myvenues-London – giving you even more than you expect!

15 February

There are lots of venue-finding services, but myvenues-London offers you a great deal more than the others. Like them, we give you up-to-the-minute information on facilities, rates and availability, but we go much further. We have real, direct knowledge of each of the venues we represent, knowledge of things that can make or break your event: the atmosphere and environment of the venue, the quality of the people you’ll be dealing with, and their ability to react to late changes.

myvenues-London only deals with venues that are distinctive, responsive and fully experienced in making events work. This, the first of its monthly e-zines, shows just how special they are.

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Feature Venue: Weddings success extends horizons for 116 Pall Mall

Without doubt, one of London’s most distinguished locations for meetings and events of all kinds is 116 Pall Mall, the Institute Of Directors’ prestigious headquarters in the heart of London. But while it’s firmly established as a venue of choice for corporate occasions, it’s also achieving increasing success in other fields, including private dining, personal entertaining … and particularly weddings.

Many things have contributed to 116 Pall Mall’s status. Most immediately obvious is its combination of sheer style, elegance and heritage. It is one of the capital’s most eminent examples of its great Georgian heritage, designed by John Nash in the 1820’s. The building is Grade I listed, and is actually built on the site of Carlton House, which was in effect the home of the Royal family before Buckingham Palace.

Inside, evidence of the greatest traditions of British elegance is everywhere, carefully preserved and maintained. It includes a dramatic marble mosaic floor - more than 150 years old - and a spectacular staircase, overlooked by a vast, hand-made Regency chandelier which commemorates the Battle of Waterloo.

It may have elegance to spare, but 116 Pall Mall doesn’t simply rely on its unique atmosphere and its prestige. It is a fully fledged venue which provides comprehensive facilities and services. It’s extremely versatile, with scope to accommodate private meetings for ten people, dinners for up to 250, and conferences for up to 300 delegates, all with equal impact and value.

The choice of locations truly justifies the term ‘stunning’. Of the seven distinctive spaces available, the largest is the Nash Room, the grandest function room in the building, spanning an impressive 3000 square feet. Other smaller options include the Waterloo and the Burton, while the St James and Trafalgar facilities are each suites of two interlinked rooms, more intimate and extremely adaptable. All rooms have their own particular ambience and there’s a versatile in house team of chefs.

Ringing the bells

116 Pall Mall is increasingly popular for private entertaining, with weddings most prominent. That’s why the venue is repeating a successful initiative of previous years, by holding a comprehensive Wedding Showcase on 25 March. Organised this time by specialists Silverline Weddings, the event will enable prospective brides and grooms to meet the 116 wedding team; to talk to locally-based professional suppliers, from florists, photographers and caterers to wedding planners and entertainers; to enjoy samples of the IoD’s own high quality catering; and to experience the magical quality of its event spaces, which will be decked out in full wedding dress.

'Wedding couples can have exclusive use of our building with private gardens, something very rare in Central London,' explains Product Marketing Manager Clare Jones: 'Our success in this area is not simply good business: it shows that, though 116 Pall Mall is a very distinguished venue, we are not restricted to high level business events - our rooms lend themselves to much more than that.'

Website: www.116pallmall.com

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London People

It’s the variety that keeps Gill committed!

The Gallery at Imagination’s Events Manager Gill van Zwanenberg has had a remarkably interesting career, but her work at the venue is at least as fascinating as anything else she has done. It’s a combination of the inspiring nature of the Gallery, the central role she plays in supporting clients … and the sheer variety of the people she encounters!

Gill has worked at the Gallery for more than six years, and fully appreciates how its creative spaces can help clients to create really memorable and distinctive events. The Bloomsbury venue is the London office of Imagination, one of the world’s most influential providers of design and digital communications services. Fittingly, its London offices in Store Street provide a spectacular and highly individual setting for events of all kinds, with particular emphasis on the creation of a bespoke, distinctively branded environment for each of its clients.

Apart from the Gallery itself, the venue’s dramatic spaces include an Atrium with a soaring six storey space, and a balcony with commanding views over Bloomsbury and its distinctive Georgian centrepiece, Bedford Square. Capable of being used separately or as complementary locations, the spaces are designed to optimise clients’ scope to communicate their own identity and ethos.

That philosophy really motivates Gill: 'Perhaps better than any other venue, we offer that famous ‘blank canvas’, on which can be created experiences that explore new possibilities, express creativity and add value to the bottom line.'

Helping her clients to produce dramatic events is second nature. Gill’s early career included working as a West End stage manager, helping to produce the first runs of shows that have since become world famous, such as ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’, ‘Song and Dance’ and ‘Cats’. When she has any spare time, she’s still very much involved in managing events: she’s been on the organising committee for the annual Wargrave & Shiplake Regatta – just down the river from Henley – for longer than she cares to remember.

The Gallery is currently experiencing one of its most successful periods, and that’s very much down to the fact that Gill is the focal point of the client relationship. 'Knowing how messy it can be when a client has to link up with different suppliers and departments, I’m really pleased that it doesn’t happen at the Gallery,' she explains: 'It’s very fulfilling to being our customers’ primary, indeed only, contact helping them manage and control every aspect of their event. It’s a bit like being a security blanket for them, and it’s still a great feeling when it all comes together for them … with a wow factor that only the Gallery can add.'

Variety is certainly the spice of Gill’s working life: recent events that she’s managed range from a 50th anniversary party for Scalextric to a rather more serious gathering for a leading accountancy firm!

Website: london.imagination.com

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