Gold for Church House Westminster

Church House Westminster has achieved BDRC Continental VenueVerdict Gold Standard Accreditation for 2016.

The annual Venue Verdict Gold Standard accreditation is awarded to venues who achieve a consistently high standard throughout the year, scoring above the required net promoter score in each of the four qualifying quarters.

Church House Westminster’s General Manager Robin Parker comments: “Reaching the Gold Standard once again is a fantastic achievement which the entire team should be proud of. They work hard to achieve our objective of providing outstanding service to all of our clients and their delegates. Only a small percentage of venues across the country achieve the standard so this is recognition of our commitment to excellence. The BDRC Continental VenueVerdict Gold Accreditation is based on the responses of people who have attended events at Church House and their feedback is important as we continually strive to improve our service.”

During 2016, Church House Westminster hosted more than 800 events with a range of new business being attracted to the venue including Osman’s London Fashion Week show, the final curtain call for Billy Elliott the Musical. The venue also underwent a rebrand as well as continued investment in its state-of-the-art AV facilities with the installation of a 4K dual projection and a new sound system in its largest room, the Assembly Hall.

Fore more information about Church House please visit https://www.venues-london.co.uk/venues/church-house-westminster/.

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.

Cavendish Venues looks forward to a great year with WVC

Westminster Venue Collection board member and director of sales at Cavendish Venues discusses a successful 2016 and looks ahead to the next 12 months as part of the consortium.

We at Cavendish Venues are proud to be a member of the Westminster Venue Collection with the Cavendish Conference Centre located in the Borough of Westminster.

As a board member of WVC, it has been exciting to take on the role of website chair throughout our recent rebrand to oversee not only the long-awaited rebranding of the collective’s name but the launch of the new website.

With a strong and diverse collection of 33 prestigious, unique and unusual venues in the London Borough of Westminster, the rebrand has allowed us to reinforce the nature of the group being, at its core, about venues. With this being a key focus for 2016, significant investment was made on a new website using a contemporary new colour palette and a slicker brand identity in line with a new vision for the WVC’s development.

As a board, we listened to our members and clients, took their valued feedback on board, and constructed a functionality that streamlines the user journey and allows only specific enquiries to be received per venue, saving venue members and event bookers’ time significantly.

The new website, launched at the #WVC2016Launch Showcase in December, also gives autonomy for member venues to promote themselves with a portal where they can edit imagery, criteria and special offers as frequently as they need to.

Significantly, the portal will also allow members to track the number of specific enquiries received via the WVC website, there booking status, the number of confirmations and ultimately confirmed revenue for return on investment.

2017 is set to be a fantastic year for the collection. Don’t forget to sign up to our monthly newsletter for event information, venue news and unmissable special offers and promotions!

The Westminster Collection makes an impact at The Meetings Show

Last month, leading venue consortium for Westminster venues, The Westminster Collection met with event buyers and bookers from around the world at The Meetings Show at London Olympia.

The stand, which was manned by a variety of event professionals representing venues from across the consortium, offered the perfect place to discover over 35 stunning Westminster venues and find out how the collection can save buyers time when looking for a wow-factor venue.

Announced on the first morning of the show, The Meetings Show also provided the perfect opportunity for the collection to share its plans for a complete re-brand, name change and new website set to launch later on this year and encourage registrations for the launch event.

Throughout the three-day show over 350 contacts were scanned with just shy of 40 specific enquiries generated which were promptly communicated to all member venues to make business proposals.

The collection’s success at the show highlights just one of the significant benefits for membership to The Westminster Collection and provided a dynamic business platform for both the member venues and the event buyers in attendance.

If you would like to find out more about becoming a member of The Westminster Collection, please click here. Alternatively, if you are looking to book a stunning venue for your next event, find our full collection here.

2012 London Venues Business Report reveals event industry optimism for Olympic Games legacy

The Westminster Collection, Unique Venues of London and The Conference Bench unveiled the key findings of the 2012 London Venue Report today, culminating in what is believed to be the largest entirely London-centric meetings survey in circulation to date.

If you weren’t one of the participating venues, do you share similar optimism about the impact the London 2012 Olympic Games have and will have on the London meetings and events market? Or are you an event booker with a great story to tell about your experiences with London venues this year? We’d love to hear from you. Email news@venues-london.co.uk.

The key findings from the 2012 London Venues Business Report include:

  • 87% of venues feel positive about the long-term impact the Olympic Games will have on the conference and meetings market in 2013 and beyond.
  • 51% of venues believe that the Olympic Games will improve their 2012 full-year forecast, with nearly half of these venues anticipating revenue increases of up to 30%.
  • Pre- and post-Olympic Games business is showing positive gains. 31 venues report increased revenue between May – July 2012 compared with the same period in 2011. 48 venues have reported increases in trade for September – December 2012.
  • The average day delegate rate (DDR) achieved by London venues in 2011 was £52.31, with 67% of venues reporting their individual highest achieved DDRs were £80 or more.
  • 41% of venues report large events are being booked on average three months or less in advance of the event date. The overall survey average revealed a lead time of five months
  • Core revenue streams saw significant growth in 2011, with half of all venues reporting increases of up to and beyond 40%. 55% of venues saw their room hire revenue increase in 2011, compared with the previous year – a trend that continued into the first quarter of 2012, with 58% of venues reporting room hire revenue growth of up to 40% compared with the same period last year
  • 93% of venues successfully used ‘value add’ as a business conversion technique in 2011.

The full 2012 London Venues Business Report is available for purchase, priced £95. Please contact Sophie@custardcommunications.com to order your copy.

5 reasons for event organisers to attend promotional events

By Jenny Hullock, Venue Manager, 76 Portland Place

One of the biggest hurdles facing event organisers is time. Researching new venues is time consuming and often overwhelming, particularly in the capital, where the choice and possibilities appear endless.

Due to busy schedules and heavy workloads, it can be tempting for you to select the same ‘tried and tested’ venues for forthcoming events, but stepping out of the comfort zone and sourcing new alternatives can be hugely rewarding. In doing so you’re likely to deliver an exciting, high impact, innovative function for your target audience, who will welcome the fresh approach.

76 Portland Place

One way to do this is by attending promotional events, and the beauty of these is that they are held, more often than not, out of working hours, either as breakfast briefings, or early evening tasting events, so you need not interrupt your working day.

1)      Build relationships

You get to meet the managerial, operational and event personnel in person, and in addition to getting a tour of the building and the function rooms, you get to ask all the important questions that you would otherwise ask over the phone, or fire backwards and forwards on email. First impressions count, and you’ll get to decide whether you’ll be able to strike up a good working relationship and rely on the team to deliver a first-class event that packs a punch.

2)      See it dressed

Nowadays more and more venues offer 360° visualisation tours on their website, which is an excellent tool for getting a feel for the venue in an instant, but nothing can compare with seeing a venue in person and soaking up the atmosphere. Promotional events enable guests to get a real sense of the ambience, style, and personality of the venue first hand – and see how the rooms look dressed and ready for an event in all their finery.  This is also a great opportunity for you to gather design and detailing ideas such as flowers, lighting, tableware, layout, technology, entertainment and themes.

3)      Sample the menu

Rather than sampling the food and wine after an agreement has been made (taking up more of your time), you’ll get to sample a selection of the menu from the onset which will give you a valuable insight into what is available and, importantly, whether they can meet your catering requirements – everything from creating bespoke menus and tastings, having attentive and professional waiting staff to hand, to sourcing locally grown and sustainable produce.

4)      Explore the facilities

Whether you are planning a product launch, conference, private or corporate function, the chances are you will have a long list of requirements, and you will be able to explore the facilities to see whether they fulfil your needs. Assess the state-of-the-art AV capabilities, high speed wireless internet, air conditioning, flexible seating and enquire as to whether there is an IT support team readily available on the day.

5)      Network with peers

Lastly, you’ll get to meet and share ideas, tips and knowledge with other like-minded event organisers while taking in the surroundings and chatting over coffee or a glass of fine wine.

 

Speciality cheese and wine event at 76 Portland Place

So why not put all of this to the test? If you are looking for a central London venue for an upcoming event, 76 Portland Place will be holding a promotional evening on Thursday 23 February from 5.30pm to 8pm. With an inspiring selection of British cheeses and some carefully chosen wines to complement, guests can enjoy the outstanding catering and have the opportunity to enjoy a tour around the meeting and event facilities available.

76 Portland Place Cheese & Wine Evening

To register your interest, please RSVP to enquiries@76portlandplace.com.

Online Advertising Vs Printed Advertising

By Rachel Hammond, RICS at Parliament Square

Advertising in general is used as a method of informing customers of your company or product and attracting new customers. This is achieved through the medium of eye-catching colour schemes, animation, pictures and informative text. Two of the most used forms of advertising are online and printed documents such as leaflets and flyers. Both have their strengths and weaknesses which are explored below.

With increasing numbers of people now using the internet every day, online advertising has increased dramatically within the last few years, and most notably between the years of 2007 and 2008, where online advertisement suppliers recognised an increase of 10.6% across the industry. In the same year, online advertising increased 4.7% in the market share, even when advertising on the whole was decreasing. It is now clear to see that online and digital advertising is an integral part of the advertising world. This can be due to a number of different factors:

Firstly, it is convenient and is very likely to make an impression on consumers as they have selected a time and place to browse the internet therefore allowing themselves to be susceptible to advertisement campaigns.

There is also a great variety of options when it comes to online advertising which cannot be achieved with printed advertising. Animation can be used, with links to other sites and changing images, this can result in a greater message being put across in a smaller space, whereas printed advertising only offers options in size, colour, shape and text.

The click through element to online advertising is especially advantageous. Not only for directing people to another site, possibly with more information, but also, for recording how many people have paid attention to the advertisement. By using aids such as Google Analytics it is possible to see who and how many people have arrived at your site by clicking through the advertisement.

Online advertising can also have its draw backs. It is all very well to have an excellent idea and promotion, however, it is possible that if a consumer sees an attractive promotion online, they may forget about it by the time they have finished browsing the internet. Even if the consumer does go to the effort of printing the advert out, this is time consuming and defeats the object of online advertising being more environmentally friendly. It is important for a company to know their target market, especially regarding the older generation, who on the whole are not as susceptible to online advertising. It is a generalisation to say that this generation is more likely to take ideas from newspapers and leaflets; this is a practice that has been established for over 150 years, where as online advertising has only become predominant within the last decade.

With the younger generation now becoming an electronic generation, it is sometimes not appreciated when a promotional leaflet is thrust into your hand whilst walking down the street. It is safe to say that many pedestrians find this annoying and flyers and leaflets can become an encumbrance. Furthermore, many people are likely to either throw the flyer in the bin, where it is not guaranteed to be recycled, or create litter on the floor. Due to this; many people are now more opposed to a printed advertisement as it is less environmentally friendly.

Nonetheless, printed advertisements do have their advantages. It can be done fairly cheaply. This is especially good for companies with a limited budget or for small organisations. It is also a tangible aid, people can come back to something they picked up earlier and it is less likely to be forgotten about. Printed advertising can also be noticed in more than one place, where as online advertising is confined to the computer. It is possible to be drawn in to adverts and promotions wherever you go, whether it be on public transport, billboards, building sides or printed publications, therefore printed adverts have an advantage over online advertising in this respect.

Concluding, it would not be possible to advertise using just one medium, this would greatly lessen a company’s range of consumers, therefore reducing the cost benefit of advertising. However, when different types of advertising are combined using cross media, it is likely that the company would gain the greatest benefit, not only by appealing to a larger audience but by playing to the strengths of different forms of advertising.

www.parliamentsquare.org

The importance of good Photography

It is without doubt that good photography is key when promoting your event or organisation through on and offline media. Whether a photo is being sent accompanying a piece of editorial to promote your event, to be included in an advert or as part of a competition, the power of good photography should never be underestimated.

When supplying editorial, it is imperative that good photography relates to the copy supplied. Without an image or with a photo that is either too low in resolution or simply badly taken, the chance of achieving any press coverage drops significantly as it is widely known that images are the first thing to either entice or turn away a reader.

Not only does the quality and type of image affect how powerful your message is and how many people will be enticed to go on and read the article but it also has an effect on how readers view the publication in which it appears – this again stresses the importance of high quality photography as picture editors make clear the difference the right image makes is key to all editorial decisions.

So what are picture editors looking for and how can you ensure that you are spending your budget wisely ensuring the photography you commission is right?

Originality is incredibly important for both successful campaigns, competitions and to achieve acceptance for editorial. When readers are confronted with images in magazines, papers and online, it is the images which capture attention that entices readership. Over-branded photos are definitely something to steer clear from – as tempting as it is to sell your brand or product; it is far less likely the image will be used. Try to sell the product or brand on the strength of the photo rather than emblazing your logo wherever possible.

Ensure your photos don’t fall into the ‘too busy’ category. Good photos concentrate on one central subject which correlates to the supporting editorial, if there are too many distractions; the photo will not draw in readers and will lack affectivity.

Make sure your photo speaks a thousand words. Photo captions are a must when supplying imagery to photo editors, however, the image must also be able to tell the story on its own as it will most likely appear in the media without a supporting caption.

Finally, when commissioning a photographer, make sure you request that all photos are shot both portrait and landscape. Some images may work better one way but depending on space in the relevant publication or website, offering images in both layouts could guarantee you coverage due to offering flexibility.