London. It’s the greatest city on earth. It‘s the city we call home and where 8 Northumberland Avenue has stood for over 150 years. We understand you’re planning an event and you want to make it a huge success. You’re looking for a central London event venue and we’re here to try and convince you why ours is the one for you. Why London, and why 8 Northumberland Avenue?
Clearly we are the nation’s capital. The seat of Parliament is just over the river, and the seat of the Royal Family is similarly close with Buckingham Palace just across Trafalgar Square from us.
Northumberland Avenue itself is one of the arteries from Central London’s beating heart – Trafalgar Square. From here you can wander to St James’ via Pall Mall – to Horse Guards Parade via Whitehall, to 8 Northumberland Avenue via Northumberland Avenue or to theatreland via The Strand or Charing Cross Road. In other words, all life is here if you want it. And for anyone organising an event in central London, a venue with all this on their doorstep offers huge advantages.
With all this and so much more on our doorstep, it’s little wonder that London is a truly global city, and a city that rightly is seen as a key player on the global stage.
London’s financial centre, the administratively separate, and still notably uppercase ‘City’ of London, is home to our financial markets, the Bank of England and the London headquarters of anyone who is anyone in financial services. And the picture is an extremely positive one we’re pleased to say:
"In terms of foreign exchange market turnover, the UK isn’t just the leader, it’s still gaining ground, according to the Bank of International Settlements. In 1998, 32.6% of the world’s forex trading was done in the UK (almost all of which takes place in London), against 18.3% in the US. By 2013, the UK had grown to make up 40.9% of the global market, seeing a daily average of $US2.73 trillion in turnover. Every day."
Mike Bird of Business Insider famously dubbed London, ‘the world’s capital city’ – referring to how so many industries were seeing this growth and this sense of positivity surrounding the future of business in London, and using it as a reason to invest or establish themselves here in central London.
As a venue in central London we’re seeing this only too clearly. Whether it’s fashion shows, film after-parties, general meetings for the financial services or parliamentary debates, our location puts 8 Northumberland at the heart of this vibrant city.
Mike Bird again, of Business Insider
"When the Boston Consulting Group polled more than 200,000 people in 189 countries, London trounced the rest of the world when it came to where they would move to work. Unprompted, 16% of respondents said they’d move to the city, well clear of New York’s 12.2%."
Desirability to live "London reigns at the top of Knight Frank’s global wealth report in 2014. Endless anecdotes in the reports show exactly where the world’s wealthiest people want to own homes, and the British capital comes out ahead of New York."
Proudly here we can boast to have stolen a march on NYC here. 3 million out of London’s estimated 8 million inhabitants were born outside the UK and moved here. And with this influx of different cultures comes the great social, ethnic, artistic and cultural diversity that London is rightly famous for. Whatever your interests or your cultural background, London has the diversity to offer you a rich life with a wealth of opportunity.
Our events teams are experienced in helping a great many organisations make their events a success and we know that the venue is just one part of what makes the event a success. Much like a trip to the theatre, the action all takes place against a backdrop that works in tandem to create the entire spectacle. And for us and our guests, London is that backdrop.
According the Startup Genome project, the city has upwards of 3000 tech startups. In addition Google chose to open its largest presence outside of Silicon Valley in London.
A Deloitte survey puts London not only as the world's leader of highly skilled workers in media (particularly digital media), but as one of the areas where it's extending a lead over the others. The report suggests that although US cities take the lead in terms of film and TV, the London is way out ahead in terms of digital media.
Many of these converge on what has recently been dubbed the ‘Silicon Roundabout’ – a wry reference to the amount of digital, tech and web businesses that populate the offices surrounding London’s Old Street roundabout. More respectfully termed East London Tech City, this district straddles the vibrant communities of Shoreditch, Hoxton and Old Street to the East, neighbourhoods that have seen much regeneration of late and are contributing greatly to the dining, nightlife and music scene in the capital. As of 2014 East London Tech City can claim to be the third largest technology startup cluster in the world after San Francisco and New York. From humble and entirely entrepreneurial beginnings, Facebook, Google, Intel, Mckinsey and Intel are among the businesses to be found here. The output of these co-working spaces has delivered to your homescreen technologies such as Dopplr, last.fm and TweetDeck.
And it’s with this spirit in mind that we take technology very seriously at 8 Northumberland Avenue. Our event venue has been recognised with a win at The Cateys for ‘Best Use of Technology’ and also with win at the Events Technology Awards for ‘Most Innovative and Tech Friendly’ venue in London.
At 8 Northumberland Avenue we are proud to be the first central London event venue to take on the revolutionary amBX lighting technology which landed us the prestigious ‘Catey’ award, which allows total control over the lighting for your event, allowing you to create and change the mood at the touch of a button. You’ve heard of ‘surround sound’? This could be described as ‘surround light.’
The Events Technology Awards recognised not only the ground-breaking amBX lighting installation at our venue, but also the 3D holographic technology we brought in. Allowing a fully three-dimensional representation of an individual to be beamed into The Ballroom from a remote location provides the ability for a speaker to address the attendees of an event from anywhere in the world.
We may not yet know what technology is being created at Silicon Roundabout next, but you can be sure that if it enhances an event, then this particular venue will be the first to adopt it.
According to Japan’s Institute for Urban Strategies London steals a march on New York again (not to mention every other major city) when it comes to culture. This is down to its enviable blend of history, trend-setting culture, cultural resources and facilities for visitors. It’s this last point that is particularly interesting when read alongside a GfK report which surveyed 5000 people – the survey asked visitors where they felt their culture was most appreciated and where they felt they could best ‘fit in’ – the answer was London.
Our history is not to be overlooked – as a central London event venue we boast a great deal of that before you even step outside. The Percy family, Duke of Northumberland and the people after which our avenue is named chose here for their seat over 400 years ago. Much of the surrounding streets are unchanged for at least 200 years. But go back a little further and you will find that our pre-eminence in London can be attributed to the fact that after the fall of Rome we were only the second city to reach a population of 1 million. With such a population and such a burst of activity and enterprise, our city has never looked back.
Within one afternoon you can visit 4 Unesco World Heritage sites in London alone. Leave our venue and it’s a short walk to Westminster Palace. Hop on a tube to The Tower of London. Switch to one of London’s river buses to see the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Maritime History at Greenwich. All this compared to New York’s one.
Your guests are only minutes away from what have been voted 3 of the top 10 museums and galleries in the world. Our venue is within reach of 857 (at the last count) galleries and museums in Central London.
Events in Central London in purely numerical terms make for impressive reading indeed. Perhaps some of these were at our venue…
17,000 musical performances are put on at over 300 venues – 250 festivals take place every year including the Notting Hill Carnival, which attracts over 1 million people each year. 796 cinema screens in central London show films, many of which are shot in London which counts around 14,000 shooting days a year on titles such as Bond and Harry Potter.
Events in Central London therefore are successful. However, we’re pleased to say that they are not just successful, but they are growing as well. London Fashion week for example goes from strength to strength with every year. We’ve even hosted the prestigious ‘Fashion Fringe’ catwalk show at our event venue. With an estimated £100M of orders placed during the week it’s easy to see why the eyes of the world’s fashion elite turn on central London during this exciting time.
Equally the London Design Festival, which is the largest global event of it’s kind attracts around 350,000 people each year, and is continuing to increase these numbers as they enjoy the growth in confidence that the capital’s visual arts output engenders.
We’re delighted that the future for events in central London is so bright. Boris Johnson, the previous Mayor of London described our capital as an economic powerhouse and praised the emerging sectors in London such as financial technology and life-sciences for their part in this success.
We’re even more delighted to say that this opinion of London as a destination for events, and as the ideal venue for the largest event Central London has ever seen has continued. This tradition started of course with the Great Exhibition of 1851.
Whilst 8 Northumberland Avenue was certainly open for business at the time, I’m afraid not even our venue could accommodate the 6 million people who attended back then.
The brainchild of Prince Albert and Henry Cole, the Great Exhibition was one of a series of World’s Fairs created to showcase the best of culture an industry around the world, and it took place in central London’s Hyde Park between May and October of that year.
In the absence of an event venue in central London capable of holding that many people Prince Albert commissioned the building of the Crystal Palace. This vast building made from steel and glass was designed not by an architect, but by gardener Joseph Paxton, and perhaps unsurprisingly gave the overall impression of a greenhouse.
At over 560 metres long by 138 metres wide, the structure was simply enormous - the average daily attendance at The Great Exhibition was 42,000 people per day! Profits from the event went on to fund the Victoria and Albert Museum in Kensington, The Science Museum and the Natural History Museum, all huge draws in the area and symbol of London’s pre-eminence in the field of tourism, visitor attractions and culture. The area of South London called Crystal Palace today was so named after the structure was moved from Hyde Park to Sydenham Hill in 1854 where it stood until 1934 when it was destroyed by a fire.
So as we can see large, era-defining events at venues in central London are nothing new, and we’re proud to say that at 8 Northumberland Avenue we’re playing our part in continuing that proud tradition.
Also now sadly gone is The Carlton Hotel, once the grandest of all the hotels in our neighbourhood, and surely one of the most fashionable addresses for a venue in central London. On the corner of the Haymarket and Pall Mall, the Carlton Hotel stood from 1899 to 1940 when it was lost to German bombs. Under the expert stewardship of hotel legends Cesar Ritz (The King of Hotels) and Auguste Escoffier (The King of Chefs) this space became the London residence of the great and the good when they were in town. During it’s heyday this space drew crowds away from the previously untouchable Savoy Hotel with it’s Palm Court providing the backdrop for the gilded age’s most notable names to dance and drink till dawn.
Third in our list of legendary central London event venues would be the Egyptian Hall on Piccadilly. Now sadly, a Starbucks coffee shop, this space was like nothing the capital had ever seen before. Designed by Peter Frederick Robinson, this dedicated event space and museum was built by William Bullock in 1812 to house his collection of curiosities, including Napoleons’ carriage taken from Waterloo as well as many treasures from the South Seas collected by James Cook on his voyages.
Built to resemble an Egyptian Tomb the space was the single most talked about building in London upon its completion and drew crowds in their thousands. Like all great event venues it was home to a great many exhibitions such as the first showing of watercolours by Turner, works of great religious art, and latterly as the ‘Home of Mystery’ as the Egyptian Hall became the de facto home of stage magic and conjuring with performances from such early progenitors of the form as Maskelyne and Cooke.
Last on our list of great central London event venues would be the Royal Panopticon of Science and Art.Built on the site of what is now the Odeon Leicester Square this vast space was given a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria in 1851, the same year as Prince Albert cut the ribbon on the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park. Showcasing the best in the field of science and art, the building welcomed 1000 visitors a day during it’s peak period, but sadly couldn’t maintain these numbers for long. In 1856 the Panopticon closed it’s doors, selling it’s organ (the largest in the world, or so it boasted) to St Paul’s Cathedral.
8 Northumberland Avenue is part of a very unique tradition of timeless, classic central London event venues. As our impressive façade attests we belong to a long and venerable history of classical architecture in central London. But step inside you will see that amidst the grandeur we blend the very best in modern facilities and technology with all that is wonderful and irreplaceable about London buildings such as ours, and all that have gone before. All the finest buildings that have gone before us and that have lit up the history books for their achievements have the same things in common – a memorable central location, a stunning space, imaginative and ambitious visionaries at the helm, and a dedication to pushing the envelope when it comes to their uses.
Well, the future is bright. Recent research by Eventbrite shows some very positive results.
Of those surveyed 83% of events agencies expect headcount to increase in 2017 with 67% of event organisers expecting their events to grow also.
Deborah Kelly of London and Partners tells of the influx of bookings from the US market, all taking advantage of the weaker pound, as well as the high class of event venues and creative event services.
In the wake of the EU referendum, London Mayor Sadiq Khan spearheaded #londonisopen, a major campaign to show that London is united and open for business, and to the world, following the EU referendum.
It shows the world that London remains entrepreneurial, international and full of creativity and possibility.
Within the UK market, Deborah sees that employee engagement in the workplace is of increasing importance given the global economic and political climate. Face-to-face interactions and time with staff are more valuable than they have ever been before. Events which put staff engagement at it’s heart will continue to increase and London works well for this as it can cater to both business and leisure.
Deborah also thinks that the experiential industry will continue to flourish in 2017, with some of the key trends we have seen in the past year truly evolving and developing. Consumer demand for more brand experience activations, and brands increasingly looking to develop human centric messages which embody their key messages are driving interest in events . Improvements in data collection methods mean that activations can be further personalised, localised and measured far more effectively than before, which helps to create a more meaningful experience for the consumer and improved return on investment for the brand.
The growing tech scene in central London provides an exceptional opportunity for forward thinking events venues to open doors to new audiences. Trends such as livestreaming events allow people to participate in conferences or meetings that they are not able to physically attend. Those event venues that can captialise on the remote/virtual audiences available will prosper, where those more fixed to traditional event venue ‘capacities’ may lose out. Modern technology and apps create connections between events and audiences like never before, as people from all around the globe engage with each other through social media, the boundaries of location and place open up the venue to truly global audiences.
Social media also provides an online platform where brands could engage with the audience in a new and different way in 2017, and could perhaps help expand the market. For example, Snapchat, Facebook Live and Periscope, which is popular among millennials, can be used to publicise events and involve the younger generation in various campaigns. Equally the advent of virtual, augmented and mixed reality are helping event organisers to not only make their spaces more immersive and customisable, but also allow remote participants to virtually ‘attend’ with the use of live streaming and VR headsets. Again the event venue that best adopts, and most creatively implements this technology will find themselves benefitting most from what is has to offer.
Good news also for event venues in London, and event organisers too are the boost in hotel bedrooms due in 2017. With the opening of exciting new central London addresses such as The Four Season Ten in Trinity Square and The Ned Hotel, we expect the total number of rooms in the capital to increase by around 5000.
With 396 flights to overseas destinations from London, over 140,000 hotel rooms available, an estimated 20% increase in attendance for events compared with other cities, 40% of the European headquarters of companies being in London, 40,000 tech businesses, 900 life science companies, 250 foreign banks, 50 universities, some of the finest arts, culture and restaurants all within a short walk of 8 Northumberland Avenue – it’s easy to see why a central London event venue such as ours is the obvious choice for your event.