When Venue View received an invitation to visit the industry event of the year – Venues + Events Live 2017, we just couldn’t say no!
Held over five floors in the breathtakingly impressive Old Billingsgate, attendees enjoyed 250 exhibitors and a packed schedule full of workshops, classes, talks and one day special offers. The Squaremeal team really shone and have created an event that surpassed all others – something that both exhibitors and attendees will talk about for months to come.
But this was not just an event run over 2 days, the amount of planning and organising required for a show of this magnitude cannot be underestimated. This really came across from the many stands we visited on the day, where the overriding comments extolled were of the support, advice, encouragement and organisation from the Squaremeal teams and account managers to really help exhibitors achieve their best event yet.
Venue View took to the floors on day two, to find our favourite stands and speak to the staff on hand to learn more about their venues. Originally we had intended to give you a top ten, but with so many fantastic, creative and inspiring exhibits to choose from we have decided a top 17 was more appropriate!
To show our appreciation for their hard word and beautiful style, Venue View will be offering our top three stands a complimentary virtual tour to bring their stunning venues to life online – keep reading to find out who the winners are.
Here are our top 17 stands of Venues + Events Live 2017:
Name: Kate Rowbottom
Number of times attending: Around eight years.
Why do you like this particular show: Fantastic networking and rekindling relationships with other venues and potential clients.
What has been your personal highlight: Generating new business, and meeting previous clients that want to come back and book with us again.
Tell us about your venue or service, what is your USP: We are a 700 year old venue that was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, and one of the only castles in the UK with a double moat.
Hand Picked Hotels
Name: Matthius Mahr
Number of times attending: First time personally but Hand Picked have been on numerous occasions.
Why do you like this particular show: An opportunity to talk to potential customers but also to be around our competition to see what they are doing.
What has been your personal highlight: The variety. Lots of great people, a real cross section of people. There are not that many events around like this.
Tell us about your venue or service, what is your USP: We are a country house hotel collection that celebrate the differences and unique nature of our venues. We are owned and operated very much as a family run business
Name: Emily Bate and Jenny Underwood
Number of times attending: IET have been here at least for the last 4 years.
Why do you like this particular show: A real buzzy feel to it. Really busy and we always get good enquiries from it. Very high quality buyers.
What has been your personal highlight: The diversity of enquiries. We are promoting our STEM events with a focus on Science Technology and Engineering – and have had lots of interest in these.
Tell us about your venue or service, what is your USP: We have three venues – Birmingham, Glasgow and London. Savoy recently had a 30m refurbishment and now includes engineering exhibits such as a digital chandelier and a display of 100 items that changed the world.
Name: Alex Martindale
Number of times attending: Around five times personally but the last 2 or 3 years for Tobacco Dock.
Why do you like this particular show: The volume of people and catching up with old industry friends. It’s always nice to get our name out there.
What has been your personal highlight: Entering the Canape Cup – we didn’t win but a great experience!
Tell us about your venue or service, what is your USP: We are a Grade 1 building but very flexible – lots of space for people to use their own creative and design which means we always get lots of repeat business.
Name: Rupinder Sander
Number of times attending: It is our third year.
Why do you like this particular show: I talk to clients all year round on the phone but at this event get to speak to them in person!
What has been your personal highlight: Our stand is bigger and better this year and far more people have noticed it!
Tell us about your venue or service, what is your USP: We provide for a range of different events and capacities, but our real USP is that we are right in the heart of the City, between Moorgate and Old Street and have 5 acres of outdoor space.
The Ministry of Sound
Venue: The Ministry of Sound
Name: Rachel Davies & Adam Quigley
Number of times attending: First time personally but the venue has been coming since 2007.
Why do you like this particular show: A mixture of both suppliers and venues – it is a very well recognised event in the industry.
What has been your personal highlight: Catching up with agents and direct clients. Being able to say hi and put a face to a name!
Tell us about your venue or service, what is your USP: Amazing sound, lighting and AV – we were voted the world’s best sound system 4 years in a row. This works perfectly for conferencing as people are always within two meters of a speaker!
Name: Ben Booker
Number of times attending: Been exhibiting since the shows inception and have always had the same spot! The perfect spot.
Why do you like this particular show: The diversity of people coming through. We have a good portfolio of hotels and deal with a mix of businesses – leisure, small meeting spaces and big MICE facilities.
What has been your personal highlight: Primarily meeting new clients and people – introducing them to Elite Hotels.
Tell us about your venue or service, what is your USP: Our properties are very historic and have real tradition to them. In addition, we provide very high levels of hospitality and traditional service.
Iconic Luxury Hotels
Name: Lisa Lernoux-Dock
Number of times attending: We attended regularly up until a few years ago and have now just returned.
Why do you like this particular show: There is a real buzz, and there are so many people here! It is tiring but brilliant.
What has been your personal highlight: Getting so many enquiries. Great to catch up with lots of people, but it has been the number of enquiries that has been great.
Tell us about your venue or service, what is your USP: We have 4 authentically English hotels with lots of heritage & character – Cliveden House, Chewton Glen, and new additions The Lygon Arms and 11 Cadogan Gardens.
Maxwell’s Group Events
Name: Craig Woodley
Number of times attending: This is first time with Café De Paris and Tropicana Beach Club on the same stand, but have been here 2 or 3 times in the past.
Why do you like this particular show: You get a real variety of people with it being held in the city of London, and some excellent buyers.
What has been your personal highlight: Some really good enquiries from clients we have been talking to for a very long time which is great.
Tell us about your venue or service, what is your USP: We are two very large venues in the west end of London with contrasting themes – a Grade 2 listed building in Piccadilly Circus which is Café De Paris and a tropical paradise themed venue in Covent Garden which is Tropicana Beach Club. Both venues are immersive and experiential, with lots of entertainment where people are encouraged to get involved.
Name: Richard Pollock, Ian Appleby and Julie Appleby
Number of times attending: First time the first exhibition Brocket Hall have done in 7 years – we are launching ourselves back into the exhibition scene with three more lined up.
Why do you like this particular show: Attendance has been really good with a lot of quality leads. The Old Fish market is stunning. Really well attended and well organised.
What has been your personal highlight: Our stand came together really well – from initial concept to the stand as you see it, everyone has commented on it. The atmosphere and ambience has been amazing.
Tell us about your venue or service, what is your USP: We are quintessentially British, exclusively yours. We have three venues on the estate – a stately home we offer for private hire, Brocket Hall Golf Club with 2 championship courses, and a fine dining restaurant, the Auberge Du Lac.
Name: Alex Davison
Number of times attending: First time attending, we have had an amazing response.
Why do you like this particular show: Because of the reputation. I’ve been attending for years so I know how good it is to visit. We wanted to do it because we knew the audience would be fantastic. The Squaremeal team have been wonderful and the support has been amazing.
What has been your personal highlight: Peoples reaction to our stand – they have loved it. People have loved the creative nature of what we do.
Tell us about your venue or service, what is your USP: We are an events company specialising in corporate design. We are an immersive entertainment group who take the time to really find out what our clients want and then carefully create a theme around that to suit them.
The Congress Centre
Name: Ruby Chagger
Number of times attending: We have been here since the very first event.
Why do you like this particular show: Fantastic location and the people that come here are amazing. We always get good bookings from attending.
What has been your personal highlight: We had a great enquiry from a company based just around the corner from us that didn’t know anything about us! Really improves people’s awareness of our venue.
Tell us about your venue or service, what is your USP: We have LOTS of natural daylight, which can be rare in central London. Technology wise all our equipment is built into the rooms and people love the plug and play nature of having their event with us.
The Old Shire Hall
Name: Harriet Lund
Number of times attending: The first time. We have only been trading as The Old Shire Hall since February of this year and this is a great show for us to get the word out there.
Why do you like this particular show: Really great leads from both agencies and clients over the two days. The people here are so friendly!
What has been your personal highlight: Lots of comments about the stand, you feel like you are in the space and it really shows off the venue.
Tell us about your venue or service, what is your USP: We are unique venue, originally built as law courts with a town centre location with great transport links. We still have the law courts and also have an original dungeon!
The Jockey Club
Name: Lyle Smith
Number of times attending: At least five times.
Why do you like this particular show: The clientele are great, it’s really fun, great set up, and it generates business!
What has been your personal highlight: Getting our name out there, giving away our stress horses, and giving The Jockey Club lots of exposure.
Tell us about your venue or service, what is your USP: We are unique. Every racecourse up and down the country, including those close to London, are very different. Epsom Downs have beautiful views, Sandown Park are brilliant for team building exercises, and Kempton Park are excellent for exhibitions.
The Jockey Club venues stand was designed and built by Quadrant2Design
OUR TOP 3 STANDS FROM VENUES + EVENTS LIVE 2017
The following three companies ALL win a Venue View Virtual Tour for one of their venues!
Name: Johanna Byrane
Number of times attending: 2nd time, though some of the venues exhibit on their own.
Why do you like this particular show: Location is good, quality of buyers is excellent. Really good buzz and constant footfall.
What has been your personal highlight: High levels of enquiries that we are keen to convert.
Tell us about your venue or service, what is your USP: We have a wide range portfolio of venues, from heritage to modern, luxurious, daytime, evening – to suit every taste and budget.
Why this stand was a winner: The Searcys stand was the epitome of style, with Johanna and the team flying the flag for their luxury venues. A classy, impressive stand was complemented by possibly the largest champagne glass known to man and a competition to guess the number of bubbly corks to win a magnum of champers. It was actually difficult to get a word in at the stand due to the sheer number of visitors – it really was a beacon of sophistication in the midst of a buzzing room.
The Searcys stand was designed and built by Quadrant2Design
Name: Liz Pilling
Number of times attending: Five times.
Why do you like this particular show: Catching up with all of the other brands, they are just amazing and to be up against them with all of the passing footfall is a great experience.
What has been your personal highlight: The variety of people coming around – plus meeting Hagrid on the Harry Potter stand!
Tell us about your venue or service, what is your USP: We are different from everyone else. We are not a grey box, we are a forest with lots of opportunity, lots of team bonding and lots of fun to be had.
Why this stand was a winner: If there was a stand that symbolised what a venue was all about it was the lush and green Centre Parcs exhibit. With an abundance of staff on hand to take queries, they were occasionally hard to spot among the foliage and occasional deer! The forest ‘distance marker’ was a really nice touch and the knowledge and enthusiasm from the staff made it a clear winner.
Name: Bianca Searle
Number of times attending: Second time personally, but 4th or 5th year for Odeon.
Why do you like this particular show: Its unique. They really take the time to understand our objectives. The marketing support is great and our account manager, Harry is fantastic. It’s different, exciting and there is always something new.
What has been your personal highlight: We had both Stormtroopers and a robot on our stand – he was amazing, really engaging. We have also had a rebrand, focussed on B2B, so it was great to talk about that.
Tell us about your venue or service, what is your USP: We offer a cinematic experience for B2B clients, with immersive big screens with in-house top end AV and top end seating. The ability to satellite screen over multi locations and first class account management means we are always thinking about what we can do for our clients.
Why this stand was a winner: With not just one, but TWO stands the ODEON Business team really pulled out all the stops to show they mean business in the MICE arena. Futuristic robots, a mini cinema, two huge screens, generous goodie bags and ultra enthusiastic staff on hand they really set a high bar from first glimpse in the Vaults. Their USP of being able to simultaneously cast satellite feeds to high quality cinema screen across the country is a real game changer and I’m sure we will see more corporate events in cinemas in the very near future.
As you can see from the venues featured, it was a really difficult decision choosing our top 3 – so much so that we want to give a special mention to Elite Hotels, ICT Venues, The Old Shire Hall, Tobacco Dock and The Jockey Club who were fantastic and all win a complementary Video View flythrough tour of a venue of their choosing!
Thank you to all of the exhibitors for their time, and we look forward to attending next year!