The motto of The Vineyard is "We love wine. We eat, sleep and drink it" coincidently we do too so the Vineyard was the perfect fit for our February FAM trip.
The Vineyard is a 5 star luxury hotel in Berkshire - the journey from London Paddington takes less than 1 hour, and for our FAM, we were met at the station by our own personal driver, John, who was super friendly and provided us with lots of information on the hotel and the local area in the short 10 minute journey. Within 1 hour 20 minutes of leaving our desks we were standing in the stunning reception with a glass of wine in our hand which is ideal for Off sites and Away Days.
The hotel has 49 bedrooms, 32 of which are gorgeous suites. The group were all lucky enough to stay in the Atrium Suites which provide ample space for your delegates to comfortably work in the living room area of their suite without feeling like they are in their bedroom. The suites all have a lovely balcony providing views of the surrounding countryside and just feel so luxurious!
If your group were going to extend their stay or wanted to explore outside of the property, the local area provides an array of opportunities to add on elements to your event including golf, an experience at Bombay Sapphire Distillery, shopping experience at Bicester Village, horse racing at Newbury and for those Downton Abbey fans or international delegates looking for the typical English experience Highclere Castle is close by.
The hotel has five event spaces with the largest event suite having a capacity for up to 160 delegates. The event spaces all have that important natural daylight and what was very obvious from all our interactions with all members of staff, your delegates would receive impeccable service. The hotel is perfect for exclusive use providing your delegates with that "special" feel.
As you can see from our intro, the hotel is all about wine and for us, one of the highlights of the evening was having a private tour of one of the wine cellars. The hotel has over 30,000 bottles in their cellars with 3,000 bins which makes it quite the collection and so fascinating. The wine cellar would be a great addition to add onto your event with each tour accommodating up to 15 people.
After soaking up the atmosphere (and the smell of wine) in the wine cellar, we were more than ready to taste some! We were extremely lucky to join the wine experience that was taking place - a five course tasting menu with paired wines in one of the lovely event spaces The food was incredible, the service was impeccable and the wine was divine - we learnt a lot about wine and felt quite privileged to be able to taste a few that we would usually not be privy to. It really is a special experience.
With that lovely full feeling of an amazing evening of food and wine, we actually retired to our suites much earlier than usual and surprisingly woke up feeling very fresh faced the next day! So much so we enjoyed the day relaxing in the spa within the hotel before we begrudgingly got back on the train to London.
If your delegates love good food, good wine and impeccable service then the Vineyard is for you. For more information, reach out to Sarah Birch at the Vineyard who will be very happy to provide you with further information.
When we used to think of Chelsea we thought of the show Made in Chelsea…one of our guilty pleasures! That all changed this week when we quickly learned the rules of football for our last Eventprofslive event of 2017 at Chelsea FC for the Chelsea vs AFC Bournemouth EFL Cup Quarter Final match.
Making sure we saw our year in style, we hosted a small group of our members for an exclusive hospitality evening to see and learn about the conference facilities (yes it's not all about the football there) and the hospitality options for entertaining clients that Chelsea has to offer. The evening kicked off (see what we did there using the football lingo!) the only way it should in December with a glass of bubbles in the Drake Suite which on match days hosts the all of the corporate hospitality.
After catching up with each other we all enjoyed a delicious three-course dinner before wrapping ourselves up to head out to the stand for the match which although was outdoors, it was quite toasty. As we headed out to the stand, we had a big surprise for our guests – we were sitting in the Directors box!!! The Directors box provides fantastic views of the match on the halfway line in the West Stand.
The hospitality packages in the Drake Suite provide clients with great seats on the West Stand as well as ample networking time pre-match, during halftime and post-match. After watching the first half we warmed ourselves up by tucking into delicious mini pies – very apt for a football match. Post-match we were off for amazing drinks and food in the Directors Lounge which is a stunning area and available for private hire. There are a variety of hospitality packages available to host clients at Stamford Bridge from bronze level to platinum level.
As mentioned earlier, Stamford Bridge is not just about the football it also has event facilities for up to 1,000 delegates that can be hired on non-match days. The venue has 25 function rooms and 60 syndicate rooms providing plenty of options for meetings, exhibitions, award dinners, conferences etc in a unique setting. A full breakdown of the conference facilities can be found here. The venue is also perfect for team building events including the option for your own mini-tournament on the pitch – a fantastic option for those briefs of "a money can't buy experience". We really liked the atmosphere and setting of the Directors Lounge, this space is perfect for an intimate drinks reception or dinner for VIP clients in a luxury and unique setting with Chelsea FC’s most treasured trophies on display.
For more information on the event options, reach out to the lovely Jennifer O'Higgins or Hayley Smith from the Stamford Bridge Events team.
A big thank you to Jen and Hayley for hosting us so amazingly we all had a fantastic evening and left being mini football fans (ssshhh don't tell anyone!).
And that is a wrap on our events programme for 2017, we held 21 events this year and each one was very special and memorable. A big thank you to all the venues and suppliers who hosted us this year along with a thank you to our members for their support. We have lots planned for 2018 and our membership window is now open (boom another football reference... aren't we clever?!... ). To sign up please see the link to join on our Upcoming Events page to complete the application form.
As you can tell we've been typical Event Managers and gone straight into the options for conferences and hospitality rather than going into detail on the football action – final score was 2 - 1 taking Chelsea into the semi-finals against Arsenal. We are no sports commentators so a full breakdown for those football fans can be found on the BBC Sports page that will do more justice to the match than us
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Invite a group of lovely ladies to afternoon tea on a Friday at The Landmark and watch how fast the acceptances come in.... Our event was at capacity within an hour!
Last Friday we were lucky enough to be hosted by the gorgeous Landmark Hotel for a site visit of all their meeting and event spaces, their bedrooms and afternoon tea to finish it off. What a wonderful way to spend a Friday afternoon.
I love The Landmark, i love all of its history. Did you know that the hotel opened with 700 bedrooms in 1899 and was originally called The Great Central Hotel or that is was the last of the great Victorian railway hotels constructed during ‘the golden age of steam’? No? We didn't either. I also didn't know that during World War 1 and World War 2 it was requisitioned by the Government for convalescing officers and soldiers on leave and for almost 40 years of its history it was used as office space for the headquarters of The British Railways Board. I find its history fascinating and our group learnt all about the hotel in the first part of our site visit. We held an interactive quiz as a way of learning all about the hotel and it was great fun.
After our quiz we moved on to the site visit of the bedrooms and meeting and event spaces. The Landmark has 14 event spaces with the majority having floor to ceiling windows and that all important natural daylight. The largest space, The Grand Ballroom, can fit up to 750 and it is just gorgeous. My favourite space though has to be The Tower Suite which fits up to 60 for a drinks reception or 40 boardroom. The view from the Suite is stunning and the design and flow of the room just works so well.
After our site visit it was off to afternoon tea in the WInter Garden which was exceptional. We started with a (a few whoops) glasses of champagne and started our tea with sandwiches before moving on to scones then the all important cakes. Every minute dietary requirement was catered for and the food was so lovely. We all loved it as did our families when we got home as The Landmark gave us each a takeaway of what we couldn't finish.
I really loved our event at The Landmark. Our group was wonderful and we all enjoyed our tea with Raffaella (Landmark) and Mickael (Leading Hotels) whom hosted us.
If you would like further information on any of the meeting and event spaces a The Landmark you can contact Raffaella here.
Our second ever EventProfsLive event was held at the Andaz Hotel nearly 2 years ago and a lot has changed....we've gone from 10 to over 150 members and as the Andaz has gone through their own changes since then, we decided it was about time we returned and return we did, and in style... We had a pamper evening in our own private suite!
If you have been living on Mars and aren't aware, The Andaz Hotel is a 5-star hotel located in the heart of the City of London with 14 unique spaces for events.
On Friday, we said goodbye to the week and hello to the weekend with some champagne in the gorgeous lounge...the first thing you notice at this hotel is how helpful and friendly the staff are, within 2 minutes of arrival our bags and coats had been whisked away and replaced with a glass of bubbles! The hotel has moved away from the traditional "front desk" for check-in and replaced this with an interactive desk with helpful staff and iPads - so much more welcoming and modern and we love it!
After catching up with the fabulous Federica and Abigail from the Andaz and our lovely members, we moved onto a tour of the event spaces.
The hotel has 14 spaces to suit a range of events from small boardroom meetings, private dining spaces, large conferences for up to 250 people or standing drinks reception for up to 500 people. Federica and Abigail are amazing and full of unique ideas of how the spaces can be used. Of all the spaces, the highlights for us on the tour were the Temple, the Studio and 1901....
The Temple has to be one of the best event secrets ever (sssh keep it a secret!) it is a grade 1 listed Masonic temple that was built in 1912 and was hidden before World War II and not discovered until recently. The Temple really does have a wow factor and is perfect for dinners, drinks receptions, fashion shows, creative events and about a million other types of events...
The Studio is a complete modern contrast to the Temple, this space has a New York loft feel. It has a floor to ceiling walls of wine; (we would like to work our way through that!) A working kitchen adds an interactive element to your meeting, and the hotel can bring Chefs in from their various restaurants to add this interactive element from a sushi making lesson, cocktail making, bread making, interactive canapes etc. A lovely touch to the studio is a wall of photos of people that have inspired the hotel including their own Chef from Miyako the uber famous Japanese restaurant.
A recent change to the hotel is that 1901 is now an event space and it is gorgeous! Perfect for drinks receptions or a seated dinner. This space can hold up to 180 people and is worth checking out!
As well as the event spaces, the hotel has two restaurants, a wine lounge, champagne bar and a pub! All of these can be taken exclusively.
We love a bedroom so we also checked out one of the newly refurbished bedrooms. The hotel is currently working their way through refurbishing the bedrooms. The room we saw looked amazing with the most fabulous bathroom - we are suckers for a good bathroom! Technology was also a big factor in the room refurbishment, the TVs all have access to Netflix which we love.
After the tour, we moved onto our pamper evening - very much needed after everyone's busy week! Our pamper evening took place in a gorgeous suite, we were welcomed by a glass of champagne and was served delicious food throughout the evening. The food was amazing and such a variety of healthy and less healthy options - the perfect combo! The service from the staff was outstanding.
During the evening we were spoilt by a neck and shoulder massages and also all got our hair done. It really was such a special evening. We were pampered by Pamper Me (www.pamperme.co.uk), they are beauty therapists that deliver expert treatments at events, companies and at home. We highly recommend them! They can do all treatments from massages, manicures, pedicures, facials and hair styling. I have held a few ladies only corporate events and know that Pamper Me would be perfect - so lovely and so professional!
Nearly a year ago Kate and I set up our networking group for event managers called Eventprofslive and it has just gone from strength to strength! Last week we were featured in the Chambers Travel “Travel Matters” magazine (you can read more here) and we couldn't be prouder!
Kate and I recognised the gap in the market for a group that was for event managers and run by event managers. A group run by event managers working in the role every day. We understand what event managers need and the support necessary for us to do a great job. We always wanted a group that was quite informal where we could come together once or twice a month to share ideas, see new spaces, have a bite to eat and a drink or two and so….Eventprofslive was born.
In the past year we have held events at The Ritz, The Mondrian, The Andaz and The Dorchester to name a few. Whilst our events have been typically evening networking events, we have also noticed the need for breakfast events and are hosting our first one in a few weeks.
We’ve helped members find new roles and supported each other numerous times to help find a venue quickly or to perhaps run a catering company by the group to see if anyone has any feedback.
Our group is built on social media. We use LinkedIn and our website for a members only forum, we use Twitter to interact and ask questions and pride ourselves on being one of the forerunners in recognising the benefit of Periscope. We started using Periscope last year for doing virtual show rounds when members couldn't make it to our events.
Our hosts have also seen amazing results from hosting our events too. One sales manager reported back to us that our tweets on the night of the event had a reach of 80,000 Twitter users.
We think our group is amazing and so far we have over 70 members. If you want more information or would like to join you can find more information on our website here.
If you are a venue who would like to host one of our events you can email us here!
A lot of event managers tend to look inwards rather than outwards and don’t see the value in networking externally. Networking is imperative to not only raise your profile but for lots of different reasons. You can use it to source new suppliers, learn about new trends and just make valuable connections.
Our #eventprofslive networking group has gone from strength to strength this year demonstrating just how valuable networking can be. We use our group as a way to not only see new spaces but to bounce ideas of each other, share best practice and talk about event “trends”.
I came across this great YouTube clip from Events Uncovered where Silvia Pellegrini(Events Uncovered) talks to Elena Clowes (Operations Manager for the UK chapter of ISES) about what she believes is missing from event management degrees. Elena talks about networking!
To be great at networking is a skill but the fab thing is anyone can learn how to be great at it. I wrote about it a year or so ago, here are my top tips!
Michelle Rees is a Events Advisor for a London Law Firm
Kate is a Events Manager for a London Law Firm