Paris for events

I would like to say it has been a while since I blogged… it hasn’t.  I am just over on eventprofslive and those blogs take up to a week to write (currently two) between my full time corporate events manager role, running Eventprofslive with Kate and having a bit of life, this blog gets a bit forgotten and I am going to try hard (get up even earlier?!) to get it back on track! I have had it for years and I loved writing for it…

Am currently in Paris on day two of a three day trip to scope out the best venues for a gala dinner, smaller dinners and just to build up my venue database so stay tuned. Blog to follow… Paris eventprofs

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My Event Bucket List

In the last two weeks I have introduced a bucket list at work.  The lovely ladies and I have stared a weekly bucket list of things we want to accomplish in the next week.  The list is everything from go to the gym 5 times this week to emailing our moms.  It got me thinking about my events’ bucket list so here is my top 5 locations I want to run events in the next five years:

  1. The Rainbow Room – NYC – I have been to NYC 15 times and it is one of my favourite places.  Every time I go I can visualise all the amazing conferences or events I could do there. The Rainbow Room opened in 1934 and was THE celebrity place. It has been mentioned in everything from a JD Salinger novel to numerous shout outs in Friends and to me, it is the epitome of NYC and to do an event there would be fab! 
  2. Grand Hotel, Wein – ViennaVienna is just stunning and to hold a conference  or a meeting followed by a Viennese themed ball would be amazing.  This hotel is breathtaking. You need to have a look!
  3. Burj-al-Arab – DubaiI lived in Dubai for two years so am well versed with all the amazing venues.  Despite living there, I have run only one event, in the Mall of the Emirates,and would love to do something at some of the more opulent locations. The Burj-al-Arab has some amazing spaces for meetings & events.  Who wouldn’t want to hold a cocktail reception where Tiger Woods teed off. 
  4. MGM Grand – Las Vegas – Ahhh Vegas. I have only ever been to Vegas for holidays and running an event in the 6000 person capacity Marquee Ballroom would be just fantastic
  5. Galle Face Hotel – Sri LankaMy husband and I stayed here a few years ago and it is so regal and the hotel is just so grand. I would love to run a smaller event here with a gala dinner in the grounds.  Everything about this hotel is perfect.  Great distance from the airport, amazing service and just beautiful.  

What are your top 5?

The BNC Grand Dinner

Only a few more hours until the BNC Grand Dinner tonight at the Dorchester!

BNC

Last years dinner was at the Ritz (you can read about it here) and was amazing.  I am so excited for tonight and can’t wait to blog about it tomorrow!

 

 

The Aviator by TAG

I have found hotel heaven. Throughout my carer as a flight attendant, I have stayed in the most amazing hotels across the globe and now, as a Event Manager I am lucky enough to do the same.  Hand on heart however, The Aviator has just become my favourite.  Located in Farnborough, Hampshire, the hotel is just 35 minutes by train from London’s Waterloo and from there, just a 2 minute taxi ride to the hotel.

The Aviator was created by the TAG group, based overlooking their own private Farnborough airport.  The hotel oozes glamour and really is a design masterpiece. At every turn, you are reminded of aviation with the influence reflected throughout minute detail in the hotel.  There are 169 bedrooms in total, with a mix of studios, rooms and suites. My husband and I were lucky enough to stay in a suite on the 4th floor of the hotel (we were told this is the suite favoured by the owner) and it was just stunning. The suites contain a huge bath (with television), a wet shower, and feature an open plan design, making it fluid feel a little like home!  The king size bed was pretty terrific and a the room offers a complementary mini-bar which NEVER happens.  I usually get a bill for £50 for all the water and bottles of diet coke I get through after a big night out!

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When we arrived, Bradley and I had a tour with sales manager Simon. Simon is so passionate about the hotel and you can tell just how proud he is of it the way he talks about it.  It really is refreshing and his enthusiasm is contagious. The Aviator has 5 meeting rooms all aviation themed (obviously) with the smallest capacity being the Cody (20) and the largest Bleriot (150).   As well as the dedicated meeting spaces, the hotels restaurants, lobby, terraces and bars can all be used for an event. The things you could do with that lobby would be endless. It reminds me of the Guggenheim in NYC.  It is however, designed to look like a planes engine.

Dining wise, you have three options. The Brasserie which has an emphasis on locally-produced ingredients paired with boutique wines or One Eleven.  One Eleven is an informal British-American dining experience. I didn’t get to eat there but I will next time. It looked very cool and as I am partial to a burger or six, I am pretty sure it would be great.

Basically, #eventprofs (or anyone really), you need to see this hotel. The events you could hold here would win you an award! With 169 bedrooms, taking it exclusive use would be amazing. There are more than enough breakout areas, an event room that will take 150 theatre style for your seminar and the terraces would make for some fab entertaining spaces.

There are some amazing offers on this hotel at the moment. The best deal is £175 per room with breakfast for one of their Aviator rooms.

The Aviator Hotel

Farnborough Road, Farnborough,

Hampshire, GU14 6EL

T: +44 (0)1252 555 890

 

I love a wedding

I love weddings, what’s not to! Being both a wedding and event planner meant I planned everything for ours however we still needed to pay (a lot) for a coordinator to actually run things on the day. Little things like getting the bridesmaids suitcases out from the hotel room, giving the string quartet the nod to start the music for me to walk down the aisle and most importantly all of those payments that needed to be made at the end of the night! I even needed mine to arrange more reception drinks and extend the bar tab because my guests drank a lot! What I could have used was just a well priced, qualified on-the-day coordinator to help me which is where Run My Wedding comes in.

Very reasonably priced for both a one off meeting to run through your plans or, full support on the day, the website is well worth a look!  Run My Wedding means you can plan the whole thing yourself and just have someone help you on the day!

Even just a meeting for an hour or two to go through everything with someone whom is a qualified professional can put your mind at ease.  They can also help to give you some alternative suggestions and advice on how to keep the cost low or if your wedding is a while off, help with venue suggestions or that all important bridal shower.

Runmywedding.weebly.com

 

We know you love champagne, we’ve read your blog…

Second week back and well into the new year and this week has been crazy. My Monday started off well.  I am good on Mondays, I get really motivated and was on track for everything for my seminar I was to deliver on Wednesday morning.  It’s nice having only one event a week.  I am sure it won’t last long but it’s great.  I have about 10 other projects I am working on which are exciting so it’s really motivating me and giving me the time to give them my all.

On Tuesday I was at Hotel Cafe Royal to meet their sales manager and the lovely The Leading Hotels Of The World over breakfast followed by a site visit. If you are yet to get to the hotel, you need to go. Since Tuesday I have become obsessed with it and what I could use it for.  I was particularity in love with The Oscar Wilde Bar.  The bar has been exquisitely restored to its authentic Louis XVI detailing and it is just stunning. You can privately hire the space for your events or the public can head along daily for afternoon tea from 12.00 pm or in the evenings from Tuesday to Saturday for their cabaret show! In the afternoon I attended a tasting for Spring and then had a work dinner as well.. I wonder why I am getting fatter!

Hotel Cafe Royal

Wednesday morning was my seminar with a 5.00 am start  which went very well if I do say so myself. There is a formula for seminars that if you stick to the fundamentals, all will go well…. hopefully!

morning coffeeIt doesn’t account for last minute slide changes or av issues but in general, do everything on your checklist and you should have a good night’s sleep the night before which is interesting as I didn’t! That though is the fault of the hotel I was staying in which although nice enough, their toilets have a habit of  refilling every hour on the hour!

Thursday was full of seminar follow-up and back onto those other 10 projects and looking for a new course to do.  I am obsessed with studying. I need something to do in the evenings, whether it’s my blog or my weekend wedding business or studying something on-line so if anyone has any suggestions, let me know!

Its Friday now, I today received a very exciting invitation to attend Champagne tasting in February and an event at the ME to which the email went like this “Dear Michelle, as we know you love champagne from reading your blog, we would love you to join us…” ha ha.  Now, my day is over and am looking forward to the weekend.  My husband (still love saying that) and I are going to ride our bikes on the weekend for lunch at Toby Cottage.  Riding bikes means I can’t have my usual 2 bottles of wine so should be feeling fresh on Monday!

Senior Woman Drinking Champagne 1

Happy Weekend everyone #eventprofs

Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa

Early tomorrow morning I bid farewell to my lovely husband (he is more excited than me) and head to the airport, bound for Co. Meath, Ireland where I will spend the weekend on an educational trip to discover 2 fabulous properties; Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa and its sister property Dylan Hotel. I can’t wait to write my blog when I return..

 

dunboyne-snow

image courtesy of Dunboyne Castle & Spa

The BNC Christmas Party at the Mondrian Hotel

Last Monday,  I was fortunate enough to attend the BNC Christmas party at the very cool Mondrian hotel.  The Mondrian is located in the famed Sea Containers House on London’s Southbank and opened late Summer.  Lucky for me I got to see the Mondrian via a hard hat tour just prior to its opening and it was just as I imagined it would be… amazing! You can find out more about the Mondrian here.

The BNC (Buyers Networking Club) is the leading networking club for corporate event managers.  You can read about the BNC here.  I have been a member for as long as I can remember and their events are always so great for networking and generally having an amazing night. I have been everywhere from the Ritz in Madrid to The Savoy and everywhere in between.  The group is such a great help for corporate event managers and bouncing off ideas generally.

 

Now whilst this Christmas party was on a Monday everyone was still in great spirits (not worrying about having a hangover on a Tuesday) and we had a fabulous performances by Lettice Rowbotham (Britain’s Got Talent finalist) plus Marc JB as DJ whom has had so many #1’s I can’t list them all.  The entertainment was amazing and alongside manicures by the Mondrian’s in-house spa therapists and being able to chat with Chef Tom Parker Bowles there was so much going on it was wonderful.  Obviously though food and drink is paramount and we ate the following:

  • Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese & Chives with Caviar
  • Smoked Ham Hock with Piccalilli
  • Compressed Watermelon with Goat’s Cheese & Basil
  • Fresh Figs wrapped in Parma Ham
  • Crispy Truffle Polenta with Feta and Goat’s Cheese Mousse
  • Chipolatas with Mustard Hollandaise
  • Double Salmon Cakes with Red Pepper Mayo
  • Mini Scotch Egg

I will however always show more enthusiasm for wine over food though and the wine did not disappoint.  There was even a healthy gym cocktail with wheat-grass and kale which I am fairly certain not many people touched as most of the party were very merry but it was a great idea to offer a healthy option!

What we drank – Wines

  • The Spee’wah Cabernet Shiraz
  • The Spee’wah Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

 

At the end of the evening we were presented with THE MOST amazing hamper from Selfridges that I am too scared to eat.  Each hamper was sponsored by one of the exhibitors in attendance and it was such a lovely touch.

 

selfridges hamper

All in all, one of the best Christmas parties I have been to so far this year and its only November!

Thanks BNC – very fance night!

 

 

Are you missing a trick?

A few weeks ago I wrote about the need for social media to be 24 hours. I have had some great comments on it and I think people are starting to wake up to the necessity of it. For those businesses whom do have someone monitoring activity on their social media feeds though, some of you are still missing a trick.

I am an event manager, every time I go to a new restaurant, hotel, or pretty much anywhere I will see if that company has any social media presence and if they do, I will send a “looking forward to dinner at x” or similar.

Now me, if I was managing that businesses Twitter account, I would give the restaurant manager a heads up. My picture is on my Twitter, I have told you I am coming in.. what could be easier? You could hazard a guess that I am going to Tweet after I have eaten there, hopefully give your businesses a glaring FREE plug.. so why aren’t businesses using it this way? Why aren’t they monitoring the people using social media coming into their businesses?

Now, in no way I am saying I deserve extra special treatment because of what I do but what I do think is that people like me are marketing your business for free! It is not costing you anything for me to tell my 2000+ followers what an amazing time I have had in your restaurant, and all I need in return is an extra smile!