Awards success for WVC members

August has been an extremely successful month for our venues in both the 2017 London Venue Awards and Hire Space Awards.

We are delighted to announce that eight of our members have been named as finalists in the 2017 London Venue Awards in the following categories:

Best Historic Venue of Livery Hall: The Royal Horseguards Hotel

Best Catering at a Venue: One Great George Street, QEII Centre

Best Venue Customer Service – Under 500 (Reception): Broadway House, IET:London, One Great George Street, Victory Services Club

Best Venue Customer Service – Over 500 (Reception): QEII Centre

Best Wedding Venue: One Great George Street

Best London Event Venue – 500-1,000 attendees: IET:London

Most Versatile London Venue (1,000 attendees or less): Cavendish Conference Centre, RIBA

Most Versatile London Venue (over 1,000 attendees): QEII Centre

In total, 96 venues have been recognised for excellence and best practice by the awards and all will go through to the finals on Friday, 20 October at The Brewery in London when the overall winners will be announced.

In addition, London Transport Museum and Cavendish Conference Centre have been shortlisted in the 2017 Hire Space Awards in the Best Conference Venue and Greenest Venue categories respectively. The winners will be announced on Friday, 24 October at Landing Forty Two at the Leadenhall Building.

We wish all our member venues the very best of luck in their respective categories.

To find out more about all these venues, click here.

Church House strikes Gold with AIM for the second time

Church House Westminster has once again achieved the highest level of venue accreditation – AIM Gold.

Securing the nationally recognised accreditation for a second time cements the venue’s position in an elite group of venues and it also demonstrates Church House Westminster’s commitment to capability, compliance and competence.

To achieve the Meetings Industry Association’s AIM Gold, the venue underwent a rigorous independent auditing process which saw a panel of independent industry assessors scrutinise the whole customer journey and business processes including resources, creating the customer environment, service delivery and continuous improvement.

Church House Westminster’s general manager Robin Parker said: “We have always taken pride in delivering a consistently high quality of customer service in all areas of our business. To achieve AIM Gold for the second time is an outstanding achievement that the entire team should be proud of as we are assessed on every aspect of our customer’s journey – from the moment they book and event to the time they leave.”

Jane Longhurst, chief executive of mia, said: “AIM Gold is awarded to venues which offer first-class facilities matched by exceptional catering and the highest levels of customer service. The judges were particularly impressed by the enthusiasm of Church House Westminster’s staff who continually identify ways to improve services to exceed customer expectations.”

Church House Westminster is one of London’s most versatile event venues offering 19 flexible event spaces, which can accommodate between 2 and 664 guests, and host a wide variety of events including meetings, conferences, awards ceremonies, gala dinners and receptions.

For more information, call 020 7390 1590 or visit www.churchhouseconf.co.uk.

Cavendish Venues and QEII win at Conference Awards 2017

Cavendish Venues and QEII Centre both emerged triumphant at this year’s Conference Awards with the venues winning Best Conference Venue (under 300 delegates) and Best Conference Venue (over 750 theatre-style) respectively.

Held at Tobacco Dock on Friday 30 June, the awards ceremony celebrated the very best venues, suppliers and event organisers in the conference industry, with more than 600 event professionals in attendance.

Both venues beat off stiff competition to take home the awards and WVC would like to wish them many congratulations on all their hard work.

If you would like to find out more about either of these award-winning venues, click here.

WVC members are shortlisted for prestigious 2017 miaList

Westminster Venue Collection is delighted to announce staff from member venues Cavendish Venues and the QEII Centre have been short-listed for a place on the Meetings Industry Association’s coveted miaList.

Paul Martins from Cavendish Venues and Roopi Woodall, Roberto Goncalves, and Charlotte Best from the QEII Centre are all hoping to have secured a place on the prestigious 2017 roll of honour, which recognises key individuals from the meetings, hospitality and events industries who go above and beyond the call of duty.

We wish Paul, Roopi, Roberto and Charlotte the very best of luck when the winners are announced at a celebratory lunch on Friday, 6 October 2017 at Park Plaza Victoria, London.

Follow us @Venues_Wminster for updates and news on this, and all other WVC news.

QEII Centre obtains prestigious Investors in People Silver Award

London’s QEII Centre is celebrating after being presented with the highly-coveted Investors in People ‘Silver Standard’ award.

The Investors in People Standard is a framework of best practice, awarded to well-run organisations that meet set criteria in areas including learning and development, leadership skills, as well as recognition and reward.

To achieve the Silver Standard Award, employees of QEII completed an online survey and members of the team were randomly selected for interviews with the assessor, in which they were asked how they felt about working at QEII and the company’s vision and values.

The Investors in People assessor saw the motivation and enthusiasm of the QEII team shine through, acknowledging the hard work and dedication in delivering the venue’s vision to be acclaimed as London’s finest specialist events venue, with a global reputation for excellence, superb client partnership working and the delivery of successful, creative, professional and innovative events.

QEII was first accredited by Investors in People in 1998. Once an organisation has achieved the Core Standard they are encouraged to strive to reach a higher level of accreditation (silver, gold or platinum) to better themselves by demonstrating further evidence to meet tougher criteria.

Raj Pragji, HR director at the QEII Centre said: “Only 24% of Investors in People accredited organisations achieve Silver or Gold status, so I’m really proud to say that QEII Centre is one of the prestigious few. We’ve worked very hard over the past 24 months to engage staff with our Transforming Together Change Programme and it’s really paid off, resulting in us being in an incredibly strong market position. It’s great that we’ve been recognised for going above and beyond in such a key area of people management.”

For more information about the QEII Centre, visit www.qeiicentre.london.

High praise for our venues at the London Venue Awards

A huge congratulation to member venues The Clubhouse, One Great George Street and IET London: Savoy Place who scooped top prizes at the London Venue Awards this month.

The Clubhouse was named as Best Business Club, One Great George Street won Best Private Dining Venue and IET London: Savoy Place was awarded Best New or Refurbished Venue.

To find out more about our award-winning venues click here.

Westminster venue secures a place on miaList 2016

The QEII Centre’s Steven Mann has been awarded the ‘Back of House’ title in the esteemed Meetings Industry Association’s (mia) miaList 2016.

The 24-year-old AV project manager who has worked at the leading Westminster-based centre since March 2014, picked up the award, which celebrates those outstanding and passionate individuals in the sector, at a prestigious lunch on 16 September at the Park Plaza Victoria, London.

Jane Longhurst, chief executive of the mia, said: “The judges were impressed by Steven’s professionalism and felt he was a great ambassador for Westminster’s QEII – consistently delivering to high standards. They thought he was a highly motivated, ambitious team player who was very focussed and eager to learn to extend his knowledge and embrace change. He also identifies areas for improvement in the department and is not afraid to suggest change as he has a strong desire to progress and seek professional development opportunities, rather than waiting to be selected.”

Steven said: “I’m so proud to have secured a place on the much sought-after miaList 2016. I thought just being short-listed at 24 was an achievement, but to actually achieve a place is such an honour. It’s fantastic that the QEII Centre continues to invest and support its employees to achieve their goals.”

Congratulations too to the other Westminster Collection members Denis Hickey of Cavendish Venues, Stephanie Gadd of Victory Services Club and QEII’s Stuart Drummond for making the shortlist for the prestigious awards.

And the winner is…

Awards season is now in full swing throughout the industry and our member venues have been getting in on the action.

Congratulations to member, RIBA Venues which was voted the Best UK Conference Venue for 300 to 900 delegates at the Conference Awards 2016, which recognise and reward excellence in the UK events industry.   The judges picked RIBA Venues, with its conference facilities and auditorium for up to 400 delegates, due to the impressive approach and strong commitment to customer service and flexible food concepts.

The QEII Centre was also recognised at the Conference Awards 2016, receiving a mark of excellence in the Best Conference Venue Customer Service Over 600 Delegates category.

Cavendish Conference Centre achieved finalist status in the Best Conference Venue Customer Service Up to 600 Delegates category and One Great George Street were also named as finalists in the Best Conference Venue Up to 300 Delegates category.

In other awards news, we’re proud to have members Denis Hickey of Cavendish Venues, Stuart Drummond and Steven Mann of the QEII Centre and Stephanie Gadd of Victory Services Club shortlisted for a prestigious miaList award.

Run by The Meetings Industry Association the miaList celebrates individuals from the meetings, hospitality and events industry who go above and beyond the call of duty. We wish them the best of luck for the lunch on Friday, 16 September when the winners will be announced.

5 reasons why entering awards is good for business

What’s the story behind awards? Why do we enter them and what does it actually mean to win them in business terms? Diane Waldron, sales and marketing director at the QEII Centre, reveals all.

Last year was truly glittering for so many reasons, but the spangled stash of gold we’ve claimed from multiple awards ceremonies is worthy of special mention. We’ve triumphed at showing our best face to judges in a catalogue of awards that celebrate all specialisms in our business – people, customer service, marketing, catering and leadership.

One year on from our Gold win for Best Large Venue at the Eventia Awards 2014, we’ve achieved incredible momentum, with the QEII Centre having now won and been shortlisted for multiple awards for work across all areas of the business, including being named Best Venue Events Team at the EVCOM Live Awards 2015 (we were ‘Highly Commended’ in this same category in 2014), Best Venue Customer Service at the London Venue Awards 2015 and AV Service Team of the Year at the AV Awards 2015.

QEII Live AV Project Manager Jo Shore was also shortlisted as AV Professional of the Year. The centre also achieved a high commendation at the C&IT Awards 2015 for Best UK Conference Venue and was a finalist in the UK Event Awards, for Corporate Event of the Year and Event Marketing & PR Strategy of the Year, both in respect of the experiential rebrand launch party held in November 2014.

QEII Taste has achieved wins too, with Tomas Varo, Karolina Lewandowska and Kimberley Powell all nominated for the Compass Be A Star Awards. It was here where Karolina won the Can Do Award.

Leith’s also received Silver recognition as Best Food & Beverage Supplier in the M&IT Awards 2015. Let’s not forget Mark Taylor either, whose commitment and drive to modernise the centre saw him win the miaList Leadership Award 2015, an accolade for which we nominated him.

So what’s the story behind awards? Why do we enter them and what does it actually mean to win them in business terms? Here are my five key reasons:

1) We can’t overlook the exceptional impact these recent award wins have had on our overall morale and productivity. Being rewarded for being wonderful customer service experts for example is a big pat on the back for the hard work you all put in to nurturing relationships with our clients.

2) Awards like these don’t surface from ‘PR puff’ – the criteria for entry is strict and much of the judges’ assessments are made via our demonstrations of the impact we’ve had on our customers’ experiences in hosting events here at the centre. It’s our clients’ testimonials, our ability to relay results, our skills at tackling challenges head on and finding solutions and our customer satisfaction and retention statistics that secure votes.

3) Awards reward innovation and systematic planning. Our written entries have to detail step-by-step processes and really lead judges through logical, very visual storytelling to paint a picture of a campaign and most importantly demonstrate its impact and outcomes. We use photography, video, data, quotes and social media conversation. Our PR and marketing agency Custard Communications has offered terrific support to help us achieve this impactful storytelling.

4) Winning business awards is great PR because it demonstrates externally that our centre is excelling. They’re a benchmarking tool, they increase our credibility and through strategic selection of categories, they can successfully highlight areas of the business of which we are exceptionally proud, such as our customer service and our AV credentials.

5) They can open doors to securing new contracts, finding new supply channels and breaking into new markets. They can help us attract new talent too. Ultimately, they help shape perceptions of what we can be and do as a centre, so we’re still celebrating our fantastic wins in 2015 and are hopeful of more mantelpiece bling in 2016!

Trio of miaList honours for TWC venue talents

The Meetings Industry Association’s (mia) prestigious miaList was announced on Monday 28 September during a celebratory lunch at the Park Plaza Riverbank hotel, London.

Maria Schuett, head of marketing at Central Hall Westminster and Mark Taylor, chief executive of the QEII Centre, are amongst the 11 events industry professionals now on the prestigious miaList, following successful nominations from their teams.

Mark Taylor scooped the Leadership Award, which was newly introduced this year. Nominated by his team for his exceptional leadership during a time of major investment and significant change for the iconic QEII Centre, Taylor outshone a number of other leading industry figures to claim the title and his place on the miaList.

“The nominations for this award were outstanding as you would expect from a passionate and innovative industry,” said Jane Longhurst, chief executive of the mia. “The judges selected the recipient of this award based on their knowledge of his 30 years in the industry, his passion, commitment and dedication to delivering cultural change.

“The nomination for him came from his team who highlighted the difference he has made at his current venue, his commitment to the customer journey and the way he has galvanized his team to rebrand and reposition the venue.”

Maria Schuett secures her place on the miaList 2015 for her marketing credentials. Speaking of Maria as she called her to the stage, Longhurst said: “Maria’s nominator said ‘Maria has an infectious determination and energy. Her work has played a pivotal role in securing business’. The judges said Maria is terrific, intelligent, ambitious, personable and hugely creative.”

Due to the incredibly high standard of nominations received, a number of shortlisted individuals received special commendations, including IET Venues’ Simon Timmis, who was acknowledged as ‘a driven and passionate marketing manager’ by his nominator. He ‘is thoroughly liked and well respected’ and the judges were very impressed with Simon’s focus and his commitment to team development.

Congratulations to Mark, Maria and Simon! If you’d like to tell the mia about those people who make your organisation special, or the unsung heroes behind the scenes, keep an eye out for the miaList 2016. For more information or to register for an application pack, contact events@mia-uk.org.