Any organiser at the beginning of their event-planning journey is faced with a myriad of questions. However, the most important and pressing, in our view, is what sort of venue would best suit the event? At 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, we believe there is no finer place to host a party, conference, drinks reception or celebration than at a historic venue. Read on to find out the reasons so many clients choose our historic venue in London to hold their special events.
A building associated with important historical events or figures will speak volumes about who you are and how you want others to see you. Aligning your brand with a historic venue – particularly one your guests may have heard of - is a fabulous way to position yourself with individuals who may be new to your business and to confirm your standing with current contacts.
Networking or mingling
Whether your guests are friends and family or colleagues and professional contacts and whether they know each or are meeting for the first time, it never hurts to have some ice-breakers to get conversations started. Historic venues in London are great for talking points. Did you know our building, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, was the former residence of Prime Minister William Gladstone? And you’re off…
Sense of occasion
Trying to impart the importance of your event to your attendees can be a tough ask, but it’s a challenge that can be met simply by choosing a historic venue in London – one of the most interesting cities in the UK. A building or space which has a foothold in the past can elevate an event to whole other level, just by virtue of its history. Atmosphere is hard to manipulate but you’ll find that historic venues have to do very little to achieve it.
At weddings, in particular, creating a sense of occasion is essential as every couple wants their special day to stand out in the memories of their guests. Hosting your nuptials in the same space where events that have made it into the history books took place is a sure-fire way to make your mark.
It’s possible that a sizeable chunk of your pre-, during and post-event marketing will revolve around social media. It’s worth remembering the most powerful posts will come from third parties – largely, your guests. Choosing a historic venue will give your attendees another reason to share pictures of your event. Selfies in front of famous places, paintings and views will be spread far and wide by individuals who feel privileged to have been invited to an exclusive event in an exclusive venue.
As well as people sharing their experiences of your event on social media, a historic venue is also likely to inspire your guests to re-live their experiences in person. If you’re planning on holding your event annually – or again at any time in the future – there’s nothing better than a personal recommendation.
Historic venues often have architectural details, important ornaments or artwork that will give your guests things to talk about when conversation dries up. As well as having stories about its past to entertain, your spaces will give your guests talking points everywhere they look. Perfect to help create a relaxed environment and a general buzz.
If you’re hosting an off-site team meeting, or a conference for external delegates much of the success of your event relies upon the participation of your attendees. By providing them with an environment in which they feel inspired and creative is a great starting point for helping them perform at their best. Historic venues are in a unique position to transport delegates to a whole other time which can do wonders for blue sky thinking and pushing people out of their comfort zones.
More than just an event
Whatever it is you’re celebrating or hoping to achieve at your event, by choosing a historic venue, you are giving your guests so much more. Many historic venues aren’t open to the public, or if they are, visitors are charged a fee for entrance. So, as well as your guests being able to enjoy the entertainment, hospitality or talks you are putting on for them, you are also treating them to an experience they may never have otherwise had.
Minding the gap
If your event is likely to attract an audience of mixed tastes and generations, choosing an historic venue can be a great leveller. With stories and that pre-date all of your invitees’ lifetimes, means that the romance or politics or even macabre stories of your venue are accessible to everyone – unlike other niche venues.
Choose something too modern and your more mature guests may feel a little alienated, go for something specialist and you run the risk of missing the mark with a good portion of your audience, (not everyone enjoys zoos, boats, novelty rides or interactive theatre…).
It could save you money
Dressing a blank canvas space can be costly. It also requires vision and a large amount of trust in the individuals you’ve hired to create the look and feel that could make or break your event. A historic venue, however, speaks for itself. The beauty is often in the architecture and the interior details which will shine with no help needed from you and your colleagues. Simple furniture – which the venue will usually already have – and some flowers or hired foliage is usually all you will need to budget for if you’ve opted for a historic venue.
Questions to ask any potential historic venues in London
As with visiting any type of venue, you need to go to your show round armed with questions to make sure you know exactly what you are going to be getting for your money should you choose to book with them. Make sure you ask the following questions:
May I see the loos?
This is the one area of a historic venue that your guests might prefer to have a slightly more contemporary feel. Even if not in décor, at least in usability! Always check out the WCs when you’re looking around venues – it’s the one place you can pretty much guarantee each of your guests will visit.
What heating do you have in place?
There’s nothing fun about being cold at a party or dinner. Speak to the venue’s team and even some of their clients to make sure the building isn’t draughty or underheated.
At what time do we have to turn the music off and leave?
Depending on your historic venue’s location there might be restrictions on when you need to end your party.
Are the guests allowed to wear high heels?
Believe it or not, some historic venues do not allow guests to wear high heels as the floors are too delicate and pointy heels could damage them.
Does the venue have the right AV for my event?
There is no reason why a historic venue shouldn’t have all the high-tech, inbuilt AV that you may expect from a contemporary building, but it’s always best to make sure they can fully cater for your needs.
Are there any other restrictions I need to know about?
Historic venues in London are some of the most exciting, dynamic and often unusual in the capital, and this can sometimes come with rules you couldn’t possibly imagine!