Award-winning Central London events venue RSA House, catering specialists CH&CO and event booking platform Hire Space joined forces in August to host their first ‘Safer Event’ together.

The strategy day for Hire Space was an opportunity for their team to get back to business at one of their accredited ‘Safer Venues’ and to catch up on some well overdue team interaction. The purpose for RSA was to put into practise all the new procedures and kick start their events alongside CH&CO launching their new safe menus and RSA their hybrid event offering, in partnership with Radiance Production.

The event was held in accordance with safety guidelines established in the ‘Safer Events – A Framework for Action’ white paper, in accordance with public health, government and industry body guidance. Twenty of the Hire Space team joined in-person with ten members joining virtually from around the world. In a post-event survey, attendees gave the event a safety score of 9.2 out of 10.

The day began with the staggered arrival of guests and digital contactless temperature checks being taken by a member of the RSA reception team. On entry, guests sanitised their hands and were given a ‘Safer Events’ branded hand sanitising wipe and a device enabling them to open doors throughout the venue without touch – a very well thought through gesture, as one of the Hire Space team comments, “Event measures were plentiful which was reassuring. The sanitiser, masks and brass keys at the entrance set the tone of a safe event from the start”.

Thorough signage has been placed around the venue, to include two meters physical distancing floor markers outside in order to manage queues. Additionally, floor markings, digital and human signage in event spaces and public areas was in place to manage a one-way flow of traffic around the venue, to reduce interaction amongst staff and guests. In a post-event survey sent to the Hire Space team, a score of 9.2 was given by guests with regards to their overall feeling of safety.

During the morning, the Hire Space team were taken on tours of the venue by the RSA sales team, giving them an insight into the 11 unique and versatile event spaces RSA has to offer. This included the newly refurbished Prince Philip Room and Romney Room, the iconic Vaults and the charismatic exposed brick Auditorium. Laura Pearce, Head of Sales, RSA House says, “After weeks of thorough preparation to get the venue ready for re-opening with new and heightened safety procedures in place, it was exciting to host our first Safer Event with Hire Space. This was an opportunity for all of us to experience the ‘new normal’ and to learn from the new processes we have in place”. Laura goes on to say, “It’s incredibly important to reassure our clients and the industry that although times have changed, we can hold events safely whilst following guidelines and maintaining a sense of occasion. Our doors are open and we’re very much looking forward to hosting more of the same in the coming weeks and months!”

With self-service stations a thing of the past, the RSA team managed all catering service from behind Perspex barriers to minimise shared touchpoints. Individual energising breakfast bags included a Greek yoghurt with mixed berry compote, a blueberry muffin, a flapjack and a summer berry and banana smoothie. Spanish Bento boxes were a talking point of the day and included Charcuterie from Brindisa of Borough Market.

The afternoon session was enjoyed in the striking Great Room which is steeped in history, providing a truly memorable setting for any event. The hybrid element kicked off with a welcome talk from The RSA’s Head of Commercial Development, Charlotte Sumners, about the history of The RSA and the building along with an overview of The RSA’s current areas of work. Profits from events held at the venue fund these current programmes including, ‘Future of Work’, ‘Regenerative Futures/Sustainability’ and ‘Fair Education’. CH&CO’s certified nutritionist, Amanda Ursell, joined virtually from Italy, to talk about ‘What You Eat Can Optimise Your Immune System’ and gave a useful insight on how to combat screen fatigue.

The day was wrapped up with a private cinema experience in the venue’s ultra-comfy and charismatic screening room, Durham Street Auditorium which was built on the last remaining stretch of 18th century cobbled Victorian roadway. Guests had the chance to sensibly socialise sitting two meters apart whilst enjoying a movie of their choice. CH&CO served pre-packed popcorn and pick ‘n’ mix, adding to the authentic cinema experience.

RSA House recently gained the Hire Space ‘Safer Events’ accreditation and Visit England ‘Good to Go’ accreditation. The venue is open to host meetings and weddings for up to 30 guests and all other events from 1st October (pending government guidelines).