London is such a city of opportunity and we’re truly spoilt with the amount of unique and intriguing spaces we have on offer to us as event managers. There are new super modern venues and hotels opening all the time. We often forget about some of the places which have been around the longest. As two former art university students, working in galleries is something Mandy and I enjoy so much. Here’s my headline list of reasons you should consider hosting your next corporate event in a gallery like the V&A, NPG, National Gallery or Tate. In reality, the list of reasons is endless.
CREATE A DRAW
We all know how increasingly hard it is to get attendees to actually attend the events they sign up for, particularly the free ones. When I was a corporate event manager, my attendee drop out rates ranged from 10-40%, which makes it much harder to plan. If you’re holding a corporate event in a gallery, it gives more of a draw and a reason to attend. The point of the event is two fold, spend time on valuable networking, whilst also enjoying the exhibition. We’ve all been guilty of cancelling on the day. I like to think most corporate event managers don’t just not turn up, we know how it feels!! However with a networking event in a gallery, you are much less likely to get a high drop out. Offering guests a private view of an exhibition is a real draw card, I’ve seen it live!
EASY TO FIND
Most people who either work or live near or around London could tell you the rough location of The V&A, The National Portrait Gallery, The National Gallery, both Tate’s, and so on. What’s more is they’re all fairly easy to access from most places. All centrally located, the most famous galleries and museums will pull guests in with the glamour of attending an event at one of these prestigious buildings. Let’s be honest, sometimes it’s just nice to be in a nice place.
SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT
Events where people are put into a room with canapes and a glass of red or white are dead, and they have been for a long time. No one likes to be thrown into a room of people they may or may not know. As corporate event planners, we’re focussed on getting good feedback. If you think about why someone is attending your event, and then enhance that, you’re obviously going to get better feedback. Think about it this way: if Joe Bloggs is attending your event to network, don’t you think Joe will appreciate you making it easier for him to do so? Guests can use the exhibition as a conversation starter, or something to talk about when they’re not quite sure where to go next.
Now this may sound like a strange one. Most people, including myself, moan about supplier lists at venues. However, they’re there for a reason. Speaking as a company who is listed at a gallery (NPG), the vendors on these lists are vetted highly to make sure they’re up to scratch. We go through the tender process once a year like everyone else. And if they’re not up to scratch, you better believe they’ll be off that list in no time. If you have little experience, you have the added benefit of knowing that all the people you have the choice of using have been vetted and verified. So it’s quite hard to go wrong.
Not sure how to do your décor? How about basing it around the exhibition which is next door? Or which you’re currently dining in! Mandy has been designing events around exhibitions for over 10 years now, so knows a thing or two about how to do it well. You can go for simple and recognisable, or deeper and more subtle. You can take key colours which are used in a lot of the works, or use overarching themes such as nature, history, Brexit, or whatever it might be.
I hope I’ve given you enough information to think about holding you next event in a gallery. With the prevailing use of the internet in our lives, it’s important we continue to support these institutions. We must keep them alive. Here are some of the exhibitions which are due to open this year:
If you’d like to know more about how we can help you with your gallery events, give me a shout. Rebecca@mango-pie.com