Lights, Camera, Westminster – curtain’s up on venue collection’s starring roles

Fresh off the back of Sunday night’s glitzy Oscar ceremony, Westminster Venue Collection (WVC) has revealed its members witnessed a 30% increase in film location enquiries in 2016.

The recently rebranded collection, which features 34 members all based in London’s iconic City of Westminster, announced film locations bookings now amount up to 10% of their yearly event revenue.

With fashionable townhouses and private members’ clubs to luxury hotels, celebrated attractions, historic institutes and societies, it’s no wonder an impressive 86% of the eclectic mix of venues have been used as the locations for both the big and small screens.

Keen cinema-goers will know member venue One Great George Street has played a starring role in a range of productions including last year’s Hollywood blockbuster ‘War Machine’ featuring Brad Pitt as well as Woman in Gold (2015). The venue’s Great Hall became the Guildhall for Mark Darcy’s law society dinner in Bridget Jones’ Edge of Reason (2004) and doubled as the National Gallery where Mr Bean is a guard in Bean (1997).

The QEII Centre’s impressive and highly versatile space – the Churchill – which regularly offers a backdrop for a variety of large events ranging from conferences, award ceremonies, corporate dinners, parties and presentations provided an Oscar-winning performance in ‘The Theory of Everything’ (2014).

Other productions have seen member venues providing key locations in Calendar Girls (2003), Spectre (2015), Sherlock Holmes (TV series) and the nation’s favourite wizarding series, Harry Potter.

Commenting on the trend, Kate McCarthy, marketing manager at member venue One Great George Street, said: “From the enquiries we’re receiving, the positive trend for location bookings definitely looks set to continue for One Great George Street in 2017. We’re looking forward to welcoming a whole host of new names and stars to our venue in the coming years.”

Clare Arouche, WVC chair and head of business development at 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, added: “With a host of iconic, unique and historical buildings within our membership, Westminster Venue Collection truly is a location scout’s dream and with our new and improved search function on its website, the perfect setting is just a few clicks away. We look forward to hearing about all the fantastic film and television projects our venues are involved in throughout 2017 and beyond.”

If you would like to find out more about booking one of WVC’s venues for an upcoming film, television or documentary piece please visit the venue collection page and place your enquiry.

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.

RSVP now for special showcase at Cavendish Venues

You are invited to a special showcase at Cavendish Venues on Thursday, 29 September 2016, open to all event bookers. The event will begin at 6.30pm and will include champagne, cocktails and canapés alongside plenty to keep attendees entertained including a fantastic, fun photo booth.

RSVP now to hadleigh@cavendishvenues.com to receive confirmation and secure your place and see for yourself how member venue, Cavendish Venues consistently surpasses expectations through a warm, personable and efficient approach to hospitality.

Get on your bike at 110 Rochester Row

110 Rochester Row has teamed up with the magnificent Virgin bikes to make sure you get to your event on time.

Dodge the traffic, slip on some leathers and a helmet and ride like the wind all the way to the flexible meeting space. It really is that simple, when you book a suite in September 2016 at 110 Rochester Row.

Just contact the team and let them know where you need picking up from within London and the motorbike will be dispatched.

To find out more or to make a booking please visit www.110rochesterrow.co.uk or call the team on 0207 828 2888.

8 Northumberland Avenue secures Caterer’s best places to work title

8 Northumberland Avenue of Northumberland Events has been named as one of the best places to work in hospitality by The Caterer.

Committed to providing a positive and productive working environment, the venue has established core values to unify employees in a shared understanding of how to interact and behave. This in-turn has created a co-operative, respectful and productive working environment which helps employees feel part of the business and motivates them to deliver great service.

Each department worked together to develop these core values, captured in a framework called the 31 Practices. A representative from each division was an ambassador for the values, which include: ‘We cheer each other on and remember to say thank you’, and ‘We use positive body language and words’.

The other initiative is the company’s investment in Insights Discovery Profiling – a tool designed to improve self-awareness and development and to support interaction among colleagues.

Most recently the venue introduced a Share incentive plan, the company says it is aware people spend a lot of time at work and it is ‘committed to creating the best environment for employees to enable them to love what they do and in turn deliver excellence’.

To find out more about 8 Northumberland Avenue click here.

Central Hall Westminster launches new virtual reality experience in China

Central Hall Westminster announced the launch of its new virtual reality (VR) experience during a week-long visit to China.

It was showcased at the IT&CM Exhibition Shanghai, the Department of Commerce in Zhejiang Province and at a meeting with the team at Alibaba HQ Hangzhou.

Central Hall’s new virtual reality technology aims to showcase the venue’s versatility and range of event spaces to both international and UK buyers. The VR experience not only enables viewers to get a 360 degree view of the event spaces on offer throughout the central London venue in a virtual show-round, but also features a variety of live events scenarios as a fully immersive viewing experience. VR live events include the BBC’s New Year’s Bryan Adam’s concert 2015, amongst other high profile events.

Paul Southern, Managing Director at Central Hall Westminster, said: “This has been an exciting development for us at Central Hall. Our ability to harness this technology and connect the venue to the most remote places in China, and indeed anywhere else in the world we take it, is an extraordinary advance within our sales process. We anticipate that this will help to strengthen our position within the Chinese market as we continue to develop relationships in this sector.”

Maria Schuett, Head of Marketing at Central Hall Westminster, added: “The objective is to support our clients to conceptualise their ideas within our flexible event spaces, not replace the physical experience. The new virtual reality package, showcasing various layouts, productions and visual settings, adds a new dimension to those earlier discussions with clients.”

The VR experience has been created by Trek Wireless, creators of interactive digital assets for the retail and hospitality industries that work seamlessly across PC, tablet, mobile and VR devices. For further information about Central Hall’s virtual reality offering please visit https://www.c-h-w.com/vr.

Lights, camera, action at One Great George Street

One Great George Street has added to its filming credentials as it was chosen as the location for upcoming film War Machine – a satire of America’s war with Afghanistan.

The American comedy war film, which is directed and written by David Michôd, is based on the non-fiction book ‘The Operators’ by Michael Hastings and features Brad Pitt.

War Machine’s Location Manager Tony Hood shares his experience of working with One Great George Street’s Special Events Team: “There are a number of stunning rooms within the building but what really sets the venue apart is the helpful nature of the event staff who have everything covered. It is unusual in Central London to find a single location that has such an extensive range of film-worthy spaces, and additionally the room to house the various elements of the production to allow us to shoot out the scenes quickly and efficiently.”

War Machine follows hot on the heels of the current BBC thriller series, The Night Manager, which was also filmed at One Great George Street.

To find out more please visit http://oggsvenue.com/

Welcome Regent’s Conferences & Events

The Westminster Collection is proud to introduce our newest member venue Regent’s Conferences & Events.

Just a few short minutes from Baker Street Station and located within 11 acres of private grounds in Regent’s Park, the venue offers capacities of up to 370 for conferences as well as vast opportunities for outdoor events such as team building or barbeques.

Chairman of the collection Robin Parker commented on the new member venue: “We are delighted to welcome Regent’s Conferences & Events to our collection and look forward to involving them in all our activities. We are in the middle of a really exciting period for the collection and it is the perfect time for our new member to immerse themselves in everything we have coming up. To welcome a venue with such impressive outdoor space is fantastic and I know they will be a real asset to the collection.”

If you are reading this on behalf of a Westminster venue and are interested in becoming part of the collection please contact robin.parker@churchhouseconf.co.uk