Whether it’s visiting one of London’s famous royal palaces, dining at a Michelin star restaurant or holding a drinks reception at a luxury five star hotel, planners are looking for a ‘wow’ factor to make their events a success, according to London & Partners, the city’s official convention bureau.
Nearly 40 per cent of 59 leading London-based suppliers rated the “wow” factor as the most important ingredient for success, ahead of flexible spaces (29 per cent), tech (12.7 per cent) and creativity (9 per cent).
London also offers better value than ever for international planners looking to hold their event in the city due to the fall in the value of the UK pound sterling against the Euro and US dollar.
Following the vote to leave the European Union in June, the number of enquiries at the city’s CVB have increased by 35 per cent compared to the same period last year, including a 27 per cent rise in enquiries coming from the EMEA.
Whether it’s a stand-out venue, a luxury dinner or an enhanced programme, the “wow” factor and additional savings currently available will help planners increase delegate engagement and could also contribute to growing their event. For example, Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea Football Club, offers a range of venues suitable for events for 10 to 1,000 delegates. Planners wanting to put a sport spin on their conference could host a day-long event with catering and backstage tour of the stadium for £75 per person or 87 euros, down from 106 euros last year, saving 19 euros per head.
Those looking for venues with royal heritage, can book the historic Orangery at Kensington Palace which was once the setting for Queen Anne’s sophisticated court entertainment. With a capacity of up to 300, The Orangery is the ideal location for an elegant and exclusive evening reception. Planners can now save several thousand pounds on the venue hire, with rates significantly lower in November 2016.
Similarly, Luxury hotels in the heart of the West End have rates foor EMEA planners that provide values where events with a UK focus can be offered to potential clients.
One high profile venue could offer a saving of over 6,000 euros on the venue hire, Audio/Video and catering for 150 guests, bringing the cost down to 27,680 euros when currency rates are compared to last year meeting costs.
Charley Taylor-Smith, Sales and Marketing Manager at Searcys |The Gherkin, said: “With the exchange rate making us more accessible than ever before, we look forward to working with our future clients to create truly memorable events.”
Paul Miller, Managing Director at Spectra DMC, said: “Once clients understand how affordable London has become because of the better exchange rate the only question left on the table is: what can we do?”
Barbara Jamison, Head of Business Development Europe at London & Partners, said: “With increased competition in the industry, delegate engagement has become paramount, so it is not surprising the “wow factor” ranks so high on planners’ list of priorities. Thousands of years of history, along with cutting-edge architecture and world-class culture means London has an unparalleled number of outstanding venues and experiences for event planners to woo their delegates.”