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Curious Case of London City Selection 2016

A load of new venues and experiences, our girl Laura tells us all about the Curious Case of London City Selection…..

 

On Friday the 4th of March I woke up and looked out of my window to be greeted by thick snow. Snow. In March. Madness. Only in the North would this happen. Lucky for me I was heading down to London for the Curious Case of London City Selection and escaping the pesky snow.

I arrived and checked in to the ultra-modern M by Montcalm Hotel. This hotel is a technology fanatics dream. You don’t have light switches or close your curtains by hand. Your hotel room has 3 tablets which control everything. The hotel also has event space. The second floor is purely event space, no bedrooms just meeting and event rooms making it more self-contained. The hotel has 6 event spaces that can be hired individually or certain rooms are attached to others so they can be joined together. The largest room is the Roundabout room which holds 137 theatre. This room can be combined with other rooms to create an even larger space if required.

After a quick relax at the hotel I headed to the beautiful One Moorgate Place. Here is where we were put into our teams for the murder mystery event. We then had to go around a meet all the venues who are part of London City Selection and answer a question at each to crack a code the next day.

I had a quick show around of One Moorgate Place and it has a great mix of event spaces. My personal favourite room was the Members Room. This room has a bridge which was inspired by Sir John Belcher’s love of Venice. The room has bookcases all around which are filled with books dating way back.

The venue also has some more modern spaces. The rooms have large windows making them bright and perfect for smaller meetings and presentations.

The next day we headed to Sadlers Wells Theatre for breakfast. The first thing we saw when we walked into the venue was the ‘crime scene’.

Throughout the day each team had to visit venues within The City of London, the square mile, to complete a task that gave us a clue to who had murdered the victim. Tasks included swabbing the murder weapon, getting the murderers finger prints off items and meeting up with a witness to get the rest of the information. We also had a show around of the event spaces on offer at each of the venues. The venues my team, Murder She Wrote, visited were The Furniture Makers Hall, Middle Temple, Two Temple Place, St Pauls Cathedral, The Barbican, Museum of London, Montcalm The Brewery Hotel, Holiday Inn Express London City and Trinity House. All the venues have great event spaces for a range of different events and budgets.

The Furniture Makers Hall is a small venue with only 3 event spaces. The largest room, the David Burbidge room, is a flexible event space that is located on the ground floor and can seat 70 theatre style. The other two rooms, the Mike Clare room and the Arnold Moore room, are smaller spaces that are ideal for smaller executive meetings and private dining.

The Barbican has a range of event spaces from meeting rooms for training to an indoor garden for weddings and drinks receptions. The Barbican has 19 spaces that can cater for 2000 delegates all the way down to 20 delegates.

Fun fact for you, the corridor that Bridget Jones ran down in the Edge of Reason and declared her love to Mark Darcy who then proposed to her, was filmed in The Middle Temple.

On the Saturday evening we were collected from our hotels by our Routemaster Red Bus and taken to The HAC for a gala dinner. The dinner and the venue were both beautiful. This is where we were told who out of the 8 teams had won. My team didn’t win but we did come third. Yaay!

The HAC has 7 event spaces. The largest can seat 480 theatre style and the smallest can seat 12 boardroom.

London City Selection has a collective of 26 unique venues. If you are interested in knowing more or putting on an event at any of these venues then please get in touch with us.

 

You can email us at theteam@top-venues.co.uk or give us a ring on 0844 8709963.

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

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IBTM World 2015 – A Trip Back In Time

One week in November 2015 was a week of firsts for Laura. Her first time flying on her own, first time to Barcelona and her first time attending IBTM World. See what she has to say about the experience, what she learnt and what she got up to below….

 

I attended last year’s IBTM (the first year not being EIBTM I am told) as a hosted buyer. I was hosted by Barceló Hotels who have over 140 different venues around the world. I stayed in Barceló Sants a very cool and quirky hotel that was space shuttle themed which felt like I was in James Bond film or something (if you have read any of my other blogposts you will notice an recurring theme of me feeling like I am in a film).

I also got to see the equally quirky but boutique style Barceló, Raval. On the Wednesday night after a day at the show Barceló took all their hosted buyers for a lovely meal at the Raval. This was a really nice evening with plenty of wine and it was a great opportunity to network with other agencies and get to know more about Barceló in a relaxed environment.

I arrived in Barcelona on the Tuesday night and after checking in to the hotel headed straight to bed for some well needed rest before the show on the Wednesday. Throughout both the days I spent at IBTM I met lots of venues that would be great for our clients. Stand out venues for me were the Barbican, 1 Wimpole Street and Arcotel. The Barbican and 1 Wimpole street are both located in London and have some really unique spaces to offer to clients.

The Barbican has 19 spaces that can cater for 2000 delegates all the way down to 20 delegates. The venues largest space is the Barbican Hall which is a raked auditorium making it perfect for large scale events. But the Barbican can also cater for smaller events such as training events and meetings in their Frobisher Boardroom which can hold up to 20 people.

1 Wimpole Street has 16 event spaces that are perfect for meetings and conferences. The venue is also really easy access as it is located between Oxford Circus and Bond Street tube stations, making it a great option for events that have delegates attending from all over. 1 Wimpole Street has three auditoriums which can seat 80 people, 150 people and 300 people. The venue also has a really unique space called the Toynbee Mackenzie ENT Room (ENT stands for Ears Nose and Throat). This room has exhibition cases around the room that have old medical implements in from when 1 Wimpole Street used to be part of the Royal Society of Medicine making this quirky room absolutely perfect for events for clients within the medical sector.

Arcotel have 11 hotels. 4 in Austria, 5 in Germany and 1 in Croatia. The 11th is opening in Salzburg in January 2016. All the properties are 4* and each hotel has a different feel to them so you don’t feel like you are in a hotel anywhere in the world as they are all different to one another. Dietary requirements such as vegan are an option on their menus as standard. This is something that I feel all hotels, venues and restaurants should follow.

IBTM was a great experience not only for myself and to improve my venue knowledge. But also for our clients. By attending events like IBTM we are able to meet new contacts and discover new venues to offer to our clients so that they are always provided with the best rates and venues for their events.

Overall I really enjoyed IBTM. It’s a very fast paced and hectic few days but that’s what the events industry is like and it does take some getting used to (I was pretty much a zombie for three days after). The only thing I would change is the amount of time you get to see the city the event is being hosted in. It would have been great to see a bit more of Barcelona and see a couple more venues there.

If you want to find out more on how we can help, get in touch!

You can email us at theteam@top-venues.co.uk or give us a ring on 0844 8709963.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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A Bit Of Twitter Fun!

Here at Top Venues HQ we’ve been coming up with some ideas to keep you entertained. We know you’re all twitterers and so figured maybe you’d like to be involved as a bit of fun…

 

  • Tweet us a picture of your most amazing space and every month we’ll tweet the winner and feature the space/venue in our twitter header.
  • Don’t forget to follow us so we can DM you if you win as we also like to (when we’re feeling specially nice) send something lovely to you as a thanks for being part of the fun.
  • Make sure you include the name of the place/venue/location and #topspaces #topvenues in your tweet.

TOP TIP: Make sure the picture will catch our attention. 🙂

Good Luck and Happy Tweeting!

From The Top Venues Twitter Team

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Lucas (Our BDM) Provides Advice and Talks About Cold Calling

There is a negative image of cold calling, usually  projected by people with experience from “clucking” call centres. The reason I have not called them “sales people” is because they are not sales people. With the labour turnover of 150% a year these “call factories” grind through literally anyone with proficiency in English.

I have experienced different styles of cold calling, hated some of them (2-3 minutes dialler powered mass calling, 100+ a day), but after growing rhino’s skin I started developing my own pitch, and squeezing my personality and some fun into the script. Despite leaving the call centre job I have always kept this experience in high regard (and people who were happy in this line of work even higher), as it has provided a great base for developing my own style.

Some would probably argue that we all pick up bits and pieces listening to others’ sales pitch,  as well as invent our own style as we go. It is true, but in my opinion what is most important in cold calling is that the call has to be relevant. It has to be relevant for the client, it has to be relevant for the caller. This can be achieved by research and learning. Without understanding how is the call relevant to the potential client the call becomes an unpleasant experience, affecting both parties. It might be a desperate “thousand shots”  speed conversation, when the sales person fires all benefits and features hoping something will stick. There is a jargon expression for this – “A feature puke” and is really a monologue, not a conversation. And we all have been there – you are trying to get something out of the person on the other side, while you both quietly pray for someone or something to accidentally end this unfortunate conversation.

In order to avoid this, I have always made sure to maintain certain key points in a cold call:
1. Research
2. Relevance
3. Being concise
4. Being original
5. Timing
6. Avoid Neanderthal pauses e.g. “eeeh” “yyy” “aaa” “uuummm” when delivering the message.
7. Closing the call
8. Follow up.

I am sure there are people who can easily relate my experience to books, studies and research; young and pro-active generations will dismiss it all as “thing of the past”, while Twitter and Facebook will do it all for them, but I am strongly convinced cold calling isn’t dead at all, I just think there are not that many people who do it right.

I wish all BD people good luck; to those who have not got the liberty of choosing their own calls and clients I say “Stay strong!” 🙂

Have a great day !

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Blogspot: New Year, New Event: Better Late Than Never!

Ok lovely blog readers, this one’s a bit late, but rather late than never right??
So here’s what our lovely friend, Holly Brailsford had to say about new years and events….

 

Now that 2014 is in full swing, everyone can start to plan their yearly event calendar, whether big or small. Some may even begin thinking about what might be coming up for 2015 and after. Post-Its and note-pads are covering desks up and down the country, as cups of tea and coffee are drunk whilst ideas are thrown back and forth. What a wonderful time of year!

Year on year we see the same events and conferences hit our doors, it’s fantastic to have the repeat business and we love seeing a familiar face. What is even greater is when the event gets better and better, we love nothing more than an enthusiastic organiser! Numbers rise, delegates are more excited to attend and the whole experience becomes more well-rounded for all. What are these organisers doing differently? Whether their field is medical, charity, financial etc, they keep people attending time after time and keep them engaged with the topic.

One of the key points is changing with the times, it sounds so simple but embracing the new can make a huge difference to the delegate experience. We have events now that can stream internationally so delegates and companies whose budgets have been cut can login and watch from afar, keeping the interest going for those who can’t attend in person. It’s also a great way for those people who do attend, but miss a key speaker, to login afterwards and watch their talk at a later date.

Twitter and hashtag-ing is becoming more and more popular and powerful, giving your event its own hashtag is a brilliant way of drawing in a younger and more tech savvy audience and also broadening your reach across social networking. Your hashtag can be included on promotional material prior to the event, to create a buzz before you’ve even arrived. It can be printed on banners, hand-outs and event t-shirts to push the message that you want your delegates to interact! If you want to go one step further you can include a live news-feed during your conference.

We see very formal events, who sometimes are dealing with incredibly difficult or troubling topics lighten the mood with brightly coloured welcome packs, banners and matching t-shirts and hoodies for staff. This is a great way of taking the edge of a conference which could otherwise be very emotionally draining.

As you head into 2014 and think about a new event you plan to hold, something totally new for you and your company think about “you” as the delegate. What will make you excited to attend, what will make you comfortable throughout and most importantly… what will make you want to come back for the 2nd year it’s held. There is nothing more valuable than constructive feedback and opinions of others who attend events regularly. Ask them what made a particular event stand out for them, you’ll probably be surprised by the answer!

If you’re gearing up for your annual event… what can you shake up to cause more interest and a buzz! If you’re bored of planning the conference, the chances are your delegates are bored of attending. What would make it fun for you, even when covering the darkest of subjects? How can you engage and interact with the attendees more effectively and what do they need to take away with them at the end.

Large events are also fabulous networking opportunities across companies or within larger frame-works of people who only see each other a few times a year. Sharing best-practice between colleagues and peers during these times is something to consider as well, giving your delegates enough down-time to work the room.

2014 is going to be about experimenting and trying something new, and sometimes a little out of the norm. But, who says the norm has to be dull…. Throw in some colour and a sense of humour and even the heaviest of subjects can be met with a smile.

About the Author

Holly Brailsford is Sales Executive at Manchester Conference Centre and Hotel and is responsible for all New Business and Account Management at the venue.

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Notes from Down Under – Blogspot – Expos Expos Expos!

Here’s our latest blogspot from our regular monthly blogspotter – the lovely Emily…..


Expos Expos Expos!

It is coming to that time of year again when all the major venue expos in the UK and Europe are kicking off and preparations are well under way. This sector occupies a high percentage of the events industry in the UK and Europe and similarly on the other side of the pond.

Confex and Imex are approaching, two of the biggest and leading exhibitions for the event industry and event industry specialists will be flocking in their thousands to ensure they attend as a means of networking for business, getting up to date on industry trends, discovering fresh ideas and new event technologies and gain some inspiration for their year of events ahead. For individuals in the industry it really is a must attend. Strangely after much research it seems Australia doesn’t host an event of this sort for us event professionals which is rather baffling, Australia is home to some of the world’s finest event venues and spaces, not to mention the size of the market over here and the host to world renown events. Being the nosey parker that I am I have contacted several bodies and main convention centres to discover if they were aware of any and if there were none, then why not, I have yet to get responses.

The Australian’s sure love a good expo though. Since arriving in Melbourne in November there has been a number of large expos taking over Melbourne’s Convention Centre. There seems to be a pattern over here however, up to Christmas there was a series of Home/Garden expos leading up to the summer period including the Grand Designs Live show for people looking to undergo home improvements, followed by an array of music industry expos for the music lovers hoping to secure a place at the summer music events. It has seemed to quieten down throughout January but there is a whole host of new events in the pipeline in Melbourne and the trends appear to be Bridal Expos. With Australia being at the peak of their summer, most weddings tend to occur this time of year so wedding planners, excited newly engaged couples and those just wanting a nosey are flocking to the city to gain some inspiration for the upcoming year’s weddings.

Another key trend to kick off the new year seems to be health and fitness expos along with hair and beauty conventions for those inspiring towards a ‘new me’ for the new year. Coming up to Autumn here in Australia there appears to be a second wave of Home and Garden expos and Travel expos for those wanting to get their homes in order or take off before winter sets in. Of course I think the venue expo calendar here will be completely opposite to that of the UK and Europe as the seasons are the opposite. This seems to be the theme for expos in Australia, they seem to follow the flow of the seasons and what is trending at the time. This next couple of week as the summer is coming to a close, food and wine/beer expos are taking over Melbourne and people from all over Australia and surrounding countries are heading here in there 100s to experience Melbourne’s vast culinary delights.

Similarly to the UK and Europe, Australia also hosts a range of interest specific expos including craft fairs, mind and body, health and fitness, textiles and career specific events such as those in the medical profession, science, arts, design and illustration, construction & architecture and the list goes on. The space is also popular for the use of company award ceremonies, concerts, conferences and launches.

Now I am going to admit, shameless as an event professional, that in the UK I very rarely attended exhibitions unless it was of great interest to me. I think this is down to several reasons. Since I have been in Australia I have been to rather a few, the difference I feel is; 1 – There appears to be more on offer with a wide range of genres, 2 – The expos are either free or a very minimal cost, 3 – Accessibility to the venue and general marketing of the expos. In the UK I rarely saw anything advertised for expos of interest to me and I usually had to read about it in a review afterward. Expos here are highly marketed by the venues and they place a lot of emphasis on them and the visitor experience.

The only niggle is that of the lack of event industry specialist exhibitions but then I guess the ozzies have to count on us Brits to show them how its done, though I better not let any ozzies hear me say that.

Emily Dwyer is an event manager originally from the UK that’s just emigrated to Australia with her partner. Emily regularly writes blog of her experiences in the event industry and has a monthly blogspot here on the Top Venues website amongst writing her own. You can read other blogs Emily has written about her experiences here: www.theeventure.wordpress.com

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End of Another Year…

Well what can I say – it’s been one hell of a year for us here at Top Venues and Events.

With wedding bells, new team members and bigger events there’s been something to keep us on our toes all year (we’re not complaining!).

We’ve been that busy, particularly the last three months, that we’ve even failed to keep our lovely readers up to date with everything that’s going on. (Sorry about that)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what’s the score for 2014….

  • We have a guest blogger from Down Under that will be providing monthly blogs on everything event related to give us an incite into how our pals across the water work.(first blog will be this week)
  • We’re looking to find new offices as we need a bigger space so will keep you posted when we do.
  • We’re taking on even bigger events and working even closer with some of our regular clients to create better working partnerships.
  • We’re continuing to keep up the service standards we’ve set ourselves over the last few years.
  • We’re looking to keep you updated with more blogs that we hope you’ll find of interest.
  • We’re getting to know even more suppliers to be able to offer more to all our clients, old and new.
  • More importantly – we’re still the same approachable, happy people you currently work with and will continue to be 🙂

So, with all that to come and with this year coming to a close, all that’s left to say is:

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!

from all the team at Top Venues & Events xx

 

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Blogspot: Entertainment? Here’s A List Of Things To Consider.

Guest Blogger: Susan Heaton Wright

There are many fabulous venues around and many brilliant people at those venues to help you. If you are including entertainment in your event, it is worthwhile asking the following questions, to ensure you choose the right venue for you.

1. Timing restrictions; some venues have a curfew on sound, for example, no music played outside after 8pm – so if you might need to re-think the idea of having a band outside for late evening dancing! Remember Hyde Park last year, where the microphones were switched off! You want to avoid that!

2. Noise restrictions – decibel limits. Many venues have maximum decibel meters where the power cuts. A DJ or band members are going to look stupid if their equipment suddenly stops working. Being aware of this will avoid disappointed guests!

3. Types of music: there could be restrictions on amplified instruments – so acoustic instruments and voices should be used in those cases, although we have found that occasionally a keyboard could be used – although do check!

4. Preferred suppliers: a few venues will only allow specific suppliers to work there. Check before you plan your event!

5. Loading/unloading equipment : how easy is it? Will you need to have someone on guard to avoid a parking ticket? Will you need additional people to help with the loading. Are there time restrictions of when equipment can be delivered?

6. Getting to know the porter/doorperson/receptionist who will know all the tricks to avoid parking tickets. The saints of any venue know everything about unloading, the easiest route to the performing areas, any top tips. Ask to have their contact details so you can build up a rapport.

7. Any fabric (historial) features that need to be preserved: will equipment need to be put on special flooring to protect the floors? Cellos protective spikes. But also certain venues have restrictions on the mix of sound – one venue we work at has restrictions on the bass levels, because it affects the windows!

8. Power sockets and the amount of power – particularly outside. It is okay for a venue to say ‘We have power outside’ but if there is only one socket, it could restrict equipment used therefore might need to arrange a generator or cabling.

9. Acoustics – some venues are very resonant, or dry: a space with no carpets or curtains can be very noisy; low ceilings create a different acoustic. The challenge is that when your guests arrive, the acoustic alters again. Ask advice from your venue and also your entertainment supplier, to see what will work. If necessary, arrange a recce to the venue – this will show you if they know what they’re talking about too!

10. Type of event: if you are having a network event, remember that people want to talk and hear each other. A noisy room, and one that also has entertainment, might be too noisy. Likewise an event for 50 people which normally holds 250 will have the guests and entertainment ‘rattling round’ the room. Choose your space according to the event as well as the number of guests.

 

About the Author

Susan Heaton Wright is Creative and Managing Director of Viva Live Music.

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Blogspot: Making an Event ‘Exceptional’

Ok people, here it is, our next blogspot. You may think we’ve already covered Making an Exceptional Event. However, this time we’re looking at it from a different angle…and looking at making an Event Exceptional! Happy reading….

Guest Blogger: Jilly Jones

Exceptional events happen because of the people involved. Right from the initial enquiry, it is vital to establish the event objective and to ensure that the venue can deliver and is the right ‘fit’. To be ‘mis sold’ to at this stage by an over eager events manager that may mistakenly believe that their venue and staff can supply what they want will end in disaster. For example hosting a corporate conference with a serious business element in a ‘family friendly’ leisure environment during school holidays may well have an adverse effect on the success of the conference.
Tools such as ‘Trip Advisor’ and ‘VenueVerdict’ help event organiser to properly research the venue and identify any particular strengths or weaknesses which may be addressed. Investigate any awards that the venue may hold, to identify the strengths of the venue and how this in turn may benefit the event. Awards such as Gold Standard in the Green business tourism scheme will contribute to assessing the carbon footprint of your event. Likewise venues holding awards for customer service will leave your delegates delighted.

 

From this stage on it’s up to the events manager and the client working together to ensure the success of any project. The planning is an integral part of the process. Objectives must be clear and understood by all of the parties involved.

A degree of marketing strategy in the planning process ensures that the audience (whether that be your internal or external customer) is considered fully and will be communicated to in the way in which is convenient. For example, to send out hard copy invitations and information to any delegates that may be field-based will end in catastrophe! Effective communication must exist not only prior to your event, but also during and post event to continually evaluate the event objective. ‘Goody bags’ remain a very popular part of the event: your delegates leave with a ‘momento’ and this can be a great way of ensuring that further branded material and follow up information is distributed.

Creativite and innovative ideas that will engage your audience and keep them talking about the event long after they return to the office benefit the longevity of any event. Keep things simple by inviting external professionals who can deliver those special touches such as facilitation and entertainment. This adds value and rewards delegates who have committed the time and energy to attend.

About the Author

Jilly Jones is Business Development Manager for Farncombe Conference Centre and Dormy House

on the Farncombe Estate and in her words ‘One of the most beautiful estates in the Cotswolds.’

 

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Blogspot: What Makes An Exceptional Event?

Guest Blogger: Steve Jarvis

Everyone wants their next event to be remembered for all the right reasons. In my opinion there are three distinct elements which make an event exceptional rather than simply a good event. If any of these three elements aren’t just right you can struggle for the event to run smoothly.

Choosing the right event with the right elements

It is impossible to have an exceptional event if you don’t first take care to make sure you have chosen the right event.  The very first question you should ask yourself when planning any event is what you want to achieve from the event. This might be a simple answer of we just want to have fun or it might be more complex that you are looking to hold a conference tied in with some team building which is focused on improving communication. Either way you need to know the event’s objectives before proceeding much further.

The second part of choosing the right event is making sure the event doesn’t exclude anyone. You might love running through a muddy obstacle course but the chances are some of those taking part wont and some may be unable to take part. If there is food being provided you need to take care not to exclude anyone there either. So if you want your event to be exceptional make sure you take care when selecting the events and any related elements.

Choosing the right venue

It is vital to any successful event let alone an exceptional one to make sure you choose the right venue which has the best facilities available for your budget. There can sometimes be a bewildering array of venues to choose from for your event. The scope of choice for your event will largely depend on how you answered the question in the section above.

At busy times of year the choice may be limited by other bookings which have already been booked in. To give yourself the very best choice you should try and give as much time as possible to find the right venue. It’s also worth contacting a professional venue finding service to help you see the full range of venues you have available and which would be best suited to your event. You can often find they may get a preferential rate as they book many events each year and also save you money.

Having the right people

Probably the most important of these three elements is making sure you have the right people involved in the event. If you are holding a conference you may be limited to the speakers you can use. If you are holding a team building event it is important to make sure the instructors are fully trained so you gain as much as possible out of the activities. Just like with finding the best venue it’s often wise to employ event professionals to help make your event exceptional.

Summary

So to summarise these three elements can largely be combined into making sure you plan the event properly. If the event is properly planned in detail and has the right type of events in the right location with the right people you have all of the ingredients of an exceptional event. It is important however to make sure you get as much detailed feedback from the event as possible before you can really say how good the event was.  Part of any planning process must be to plan for potential problems including things like the weather in the case of hot sunny days suddenly changing to thundery weather as it has done this week.

About the Author

Steve Jarvis work’s for Demon Wheelers who are a Sheffield based corporate events and team building company who travel throughout the UK hosting events for clients. Steve has worked in a variety of industries in teams of all shapes and sizes over a career which spans over 15 years.

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Blogspot August

So, throughout the month of August we thought it would be a good idea to allow others to write a few guest blogs for us.

While we know you avidly sit on tenter-hooks waiting for our next blog (we can but hope), we thought you wouldn’t mind others having a bit of a say about their thoughts on the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to venues and events.

It’s always good to hear what others have to say on a topic and while we try to write our blogs on a regular basis, as we’ve been pretty hectic here in the office over the last few months, we’ve been unable to write as often as we’d like.

So, over the next few weeks we’ll be posting the odd guest blog here and there, with a few of our very own in between, here on our blog.

If you fancy having a say yourself or know someone who might fancy writing a few words about their experiences of events, booking venues, or simply what’s happening in the events industry, get in touch with us, we’d be happy to have you onboard.

Happy reading!

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Event Management of Fieri’s Frontline Event

Fieri - Frontline Event

A couple of weeks ago saw Top Venues & Events undertake the running of an event called Frontline – An evening of inspiration. The event saw five men injured during their time spent in the army give motivational talks to a room full of people with the view to inspire them to be the best that they could be. Part of the money made from the event went towards the charity Walking with the Wounded but the main reason for the event was to help the injured war heroes market themselves as professional speakers and provide them with a means of living in the future.

We faced a number of challenging issues from the moment we decided to take on the organisation of the event right down till the evening of the event itself. The initial problems were largely due to the fact that this was the first time the client had done an event such as this, up until now the whole thing had just been an idea and so there was a lot riding on it going well. Having never done the event before the client didn’t know how many people were likely to attend but they had already booked the event space and chosen The Point at Old Trafford cricket ground.

In the weeks leading up to the event we had numerous meetings with the clients in order to successfully establish how they wanted the event to run. We were sent signage by them which we in turn edited and finalised and we also helped out with the marketing of the event specifically the social media aspects.

Top Events - Event Management

Thus is the nature of venues we discovered the week before that there was another event being held in that room on the same day and so we had to be moved to another room, it also meant we would only have access from a couple of hours before the event was due to start and this meant an all hands on deck approach to the preparation. In the days leading up to the event we prepared everything from floor plans to running orders to receipts and it all began to come together nicely.

On the evening of the event we welcomed the guest speakers, went through what would be happening and explained how the night would be planning out. We liaised with all the volunteers as well as our own staff and the venue staff such as the sound engineers and the caterers in order to ensure that everybody knew what they should be doing. We successfully set up the venue space in the short time we had before the doors opened and got ready for the arrival of the first guests. Over the next hour the guests arrived where they were greeted at the reception, checked in and directed to the bar where they could purchase a drink before the first speaker began. The event ran smoothly from start to finish, everything from the videos of the men in action during wartime to clips of them at the top of a mountain or flying round a velodrome. The night ended at around 11pm after a Q&A session with all five of the speakers on stage at the same time and by this point it’s safe to say that all 200 people in the room were unbelievably inspired.

The event was a complete success especially when you take into consideration that the whole thing was done with only a month’s worth of planning.  You could tell just by looking around that everybody from sponsors to guest speakers were ecstatic with how it had gone, we received this message from the client a few days after the event:

You have all been absolute stars, we cannot thank you enough for your commitment and exceptional organisational prowess. We hope to work with you again in the future.

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