Westminster Venue Collection welcomes three new board directors

The Westminster Venue Collection has welcomed three new board directors – Rachel Azzopardi from Regent’s Conferences and Events, Kay West from House of Commons and Barbara Wutte from the Royal Society.

Head of catering and events at Regent’s Conferences and Events, Rachel Azzopardi brings a wealth of experience to the collection, having worked at the academic venue for over five years. Rachel will be responsible for the collection’s appearances at trade shows and exhibitions throughout the year.

Also joining the board of the marketing consortium, which features an eclectic mix of 36 venues from fashionable townhouses and private members’ clubs to luxury hotels, celebrated attractions, historic institutes and societies is Kay West. The hospitality and event sales manager at the prestigious House of Commons has a stellar background in events and will be assisting the current board on all marketing activities for the collection.

Barbara Wutte, who will be working with Kay West on marketing, joins the board from the Royal Society, who only joined the collection in April of this year. Barbara has held the position of head of conference services at the Royal Society for just over two years and prior to that worked for industry heavyweights Elior and Peyton & Byrne.

All three of the new directors join hot on the heels of the collection’s new chair Diane Waldron, who took on the role in June, and will be assisting the current board to continue to increase the reach and enhance the reputation of the collection.

Speaking of the new additions, Westminster Venue Collection chair and QEII sales and marketing director Diane Waldron said: “We are extremely excited to welcome Rachel, Kay and Barbara to the board of directors. As a board, we work extremely hard to ensure our venues get the most out of their membership with us and with the recent changes in our brand and identity already reaping benefits, the future is looking extremely exciting.”

The Westminster Venue Collection will be appearing at Square Meal Venues and Events Live on 20 and 21 September. Come and see them at stand G32 or find out more here www.wvc.london.com.

Fashion-forward RIBA Venues hosts Wales Bonner

RIBA Venues, the conference and events arm of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), based at 66 Portland Place in London, recently played host to the Wales Bonner fashion show on 8 January 2017.

The event, which took place during London Fashion Week, showcased Wales Bonner’s 2017 winter/ autumn collection to 150 guests in the venue’s RIBA Gallery. 

Acclaimed fashion designer Grace Wales Bonner won the L’Oréal Professional Talent Award for her graduate collection and Emerging Menswear Designer at the British Fashion Awards in 2015. Her work explores representations of black male sexuality and identity which is informed by research that encompasses critical theory, composition, literature and historical sources.

Grace Wales Bonner said: “The Florence Hall was a very impressive space which allowed me to be ambitious with the show concept. The venue and location are beautiful and inspiring, it was a pleasure to work with the RIBA team.”

RIBA Venues head of venues, Moya Maxwell, said: “We were delighted to welcome such an acclaimed fashion designer to RIBA Venues. This further consolidates our offering as a great venue for high-profile fashion events, as well as conferences and meetings.”

To find out more about RIBA Venues click here.

Last chance to register for the launch of The Westminster Collection’s new identity

There is just a few days left for event buyers to register for their place at leading venue consortium, The Westminster Collection’s glamourous launch event to unveil its re-brand including new name, website and identity.

In an innovative and exciting move for the collection, the new branding will be revealed at Central Hall Westminster on 12 December, and will create a more contemporary, engaging and intuitive event booking system that allows event professionals from around the world to access 34 unique Westminster venues at the click of a button.

The full new-look branding will be revealed exclusively to those in attendance at the launch event which will also give guests the chance to meet and network with the collection’s member venues as well as industry peers and key media.

Entertainment will be in abundance on the night with music provided by member venue St Martin-in-the-Field’s resident choir St Martin’s Voices and guests can get snap-happy with a photo booth provided by PhotoBooth Magic, a preferred supplier for the collection.

Following an introduction from The Westminster Collection’s chair Clare Arouche, Rob Chambers, collection board member and events manager at London Film Museum, will deliver an opening speech highlighting the key features of the new website, the thought-process behind the branding and plans for the collection’s future.

Those in attendance on the night will also have the chance to win one of ‘12 treats of Christmas’ as well as the ultimate ‘Westminster Way’ grand prize with everything needed for the perfect Westminster day out including two tickets to the London Transport Museum, lunch for two at One Great George Street, afternoon tea at Conrad London St James and dinner at the Lansdowne Club.

Chair of The Westminster Collection, Clare Arouche said: “We, as a collection, are thrilled to be able to reveal our re-brand and new website that offers event buyers and planners an even more efficient way of accessing a host of premium and diverse Westminster venues all in one place. A lot of work, research and development has taken place to ensure that the new website offers today’s time-poor planners all of the functionality they need to easily access, enquire and book prestigious venues in the heart of London. The news marks a dynamic time of change and development for the well-established collection.”

To pre-register for your place at The Westminster Collection’s exciting re-brand showcase contact Verity Lethbridge on verity@custardcommunications.com before Big Ben strikes midnight on Sunday, 11 December.

Places are strictly limited and The Westminster Collection reserve the right to qualify your event planning credentials in order to confirm your place.

The Westminster Collection to reveal its new identity

London’s leading consortium for Westminster venues, The Westminster Collection, is set to unveil a total re-brand including new name, identity and website at a glamorous showcase next month.

In an innovative move for the collection, the new branding that will be revealed at Central Hall Westminster on 12 December, will create a more contemporary, engaging and intuitive booking experience that allows event professionals from around the world to access Westminster venues at the click of a button.

The full new-look branding and website will be revealed exclusively to those in attendance at the launch event which will also give guests the chance to meet and network with the 34 member venues as well as key industry peers.

Entertainment will be in abundance during the interactive evening, which is set to start at 6pm, with music provided by member venue St Martin-in-the-Field’s resident choir St Martin’s Voices and guests can get snap-happy in a photo booth provided by PhotoBooth Magic – a preferred supplier for the collection.

Those in attendance on the night will also get the chance to to win a whole host of prizes including a remote-control James Bond car from the London Film Museum and a pair of Christian Louboutins from Cavendish Venues.

Following an introduction from The Westminster Collection’s chair Clare Arouche, Rob Chambers, collection board member and events manager at London Film Museum, will deliver an opening speech highlighting the key features of the new website, the thought-process behind the branding and plans for the collection’s future.

Chair of The Westminster Collection, Clare Arouche said: “We, as a collection, are thrilled to be able to reveal our re-brand and new website that offers event buyers and planners an even more efficient way of accessing a host of premium and diverse Westminster venues all in one place. A lot of work, research and development has taken place to ensure that the new website offers today’s time-poor planners all of the functionality they need to easily access, enquire and book prestigious venues in the heart of London. The news marks a dynamic time of change and development for the well-established collection.”

To pre-register for your place at The Westminster Collection’s exciting re-brand showcase, contact Verity Lethbridge on verity@custardcommunications.com before Big Ben strikes midnight on Friday, 9 December.

Places are strictly limited and The Westminster Collection reserve the right to qualify your event planning credentials in order to confirm your place.

 

BAFTA plays host to ‘A Night to Remember’

During this year’s London Fashion Week, The Green Carpet Challenge (GCC) united with BAFTA and the British Fashion Council to present ‘A Night to Remember’ hosted by Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, Anna Wintour, Natalie Massenet, Livia Firth, Amanda Berry, William Vintage and the Metropolitan Museum of New York Fashion Institute curator Andrew Bolton with Andrea & Guido Bonaveri.

‘A Night to Remember’ celebrated fashion from the world’s iconic red carpets – from the movies to the Met Ball and unveiled a unique exhibition of iconic vintage couture gowns discovered by William Vintage. Undeniable red carpet icons, they exemplify the values of artisanal skills and handcrafting from the 20th and 21st centuries with work by Hubert de Givenchy to John Galliano and Alexander McQueen. The event also saw an eco-world first: the unveiling of Bonaveri’s eco-mannequins. Bonaveri is world-famous for creating mannequins for the fashion industry and now launches the first biodegradable mannequin.

Guests including Victoria Beckham, Helena Bonham Carter, Joely Richardson, Luke Evans, Arizone Muse, Amanda & Tallulah Harlech, will.i.am, Caroline Rush, Mario Testino, Sabine Getty, Erin O’Connor, Daisy Lowe, Caroline Sieber, Christopher Bailey, Henry Holland, Stephen Jones, Erdem, Matthew Williamson, Hannah Weiland, Molly Goddard, Portia Freeman, Pixie Lott, Justin O’Shea, Laura Bailey, Lauren Santa Domingo, Nicole Farhi and Bianca Jagger attended.

Following the presentation, was the premiere of ‘The First Monday in May’, Andrew Rossi’s feature capturing the collision of high fashion and celebrity at one of the globe’s biggest fashion events: the Met Gala, famously chaired every year by Anna Wintour, artistic director, Conde Nast.

Amanda Berry, CEO BAFTA said: “The creative industries must take responsibility for their impact, seizing every opportunity to ensure the creation of art has a positive environmental legacy. Since 2011, BAFTA has chaired the BAFTA Albert Consortium, helping the film and television industries to act on their impact together. With over 400 organisations involved, the consortium provides the tools, guidance and opportunities to all those who recognise the urgent need for action on climate change. Five years of collaboration has seen the roll-out of environmental management tools, bespoke industry training and, most recently, the costume directory – a guide to ethical sourcing. The Green Carpet Challenge highlights important progress made in fashion and BAFTA is excited to be working with GCC and hopes that the collaboration will allow us to drive further sustainable progress.”

To find out more about BAFTA or to make a booking click here.

Photography supplied by Dave Bennett from Getty.

Imperial Venues Launches New Wedding Brochure

Imperial Venues has launched a new wedding brochure for its ceremony and reception venues in South Kensington.

With two historic townhouses, which are both licensed for civil wedding ceremonies, along with large and modern event spaces, Imperial is the perfect choice for couples looking to get married in central London.

The brochure’s stylish design benefits from beautiful venue photography, updated reception packages and additional venue information, helping couples to choose the right space for their big day.

Ceremony and reception packages are available at 170 Queen’s Gate and 58 Prince’s Gate, Imperial’s historic townhouses, both of which benefit from private outdoor spaces. Reception only packages are available in the Queen’s Tower Rooms, ideal for larger parties.

For more information about weddings at Imperial or to download the brochure, please visit the Imperial Venues website or contact a wedding expert on 020 7594 9494.

The benefits of being part of a venue collection from One Great George Street

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.

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.

Central Hall to crowd-source Meet The Future conference content

Central Hall Westminster‘s next ‘Meet The Future‘ event technology conference on 9th June will feature Corbin Ball, writer and specialist with 20 years’ event technology experience, Neuroscientist Dr Beau Lotto and BBC technology journalist Kate Russell, while the rest of the day’s content line-up will be entirely crowd-sourced by delegates.

As part of the registration process, delegates must choose the topics they would most like to see covered in breakout sessions, with the most popular choices forming the basis of the agenda. The leading topics are currently audience engagement, location-based technology (iBeacons, NFC and RFID) and big data.

Maria Schuett, head of marketing at Central Hall and Meet The Future conference producer, says: “Our 2014 event was such a huge success, many felt it would be hard to follow. This year, however, we’re not only giving busy event buyers the chance to experience flash new tech as delegates, but taking the concept a step further and looking at how tech helps us to create better programmes and levels of engagement for organisers. Having Corbin involved is hugely exciting and we’ve got more than a few surprises up our sleeves for the day, so watch this space!”

A limited number of tickets for Meet The Future are available to senior event professionals by visiting www.c-h-w.com/future

BAFTA draws crowd for annual Westminster venue showcase

Friday 10th October saw more than 150 event buyers gather at BAFTA 195 Piccadilly to discover and network with dozens of central London’s best event venues, brought together over breakfast by London venue marketing consortium The Westminster Collection (TWC).

It was TWC’s annual venue showcase, Destination Westminster, held once a year to create an opportunity for people who organise events to enjoy productive, face-to-face conversations with venue representatives from some of London’s finest historic institutes and societies, dedicated conference venues, river boat venues, luxury hotels, museums, tourist attractions, private members clubs and concert halls.

Guests in attendance came from a mixture of integrated marketing agencies, event agencies, charities, embassies, government organisations, law firms, accountancy firms, retailers and tour operators.

BAFTA 195 Piccadilly took the opportunity to showcase its bright and airy David Lean Room and Foyer Bar, as guests posed for twitter and Instagram photos alongside iconic BAFTA masks and enjoyed indulgent, sweet and savoury breakfast treats including cinnamon toast with roast banana on a chocolate milk shot, and spinach, potato and goats cheese tortilla with smashed avocado.

Guests then loaded up their pick ‘n’ mix bags with breakfast themed treats from the sweetie bar before seizing the chance to make like the stars by taking their seats in BAFTA’s illustrious Princess Anne Theatre. Here they watched short screenings of candid interviews with Hollywood film stars including the late Robin Williams and Tom Hanks, as well as British talents Idris Elba and Ricky Gervais.

Speaking of the event, Allyson Hargreaves, board director for The Westminster Collection says, “We always look forward to this event. It provides great sales leads for our venues and we hope serves to raise awareness of the excellent, free venue finding and event enquiry tools The Westminster Collection offers to event planners via our website. There are few events that offer such an intimate opportunity to network and have meaningful business conversations in a relaxed environment.”