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More than 150 new buyers from corporates, agencies and associations gathered for an evening of entertainment and hospitality on the stage of the world-famous Barbican Hall last night.

The exclusive event started at the artists entrance with a red-carpet welcome before guests descended into backstage areas for drinks and canapés provided by the venue’s catering partner Searcys. Later on everyone was welcomed into the Barbican Hall where the best seats in the house provided unrivalled views of entertainment from the likes of renowned cellist Jay Jenkinson, Ember (courtesy of Sternberg Clarke) and Drum Works – a Barbican Artistic Associate who use drumming to inspire people creatively, give them confidence in their ideas and empower them to direct their own futures.. 

“Tonight was the perfect opportunity to celebrate everything the Barbican has to offer whilst highlighting the links between business events, arts and creative learning,” comments Oliver Hargreaves, head of sales at the Barbican.  “In particular, we were delighted to take our guests backstage to see a totally new view of the Barbican.  It really was a one-off opportunity to experience one of the City of London’s most impressive venues from a different perspective.”

Attendees commented:

"This space is fantastic, I have already recommended it to someone looking for a space capable of holding an event for 1,500. It is versatile and so well located in the heart of London.  I easily walked here from my earlier meetings and took the time to relax in the public spaces, benefit from the free WiFi and enjoy a drink in the Martini Bar."  Laura Hatton, Hats Off Events

"Tonight's showcase has been amazing, the food and drink have been fantastic, it is my first time seeing the venue from this perspective. The entertainment and talent have been great but most important is the high quality of service, which is the reason we are a returning customer."  Jason Melissos, Global PR and Events Manager Dr. Martens

"It is my first time here in the Barbican Hall and I love it. The whole venue has such a cross section of spaces that work superbly together for a host of events. Most importantly though the links to the arts make the Barbican a hub of creativity and an inspiring place to host any event." Amanda Head from Melon:

"Whilst I have been coming to the Barbican for years as an arts lover this is my first time truly seeing the venue as a conference professional.   It is a superb and creative space where you cannot be anything other than impressed.  Most importantly though was the attentiveness of the staff. They actively sought the attendees out, took the time to understand our needs and showed genuine interest in us as individuals rather than a room full of potential clients." Isabelle Ferner from The Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in GB & Ireland.

arrangeMY has successfully appointed Laura Dudley as National Account Manager, taking care of the expanding client portfolio.

Laura joins arrangeMY from Genting UK where she was the Business Development Manager at Resorts World Birmingham, located at the NEC.

With a considerable wealth of hotel and agency industry experience, Laura is delighted to be joining the established arrangeMY team and looks forward to bringing her knowledge to further enrich the high service levels already given to arrangeMY clients.

As well as building key relationships, Laura will be focused on negotiating the most competitive rates for business travel, ensuring savings are passed on to key clients.

Nick Scott, arrangeMY Managing Director commented: “We are thrilled to have Laura on board and we know that her personality and skill set will be a huge asset to the company, allowing the arrangeMY brand to further build on our success to date.”

Laura added: “My main objectives at arrangeMY over the next few months will be to introduce myself to key clients and build relationships with the decision makers and stakeholders for each account. 

“Strong key account relationships are very important to us and I am looking forward to continuing the great work the team has already done, and looking for ways to further improve the quality service we are able to provide.”

arrangeMY has been trading since 1990 and has grown to be one of the most respected independent business travel agents in the UK. The company, which employs in excess of 60 members of staff at its head office in Worcester, offers a range of services including Travel, Accommodation, Venue Finding and Event Management. 

PR and digital marketing agency Roland Dransfield has been appointed by Crowne Plaza and Staybridge Suites - Manchester Oxford Road, to market Manchester’s first dual-branded hotel.

The Manchester-based agency was selected following a competitive pitch process to support the launch of the 19-storey building, which is located on Corridor Manchester.

Containing 328-rooms, the dual-branded Crowne Plaza and Staybridge Suites - known as a ‘double pack’ concept - will be unveiled to the public in early 2018.

Both brands are part of the IHG portfolio.

Roland Dransfield’s associate director Caroline Aspinall said: “Manchester is following in the footsteps of great cities across the globe that have incorporated dual-branded hotels in their offer.

“Roland Dransfield is delighted to be involved in telling that unique story and in bringing a ‘first’ to Manchester.

“At the same time, we are thrilled to have secured such a high profile and coveted client when competition for the account was so high.

“Our campaign ideas really resonated with the client and clearly supported their objectives for a successful launch.”

The dual-branded hotel forms part of the University of Manchester’s Campus Masterplan, which includes the wider redevelopment of Alliance Manchester Business School. It will also adjoin its new two-storey Executive Education Centre, which will provide a new home for the business school’s corporate leadership and management programmes.

Both Crowne Plaza and Staybridge Suites sit within Corridor Manchester, which is home to 70,000 students and boasts a workforce of 60,000 people – with 14,000 new jobs planned.

Andrew Fletcher is General Manager. He said: “We really are thrilled to be working with Roland Dransfield to bring our dual-branded hotel concept to Manchester.

“There was an instant connection with the Roland Dransfield team. They demonstrated their expertise and that each of them have different skills and experience to bring to the account.

“They had researched well, responded properly to the brief and showed they fully understood our need to build links with the Manchester community and what is known as Corridor Manchester.

“Their pitch was highly engaging and focussed on deliverables – rather than proving who else they had worked with.

“They were definitely best in class and we are delighted to have them onboard.”

The appointment comes as Roland Dransfield marks its 21st birthday by launching a consumer division to service a growing number of consumer-facing accounts.

The division, led by Adam Moss, also manages accounts for Sale Sharks, Boodles Tennis, Playon Pro, The Offside Trust and The Range.

Adam Moss joined Roland Dransfield as head of consumer in July from Brazen, where he spent nine years as director of news and creative content.

Caroline added: “We’ve always has a great reputation for our B2B and are already carving out an enviable reputation for our B2C work too.

“Our aim is to be as successful with our consumer offering as the agency has been over the last 21 years with its B2B offering so we can ensure there isn’t a brief that we cannot respond to.”

Macdonald Windsor Hotel has unveiled its new meetings and events spaces following a £27,000 digital up-grade.

A total of seven meeting and event rooms underwent refurbishment as part of the project which was focused on installing innovative technology.

All meeting spaces, which can cater for between two and 120 people, now have access to state of the art Barco ClickShare devices which allow delegates to connect their phones, tablets and laptops to a presentation screen wirelessly at the click of a button. In addition to encouraging greater collaboration in meetings, as all delegates can participate more actively, the system increases meeting efficiency as less time is needed during the initial set up.  

Following the upgrade, delegates will also have their own private conference Wi-Fi line ensuring meetings will not be slowed down during times of high internet usage throughout the rest of the hotel. Macdonald Windsor Hotel has also fitted large 75-inch LCD screens in three of the main meeting rooms.

Located in the heart of the historic town, just 20 minutes from Heathrow Airport, the four-star hotel is a popular choice with business travellers. It has a total of six meeting rooms as well as a larger event space which can be used for corporate functions and conferences. 

Philip Lewis, general manager at Macdonald Windsor Hotel said; “Our digital makeover is intended to make meetings more efficient and engaging for our guests. By fitting the latest technology, we are ensuring delegates have access to the facilities which matter most in a modern meeting environment, including free fast Wi-Fi and top of the range audio-visual equipment.

“The ClickShare technology is simple to use and for those who are unfamiliar with the devices, our fully trained events team are on hand to assist.

“These improvements are just the first step in a wider strategy to drive our corporate offerings forward as we look to become one the leading meetings and events venue on the outskirts of London.”

For more information on the conference and events facilities at Macdonald Windsor Hotel visit



Organisers of World Afro Day will be attempting to reach a new world record at Church House Westminster later this month in what is set to be the RecordSetter “Largest Hair Education Lesson” involving hundreds of children. This inaugural event is taking place on Friday 15th September and was recently endorsed by the United Nations and is set to be an activity filled day that challenges the perceptions of afro hair and celebrates its beauty.

The World Afro Day team will be teaching the expected 500 children attendees about afro hair through the themes of science and self-esteem. Alongside the World Record Lesson, there will be musical performances, exhibitors and Q&A sessions.

The event has gained international support and will be attended by academics including Berkley Professor Angela Onwuachi-Willig, internationally acclaimed celebrity hair stylist, Vernon Francois and the 2016 winner Miss USA, Deshauna Barber.

Founder Michelle De Leon comments: “Our goal is to encourage people, particularly the younger generation, to understand the uniqueness of afro hair and help the world to appreciate the difference as a positive characteristic. We’ll be bringing together children from all backgrounds for our inaugural World Afro Day in an environment, where they can appreciate the wonder of hair. It is a very exciting event and it is generating interest from all over the world. We chose to host World Afro Day at Church House because of its association with prestige, power and history and it will give those attending a sense of occasion and value in who they are. Our hope is that they will go away feeling empowered by the knowledge they have gained during the day.”

Robin Parker, General Manager at Church House Westminster, commented: “We are delighted to be working with the organisers of World Afro Day on their first event. Not only will those attending be able to participate in what is expected to be a record breaking day, but through our state-of-the-art audio visual facilities we will be live streaming it around the world so a global audience can share in this momentous occasion.”

Tickets for the event are available to purchase on the World Afro Day official website-

Church House Westminster is one of London’s most versatile event venues. The AIM Gold accredited venue offers 19 flexible event spaces, which accommodate between 2 and 664 guests, and hosts a wide variety of events including meetings, conferences, awards ceremonies, gala dinners and receptions. For more information call 020 7390 1590 or visit


Lime Venue Portfolio is offering event organisers ‘smarter’ virtual tours within its portfolio of unique and unusual venues. The tours make it easier for bookers to ‘see inside’ the portfolio’s unique venues and understand and identify suitable spaces for their events.

Lime Venue Portfolio has partnered with Matterport Service Provider, Venue View, to create detailed 3D virtual views of a number of the portfolio’s unique spaces, including Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Churchill War Rooms and HMS Belfast.

Commenting on why the portfolio is investing in virtual tours Richard Kadri-Langford, Head of Marketing, Lime Venue Portfolio said: “This is a really useful tool for time poor event organisers, who want to understand and book our venues. We know these people are under increasing pressure to maximise their own time and budgets and believe this technology can help ease much of this burden.

He continued: “This platform provides an improved experience for bookers, as via the tours, organisers can use a 3D ‘Dolls House’ view of a venue to better appreciate how rooms connect to others, as well as get a feel for the access areas such as corridors, communal or plenary rooms and how the space could look.”

The technology also includes smart information tags which bring features to life within the venue, from downloadable menus, details about the AV options and embedded photographs and images of different room set-ups or previous events. Customers can even make enquiries directly within the tours.

Ellis Salsby, Managing Director of a leading event management and booking agency commented: “I think the tours are great. We will generally enquire with a venue before visiting as we are booking a lot of venues at any one time. These tours would therefore prove really useful to identify suitability, feel and layout of the venue before shortlisting suitable options to the client.”

Paul Ewing, Operations Manager, Calder Conferences & World of Travel also commented: “We love the new tours and found them very easy to manoeuvre around. Not only can our teams, who had not seen some of the venues, get a good idea of what they are like, we can also use them with our clients to give them a better idea of the character, flow and layout of a venue.”

Kadri-Langford concludes: “As tours become more ubiquitous, I believe they will dramatically change the way organisers discover and book venues to such an extent that they become a pre-requisite at enquiry stage.”

A corporate hospitality and events firm on Teesside has been officially recognised for its quality credentials.

Hospitality Guaranteed, which offers full event management services as well as accommodation and conference venue searches for businesses, has been awarded ISO9001 accreditation, just weeks after marking its 11th anniversary by expanding its services.

ISO9001, awarded by the International Organisation for Standardisation, demonstrates that an organisation operates at the highest level in terms of its internal and external processes, communications, and record-keeping, and that it strives to continually improve with regular reviews.

The Wynyard Park company, which launched a corporate flight service earlier this year, has also expanded its team, recently taking on a technical tester to continue to exceed client expectations.

Co-founder, Amanda Jackson, said: "At Hospitality Guaranteed, we pride ourselves on quality and consistency; we're passionate about delivering great service and results. Not only does this important ISO accreditation demonstrate these values, but going through the process itself has helped us to develop and implement even more robust checks and audit improvements."

The company, which was founded by Amanda and business partner, Victoria Brunton, in 2006, now has 3,000 UK and European venue suppliers and around 50 corporate clients after enjoying annual growth of around 30 to 40 per cent. It is hoped having the ISO9001 quality mark will allow the firm to further expand its client portfolio.

Victoria added: "The whole company is extremely proud of the accreditation and going through the process together to closely examine our operational processes has served to make us an even stronger team.

"Clients can have even greater confidence that we have robust quality systems and processes in place, both offline and online, to support them and consistently deliver what they need."    

The entrepreneurs are now recruiting for a number of roles to help service its growing customer base, which includes a large North East bakery and a motor manufacturing giant.

For more information visit

The leading event for the inbound and outbound meetings industry in the UK, The Meetings Show, has announced a new two-day format for 2018, in what will be the show’s sixth edition.

The show will return to Olympia London on Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 June 2018, providing focused networking, education and meeting opportunities for buyers and suppliers.

The new two-day format for the show follows extensive research carried out with exhibitors, visitors and hosted buyers. The evidence showed overwhelming support for condensing the show to achieve the best value from attending. Organisers will be using this feedback to continue to develop the key elements of the show: the hosted buyer programme, education programme and networking opportunities.

David Chapple, group event director for The Meetings Show, said: “Over the past five years The Meetings Show has grown to be an unmissable event for anyone working in the UK inbound or outbound meetings industry. After listening to feedback from exhibitors it was evident that whilst many achieved excellent results from the 2017 edition – our largest show to date – they would be able to achieve even greater ROI from a focused two-day show with more opportunities for networking in addition to appointments with hosted buyers. For hosted and visitor buyers, the research indicated that we should be creating a dynamic programme with more opportunities for learning, supplier appointments and excellent networking opportunities.

“Over the next few weeks we will be working with our advisory board, focus groups, partners and exhibitors to refine plans for the show. Our aim is to build on all the achievements of the last five years and create a productive and rewarding experience for visitors, hosted buyers and exhibitors for the 2018 show.”

The announcement has been welcomed by some of The Meetings Show’s key partners and exhibitors. Sally Lopez, regional director of sales (Europe) for Hard Rock Hotels, said: “After exhibiting in 2017 and having a fantastic time at the show, we fully support the move to a two-day format as we believe a higher footfall and more appointments condensed into two days will generate a better return for exhibitors. The Meetings Show is a fantastic opportunity for Hard Rock Hotels to meet and network with relevant event buyers, and we are looking forward to returning in 2018.”

Further information on the hosted buyer programme, education programme and networking opportunities will be announced over the coming months.

For more information about The Meetings Show, visit

The Higher Education Academy celebrated the first Global Teaching Excellence Awards (GTEA) with 150 attendees at Church House Westminster on Monday 4th September.

The Global Teaching Excellence Award (GTEA) is the first global award to celebrate and reward institutional commitment to the pursuit of teaching excellence in higher education. In partnership with Times Higher Education, the award was open to all providers of higher education and included entries from around the world.

HEA Chief Executive Officer, Professor Stephanie Marshall commented “The HEA’s mission is about improving learning outcomes by raising the status and quality of teaching in higher education, and these awards help do that by highlighting outstanding practice wherever it is happening in the world”.

The international panel of judges including distinguished educationalists from North America, Africa, Australia, Europe and East Asia shortlisted 27 institutions as finalists, before announcing the University of Huddersfield as their overall winner of the inaugural GTEA 2017 at the ceremony which took place in Church House Westminster’s largest space, the Assembly Hall.

Kathryn Harrison-Graves, HEA head of global partnerships comments “Church House, Westminster, was a wonderful and prestigious setting for our Global Teaching Excellence Award celebration and we were really impressed with the team who helped us run such a successful event”.

Church House Westminster is one of London’s most versatile event venues. The AIM Gold accredited venue offers 19 flexible event spaces, which accommodate between 2 and 664 guests, and hosts a wide variety of events including meetings, conferences, awards ceremonies, gala dinners and receptions. For more information call 020 7390 1590 or visit

Warwick Conferences has been awarded ‘Accredited Learning Facilities’ status by the Learning & Performance Institute, a leading international authority on innovation in workplace learning and achieving organisational performance. The accreditation is a demonstration of Warwick Conference’s commitment to creating exemplary learning and development environments for clients.

As part of the accreditation, Warwick Conferences, based at the University of Warwick, was assessed in areas such as Business Integrity, Client Value Proposition, Services & Support Capability and Customer Service. The business was commended for its formal and consistent recognition of a corporate social responsibility agenda, the strength of its administrative support service and an extremely high standard of customer service processes. In addition, the facilities were considered to be ‘well-sized for their audience capacity and offer excellent working and learning spaces with plentiful delegate relaxation and breakout facilities within the main facility’.

In the last year, Warwick Conferences has focused on developing its own suite of innovative and unique ‘feature spaces’ within its dedicated conference and meeting venues, creating alternative layouts that facilitate learning and collaboration – from lounge-style layouts, chalkboard walls, fun breakout spaces and home-from-home kitchen rooms. These unconventional spaces are the first of their kind in the academic venue market, and are designed to encourage creativity and break down boundaries by offering a more informal experience for delegates.

Richard Harrison, Head of Conference Centres at Warwick Conferences, says: “This accreditation will not only help raise the profile and awareness of Warwick Conferences in the Learning industry, but will also allow us to take advantage of a number of new opportunities to develop our learning environments through talking to L&D professionals and ultimately grow our business.

“We are dedicated to ensuring the quality of our facilities and operations, as well as continuing to demonstrate innovation in not only our facilities but our service and food. Through this accreditation we look forward to being able to talk to Learning professionals about how environments can impact on learning and how we as a business can continue to innovate. 

“We believe this accreditation differentiates Warwick Conferences and reinforces our commitment to being a forward-thinking, reputable provider, committed to performance development and outstanding client satisfaction.”


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