Gleneagles – perfect for groups

With each season spent at Gleneagles, you can experience a different hotel. This was my third time to the property however my first time hosting a FAM with there and I must say seeing the faces of our members experience the property for the first time certainly cemented a sense of pride in not only a network for the experiences we can bring our members but in Gleneagles it’s self for the vast changes it has undertaken over the years and for being privy to them.

Gleneagles first opened its doors in 1924, it is an institution in Scotland and was described as “Riviera in the Highlands”. It is now a member of the Leading Hotels of the world and indeed it is, it is just stunning and whether you are there for leisure, business or a bit of both (as we are) you will most certainly fall in love with this property and its unrivalled and unparalleled grounds, views, activities, people and everything in between.

Our FAM started on a Sunday with members making the short flight up from either Gatwick, Heathrow or Luton. I did the trip via Heathrow from my home to Gleneagles in 4.5 hours (door to door) which is not what you would have anticipated. A short, flight with just enough time for a coffee and 40 winks sees you land in Edinburgh within 50 minutes and just a short 45-minute drive to the property.

On arrival, our members checked into their gorgeous rooms before a short site visit of all the meeting and events spaces on offer at Gleneagles and even though I had been to the property previously AND had arrived a day earlier and thought I had seen them all it turns out that I in-fact hadn’t and there was about 20 more I had yet to see. 

I will be honest, I would like to write about each and everyone but there are simply too many so I will share a link here –  I will say our favourite spaces were The Glendevon which is as opulent as it is grand and has some pretty amazing views whilst dining along with The Cellars where you can fit up to 20 for a private dining experience.

After our site visit, it was a couple of hours to sample the very decadent spa where we sampled the sauna, jacuzzi, steam room, heated lounge chairs, back in the jacuzzi, a quick snooze and then it was time to get ready for pre-dinner drinks and dinner. The food and beverage at Gleneagles are as vast as they are delicious with nine separate dining experiences one of which Andrew Fairlie, the only restaurant in Scotland to hold two Michelin stars. Unfortunately, the Michelin starred restaurant was closed however we were lucky enough to eat in The Strathearn which was outstanding.

After dinner, it was off to The American Bar where we had a couple of cocktails and I may or may not have had one too many absinthes and made up my theme song?! Before we were off to bed, ready for a full day of activities.

On Monday morning we were up bright and early for a group breakfast which was a breakfast of dreams, the hotel serves the most outstanding breakfast buffet ever and I did not stop talking about the four different types of sausages, the five different types of nut butter and the children’s dedicated buffet station. Your delegates would love it, the options on offer are vast and as with the rest of the outlets at Gleneagles, the service is outstanding.

After breakfast, it was off to sample the activity options and for your delegates there really are an abundance. Of course, Gleneagles is synonymous for its three championship golf courses but there is so much more than golf. Our group were lucky enough to try our hand at clay pigeon shooting, falconry, learning about the gun dogs and visited the golf clinic. Whilst it was only a snippet of each we got to see and feel what our delegates would and it is fantastic. Such wonderful options to suit any group.

After our activities, it was more food, a quick nip back to the sap and then into cars for the short drive back to the airport.

We LOVED our Gleneagles FAM. The group has come back with some amazing ideas for their events and we can’t see how they all pan out. Huge thanks to Dan for hosting the group and arranging the snow for us (and hail at one point) you did go above and beyond to make it memorable. You can reach out to Dan here for more information or email us and we will put you in touch.


LinkedIn gets physical, debuts Events hub for people to plan in-person networking events | TechCrunch

LinkedIn, the Microsoft-owned social network for the working world with around 650 million users, is known best as a place where people connect with each other online either to build work connections, for recruitment, or for professional development. Now, the company is taking a step to bring its networking features into the physical world: the […]
— Read on techcrunch.com/2019/10/15/linkedin-gets-physical-debuts-new-events-hub-for-people-to-plan-in-person-networking-events/



GDPR for #eventprofs

The date for the introduction of the new GDPR legislation from 25 May is becoming quite imminent. When it first came to light last year we are pretty sure we were not the only ones didn’t fully appreciate the gravity of the new laws or think about how they would affect our roles.  How wrong were we and evidently a lot of other fellow event mangers too as in the last few months, the introduction of the GDPR Legislation is a hot topic at any of the networking events we attend not just buyer side but supplier side too. Now, we are clued up and ready to go but you can always learn more right? 
 
If you have been living under a rock and still think I am talking about Gross Domestic Product (but not sure what the R stands for), let me give you a brief overview.  GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and is specific to the 28 EU member states centring around the way members have their data handled and more importantly, the way it is used and stored.
 
For us Event Managers, we are privy to a whole range of personal data and share this data with third parties almost daily.  The more data we have on our guests and attendees the better, more tailored and personalised event experience, right?  We share everything from passport details with travel agencies to sharing dietary reports with restaurants, hotels and venues and we share personal information on those all important rooming lists.  All of this is part of our role so, it will affect us and quite a lot.  If all of that isn’t scary, what about the actual way all that data is stored and what do you do if you feel you have a breech?

Eventogy are hosting a seminar on 3 May with a panel of speakers whom, we hope, will help answer some of these questions followed by a drinks and canapé reception to be able to share what we have learned with each other.  You can register for the seminar via the link here. 


Beating the Instagram Algorithm

As an event manager, making sure your content is seen on Instagram to me, is so much more important than letting my friends see my #fitspo or #getinmybelly posts. Posts used to be seen chronologically however with the 2018 Instagram Algorithm change some reports suggest that only 10% of your audience is seeing your posts.  The new algorithm works on post engagement so how many likes, comments and general interaction your post is getting. By lots of interaction, Instagram determines that this post is engaging and thus more people will want to see it. Basically if those initial 10% engage, then the other 90% may see it. So, although my post is probably now two months old for those that stay on top of #eventtech changes for those that still need help, here are my top two tips to try and beat that algorithm.

Hashtags – I always thought loads of hashtags gave you more chance of being noticed by anyone searching for any of the 30 hashtags that Instagram allowed… This is wrong.  Apparently less is more and a couple of hashtags specific to the niche you are targeting will suffice. Instagram will see you less like a spammer and this may get more of your stuff seen.  Lots of hashtags also makes you look like you are just posting to get likes when instead, you should be sharing your posts with people who are genuinely  interested in your content.

In events we are lucky we have #eventprofs, #eventplanner and #eventtech which are of most interest to me. In theory, using these three with one of two in addition (#sitevisit #comeflywithme #production) depending on what I want people to engage on may be enough.

I have all my hashtags saved in my notepad and then copy and paste them into a post depending on the content. I keep them specific to travel posts and site visit posts, catering and food posts and general event planning posts.

Comments – try and comment and respond to your comments as quick as possible. I know this is not always ideal but to keep the momentum going it is suggested you shouldn’t really be leaving it more than an hour to respond to a comment.

Another way to boost engagement on your posts via comments is to use comments that provide a call to action. Ask a questions to start an engaging conversation but make sure they are relevant to the post. In events we could ask questions on catering, perhaps comparing two dishes, side by side at a tasting and asking for user preference to production/set design!

There is a great read here from Hootsuite that will give you more tips on how to write fabulous, engaging comments.

That’s my top two tips – let me know how you get on!

 

 


Our Eventprofslive event -Herbert Berger at Innholders Hall

Herbert Berger at Innholders Hall – January Event

“Cooking is like love, it should be entered into abundance or not at all” 

What a quote! Our second event for January was held at Innholders Hall, a fabulous venue in central London (just by Cannon Street Station) with a fabulous reputation for fine food and wine.  The food was absolutely outstanding.


On a cold Monday evening, 13 of our members arrived at Innholders to be met by Elena, the very glamorous Events & Marketing Manager of Innholders and our host for the evening. After a few glasses of champagne and some pretty outstanding canapes, we moved off for a tour of the venue and the kitchen where we were very lucky to meet Herbert Berger, Chef Director at Innholders Hall whom brings contemporary, classic and seasonal cooking to Innholders with his three times Michelin Stars.

Innholders Hall has a variety of spaces to suit all events with The Great Hall, with its original cladding dating back to 1670 being to hold up to 150 theatre/48 cabaret, The Old Court Room being able to hold up to 30 reception and The New Court Room being able to host up to 35 reception/23 boardroom.  There really is a variety of spaces to suit all and all rooms are equally as stunning.

After our tour we were given a welcome speech by the very charismatic John (whom has been looking after Innholders Hall for quite some time) before moving off for dinner.

Dinner was served with matching wines and was quite honestly, amazing. Each of our 4 courses was perfect and along with some pretty funny conversations (obviously about events!!) it made for a lovely evening.

We would like to thank Herbert, Elena and the lovely team so much for hosting us and if you would like more information on Innholders Hall please do contact Elena here (and tell her we sent you!)

Innholders Hall
30 College Street
London
EC4R 2RH




Site visit no nos

Knowledge gained on a site visit of not only the venue but, of the team showing you the venue to me, sets the scene for how my event will run. In the last few weeks, I have done a lot so I would say I have a fair amount of experience on which to base the following blog post.

One of my site visits lately was so bad. It was such a shame as it is a great venue and now I would honestly think twice about running an event there. I won’t give too much away about where it was but it did get me thinking about what I would do if I was trying to sell my venue and what I look for when I attend a site visit. Here are my top three tips!

Research

Do your research. If I am coming in to see your space, do a little research. Look back through your file! Has my company used you before? Has there been inquiries previously, is there any feedback you can look at? To me researching a potential sales company before the site visit seems a no brainier but in all my years in events, I can’t really remember anyone really doing right and bringing it up ” you used our private dining room back in 2014, how do you think it went” or the like would be amazing to hear! At the very least look up the company and see what sort of industry they are in.

Hospitality

It might be water, a Diet Coke or with any luck a glass of champagne but for the love of Doritos, offer me a drink, sit me down, ask me why I’m here… Show me some of your hospitality before we get started and it goes a long way. Don’t get me wrong, I am not just after a free drink but I think it is really important and for the majority of the time, it does happen. So many times though it doesn’t and I believe spending five minutes, over a coffee talking through what I am looking for means you show me what I need to see and you explain the way in which your space(s) will work.

Follow up 

Follow up quickly but don’t be pushy! I have come to see your space, I’m interested so don’t call me everyday and here’s a little secret. Event managers don’t like answering our phone to sales calls, it distracts us! Email us instead and we will come back to you when we can.

Now whilst above is what works for me, it may not be to everyone’s preference and I know sales teams also get busy but please, show a little effort.. It’s worth it I promise you!

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The Royal Exchange

On Tuesday, we held our first event of 2016 at The Royal Exchange, kindly hosted by D&D.
​To be fair it’s pretty cold right now and we were worried we may loose a few members whom would rather head home to don their pyjamas but alas, our members are loyal and we had 13 in total.

On arrival at the Royal Exchange, our gracious hosts offered a rum punch to keep us warm before a tour of the fabulous event spaces at. The main spaces consist of The Gallery (private dining rooms) which accommodate 26 seated/50 standing, The Mezzanine Lounge (50 to 200 standing), The Courtyard (450 standing) and then the whole venue on offer as exclusive use ( 350 seated or 1000 standing).IMG_0084

The main event space would suit a fab drinks reception. I held a 1920’s speak easy event there a few years ago and it worked really well. The venue recommended a jazz band that accommodated the space perfectly and we themed it to suit.

Being dry January and all, we only had 3 glasses of wine each (very well behaved) and dined on some very tasty canapés and bowl food. One of the bowls was saffron risotto and I’ve been raving about it ever since. IMG_0082

It was a pretty good start to the networking groups’ year. We love the Royal Exchange and our members do to.
If you need any further information on The Royal Exchange or any of the D&D venues you can contact them here.

If your reading this thinking “how do I join such an amazing networking group” fear not, you can, by contacting us here!