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International Corporate Event Awards 2016

Only in its second year, the International Corporate Event Awards (ICE Awards) has gained wide industry support and recognition. Exclusive for in-house corporate event planners, ICE Awards recognises the hard work of teams planning events throughout the year but receive little or no recognition they deserve. This year the event took place on 14th July at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V & A Museum).

I’ve been to V & A Museum several times before but wasn’t aware that it’s available for private hire. The Museum is one of London’s top tourist attractions and during the day open to the public. The event began at 7pm and started with drinks reception at the John Madejski Garden, continued with dinner and awards ceremony at the Raphael Gallery and desserts buffet and bar were offered at the Dome. Ice theme was consistent throughout the event and the podium, table number holders and sponsor logos were ice sculptured.

I’ve been to many venues in London, but never before was impressed as much as I was by this venue. Very good choice of venue, I think it might be challenging for ICE Awards organisers to maintain this high set of expectations for next year’s event.

The evening was moderated by Penny Mallory but ceremony was very short to allow more time for informal networking. Lastly, the nice food was by Create Food.

The categories and winners this year

Best motivation event – BNP Paribas

Best leadership event – Direct Line

Best sponsorship activation event – Barclays

Best CSR event – BNP Paribas

Best international event – BBC

Most effective use of budget – UK Chamber

Most effective agency collaboration – Playtech

Best use of technology – BP

Logistical challenge of the year – ITV

Rising star winner – Jenny Atkinson from UK Chamber of Shipping

In-house team of the year – NSPCC

I highly recommend reading judges’ comments here.

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Five unique meeting spaces in Berlin

Berlin, Germany’s capital, is a city with a fascinating history. Today the city is famous for its clubbing-scene, the creative people and its rapidly growing start-up scene. But also corporate travel is a big part of Berlin’s economy. Countless meetings, workshops and conventions take place every day in the city. But there is something going on in the meeting market. The people want to see something new, not only the known seminar hotels or and especially in Berlin, more and more people are asking for unique or crazy venues, to hold their meeting or workshop. Berlin has a bunch of great locations, hidden in backyards, buildings with rough character or just beautiful workshop rooms.

In this article, Patrick Henrici, Manager Strategic Partnership at Spacebase, a global booking platform for workshop spaces and meeting rooms based in Berlin shares with you five unique meeting spaces in Berlin, as an inspiration for your next meeting.

Co-working space in Berlin-Friedrichshain

This bright meeting-room you can find in Berlin’s Friedrichshain district. This part of Berlin is a former part of the GDR and became a popular place for young creative individuals in recent years. This room is based in a co-working space for creative minds that belongs to an art school in Madrid. Get in the flow in your meeting and feel the creative vibe in this amazing environment.

Space-1_Coworking Space Spacebase

Luxurious fully-equipped loft for workshops in Kreuzberg

For some time now, Kreuzberg has been the most popular district in Berlin. Packed with bars, clubs and start-ups, it is the role model for the Berlin lifestyle. Directly in the heart of this pulsating district is where you can hold your meeting in this amazing apartment. This modern and well-equipped apartment makes you feel at home immediately and is an inviting environment inspired brainstorming sessions.

Space-2_Loft Kreuzberg Spacebase

Amphitheater for Workshops in Berlin-Kreuzberg

This amazing workshop room is also in Kreuzberg. The unusual layout allows you to hold a workshop in a casual atmosphere and to break out of the boundaries you have in the office.  You can also book bright breakout-rooms as well as the main meeting room and therefore create the perfect conditions for a successful workshop.

Space-5_arena spacebase

Industrial loft fully equipped for workshops in Wedding

This bright loft in Wedding offers the perfect environment for off-site team workshops. Professional yet creative, the space has creative touches such as an artistic wall illustration and innovative use of wooden pallets for seating. The room also offers a warm ambience in the evening, making it suitablle for casual business drinks or screenings.

Space-3_Loft in Wedding Spacebase

Boxing-Gym for Workshops in Berlin-Friedrichshain

In Berlin’s district of Prenzlauer Berg is where you can find probably the craziest location for meetings or workshops. In a backyard in a former warehouse, is where the boxing-gym Boxtempel is located. With its authentic boxing ring and rough charm, it is probably the most original surrounding for workshops in Berlin. Besides the location, the owner of the gym offers boxing workshops that uniquely connect business with the sport of boxing.

Space-4_Boxing Gym Spacebase

These are just a few examples of alternative meeting- and workshop-locations in Berlin. As you can see, the options for an exciting meeting in Berlin are limitless. The public transportation network allows you to easily get around Berlin and if you have some time left in Berlin, you can visit amazing sights like the Brandenburger Tor, Checkpoint Charlie or maybe one of the countless clubs.

Photos by Spacebase.

Meetings Industry Marketing Awards in pictures

Now more than ever it is very exciting time to work in the events industry and The Meetings Industry Marketing Awards (MIMA) yesterday demonstrated how talented, creative and hardworking #eventprofs are.

Couple of months ago I published the article “How winning awards can impact your business” where I presented how participating in awards can impact your reputation, increase your credibility and contribute to business success. But that is not all, awards are also great for involving clients and recognising your team for their hard work throughout the year and that team spirit was clearly present on all tables and made the night very exciting!

The MIMA took place at the QEII Centre and I had the pleasure to attend as a guest of Event Marketing Association. It started with a networking reception, followed by seated dinner for starter and main course and desserts and coffee were served buffet style with an open bar to facilitate more networking.

On the night over £5,000 were raised for the Meetings Industry Meeting Needs (MIMN) charity founded by leading industry professionals to raise funds for causes relevant to the events industry and need external support.

There were 14 categories this year and I was happy to see that six of the categories covered online which is increasingly important in our industry and I am glad to see that destinations and agencies are shifting their marketing activities to digital. Below you can see the full list of categories.

– Best Print Advertising Campaign

– Best Online Marketing Campaign

– Best Web Site

– Best Brochure

– Best Direct Mail Campaign

– Best Use of Video Marketing

– Best Use of Budget

– Best Live Marketing Event

– Best Brand Marketing Campaign

– Best Integrated Marketing Campaign

– Best Email Marketing Campaign

– Best Social Media Campaign

– Best Mobile Marketing Campaign (including Apps)

– Marketing Team of the Year!

The winners were chosen based on five criteria: Clarity of objective, clarity of strategy, creativity, measurement and evaluation and lastly return on investment.

Without further talking, I am happy to share with you yesterday’s highlights in pictures where you can also see some of the shortlisted candidates and the winners.

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Third-party websites effectiveness for venue bookings: Case study of the Hilton London Metropole

Couple of months ago I had the pleasure to give an interview to Pauline Malafosse, an event management student at Surrey university who wrote her dissertation on the topic: Third-party websites effectiveness in hotels’ conferences: The case study of the Hilton London Metropole.

I was happy to assist because in my opinion this topic is of great interest for planners, venues and third party booking websites and many things in this space can be improved. Pauline and Hilton London Metropole kindly agreed to share the findings of her study with you as you find below.

Introduction

Events, and more precisely MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) have been growing since the 20th century and are now one of the largest sectors in the Hospitality and Tourism industry (Comas, 2008, Mair et al., 2009). Thus, venues had to adapt their offer to become more attractive and answer the growth of the demand in this sector. A review of previous literature has shown that these venues started to work with multichannel distribution, as a way to catch the attention of many different types of potential customers, using the internet and its development as major channel (Teltzrow et al., 2007). This growth has thus increased the rise of third-party websites, which have become one of the most popular channels to organise events (TravelCLICK, 2015, ONLINE). Venues, and especially hotels now need to adapt their offer in order to work with these websites the most efficiently.

This study sought to analyse the effectiveness of third-party websites to promote and sell event-space in hotels, and more specifically in the Hilton London Metropole. As literature and studies about this subject were rare, the purpose was to help the Hilton London Metropole improving its sales and being able to then adapt its offer to attract more customers, by understanding the role of third-party websites during the venue selection process.

Findings

During this research, the results found matched with previous literature, showing that third-party websites for events are not used very often by event organisers. These websites were seen as too expensive, too complicated to use, too long and too impersonal. Furthermore, the findings indicated that instead of using third party websites, event organisers used venues websites, conference-search websites and their personal connections to get information about venues, and that they were calling venues, sending emails or arranging meetings in order to book event-space.

Recommendations

The participants also outlined some ideas that third-party websites should use to improve their sales and their collaboration with event organisers. Indeed, it was developed that they should offer some promotions for event organisers after a certain amount of bookings such as vouchers or a reduction of price for the next reservation. Indeed, the study has shown that event organisers would be more willing to work with third-party websites if they were gaining something in return.

The last part of the discussion was focusing on the main criteria that event organisers were looking at when they were searching for venues. Once again, the findings were matching with previous literature. Overall, the location and accessibility, the price, the quality of service and infrastructures and the destination image were the main criteria to select a venue. Indeed, it has been found that the event-space must fit the event in terms of theme, atmosphere and capacity.

Managerial implications were then developed in this research in order to help hotels improving their sales. It focused on the main points discussed during the interviews such as the fact that hotels should focus on other distribution channels for their corporate events because third-party websites were not effective enough. It was also found that they should focus on building strong relationships with event organisers, on developing their website to attract better event organisers, on offering promotions to event organisers after a certain amount of bookings, and on promoting better the different opportunities available around the venue (such as site-seeing, restaurants, bars, etc.).

Limitations and further research were finally discussed, showing what could be done in the future in order to study more in depth the subject and to complete it by researching as well the effectiveness of third-party websites for leisure customers. It was also suggested to use a larger sample in order to be able to generalise the data at the end of the future research.

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Picture by Hilton London Metropole (via Facebook)

#Event18 birthday celebration in pictures

Event Magazine, leading UK Publication for experiential and live events, celebrated its 18th birthday on 4th June at Borough Market and I had the opportunity to join the celebration together with over 200 event professionals. It was great seeing many colleagues and celebrating with Event Magazine and the industry this milestone.

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Catering on the night was provided by Harbour & Jones, offering three station – cheese and charcuterie stall as well as Mexican and Korean. 

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Cake was delivered by Daisy Brydon Creations

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Event editor-in-chief Yasmin Arrigo welcome speech, highlighting some of Event’s milestones

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With Deborah and Emma from London & Partners

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With Amy from Harbour & Jones

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Kevin Jackson from George P Johnson interviewed by Event TV

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Original signage on the night

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