venues

A Fond Farewell…

So our girl, Laura, is finishing her time here at Top Venues HQ and she wanted to write a brief farewell blog about her time with us. We’ll miss having her in the office and as part of the team and wish her all the best in her next adventure….

 

So, where do I start? May as well jump right in, today is my last day at Top Venues! So I thought I would write a farewell blogpost about my time here. What I’ve loved and what I’ve learnt and believe me I’ve learnt a lot in the past year.

When I started working here last August I was very nervous and not very confident. It was my first job out of university and I had no idea what to expect. Now a year on I am so much more confident in general and have much more faith in myself and my abilities. Last August the thought of walking into a venue expo or attending a fam trip (I also didn’t have a clue what a venue expo or fam trip was) on my own was terrifying and now it doesn’t faze me at all. I’ll happily go to events and fam trips alone, talk to anyone and even get on a plane on my own! I think this has come from being thrown in, well not thrown in but encouraged to dive in, at the deep end. Within my first month of being at Top Venues I had been to the Venue Expo in Liverpool and to Cambridge for a fam trip on my own. After that I was happy to go anywhere alone including Barcelona for IBTM, even if in the process of going to Barcelona I had a minor melt down at the airport as I hadn’t checked in online (oooopsies) but we’ll forget about that part. The point is I got there and back alive without any major disaster.

Throughout the last year I have learnt to negotiate rates, manage clients and how to think on my feet to solve problems and issues. I also know more venues than I thought I ever could. When I first joined the team I was fresh out of uni and my event experience revolved around festivals. I didn’t know any venues except for the odd hotel here and there and gig venues in Manchester but now I’ve turned into a mini walking talking venue directory.

I think the highlights for me have been attending some amazing fam trips such as The Cambridge Experience, The Leeds Big Sleepover and The Curious Case of London City Selection (all of which I have written blog posts about so have a look back through our previous posts for more info on them because they were brill!). I’ve also had a great time working with all our wonderful clients and will miss them all a lot. Even though finding the perfect venue for an event can be stressful hearing good feedback from a client makes it all worth it.

So there we have it. I just want to say a massive huge ginormous thank you to my boss, colleagues and our clients for making the past year fabulous, I’ve had a blast.

Over and out!

Laura x

 

You can contact the team at theteam@top-venues.co.uk or by calling 0844 8709 963.

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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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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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Top Ten Tips For Planning An Outdoor Event

Top Ten Tips : Planning an outdoor event….need I say more??
Just a few ideas on things you need to consider when booking and planning an outdoor event.

1. Budget – accommodate for extra equipment if needed e.g. marquees, heaters.
2. Venue – choose an outdoor venue that will suit your event! (this may include a wet weather contingency)
3. Weather – monitor the weather to see if you’ll have to make some last minute changes!
4. Power – in a remote area, how are you going to power your event?
5. Layout – create a sketch of the venue to denote where you want everything to be.
6. Logistics – think beyond the event schedule itself!
7. Communication – walkie-talkies are a great way to stay in touch!
8. Pest control – cover food and keep bugs out by using sugary water.
9. Toilets – make sure facilities are easily accessible.
10. Clean up – make sure the area you use is left how you found it!

If you would like more detail on how to plan an outdoor event, check out or previous blog:  Summer Outdoor Events

Alternatively, if you would like some help planning your own outdoor event and don’t want the hassle of having to think about it yourself, get in touch with us at here and we’ll happily do it for you.

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The Recipe For A Successful Event

Following on from the recent Great British Bakeoff, here at Top Venues & Events, we thought we’d continue with the theme in producing our very own recipe for a successful event. If you follow it down to the letter, we’re sure your event will be every bit as successful as you anticipate it to be. 🙂

Ingredients

A Nice Big Cake!

– 100g – You
– 210g – Time
– Five teaspoons of budget (work out pre-event planning)
– A tablespoon of imagination

Step 1. Brainstorm Ideas – like a cake, what do you want the outcome of your event to be?

– Theme?
– Number of Attendees?
– Catering?
– Type of venue?

Step 2. Choose a theme, date, time and venue.

People enjoy different types of cake – chocolate, jam or possibly even carrot?
Make sure the flavours of your theme mix well –  mint and pineapple, in a cake, we think not!?
Co-ordinate a date and time for your event that works well for all guests.
Choose a location that will accommodate your number of attendees. Maybe go for a tasting session at a few venues – visiting your venue will give you a better idea of how your event will pan out and whether the venue is actually the right one.

Step 3. Add 135g of invites to send to your attendees.

Make sure your invites give a taster of what to expect – you want to make it enticing to your guests. Is it an event of fun and games – make your invite suggest so. Likewise, if it’s an informative event – give them something that will make them want to attend and get bums on seats.

Step 4. Choose what kind of filling (catering!) you want.

Three course meal or buffet?
Depending on your event, you can choose what kind of catering you want (if any!).
Think about the time of your event – will your attendees miss their dinner or lunch? If so, you may want to offer something to take the hunger pangs away – the last thing you want is people feeling hungry at your event as this will take their attention away from what you’re really trying to tell them.

Step 5. Decorating your cake (event).

What kind of entertainment will you have?
A few speakers, a cabaret act, a musician?
Make sure not to go overboard with the icing – having a range of entertainment can either be a great finale or a taste disaster.

Step 6. Finalise arrangements and budget.

Ccheck up on attendee numbers (dietry requirements – who can/can’t eat the cake)
The boring bits, like cleaning up the messy kitchen! (Get helpers, like they have in Great British Bake Off!)

Step 7. See event through. (Eat Cake)

Slice of Cake

Think this is fairly self explanatory.
Be prepared for things to go wrong on the night – there will always be something not quite right but if you can mask it with enough filling and are ready to act should anything happen, most likely no one will notice except you. Your event will look like it’s running smoothly on the outside, when in fact (to you) it’s a real mess!

Step 8. Was the event successful?

Take time to reflect on how the event went and whether there was anything that could have been done better.
Did the cake have the right amount of filling?
Did it lack in icing?
Ask attendees for feedback on your event so you can learn for next time

Step 9.

If a successful cake (event), do it again! 🙂

 

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How to choose from all the results of ‘conference venues london’ and ‘conference venues manchester’

If you’re a corporate event planner doing a search for a suitable venue in London or Manchester, you may naturally use the phrases ‘conference venues manchester’ or ‘conference venues london’. In return, you will see a mixture of venue-finding services such as Top Venues and the venues themselves…

So, if the venues pop up, why shouldn’t you approach them directly?

Here are the top reasons to use a venue-finding service such as ours:

  • Rather than you having to contact multiple venues, save time by dealing with one person
  • Our service is free, we are paid commission by the venue
  • We can often get better rates than the venues would offer you, since we are in a position to offer them a lot of repeat business

With Top Venues, there are added reasons:

  • We are a truly independent company, so have no ties to particular venues or chains
  • We are happy to share our huge wealth of experience in event planning with you, no matter what!

So the next time you are Googling ‘conference venues manchester’ or ‘conference venues london’ perhaps you should consider getting in touch! 🙂

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From start to finish we will help you find the right solution for you and your event.

No matter what size your event is, we can take the pressure off you by sourcing, negotiating and making the arrangements, allowing you to spend your time on more important issues.

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Testimonials

 

"Thanks for all of your help - you really made the difference for me because of a) the time it saved me hunting around and negotiating rates, and b) getting such a good rate."

P.T, Gore Workwear