. It’s impossible to think of a more central place to work and live.