By Hannah Wright, Venue Sales Executive
Are you inspired by conference speakers, taking in new ideas, free brownies and loading your bags with free pens, notepads and anything else you can get your hands on? Conferences can be long and boring for some; stuck in the same seat all day, no daylight perhaps, trying to maintain interest or thinking about the next refreshment breaks. Why not mix it up with some post conference pizzazz and have something fun that your delegates can look forward to?
You could go with the obvious cocktail reception with canapes to finish the conference. It is always nice for delegates to network and speak about the conference at the end over a nice cocktail or glass of wine. If your conference takes place in summer, why not look for a venue with outdoor space where delegates can enjoy fresh air after being stuck inside all day? You could also add a singer or some live music to add to the atmosphere. Gibson Hall, for example, would be perfect for this as they have a beautiful garden and Garden Room adjoining the main conferencing hall.
Whilst keeping the drinks reception idea in mind, you could make it a little more interactive by having a cocktail masterclass. This is a perfect way to kick start the post conference drinks. We at Venue Reservations will put you in touch with one of our professionals who will demonstrate cocktail making followed by a masterclass in the art of mixing drinks. Before your guests are left to mingle they will learn and try some tasty Daiquiris, Mojitos, Mai Tais and French Martinis….oh yum I could do with one now actually, Watermelon Mojito please! The professional cocktail masters will be able to stay on and serve your guests for the entire drinks reception. This idea for a post conference activity is also incredibly versatile and can be held at almost any venue. If cocktails are not everyone’s fancy, unlike me, then wine and gin tasting sessions can work just as well.
When being stuck in the same venue all day it may seem daunting to have to stay there in the evening as well, so why not move to another venue? We work with many venues that are walking distance from one another and we could certainly make this work for you and your delegates. The Museum of London, Tower Bridge Engine Rooms, Armourers’ Hall, The Magic Circle and more are all venues where there is potential to organise a guided tour. We will have staff in place to ensure everyone is welcomed with a glass of fizz and then a guided tour will take place around that venue. Tours can also be a good way to break in networking drinks for those that don’t really know each other as the tour guide will be doing most of the talking to begin with. Speak to one of our professionals at Venue Reservations and we will talk you through the event venues that can offer tours.
I have noticed a lot of my clients are looking at having drinks receptions on the River Thames! Yes that’s right, they are looking to host their post conference drinks on a boat. Our larger conference venues such as The Mermaid and Central Hall Westminster can point you in the right direction of the nearest pier where delegates can walk to after the conference. The Thames Clippers can host anything from 12 – 220 guests at any one time for private hire. I know from past guest experience the boats are spacious, climate controlled with bars built inside. Why not head to Westminster Pier, a short walk from Central Hall Westminster or Blackfriars Pier, after a full day in The Mermaid’s Auditorium? Fresh air on the Thames might do your delegates some good!