Increase in UK-based filming for big productions at One Great George Street

Historic Westminster venue One Great George Street witnessed a marked increase in filming bookings in 2015 with location managers for the BBC TV series The Night Manager, the film War Machine starring Brad Pitt and Wonder Woman all choosing to use the venue.

Shedding some light on this trend, Charles Somers of Charles Somers Locations, the Location Manager for Wonder Woman, said: “The UK tax incentive, combined with easy access to top rate crews and facilities, in conjunction with favourable exchange rates, make it highly likely that the trend for major US features to film in the UK will continue throughout 2016 and beyond.”

Mr Somers noted that there were many unique aspects to the venue that set it apart from other filming locations. He said: “The quality of the architecture combined with the proportions of the rooms gives One Great George Street the unique position of being one of the best locations in London for the type of scene we were filming.”

He added: “The building works on so many levels, not just from a creative point of view but also from a logistical standpoint. We were able to accommodate all the other departments inside the location, such as background artists costume, make-up and wardrobe, as well as the crew and crowd dining areas, which helps make the day run very smoothly for the location department.”

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World first holographic telepresence over 4G at 8 Northumberland Avenue

By Sami Badrakhan, marketing executive, 8 Northumberland Avenue

On 26th January Charles Boyd, director and owner of 8 Northumberland Avenue and Ian O’Connell, director of Musion, brought 4G holographic telepresence to 8 Northumberland Avenue‘s ballroom using the ready-installed Musion technology. They were conducting a Q&A session but only Charles was present in the venue. Ian was on the other side of London being ‘transported’ as a 3D hologram via 4G wireless technology onto the stage at 8 Northumberland Avenue.

This ability to reproduce, between different locations, the best characteristics of direct human interaction that result from face-to-face meetings has been in existence for many years.  So how is this so unique and a significant improvement to the events industry?

Telepresence normally requires an expensive fibre optic cable and a dedicated network management system operating between two venues.  It’s been no coincidence that telecoms companies were the only ones able to afford this, because they could use their own lines. This new technology, using eight 4G SIM cards in a box all working together to stabilise the signal to deliver the 3D image seen, reduces the cost enormously.

Telepresence is a well-known technology to aid a reduction in event costs and indeed carbon footprint. There’s no need to go to the expense of flying a keynote speaker over from New York and paying for their accommodation. But as Ian highlighted, using 3D holographic telepresence over 4G goes further and creates a “truly live experience, more immersive than talking to someone via a 2-dimensional screen. It enables people physically located in one meeting room to see 3D holographic images of people in another location, as if they were sitting opposite them”.

8 Northumberland Avenue has already seen the benefits of using this technology.  Speaking at the event Charles Boyd said: “We are focused on being at the forefront of technology advancements to ensure our clients receive the highest return possible on their event investment by amplifying their messages. We’ve already seen this for ourselves at the event we hosted for corporate buyers last month.  We’ve reached a far wider audience than those who just attended the event.  We’ve had an increase in social media activity with new followers,  press coverage and some great feedback.”

To find out more about how this technology can benefit your next event contact the team at 8 Northumberland Avenue.

Avoiding WiFi woes – Central Hall webinar announced

Central Hall Westminster invites events professionals to register to participate in a free webinar it will host on Thursday 20th February, 9am-10am, to address the way and means to ‘Avoiding WiFi woes – filling the expectation gap between venues and event organisers’.

Staying ahead of the game is about proactively engaging with technology, sharing ideas and adapting to resources available. The UK events industry has a lot of catching up to do and through its ‘Meet the Future’ series, Central Hall is aiming to fill and bridge that gap.

Learn from the experts, including Richard Hughes, director of event WiFi specialist Max WiFi, and Kim Carrington, IT manager at Central Hall, who will help you to ask venues the right questions to avoid those familiar WiFi woes.

The session will prepare you with a solid understanding, case studies, a handy glossary and a unique chance to ask your specific event questions. To register for this free event click here.

Send your questions prior to the event to Maria Schuett to guarantee inclusion in the seminar programme.


Off to Work Training Academy launches ‘How to…’ video demos for events staff

Events and hospitality staff can now access six brand new, bitesize training videos, produced by hospitality staff supplier and training provider Off to Work (OTW).

Available free of charge via OTW’s online video channel OTV, the light-hearted demonstrations have been created in response to demand for interactive learning experiences, with Off to Work trainers walking viewers through simple, step-by-step instructions for making lip-smacking cocktails like the rum Daiquiri and the Gin Collins. They also talk about the history of the spirits, where they come from and what they’re best used for.

See barista Thomas “Ricco” Reid brew and pour a perfect ‘flat white’ as he explains how this popular Australian coffee style differs from the latte. Learn how to box a table too, with smart tablecloth folding tips from Terry Jones, before perfecting elegant up-do, the hair bun – an event grooming staple made easy by Annie Jones and hair model Susanna Born.

Off to Work Training Academy uses these short videos as refreshers for basic but essential events and hospitality skills and they’re free for anyone to download and watch from the OTW website. Other videos in the series include tips on how to open and pour wine and champagne, how to tie a Double Windsor knot and how to clear five plates from a table.

How to make a flat whitePresented by Thomas “Ricco” Reid
How to make a Bloody MaryPresented by Jazz Evans
How to make a DaiquiriPresented by Terry Jones
How to make a Gin CollinsPresented by Josh Smith
How to box a tablePresented by Terry Jones
How to make a hair bunPresented by Annie Jones, with hair model Susanna Born

Speaking of the launch of the new hospitality skills videos, Matthew Hubbard, OTW’s service development director, says:

“These new video instalments in the Off to Work training library are produced to support the extensive classroom and practical hospitality training we provide our team and clients. While an open resource for all in the hospitality industry, they help to deliver the exacting standards we believe in and enable amazing experiences for our clients and their guests.”

View or download OTV’s complete series of ‘How to…’ videos free of charge.

Video conferencing arrives at 10-11 Carlton House Terrace

To thrive in today’s economy, companies must be able to collaborate with colleagues, partners and customers around the globe without delay and with the greatest possible ease. The pressure is on for organisations to become faster, leaner, meaner, greener and more global. With shrinking budgets and fewer resources, it’s getting tougher all the time.

The new video conferencing facilities at 10-11 Carlton House Terrace take away the strain of organising meetings between people located in different corners of the country, or world. These facilities are available now. To learn more and to enqire about availability and costs, please call 0207 969 5224 or email [email protected].

In-house vs. externally supplied AV: what to choose?

Ian Locke, audio visual manager at Church House Conference Centre, weighs up the pros and cons of external AV suppliers versus the professional teams already embedded in-house at event venues.

In the events industry today there are a wealth of production companies offering creative service expertise and the latest equipment and technology, but there are also many venues which offer high quality audio visual services coupled with the latest technology in-house, constantly updated to meet the changing needs of the events industry. So why do some clients prefer to bring an external production company in to a venue while some will always opt for in-house?

When a client choses to source their AV requirements externally, it is usually because they have worked together for a number of projects and have become a preferred supplier. The client may feel that their events have more continuity, relying on the relationship with their supplier to ensure that content is delivered consistently.

In fact, a venue’s in-house AV team is often just as experienced at interpreting and understanding the client’s needs as specialist external suppliers, delivering as reliable and consistent a service as an independent production company. Often, in a short period of time, they can gain a client’s confidence and build a lasting relationship through their skills and expertise.

One of the main benefits of using an in-house AV team is their knowledge of their venue’s capabilities, from the technology available and the building’s infrastructure, to what services would best suit what a client is looking to deliver to their guests. As the in-house AV team is an integral part of the venue’s event team, there will already be a strong working relationship and good communications between the two.

It is understandable that a client may feel unsure about using a team they have not worked with before, so look for indications of quality such as industry awards and testimonials for reassurance, and attend planning meetings before the event to ensure that the AV team is delivering on your brief.

External production teams and internal AV teams can make an excellent combination. Sometimes due to time constraints and timescales between the venue’s bookings, it is difficult for the production company to provide and install all the refinements their client requires.

In-house AV teams can assist in the provision of major parts of the production such as technical support, sound systems, lighting, stage sets, or a combination of these requirements, in order to help production companies meet the tight deadlines.

At Church House we are always happy to work alongside others and we have great working relationships with several external AV company. Working together on projects provides a great opportunity for all involved to share key industry knowledge and skills.


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Top accolade for Church House Conference Centre AV team

Royal College of Surgeons launches webcasting services

In today’s fast-paced business environment it often is impossible for everybody to be in the same place at the same time. The Royal College of Surgeons’ new webcasting service allows clients to broadcast their event in real time to as many global viewers as they like and, even more importantly, to actively engage with them.

Live webcasts bring many other benefits, such as increased brand coverage, playback on mobile devices and reduced travel costs. Moreover, the service provides multiple broadcast cameras for visual variety and professional audio systems, for additional content including PowerPoint slides, document attachment or agenda points and for polls, surveys and social media interaction.

Recently, Cancer Research successfully used the Royal College of Surgeons’ new webcasting service to broadcast to over 500 delegates. Dr Nicola Hawkes, Operations Manager at Cancer Research, was delighted with the result: “Webcasting allowed us to broadcast live and record the conference with six months’ access after the event, via the internet. This meant we could share our event with a wider audience.”

For more information on the Royal College of Surgeons’ new webcasting service, please call 020 7869 6702 or click here to visit the website.

Grow your event & collaborate remotely with livestreaming over the web

By Kevin McLoughlin, audio visual manager, One Wimpole Street

Recognising the importance of connectivity and state-of-the-art technology for the events industry, One Wimpole Street, London’s acclaimed conference and meetings venue, has recently launched a streaming facility enabling customers to stream their audio visual content over the internet to be viewed live or ‘on-demand’.

Online streaming enables audiences to grow and engage, reaching people in other parts of the country, or indeed the four corners of the world. It’s the ideal opportunity to expand the capacity of ‘physical’ events such as masterclasses, meetings, conferences and award ceremonies.

Live and on-demand streams provide powerful benefits to both the event organiser and online viewers. Live streams enable people to contribute, collaborate and watch the event unfold in real time. And if you want to attend in person, but can’t, it really is the next best thing.

On-demand streaming extends the shelf life of your event and can be watched until the link is removed. Both methods can be readily shared via social media channels and have the potential to reach hundreds if not thousands of people, often achieving high ROI as a result of the exposure.

So for this blog post, One Wimpole Street brings you our top tips on live and on-demand streaming, before, during and after your event.

Before the event

Start by thinking about how you will promote the event. Websites and e-newsletters are the ideal location to point people to your live stream or on-demand url, and trailers featuring interviews or the previous event will really go the extra mile to whet people’s appetites.

Think about where to host your urls. Ideally you should direct people to your website; that way they are well placed to find out more about your company and your latest news. Cunning!

What about the cost? Well once the technology is installed, costs are fairly minimal. In addition, getting a sponsor on-board, can cover your production and event costs and their logo and brand message will feature on the broadcast by way of return.

To get a ‘real time’ indication of who is present during your live stream broadcast, create an online registration page to capture names and email addresses. If the event is a masterclass or webinar you should encourage remote viewers to gather as a group to collaborate on discussions and contribute questions at the end.

Testing, testing, 1,2,3. However good the technology may be, blips can happen so ensure you test everything in the days leading up to the event, such as the slide show, microphone, server, url link, lighting and video equipment. At One Wimpole Street we’ll manage this process for you, for your peace of mind.

During the event

So the day has arrived, everything’s set for live steaming and the camera is poised. What now? To boost collaboration and user experience, encourage your online viewers to contribute by typing their questions into a text box on your webpage. These can be used in the Q&A or discussion session at the end of your event.

Most importantly, ensure your live and on-demand viewers don’t have second class participation in the event. Include extras to the on-site event such as vox pop interviews with delegates and further interviews with presenters.

For a more information and a demo of our new livestreaming web cast technology, contact us on:

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7290 2951
Email: [email protected]

Web Video: 5 Top Tips and 3 Big Benefits

By Andrew Carver, Co-Founder, Raindown


There’s good reason to get excited about using video online. At present, YouTube alone has over two billion views per day and 24 hours of video are uploaded every minute. By 2015 Cisco predicts that a staggering 90% of global consumer traffic will be made up of video. As Google US Managing Director of Travel, Rob Torres confirms: “High quality video is the future.” So what are the benefits?

3 Big Benefits

Web video boasts a whole array of tangible benefits for those in the hospitality industry. Here are just three of them:

1. Increases Sales and Bookings

Research has continually shown that video can directly lead to new sales and bookings online. Internet Retailer recently revealed that customers who view product videos were 85% more likely to buy than those who didn’t. Videos have a powerful effect on people’s purchasing choices.

2. Grabs and Retains Attention

People are much more likely to click play on a video than read a page of boring text. Video instantly engages a viewer, connects with them and draws them into exploring the rest of your site.

3. Builds Trust

Transparency is key. Build trust with your audience by enabling them to see, hear and meet you online. Video builds a relationship and acts as virtual face time.

5 Top Tips

How do you capitalise on these benefits and go about producing great web videos? Well here are five top tips to get you started:

1. Keep It Short

Keep it succinct and under three minutes. The average YouTube video is about two minutes 30 seconds whilst some of the most successful viral videos are 30 seconds or less. Having 10 different 30 second videos is often more effective than having one five minute video.

2. Share Your Story

Everyone likes a story and video is a great way of sharing yours. Where and how do you source your food? What’s the tale behind your happy customers? Tim Hayward’s Guardian video series is a good example of sharing stories behind the food and drink.

3. Get Interactive

Interaction is at the heart of any social media tool and competitions are often great ways to generate this. Starting a competition where users can generate their own video content can be a great way of engaging with your audience and driving traffic to your site. Other ways to get interactive include the use of annotated tags or embedded user-generated content such as Fairtrade’s A Fair Story.

4. Keep it Personable

Whilst flashy graphics have their place, the simple power of personal communication should not be underestimated. In a recent interview we shot with Richard Branson for A Good Week, he shared personal insights into what ‘good’ meant to him. Having posted a link on his Twitter page and embedded it on his blog, the video gained 2799 views in just two days.

5. Back it with Budget

Although there’s a time and a place for the rough and ready flip cam, if not done well it can damage your brand’s profile. Quality and style matter so it’s worth getting your videos professionally produced. Invest in high quality and the video will pay for itself.

For more tips and insights about web video follow us on Twitter: @rain_down. Andrew Carver is co-founder of Raindown, a visual production company that specialises in web video and film.