We’re delighted you have hired the finest venue in London, 8 Northumberland Avenue. We’re here to help you make your event a huge success. Our events team have years of experience in just this sort of thing, so if you’re in the business of making this event truly memorable, you’re in the right place.
What is the ultimate outcome you wish to achieve with this event? This might sound like an obvious question, but very often this step is overlooked. Just by communicating this helps all parties involved. Are you launching a product, trying to generate press interest, or simply having fun? By distilling the aim into a few words it will help all decisions to be made – often hundreds of elements culminate at an event and if they are all working to the same objective then the result will be that much more memorable.
What technique or metric are you using in order to measure whether the event was a success? This is hopefully a simple one to achieve depending on what the event is, but if you agree with all stakeholders what ‘good looks like’ then you can ensure that all efforts are working towards it. Are you looking for anecdotal feedback, for press coverage, for ticket sales, for product sales, or for attendee engagement? Showing how you have set goals and exceeded them will help secure event budget for future years which will help you go from strength to strength.
You’ve already secured your venue hire in London, but all good spaces are flexible in how they can be arranged both practically and creatively. Whilst it is important to consider the practical implications of whether you are hosting a reception, cabaret, classroom, seated dinner or theatre style event, the creative elements come next. A good venue hire in London will come with the creative expertise to realise any creative vision you might have. Whether it be to create an ‘under the sea’ style event, transport Christmas party revellers to the snowy wilds of Lapland, or to realise the sights, sounds and smells of a Moroccan souk.Be clear and bold about your vision for your event and don’t be afraid to consult your events team. The bolder and more dramatic the creative vision, the more memorable and effective your event will be. Very often event organisers are reluctant to express their aims, feeling like it might be too ambitious or expensive. You’d be amazed at the sort of events we’ve experienced over the years and you can be sure that our team will make the best use of the venue and the budget.
Once you’ve completed these first 3 steps, write it down and this becomes your initial brief which can be agreed upon by all internal stakeholder and referenced by all suppliers.
Too often this exists purely in snippets on email and in traces of conversations. Keep all parties on the same page with your event by writing up this one pager containing amongst other information:
Most sizeable venues in London offer a huge range of add-on services that they can offer to event organisers. Our advice is always to try and minimise stress and suppliers by offloading as many task as possible onto the venue. 8 Northumberland Avenue have our own event caterers, audio visual production company as well as a wealth of connections when it comes to entertainment, event styling, event design and so on.
Alleviate the stress levels and let your venue take the strain for you.
This point really is critical. Getting to and from the venue must be simple and offer plenty of options in case of transportation strikes. Good travel links are essential when attendees are possibly flying in from abroad or heading out for an afternoon from work. The more options the better.
This is also true of suppliers and the events team too. Easy access to site for suppliers to make deliveries helps enormously. Venue hire in London provides your delegates with numerous travel options which in turn maximises your reach as event organisers.
Communicate journey options clearly, along with travel times and make sure that any strike information is communicated with any updated travel routes necessary.
This can be a project in itself. Have an integrated plan in place to pre-engage your guests with the event, making sure you’re giving people a real reason to attend. Very often events offer a strong digital presence with speaker material available online which is excellent,. However this doesn’t always make a strong case for people actually attending an event. Make a compelling case for physical attendance with special announcements made at the event. Specific product samples only available via the event or special presentations only available or experienced on the day. Consider how your event can engage attendees in a way that will ensure your guests attend rather than requesting the speaker notes / executive summary.
The most successful events are those where the venue hire or the organiser can provide tools and technology for greater guest engagement on the day – we find far fewer dropouts on the day and greater guest satisfaction.Be clear as to what guests can hope to gain from the event, and ensure subsequent mailshots or social media posts tease out further information about the event, to keep it top of mind.
Quite apart from the conference content itself, consider your delegates and what will make the day as a whole comfortable and convenient. Ensure amongst all else that you have:
Much of this will all be straightforward for a reputable venue hire in London, but it’s worth bearing this in mind for daytime conferences as most of us will need to check emails and check in with the office during breaks, and the simpler we can make this as a venue, the better. Whilst our aim as an organiser ought always to be to make the conference content king, we know that in reality it’s not always easy to take a day out of the office without checking in at least once!
Engagement is often confused for ‘communication’, but when we say engage we mean ‘engage’ – get your guests involved at the event.
The really successful events we see at our venue engage guests using all the senses
For example, through creative catering we can communicate the feel of your brand or your creative vision through food and drink. Our award-winning amBX lighting can create a mood through the event space. Similarly, we were the first venue in London to install the Musion 3D holographic system allowing speakers or entertainment to appear in your event space and communicate and interact with your guest.
Your venue hire should, in short provide you with both the ideas, and the expertise to allow your event to engage your attendees on a number of levels. The more levels you hit, the more entertained and informed your guests will be.
For example, you could combine speaker presentations with video, then perhaps add in VR to transport your guests into a whole new world to ensure all the senses are piqued.
Keeping you attendees looked after with great food and drink is critical, and something that we at 8 Northumberland Avenue take very seriously indeed.
From a practical perspective your guests are going to require refreshments throughout the event, but so much of what makes your event truly memorable and standout will be what they eat and drink.
A signature cocktail crafted by our expert bar team will give your event a uniqueness that will live long in the memory. Champagne receptions for awards nights of course, but also the theatre and focus of a bespoke cocktail bar or champagne fountain not only creates a buzz that always converts to social media, but it also helps networking, conversation and relaxation. Never underestimate the pull of the bar at the start (and end) of the night.
Similarly with food. As with all the senses, food done well helps to make an event live long in the memory. At 8 Northumberland Avenue we are extremely fortunate to offer AlchemyLive as our creative catering partner. Few venue hires in London can match the creative possibilities offered by the AlchemyLive team. Create show-stopping canapés on arrival, buffet lunches or signature dinners, all of which are infused with passion, creativity and flair.
Whether you’re holding a meeting for 10 people or planning a reception for 700, our creative catering team can delight your guests’ palates from breakfast through to the early hours.
We all love to tweet pictures of food. The power of utilising your attendees to amplify your event on social media, is not to be overlooked. Whether it’s a 3D holographic presentation using Musion, a signature canapé, the sight of you entering a stunning event space or the sheer glamour of arriving on a red carpet in the West End of London; all of this activity can and should be used to create buzz for your event.
Print and audio visual material can carry details of the hashtag for the event for those willing to post, and prizes can be given to best tweet or best picture on the night. If publicity is what you’re after then make it as easy as possible for journalists and guests to publicise the product by styling and lighting your event space with this in mind. Have event staff on hand to take photos for your guests if they want to be involved and clearly signpost campaign handles and hashtags. Electronic press kits are also great to provide all attendees with digital images and approved press releases making it simpler for those concerned to disseminate your material.
And don’t forget your role in all of this. As the event organiser, make sure you have defined your social media and coverage team. Liaise with the venue hire to ensure you have the following:
Agree what event content will be documented and engage with your attendees. Retweet and favourite great posts. Post images and videos from your own photographers and stick with this throughout the event. This is not only expected but serves as a great reminder to stakeholders within the event team to show what a great night it was and how much your guests enjoyed themselves.
Your choice of venue hire in London puts you at the heart of the capitals press and publicity industry, meaning that many of the key influencers ought to be able to attend and cover your event. The easier you make that for those individuals once at your venue, the better.
At all times at your event, the venue is a key part of what keeps your attendees motivated, interested and engaged. A dull space with little options for exploration and tailoring won’t make for an exciting event. Zoning your event with different spaces for various purposes keeps attendees interested and allows for people to move around freely. A quiet area might be good for lively events or for conversation and networking. Perhaps you want a press office for journalists to file their copy from – or perhaps you want a dedicated champagne bar with a separate counter for chefs to cook live for your guests. Consider the needs of your guests and try to move them through the space throughout the venue.
All good venues in London will be able to counsel the organiser through the contingencies that each event presents. What if there are travel problems? Does the weather affect the event? What if there’s a fire alarm? What are the accessibility or health and safety concerns surrounding entertainment, the use of fire / smoke / lighting and many more. Ever event is unique and you need to plan and rehearse what contingencies you might need to consider as the presenter of the day, the speaker, the person conducting the auction etc.
Run through what could go wrong and be prepared:
As with everything that’s gone before – be sure to ask the events team at your venue hire for their help in this regard. They will have a wealth of experience in handling any and all outcomes, as well as how to stay calm when it does happen.
In any event, a clear list of ‘who is responsible for what’ on the day along with the backup plans will help you stay calm on the day and remain prepared for whatever the event may present.
What’s the key takeout from the event and how can you make sure your attendees leave with the right message? We’re pleased to report that the delegate pack still has it’s place, and while the contents might have been ‘upgraded’ from what they were 10 years ago the idea is the same. Providing something that your guests take away as a memento of a fun, stimulating or rewarding event is vital.
If it’s a product launch then it’s essential you provide the product / publicity material needed for your guests to get your message out there. If it’s a corporate event rewarding staff then your take-outs should be more fun, more generous or perhaps more personal. Above all else, your ‘leave behind’ should not be ‘left behind!’ You want to see everyone inspecting their packs with delight as they discover what they’ve been given, and whatever form that takes it should summarise the key take out of your event. Consult your venue hire team to learn from their experience what worked best, and learn from that.
How can you build sustainability into your event experience at every step of the way? Events are large undertakings which require careful consideration if they are to be handled responsibly, within CSR guidelines, and in a manner that doesn’t impact the environment. The first port of call here will be your venue hire. Very often you will be using a number of disciplines via your venue hire and you will want to know that they are all sourcing responsibly. Whether it be your catering partners sourcing their food locally and handling waste responsibly or whether they can help pre-cycle the flowers or pens after the event. Clearly a venue with excellent public transport links (like ours) is at an advantage here, but also think how your pre-event marketing can go digital, and whether session booking at the event can be done on a tablet or feedback sourced via email. Building this into your brief helps any and all suppliers think sustainably ahead of time meaning the impact of your event is of the positive kind.
Those event organisers who are making a name for themselves, are those who recognise the power of virtual reality technology at events and are capitalising on it now. Many events we see at our venue can be easily opened up to a virtual audience online. A catwalk show at London Fashion Week needn’t be limited in terms of its attendance to only those in London. If the fashion press in Milan or New York can attend virtually with a live stream published online, or via a VR headset that puts you front row at the catwalk then why not do that?
This gives your event the scope to accommodate any number of virtual attendants during the event, or alternatively you can provide a virtual reminder of the event as a leave behind.
8 Northumberland Avenue are proud to be leaders and innovators in the field of venue technology – we’ve won awards twice in this category, both at The Cateys and at the Event Technology Awards and are proud to be innovators in the field of event technology and VR.
Make sure your next venue hire in London is at the bleeding edge of innovation and watch as your event experience takes off.