AlchemyLive are proud to provide event chemistry to 8 Northumberland Avenue. Our Event Managers and Design Crew are on site to make your experience a flawless success. With an enviable record of delivering stunning events at some of the most prestigious event spaces in London, you can be sure you’re in safe hands.
Our partnership with 8 Northumberland Avenue only continues that great tradition – a truly unique space and without doubt one of the finest venue hires London has to offer. Whatever your Central London event venue, you can trust AlchemyLive to turn your raw elements and make pure gold.
The Most Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Planning a Central London Event. To that end we felt it would be useful to document for you, our advice on how to avoid the most common pitfalls that can plague the event manager, making any central London venue hire plain sailing.
At 8 Northumberland Avenue it’s our mission to make your life easy. We know all too well the stresses of putting on an event in central London, and we are dedicated to making this as simple and successful as it can be.
Of course, if you fancy removing the strain entirely then our talented Events Team are here to take your call.
1. Location, Location, Location
This is critical, and it’s all about securing the best central London venue hire you can. We all know how hard it is to secure attendance for you event. Months of planning, marketing, publicity and press, all at no small cost, and still it’s difficult to guarantee optimum attendance at the event.
If you’re not easily accessible by road, rail, underground, bus, or on a simple transfer from a major airline then this very often is enough for people to discount or decline your event.
Consider what will happen in the event of industrial action on the railways / underground. Are there plenty of other choices guests can make in order to reach your venue?
Be sure to choose a central London venue hire with excellent transport links.
2. Lack of experienced event managers
Planning a sizeable event is a lot of responsibility and requires a great deal of plate spinning. Whether it’s a large corporate dinner, and awards ceremony, a wedding, a fashion show or a Christmas Party, you will have dozens of different elements that all need to come together to spell success.
Using an experienced and well-connected event team is not just about off-loading some of the labour of an event, although that much is true. But it’s about having a team on-site at the venue, to help advise you as to the tone, creative direction, food service, drinks, entertainment, lighting, health and safety and legal requirements that any such event introduces.
At 8 Northumberland Avenue we have just such an events team that offer their support to anyone hiring our venue.
Don’t underestimate the amount of time a successful event will require of you!
3. Don’t skimp on food and drink
Ask anyone what he or she looks forward to the most at a Central London event and the chances are it’s the food and drink.
Very often guests are coming to an evening event directly from work and this might be their dinner. Or at the very least this is their after-work drink.
If it’s a conference where guests have travelled long distances, this might be breakfast. When it’s a full day’s programme followed by dinner and drink reception afterwards and you are feeding them from 08.00-midnight.
So how to make this is a success?
Always ensure your venue hire has an exceptional creative catering team that can help you with your food and drink service. Having talented resource on site is an enormous help, removing from you a huge number of logistical obstacles that bringing in outside caterers often presents.
Have plenty of tea and coffee and always provide a great breakfast to ensure the day is off to a good start. With a reception you should have imaginative and original reception food as this always helps to break the ice in conversations and typically gets people snapping pictures on their phones. Signature cocktails served by charismatic and well-trained serving staff keeps your guests attended to which keeps them positive, happy, energised and on side.
Shortlist your venues based on those hires offering you help in this area and be sure to consult as to what has worked well in the past!
4. Don’t forget the photographer!
Whilst you can be sure that your guests will document your event if it’s impressive enough, don’t rely on that. You’ll want a photographer of your own to circulate and ensure that you get good quality images of everything so you can not only report back to any and all stakeholders.
Equally there is always something to be said of providing a sense of ‘look what you missed’ to those parties who weren’t able to attend your corporate event this time, but you hope will make it next time.
The sense that anyone can take great pictures on a phone now so ‘let’s ask the events assistant to take some when they’re not doing something else’ always results in one of two things: rushed images that don’t get used, or no images at all due to that person being busy on other duties.
5. Share your vision
An event set in Narnia? An event under the sea? An event set in a House of Clues?
All of these are examples of a powerful and creative vision that we helped deliver for an event.
The benefit being that once you have your overall vision, most of the creative decisions that then follow become so much easier. Once you can communicate your vision you’ll find that your enquiries, attendance and enjoyment will increase tenfold as you are providing an experience that your guests will likely never have witnessed before.
Take the time to give this some serious thought. Or better still be sure to rely on your venue hire and their creative events team to assist you with that process. The right venue in Central London will be sizeable and flexible enough to allow you to realise any vision, and the right venue hire team will have all the connections required to welcome your guests in to the ‘Lost Palace of Atlantis’ for an evening they will never forget.
6. Having the wrong event staff
No matter how much you circulate, or how much you market to your attendees in advance of the event, you will still never make half the personal impact on your guests as your event staff will. At least, at any sizeable event that is. Most central London event hires will be big venues capable of holding high hundreds and so in most instances you will require help.
All staff must all be briefed well both in the simple business of their responsibilities, but also in the brand of the event. They must be the personal, physical embodiment of your event or your product. You will get a very different experience when you talk to an employee at the Apple store, compared with the employee you meet in your bank. One is a lifestyle brand that is fun, often recreational and aspirational, and the other is someone you trust with your money. Both behave differently because you expect them to.
Be sure your staff are on message with your event and what feeling your guests need to be left with at each stage of the proceedings.
7. Not following up on the event
It’s easy to breath a very big sigh of relief after an event. You’ve worked day and night to make it a huge success and you just wanted a few weeks to decompress.
Let’s imagine you’ve run a large trade show with lots of exhibitors, lots of guests, vendors and the like. There may be a couple of hundred people who all came together to make your event the success it was, and you’re about to disappear once the event has ended.
All the exhibitors should be thanked for their support, as well as asking them what their booking experience was, whether the event was a success and how could you make the booking / exhibiting process easier for them next year? Are they likely to exhibit again next year?
All the same could and should be asked of your attendees, and all the data collated and crunched to see how the event can become bigger and better the following year.
Very often these feedback systems are simply deployed by your events teams, or if you don’t’ have experience of these then speak to your venue hire team who can advise the best way to turn this tech to your advantage. Often in Central London we’re dealing with large number of people through the doors of our venue and these large numbers are all influencers in their own way – they are journalists, bloggers, social media influencers, CEO’s or purchasers – they all have a voice and they are all keen to be heard.
8. No Plan B.
You always need a Plan B. Despite the most meticulous of planning and the most stringent rehearsals, there will be something that wasn’t anticipated by anyone. But it’s happened and it’s now your responsibility.
Fortunately, being in Central London means we’re well connected with services, shops, suppliers and the likes and therefore most eventualities are easy resolved.
A sound Plan B is an essential part of event planning and a contingency required at every step of production.
9. Last Year worked. Let’s just do that.
Whilst we can see why this might be a tempting prospect, this is something that we would strongly encourage you to avoid.
Attending an event often takes a lot of planning. Just one day out of the office, or away from whatever the normal routine of your guests is can often take quite a bit of organising. So your guests want to be stimulated, and they certainly don’t want to feel like it’s just more of the same.
Your guest will want to anticipate something new, and something that will give them a reason to make the effort to attend again.
We’re often spoiled to be working in the venue hire business in London, but we sometimes need to remind ourselves that often a great deal of attendees aren’t from London. Even for those in commuting distance, a trip into a grand venue in London is an occasion, and one that we want to make as enchanting and exciting as possible. The best venue hires in central London are those that are adaptable to any imagination, and the best events are those that constantly evolve and make the most of the environment and the material to ensure that not only are guests encouraged to come back year after year, but that new attendees are converted due to the buzz.
8 Northumberland Avenue is a wonderful mix of the old and the new, and is a Central London venue hire that is constantly doing this. Each year our Christmas Party themes change to entice guests back year on year with new and exciting concepts. The same is true of those who choose to spend their New Year’s Eve at London’s most central venue.
It’s the same space. but the experience is new every time you walk through the doors at an 8 Northumberland Avenue event.
10. Not enough Social Media (equally too much social media!)
Let’s assume that you’ve taken all the aforementioned advice. The food, drink and environment look fantastic and the guests are having a great time. The likelihood is that they are on social media posting pictures and comments about all of this. Here’s where a sensible social media strategy can be deployed to great effect.
Firstly, have a hashtag to collate all the event activity. Those who can’t make the event will want to experience it virtually and feel like they were there.
Equally you will want to ‘like’ ‘favourite’ and ‘retweet’ those guests that are posting great comments about the event, both to thank them, but also to encourage further people to do the same. All this activity is amplifying your message to your advantage. Think about perhaps giving away a free gift to the best tweet of the evening or the best photo.
This buzz helps others learn about your event which in turn will help you to gain more interest in subsequent years and to build your following.
Conversely, too much social media activity can do you a disservice. Pre-event marketing works hard to build up a buzz around an event and to encourage engagement from prospects or attendees. Very often the first step from a prospect is to follow you on social media and to get a feel for the type of event this is proving to be, and in time if they like it they will sign up to attend.
At that point there might be a considerable amount of time between signing up and the event, and if they feel their timeline is inundated with messages they may simply get tired of hearing from you.
As ever, a good central London venue hire with a talented events management team can advise you as to how to strike the right balance in these matters.
This brings us to end of our article. Hopefully some sage advice from our team, built over many years of helping make events in our great capital a huge success. Venue hire, especially venue hire in central London is often a big decision. There are a number of excellent venues to choose from, and the hire is no small investment, so we appreciate you wanting to make this not only an easy process, but also a rewarding one.
A great central London venue hire, with the right team, food and drink and tech, along with some good advice will make the event go with a bang and have your guests leaving feeling valued, entertained, fed, and looking forward to the next time they visit.