How to make your next digital event a rip-roaring success

Lights in room

As we have all witnessed in recent months, the events world has a completely different landscape to what it did pre-lockdown. Like every other industry, the events and hospitality sector has been forced to adapt and be agile in this ever-changing climate.

But as many turn their attention to digital events during the pandemic, how can businesses continue to showcase their products, host launches and capture their audiences in the way they could through a physical event?

If you’re puzzled by presentation software or tearing your hair out over virtual streaming technology, here we explore the very best virtual streaming tools to maximise audience participation and make your next digital event a rip-roaring success.

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Digital events uncovered

Digital events come in various forms, including virtual and hybrid events.

Virtual events

This type of event includes an audience interacting in a fully virtual environment, often through a video conferencing tool, live stream or virtual event platform.

Hybrid events

This type of event takes place in a physical venue, while simultaneously being attended by a live and interactive online audience. While there is a mix of audience participation with this event type, a significant percentage of the audience participates virtually.

man in front of screen

The best tools for the job

Depending on the unique needs of the event, there are several tools which, when combined, make for the perfect digital experience.

A virtual event platform

A virtual event platform is your new virtual venue. It will be where your online event attendees will engage with your content, sponsors and each other.

Networking tools

A virtual networking tool ensures valuable connections are made between your virtual audience members. It creates an opportunity for attendees to network, discuss and connect during your event.

Live streaming tools

The content you present during your virtual event is vital, as is the method in which you choose to present it. Selecting the right live streaming tools to present your event content increases the chances of audience engagement and them tuning in again to other events.

Participant engagement tools

Virtual events are a vital opportunity to showcase your products, business and skills, but capturing an audience and engaging with them in the virtual space can be tricky. Whether its polls, sharing presentation slides straight to devices or surveys, selecting the right participant engagement event tools can make or break your digital event.

social media on ipad

Measuring how much your audience were engaged during your event through effective analytics and data will enable you to tailor future events and improve the all-round experience for delegates.

Tools such as Glisser and Grip are virtual event platforms which offer this exact insight to analyse audience responses and improve audience interaction.

Find out more

If you are planning a post lockdown product launch or corporate event and are looking for the perfect venue, contact The Brewery today.

We’re even offering virtual tours during lockdown so you can have a look around our venue from the comfort of your sofa.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Gitlab Case Study

The Brewery proudly opened its doors to host a celebration of innovation for Gitlab, leading providers of DevOps, a set of practices combining software development and IT operations.

The event saw over 400 delegates descend on The Brewery to witness Gitlab’s showcase of new company developments, together with training and networking for Europe-based users. It was also the perfect opportunity to celebrate recent company successes and demonstrate business potential to future users and colleagues.

Photo Credit: London Filmed

The-Brewery-Case-Study-Gitlab

Virtual tours of The Brewery from the comfort of your sofa

Outside view of The Brewery, the Central London events venueAs we have all experienced, the world is a very different place right now to what we’re used to, and it’s far from business as usual. However, in an ever-changing world, The Brewery has adapted and created a way for you to enjoy our charming event spaces from the comfort of your sofa!

That’s why we have a host of virtual tours to choose from, so despite lockdown, you can still get inspired and explore The Brewery in all its glory, from your own living room.

So, boil the kettle, pull up a chair and enjoy a host of immersive virtual experiences set to get your imaginative juices flowing.

The Brewery visits your living room

From a very safe distance, The Brewery team is delighted to open its doors to let you have a good nose around.

Using the popular Zoom platform, we invite you to take our virtual tour around our jaw-dropping event spaces accompanied by a dedicated member of our sales team. You’ll also be sent a range of images and access to our planning and capacity app, to help guide you through your virtual experience.

Cocktails lined up at a Brewery event

Your questions answered

Whatever query you have, we have just the right team members on hand to help. Thinking about food? No problem, we’ll grab our chef from his virtual kitchen to answer your culinary queries.

Perhaps you want to know more about our state-of-the-art AV service? Our experts are on hand during your dedicated tour to inform you of the essential AV need-to-knows.

If you’re in the midst of wedding planning, our wedding manager, Milena, can join to talk you through our fairy tale venue and how we can shape your special day.

If you have a vision for your next event but need a bit of help, we’ve stacks of case studies which showcase our unique event spaces and what can be achieved at The Brewery, sure to inspire you and demonstrate how we can bring your own unique vision to life.

We’ll walk and talk you through the entire virtual experience, so you’re sure to not get lost and have a clear idea of which room you’re stood in!

Roam around our event spaces and see them for yourself in this fully immersive, private tour, complete with The Brewery’s traditional warm welcome.

Fabulous interior design and visuals at a Brewery dinner

Rooms at The Brewery

Get set for the ultimate exploration of The Brewery’s many charming event spaces and outdoor areas, including:

Book your virtual tour today

We’ve made booking your virtual tour of The Brewery simple and hassle-free. Simply email us at: virtualvisit@thebrewery.co.uk and we’ll take care of the rest. If you have any queries in the meantime, please do not hesitate in getting in touch.

We’ll assign a suitable date and time that works around your diary for your virtual site visit, so you’ll know when to expect us. The virtual tour is also available for those interested in exploring our sister venue, The Grubstreet Author.

So, whether you’re in the middle of wedding planning, embarking on an exciting product launch or simply fancy a look around The Brewery to inspire your next event, we’re ready to welcome you.

We look forward to meeting you soon!

Lockdown – A New Language

A new language

The effect of lockdown on the event industry hasn’t just meant a move to hybrid events, there is now a new virus-related vernacular in use by event planners.

The Brewery, which is recognised for its fresh outlook on the capital’s headline events, is having to re-interpret event specific acronyms such as DDR and AV in line with today’s demand and social changes.

Lockdown has exacerbated the need for people to communicate. From an individual’s need for interaction to organisations who are embarking on a new way of operating and communicating with their teams, clients, suppliers and shareholders. 

Subsequently, demand for incorporating a virtual element into client meetings and events at the venue has grown as organisations address the shift in people WFH. We used to plan events around the four walls that the sessions were taking place in. Now, we need to consider a completely new perimeter; the four corners of the screen that remote guests will be focused in on. Add to this a revised set of operating rules across the venue and the conversations with clients and colleagues are changing and a new dialogue is developing.

London Calling Conference

Examples of the new phraseology for the event sector includes: 

Emcee

Event host, real-time and virtual  

Virtual backgrounds     

The four corners of the screen have become the aperture for eager eyes and attendees need to consider what their personal working at home set-up portrays. In real time, event attendees are engaged with each other on an even playing field, however, remote viewers have unique scenarios that are as individual are they are. Attending from beside the pool or from the box room can be distracting for the wider audience. Planners should therefore consider the online experience of their delegates to be as important as their real-time guests. Themed backdrops or sponsored backgrounds give equality and are important ways of eliminating any perceived hierarchy and most importantly help build a cohesive message.

Online meetings

Push notifications

Keeping attendees’ attention is key – especially when they are remote. Push notifications can keep participants hooked at all times and may mean they don’t miss out on important conversations. A maxed info’ consumption means a far higher return on investment and a superior return on experience for guests too. 

Scrolling / To scroll        

Covid-19 has been a catalyst in the move from print-based conference programs to tech-platforms that enable networking & sponsorship along with a central resource for content. Scrolling is a delegate’s hastened sweep through content that they deem less suitable for their needs. Longer term, organisers can keep their audiences engaged and networking long after the event has concluded, therefore, scrolling due to poor quality and content needs to be eliminated.   

Online events viewing

Touch-less

Organisers want as few touch points and areas for potential contamination as possible. Canapes and buffets are now potentially no-go foodie options, replaced with served boxed food, and the ease of providing an all-day un-manned coffee station has been erased from the operations manual. Name badges and goodie bags are being scrutinised too as organisers look to replicate a 5* experience on their event apps. Society’s on-going reliance on phones is helping organisers drive their delegates to their dedicated app or platform and eliminate areas that formerly required a tactile interaction.  

Virtual happy hour

Enabling the virtual guest to carry out their working in a less formal atmosphere post event.

WFH – working from home

With many organisations having to switch to remote working at home, there’s been a significant increase in international participants as overseas offices and colleagues are being invited to events that previously would only have had a local or UK domestic audience.  Inviting guests from the four corners of the globe means messages remain uniform across the operating companies and more importantly alleviates the need for travel. With so many businesses easing their teams in to working remotely for the foreseeable they are increasingly creating virtual events to keep their corporate values and messaging on point.

working from home

WFO – working from the office                                

Conversely the term ‘working from the office’ implies the number people that will be in real-time attendance at the event. In line with Covid-19 restrictions the groups size in attendance may be slightly smaller, however, there will be a greater reach of audience numbers who are attending online.       

The rise of hybrid events marks a new chapter in The Brewery’s evolution as a beacon for business and social networking.  Rather than focus on the uncertainty of what physical events may look like in the future, now is the time to adapt and embrace the ‘new normal’ for meetings and events, and a hybrid of physical and virtual will undoubtedly have a huge role to play in this for the foreseeable.

What’s key is that we embrace the need to give our clients a safe and secure environment to communicate. Technology has been forced to the fore and rather than eroding the events market it’s providing more opportunities and better ways for clients to communicate and keep engaged with their audiences. It means there’s a shift in how events take place along with wider considerations on how they will appear and impact – no longer just from the four walls of the venue but from the four corners of the screen and the four corners of the world.

If you would like to learn more about how we can create a hybrid event please get in touch with our sales team or read our London’s Calling case study here.

London’s Calling Case Study

The current hot industry topic is hybrid events. However, there is a lot of confusion about the best way to deliver these, and what tech to use. Just before lock-down we hosted London’s Calling Ltd, an event for the Salesforce community. Although the decision was made to not have any guests at the venue, the event was still successfully delivered with activities and speakers onsite and online. We’ve put together the below case study to provide a look behind the scenes.

Londons-Calling-V4

Download case study here

An interview with Tom Gore, Food Director at The Brewery

Since becoming part of The Brewery family back in 2012, our, Tom Gore, has worked to fulfill his vision to deliver high end restaurant quality cuisine to the events world.

This vision has come to life and transformed the dining experience at The Brewery, and now our venue is regarded as one of London’s must-attend destinations for imaginative and truly delicious food and drink.

Here, we talk to Tom about all things food, explore what makes him tick and delve into his culinary wizardry.

When did you decide you wanted to be a chef?

“I first thought about being a chef when I was around 14, when I was doing cooking lessons at school. The teacher asked us to create a dish or cake. Everyone made cakes or cookies, but I decided to prepare pan-fried duck with raspberry sauce and potato gratin. I think that was the defining moment!”

What was your favourite childhood meal?

“It has to be lamb chops with mashed potato and cabbage. It’s still my favorite to this day.”

What is your favourite restaurant in London?

“Roka in Charlotte Street, I love the robata grill. I’ve had some fabulous evenings in there.”

Where do get the inspiration for adapting your seasonal menus?

“All over if I’m honest, but most of the ideas come from talking with my chef colleagues and friends.”

What is your signature dish?

“Not something I make at The Brewery, but it’s my fry up. Anyone who’s experienced it, knows it can’t be beaten!”

What is your favourite ingredient to cook with and why?

“Lamb, it’s just a sensational meat.”

What would you say are the biggest challenges for chefs currently?

“The food industry is always changing. Keeping up with food trends can be challenging if you only treat it as job rather than a passion.”

What is your favourite dish to prepare at an event?

“There have been many dishes, but I have to say scallop ceviche and yuzu wasabi vinaigrette.”

What is your go-to comfort food?

“Fry up, lamb chops, my mum’s Italian meatballs and a drive through McDonald’s.”

Who/what is your biggest inspiration and why?

“I don’t have anyone who I aspire to be, all I want to be is the best I can be myself. I feel I’m not even close to hitting my targets, ask me this question again in 10 years’ time!”

What is your favourite movie or television show to enjoy over a home-cooked meal?

“I love a documentary on Netflix. At the moment, I’m really enjoying The Last Dance, about the Chicago Bulls in the 1990’s.”

Try Tom’s delicious food today

If you have enjoyed hearing Tom’s story and finding out more about our passionate Food Director, why not book your next event today?

Contact The Brewery today for an experience you’ll never forget.

Must-try recipes from The Brewery kitchen: Salmon Mi-Cuit

What could be more uplifting than surprising your family with a fine dining experience in the comfort of your own home?

Elevate your next meal from mundane to mouth-watering with help from The Brewery’s culinary experts.

Our team of chefs have compiled an easy to follow recipe card for you to create Salmon Mi-Cuit, a classic French-inspired dish, in your very own kitchen.

Let our Executive Chef, Andrew O’Connor, take you through this easy to follow recipe so you can wow your loved ones with your cookery skills.

We’ve even included larger quantities in case you want to plan ahead for a larger gathering in the future.

You can even download the recipe, as we have no doubt this will become a dish you will want to make time and time again!

Salmon Mi-Cuit recipe card

Enjoy!

Shining a Spotlight on Mental Health

Throughout these challenging times our mental health is being affected more than ever, and it’s important to realise we’re not alone and that help is out there. As part of mental health awareness week The Brewery has reached out to Dr. Melvyn Adjei, a GP Registrar, who works at one of the busiest GP surgeries in Tower Hamlets, East London. He has kindly answered some questions to help us shine a light on mental health and how we can help those who are experiencing issues.

Melvin

What is mental Health?

Mental health is essentially a state of psychological well-being. It’s about how people think, feel and behave. Common mental health problems include stress, anxiety and depression and it’s exceedingly common, much more than people realise. In the UK approximately 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem each year! Whilst being seen as primarily psychological, your mental health can have a big impact on physical processes too including concentration, appetite, sleep and much more.

Can you tell us some of the ways in which you are noticing that Coronavirus is affecting people’s mental health?

In a nutshell, a lot! We are noticing depression and anxiety in particular are on the rise, largely due to the effects of lockdown. I work in Tower Hamlets in East London where there are lots of large families trapped in very small apartments for most of the day, often with school aged children stuck at home. Additionally, usual stress relievers for most of us including sports, entertainment and socialising are non-existent. On top of this there is huge uncertainty for people in their jobs, careers and businesses. Hospitality industry has certainly been hugely affected by the pandemic and the uncertainty of the situation is affecting the mental wellbeing of individuals. All these things are what we call ‘social stressors’ and a perfect recipe for a mental health crisis.

What are the most useful strategies that you would recommend for people who are struggling at this time?

I think one of the main things to remember is that you are NOT alone. Just a quick look at the stats mentioned before show us that even if many of us aren’t talking about it as much as we should, mental health is affecting almost everyone in some way shape or form at some point in our lives. It’s OK to be struggling.

Secondly I think that for those of us who do have a strong network around us, be that partners, relatives, friends….that can be a fantastic source of help. I often hear a lot of my patient’s say, ‘Oh I don’t want to burden them.’ I think most people would be desperate to know if a loved one was struggling and would do anything they could to help. I’m fairly certain I don’t know a single person who would feel it be a ‘burden’ to help a loved one going through a difficult time. I know for sure I would want to know if somebody I knew needed me and it’s so important to remember that if you’re going through a difficult time.

Thirdly, I would always encourage seeking professional help where possible, especially when things are becoming unmanageable, and your mental health is starting to take its toll on relationships, work life and the like. There are lots of really useful resources online created and run by professionals including many helpful mental health apps on the NHS website. Your GP is also a great first point of contact and will be more than happy hear from you. We manage people who are struggling with their mental health every single day, we aren’t too busy, you are important and we do want to help!

If we know somebody who is struggling with their mental health how can we help them?

That’s a very useful question in these times. There’s lots of things but I’ll try and name a few! My advice would start with, if you suspect, ask the question. It sounds obvious but with all the distractions of life and the hubbub of social media it is easy to assume someone is managing fine when they actually might be drowning. Reach out to people.

Next, I would encourage that person to seek help if you think they need it. Regularly patients come to me and say, ‘My partner encouraged me to call,’ or ‘my friend told me I need help.’ Each one of us can be that push in the right direction that a person might need.

Last but not least, be patient! I think so often it’s easy to think or say, someone should be doing this, or that, you should stop drinking, start going for daily jog, speak to a friend, this that and the other! It’s important to remember that often, particularly with depression part of the illness process is that almost all ones energy can be focused on how badly they feel and their negative thoughts. After all the energy spent on that, it can be so very difficult to find the energy and motivation to do all the things that we all know can be so helpful. Imagine how you might feel after your longest most arduous day at work and imagine feeling like that most of the time. Now you can imagine how hard it would be to call that friend, go for that jog or cook that healthy nutritious meal.

Any final thoughts?

Reach out to each other, be kind to one another and remember that help is out there and you are most certainly not alone!

Tips from Blake Ezra, Award Winning Photographer

We’ve asked Blake Ezra, a firmly established and very talented photographer who’s been to The Brewery many times, to give us some tips (photography tips but not only!) to help you plan your wedding day.

You can download the document here or read the article below for the entire list!

Emma and Daniel
18.02.2018 Emma and Daniel

1- Enjoy being engaged. It’s not only a time to be busy and possibly stressed with planning your wedding, it should be a special time in itself, a time in which you can celebrate your decision to be together. 

2- When choosing the professional and creative team for your wedding, whether that be a make-up artist or photographer, beyond their skills it’s important to surround yourself with people who will bring positivity and calm to your day. People who you can get on with. 

3- Let go! When the wedding days comes around you’d have done so much planning and preparation, by that stage you’d have done all you can to have the wedding of your dreams. Nothing will ever go 100% to plan, so it’s important you let go, have a great day, accept that a few small things may not go exactly as you’d imagined.

4- When choosing a photographer, look for someone who has a track record of photographing weddings like yours, for example whether that be indoor weddings and winter weddings, whereby they’ll need to be very savvy with lighting, or Jewish weddings where they’d need to know the traditions involved. 

Emma and Daniel 2
18.02.2018 Emma and Daniel

5- Leave more time in your timetable than you could ever imagine needing! Things will take longer than you expect, whether that be makeup or getting from one place to another in a wedding dress. Leaving more time allows everyone (and most importantly YOU) to know there is time, and avoid stress

6- Do whatever possible to minimise your own potential stresses on the day, whether that be staying in the venue the night before or changing into a pair of trainers hidden under your dress just before the party! Have a ‘team’ of close people around you who can help you to simply let go and have the best time.

7- Think about lines of sight, for example I would suggest not having a high centrepiece on the top table. This will stop any photography or video being able to take natural shots of you during speeches for example, but even more importantly it stops guests seeing you and you seeing them. 

Emma and Daniel 3
18.02.2018 Emma and Daniel

8- If you are using lighting and production, ask your team to light anything that you want to be seen. For example, it’s great to have spotlighting on the table centre pieces, lighting on those making a speech and even lighting onto the top table during the speeches. 

9- Keep everything nearby. If you’re having a bar, a photo booth or any other stations of entertainment, don’t place them too far away from the dance floor as you risk an exodus of guests when they’re are open. 

10- Make time for the two of you. Whether that be for the sake of photography (having some beautiful shots as a couple) or simply to step back and enjoy each other’s company for a short time away from guests, it’s important to make that time. The wedding day goes so quickly, these short moments of ‘stepping out’ help to slow it down for you

11- Whatever time of day you are giving to your photographer for portrait photographs of you as a couple, also try to give them ten minutes in the hour before sunset, if at all possible. This is known as ‘Golden Hour’ and is the perfect time for beautiful photography

Emma and Daniel 4
18.02.2018 Emma and Daniel

More info about Blake Ezra on his website and on his Instagram page

Remote Wedding Planning

Woman planning wedding on laptop and phoneIn these uncertain times, it feels in many ways like our lives are on hold. And, while everyone’s top priority is to stay safe and well, and look out for those around them, it’s understandable that many newlyweds-to-be are concerned about how they’re going to manage to plan their big day.

But the good news is, you don’t have to put your wedding planning on hold! Even if you can’t get out to visit venues, meet suppliers and catch up with your wedding planner, there are still plenty of ways to stay busy planning your wedding online.

What is remote wedding planning?

Remote planning is just like traditional wedding planning, only you take care of everything online. From hunting for venues, through to ordering flowers, invitations and more, virtual wedding planning allows you to plan every aspect of your special day without getting up off the sofa!

And, with so many cool, quirky and unexpected wedding service providers online, you’re only a quick search away from uncovering a whole host of exciting wedding ideas.

What does a remote wedding planner do?

A remote wedding planner will help you with your online wedding preparation.

Just like a traditional wedding planner, a remote wedding planner will help ensure that everything is in order for your big day. Whether you want them to take charge of the planning process or you just need some support for the more demanding tasks, your virtual wedding planner will be at your side – without either of you needing to leave home!

So, rather than meeting up face to face, you’ll communicate with your wedding planner via call, video call and email. You’ll get the same level of service and the same results, you just won’t have physical meetings with your planner.

Remote wedding planning at The Brewery

Here at The Brewery, we pride ourselves on offering an incredible wedding venue, and an outstanding service to match. We want to ensure that our happy couples find the process as simple, straight forward and stress-free as possible. So, in these challenging times, we’re working hard to ensure you can still plan your big day.

Virtual venue tours

Choosing a wedding venue is a big part of the planning process – and it’s a decision you need to get right. If you aren’t able to visit your potential venues in person, either due to the current situation or because you’re getting married somewhere far away, a virtual venue tour could provide the perfect solution. A virtual wedding tour allows you to experience the venue, walk down the aisle and even wait at the altar, without leaving the house.

If you’re considering holding your wedding at The Brewery, our dedicated wedding planners will be happy to arrange a virtual tour so you can experience the venue in all its glory.

Take a virtual tour

In-house wedding planning

Our in-house wedding planner, Milena Gorska, can work with you remotely to plan your big day, assisting you in deciding which of our many venue spaces you’d prefer, through to the menu, flowers and evening entertainment. We’ll take care of everything virtually, so your planning doesn’t have to come to a halt during the current crisis.

The benefits of remote wedding planning

Remote wedding planning offers a whole host of benefits to couples planning their big day. It’s convenient; you don’t need to be in the same place as your wedding planner or suppliers in order to make the necessary arrangements. It’s flexible; you can work on your wedding planning at any hour of the day, so it’s easy to fit it around your other commitments. It also makes it possible to keep planning your wedding during lockdown, when face-to-face plans have been stopped.

Here at The Brewery, we are committed to helping you plan your perfect day, online or offline. Our remote wedding planners can help you plan your big day from the comfort of your home, or why not pop in and explore our venue virtually?