The best conference giveaways

If you’ve ever been to a conference, you’ll probably be familiar with the industry staple swag bag, filled with free stuff that’s often branded or themed. If done right, a free goody bag can make a strong first impression on attendees, however, if the bag is filled with useless items, the money you’ve invested into them may end up straight in the bin.

To help you give conference gifts that your attendees will find memorable, useful and fun, we’ve put together our top swag bag ideas to give you some inspiration.

Facebook SME Bootcamp

Conference swag bag ideas

Branded stationery

From pens and notepads to leather diaries and sticky notes, stationery is easy to add your branding to and always comes in handy. If you give away 500 branded notebooks, that’s 500 advertisements of your business out there for people to see which will raise brand awareness.

Food and beverages

Snack food and beverages are great for giving your attendees an energy boost in-between mealtimes. Most people will appreciate something small to enjoy when they’re on the move and attending a busy conference. If you can offer amazing conference food your guests will rave about it.

Water bottles

The days of picking up a single-use plastic water bottle are behind us; everyone wants to help do their bit for the environment by owning reusable bottles they can use time and time again. This is another item that can increase your brand visibility while helping in the fight against plastic.

Gift cards

If you have an e-commerce or retail business, offering a gift card in your goody bags will allow your attendees to choose what they want. You may feel like this idea lacks thought or creativity, but one item will never please everyone. A gift card takes out the guesswork puts the power in your attendees’ hands.

Eco-friendly gifts

Sustainability is at the forefront of everyone’s minds right now. From branded packets of seeds to grow-your-own kits for vegetables and plants, an eco-friendly gift is a unique way to encourage your attendees to think about the environment and take home a memento that keeps on giving.  You can also focus on sustainability by swapping out plastic bags for canvas totes.

Drinks being offered at a conference

Headphones

Whether you opt for compact wireless headphones or a portable speaker, your attendees will appreciate the free tech or – or at least know someone who will. Depending on your budget and conference, you could even put your branding on them for some free exposure.

Scratch cards

Giving your attendees a branded scratch card within their swag bag which offers a range of special prizes will build up anticipation and excitement at your event without having to pay for each attendee to receive a premium gift.

Virtual gifts

Virtual gifts are still a fairly new concept for conferences but can be a great way of giving something back to your attendees while saving them from carrying a goody bag around all day. From eBooks, gift codes and exclusive access to an app or website, virtual gifts are a great opportunity to promote both your brand and any sponsors you may have.

USB sticks

USB sticks are widely used and great for increasing brand awareness, whether you print your logo on it or pre-load the stick with digital brochures about the conference and exhibitors for your attendees to review in their own time.

Branded clothing

A great way to spread your brand name is by providing your attendees with some free clothing. From t-shirts and hoodies to caps and tote bags, you’ve got yourself a walking advertisement.  

Everyday toiletries

Everyday toiletries are especially good if you know you have attendees travelling to your conference. Anything from lip balm and hand sanitiser to shampoo and conditioner can be great for a swag bag.

Phone chargers/power banks

Everyone appreciates an extra phone charger. You’ll always find someone searching for a plug socket to top up their phone at a conference. A pre-charged portable charger will be gold dust for your attendees.

Mouse mat

An oldie but goodie. The mouse mat still makes an excellent conference gift. It’s useful, practical, lightweight and can carry your event branding.

Something relevant to the conference

It’s always a good idea to put something industry-specific into the goody bag. For example, if your conference is about a food product, you’ll want to include that product in the goody bag.

If you’re planning a conference and looking for a leading corporate venue in London, here at The Brewery we offer a unique and versatile environment to accommodate all your requirements.

With state-of-the-art facilities and a fantastic location, our venue is perfect for events with up to 1200 guests. If you would like to discuss hosting your conference at The Brewery, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

The Latest Corporate Event Trends in 2022

Corporate event trends are constantly emerging to suit the needs of businesses that want to stand out from the rest. There are many factors that result in a successful and memorable event – from presentations, to networking, and of course the food! With the increasing number of corporate events being held and event planners needing to deliver a unique and engaging experience, tapping into the latest trends can really help to elevate your event and give it that extra flourish.

Here are some of the hottest trends in the world of corporate events that are sure to take yours to the next level:

Trend 1: Event Transformation

event transformation trend

To provide a truly memorable event, businesses are beginning to immerse their guests into a complete ‘experience’. With the clever use of venue, décor and even technology, spaces can be completely transformed, making for an unforgettable experience. Certain to excite and engage your guests all day, and sure to get them guessing the theme of next year’s event before the day is even up, this effective event branding is a sure-fire boost for both employee spirit and guest morale.

Trend 2: Immersive Technology

Whilst the use of technology at events is nothing new, the mechanic of how audiences absorb and interact with it is as evolving as the event planning industry itself.

Corporate Guests have an awareness and expectation of how technology should meet their needs, and it is hugely important to use tech to exceed expectations at your event.

Mobile phones were once considered a distraction when it comes to events, but they can now be utilised by businesses to create an engaged guest experience. Previous yearly trends have seen Artificial Intelligence used at events to reduce time spent in queuing by using facial recognition technology.

This year, the use of chatbots is on the rise and set to increase, assisting event planners to follow up on leads and monitor responses from attendees. We predict chatbots playing an even bigger role at events throughout next year, constantly interacting with attendees and answering queries throughout the day.

Trend 3: Unique Venues

More and more companies are planning corporate events in fun and unique venues to not only guarantee a lasting impression, but also to encourage attendance. A jaw-dropping venue will not only stir interest, create an all-important positive first impression but will immediately drive attendees to become more engaged in the entire experience. 

From pop-up open spaces to transforming unexpected nooks and crannies, embracing an unexpected venue creates an immediate buzz around your event. It also serves as a valuable talking point and an opportunity to create a memorable experience for attendees, who are more likely to want to revisit your future events.

If you’re looking for a venue for your next corporate event, The Brewery has got the latest trends covered. From high-tech facilities to a vibrant and unique menu, The Brewery continues to host forward thinking events for leading brands. 

Originally developed to accommodate each stage of the brewing process, The Brewery is rich in character and full of personality, making it the perfect setting for a contemporary corporate event. A truly historic Grade II listed venue in the City of London, our 6 venue spaces combine heritage and functionality to make sure your event is both unconventional and eye-catching.

Trend 4: Exciting catering

unique catering food

There’s no denying that the demand for more exciting cuisine at corporate events is on the rise, and incorporating great food and drink into your event is a perfect opportunity to impress your guests. Not only does exciting food help to engage your attendees and get them talking, but it also plays a big part in keeping them alert and focused all day.

Choose a venue that can adapt to your needs, and customise the menu to your event. No matter how impactful your presentations may be, your guests are sure to remember great food!

Trend 5: Guest Interaction

In recent years, there’s been a shift towards unique activities at events to keep guests entertained and engaged, as well as making the attendees part of the event itself. These activities range from interactive classes and competitions, workshops and even exercise classes!

Depending on the type of event and the industry, inventive types can get their creative juices going in mixology classes and art workshops, and socially-conscious attendees may like to participate in charity fundraisers and volunteering initiatives. Working some activities into your event is a great way of increasing motivation, promoting team building– and most importantly, having fun.

Trend 6: Keynote Speakers

Nothing compares to a fresh perspective on a given topic at an event. The benefits of having a guest speaker from a different industry or organisation discussing a given topic that’s related yet different to your industry and the subjects your guests would have heard about before can spark interest and generate conversation at an event.

A fresh perspective can be a hugely beneficial source of conversation, debate, creative thinking and can lead to generating memorable ideas and this is trend that is becoming increasingly popular for corporate events.

Trend 7: Environmental Mirroring

Sustainability, together with its global trend, is set to shape future events in a number of different ways. It is important as an event planner to mirror society’s commitment for recycling and reusing, and to thoughtfully embed this into your events.

From use of recycled materials at your event to offering fair-trade food options, there are numerous ways that society’s approach to sustainability can be entwined into your event, with this important approach set to rise in 2019. You could even make a big statement and go completely plastic free at your event to truly raise awareness of society issues.

Trend 8: Hybrid Events

Hybrid events are ones which combine in person and online components together to create a mix of both for anyone around the world to attend. These types of events became hugely popular during the pandemic when large numbers of people were unable to meet in one space. Post pandemic, this corporate event trend appears to be going nowhere anytime soon with it’s added benefits of making events accessible for people to attend all over the world with virtual events popping up more and more and on demand replay videos available to catch the event at a later date online.

Not only have hybrid events become popular due to COVID-19 restrictions, but this trend could also be attributed to increasing awareness about climate change and its effects on our planet. Many businesses mindsets have shifted over the last year and now people are seeing the advantages both economically and environmentally for only choosing travel overseas if it is necessary to attend in person for an event.

Trend 9: Health and Safety

Another trend we are seeing, especially as a result of the covid pandemic is an increased concern for health and safety measures put in place at corporate event venues. It’s likely that guests who attend in person events now expect a certain level of health and safety measures to be followed and this is something event planners have had to focus heavily on over the last year. One example of this is the expectation for large events to have hand sanitiser dispensing stations in one or more areas of the venue since the pandemic which appears to be a trend staying well into the foreseeable future as way to reduce infection.

Health and safety trends have also emerged in other areas of the event planning including food, where we can expect to see individual set meals favoured over buffets in addition to an awareness of allergies/dietary requirements being taken more into consideration. Another aspect for health and safety trends will be the use of technology as contactless is encouraged and temperature screening kiosks are used pre check in.

Trend 10: Wellness

The topic of wellness has become an important employee factor for businesses to take into consideration in recent years and this is starting to reflect in corporate events. We are beginning to see a trend where businesses are focusing on putting the wellbeing of their employees into the considerations of event planning.

This trend goes well beyond a focus on healthy food options with attention recently shown towards mindfulness ideas. These include providing downtime for employees during intensive days, activities such as team yoga and management sessions that provide information about how to improve your mental wellbeing.

Looking for a Corporate Event Venue?

At the Brewery, based in London, we can accommodate you with our services on offer to your company, from event design and a classically stylish venue, to sumptuous food and drink. Contact The Brewery today for a truly unique corporate event experience.

The Vins of Change

Did you know we had a range of delicious and sustainable wines? Take a look through our ‘Vins Of Change’ wine list, which also includes a section dedicated to female wine growers.

All these wines are available to be served at your next Brewery event.

Click here to download.

The-Vins-of-Change

Welcome Back to The Grubstreet Author!

⭐️Welcome (again!) to The Grubstreet Author ⭐️

 

After a long break it was time for our sister venue The Grubstreet Author to be reintroduced to you by our lovely Business Development Manager Katrina Wallace !
The Grubstreet is a collection of luxurious event spaces created and operated by the same team as the The Brewery on Chiswell Street. It is located in the same building as The Brewery but has a different (and private) entrance on Milton street. It is situated on what was once the Grub Street, an area renowned for bohemian writers and this rich history has provided the inspiration for the venue.

Key Facts about The Grubstreet Author:

✅ Three different spaces with different atmospheres
✅ Perfect for small conferences, product launches, screenings (yes we have a little cinema room) intimate weddings , drinks receptions or even as a VIP area.
✅ Can host 20 to 120 guests
✅ Can be used in conjunction with the main Brewery
✅ Speakeasy vibe

The Sample Room

 

The Sample Room is the first of our spaces and is the room where back in the days the latest alcoholic creations were tried and tested before being unleashed on the general public 🍺🍻
It is now the perfect space for drinks reception, breakout rooms, private parties, product launches or networking events 💻🖌

Key facts:

✅ Can host 70 guests standing (120 when used alongside The Pasteur Room)
✅ Integrated PA System (4 x DAD Ark 106MP Speakers)
✅ Inclusive coloured LED Lighting
✅ Fitted metallic bar with glowing neon
✅ Soft Furnishings

The Pasteur Room

 

The room is named after the famous French chemist Louis Pasteur who visited The Brewery on Chiswell Street and The Grubstreet Author in 1871 to investigate the problem of beer fermentation.
What can be better than to host your events in the very room where the humble pint was perfected 🍺?

The room can host up to 66 guests for dinner or up to 120 guests when used alongside the Sample Room. The industrial and traditional elements of the room as well as the tin tiled roof and burnt iron chandelier make it the perfect space to host a private dinner and will add character to any drinks reception or conference.

Key facts:

✅ Inclusive Coloured LED lighting
✅ Integrated PA system
✅ can host 66 guests dinner style and 120 when used alongside the Sample Room

 

 

The Cutting Room

 

This remastered vintage cinema is the hidden gem of The Grubstreet Author

Before being lost to time The Cutting room was the place where workers would gather to watch a picture together at the end of the week. Now restored to its former glory and with the latest technology The Cutting Room is the perfect space for screenings, teammeetings and even small conferences 💻📝🍿

Key facts:

✅ 48 fixed seats
✅ 98 inch screen
✅ Immersive LED lights

 

 

If you would like to know more about The Grubstreet Author, get in touch with our Sales team at info@grubstreetauthor.co.uk or check our Instagram page for the latest news and pictures about our unique space (Instagram: here)

 

We Meet Again

After a slightly unexpected seventeen month break, The Brewery has sprung back to life, with a jam packed schedule of incredible events. It’s hard to put into words how exciting it’s been, to once again hear sounds of laughter, music and engaging discussions ringing out across the venue. Our much loved concierge, Eddy, couldn’t wait to dust off his bowler hat, and get back into our courtyard, welcoming guests, both old and new, into their events.

We are completely committed to playing our part in the safe return of events, making sure that we’re doing everything we can to protect both our staff and guests. We have introduced a range of on-site measures including proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter, masked staff and enhanced cleaning schedules. You can read our full list of safety measures below or download them here.  

RE-Opening-Covid-Policy-July-2021-V1

For our very first event back love was in the air, as we celebrated the wedding of Carolyne and Oliver, in The Sugar Rooms. It was such an honour for us to reopen with this special occasion and welcome sixty of the couples closest friends and family to the venue. The lucky guests got to feast on a beautiful wedding breakfast and canapes designed and cooked by our Executive Chef, Andrew Connor, and his team. It’s been a real joy for our kitchen team to be back crafting delicious menus for guests to enjoy, rather than beans on toast at home!

Sugar Rooms Wedding

As August came to a close we recognised the individuals and organisations that display outstanding commitment to the LGBT community, when we hosted The British LGBT Awards. This fabulous, high energy event was attended by over 650 guests, including a range of popular celebrities and influencers, and received global media coverage. Its nights like this one, that remind everyone at The Brewery why we love events so much. It wasn’t just the guests having fun, we were having the time of our lives.

British LGBT Awards

The UK Jewellery Festival and The Decameron, Enotria&Coe’s annual wine tasting, were both fantastic showcase events for their respective industries. The variety of rooms at the Brewery, provided lots of space for exhibitors, to show off the latest styles, and flavours to their trade customers. Across the two events there were over 800 attendees, with the guests of Decameron getting to try our brand new Poke lunch menu, which was a perfect accompaniment to the late summer sunshine outside.

Poke Bowls

It’s always great to see familiar faces, and we once again welcomed back the wonderful team from Bamboo Events. Bamboo have produced some of the most creative events we’ve seen at The Brewery over the last few years, and they didn’t disappoint again. The room popped with colour and the guests responded by having a brilliant time and had the room shaking when they hit the dancefloor till late into the night. Anyone who works in events knows that positive feedback is our lifeblood, and we were ecstatic to receive such a glowing review from the event organiser. We couldn’t resist sharing this little snippet:

“The Brewery really is such a special venue and one we love working at. No other venue in London offers such exclusivity with our own private courtyard, amazing function rooms and incredible food. However, I strongly believe it’s the people behind the building who make the venue one of our favourites. We really do appreciate and feel that each and every one of you really want to help make sure our event is the best it can be. “

Bamboo Events Dinner

Our new AV partners, Encore, got to flex their technical muscles when we hosted our first truly hybrid event. Using the technology, we now have available in house, they were able to connect events simultaneously happening in London and Belgium. This included streaming a live DJ set to both events to enjoy during their after party. We may still have some restrictions keeping us apart but we can still use the technology available to bring us closer together.

As you can see we’ve been busy bees over since we reopened just over a month ago, and this is just a small selection of all the events that we have hosted. It’s great to be back in business and we would love to have the opportunity to host your event.

Get in touch with our Head of Business Development, Faye Loader, and we can arrange a site visit or call to discuss your requirements for the remainder of 2021 and the future.

Christmas Parties 2021 – Enchantment Under The Ocean

We are super excited about Christmas party season this year, as we will be heading back to 1950s America and becoming students at Chiswell Valley High.

It’s nearly time for you to attend your senior prom and this year it is ‘Enchantment Under The Ocean’. We know that you’re super busy hanging out at the diner trying to catch the eye of your perfect date, there is also the prom dress/tux to worry about and not to forget your speech if you are named Prom King or Queen.

So we are going to look after the decoration for you and have got the nerds down at the IT Club to put together some drawings of what it’s all going to look like. Check out the images below and to find out how to book your party the dedicated micro site can be found here.

Porter Tun Christmas Party Image
Porter Tun – Enchantment Under The Ocean – Christmas 2021
Porter Tun - Enchantment Under The Ocean - Christmas 2021
Porter Tun – Enchantment Under The Ocean – Christmas 2021
Porter Tun Balcony - Enchantment Under The Ocean - Christmas 2021
Porter Tun Balcony – Enchantment Under The Ocean – Christmas 2021
Upper Sugar Room - Enchantment Under The Ocean - Christmas 2021
Upper Sugar Room – Enchantment Under The Ocean – Christmas 2021
Lower Sugar Room - Enchantment Under The Ocean - Christmas 2021
Lower Sugar Room – Enchantment Under The Ocean – Christmas 2021

An Interview with Andrew O’Connor, Group Executive Chef/ Head of Food at The Brewery

 

 

  • Hi Andrew, can you tell us a bit more about you and your passion for food?

 

Growing up I always had a passion for food…. Both eating it and cooking it! I loved getting involved as a toddler at my nans helping her prepare all the fresh vegetables and watching how she put it all together…Isn’t that how all every good chef story starts?!  Fast forward a decade or so and I decided to get stuck into a kitchen as a career path. I managed to combine this with my love of travel and worked in various hotels around France and Greece bouncing between ski seasons and the sunshine for several years whilst progress my skills, knowledge and position in the kitchen. After many good years I decided it was time to come back to the U.K.

I’d always fancied the idea of working on the events scene and delivering customers a special experience so I joined a company where I could do just that. I spent 10 years catering from everything from small personal weddings to the Brit Awards, even feeding the royal family on several occasions. I ended my time as the Executive chef of a beautiful historic wedding venue in Hertfordshire. After several years here I just missed the buzz of London’s events scene. I was fortunate at the time that the Brewery were recruiting a Head Chef, I joined, things quickly progressed …the rest as they say is History’.

 

  • This past year has been unexpected and challenging, how are you and your team doing ?

 

We’re doing great, we’ve been able to keep the core of our team together and everyone has returned raring to go. We have always had a very close team of chefs at The Brewery and we’ve been looking out for each other and staying in touch to talk about food and share lockdown recipes. At times it has been really tough seeing the whole industry shut down for so long, but that has just made us even more motivated to come back with lots of exciting new dishes and concepts.

  • Is there any changes we are going to see at The Brewery or do you have a new approach towards the cuisine?

 

There was definitely plenty of time to reflect but we were already continually evolving and improving the product before the break, so we are determined just to keep on that path. We have taken the time to find some new suppliers and we are excited about some of the new ingredients and organic produce we now have available to us. Sustainability was something we were heavily focusing on and will continue to do so.

 

  • What exciting new food concepts can we expect to see at The Brewery this year?

 

We aren’t planning to introduce many new concepts until next year. Our focus for the remainder of 2021 will be on delivering the many events we have already booked. That may sound very simple but we are planning to have to be very adaptable in the short term as we are expecting lots of variety in how events are run to suit the needs of the ever changing situation we still find ourselves in. We will be working closely with our event organisers to make sure we are able to shape our menus and delivery to make guests feel comfortable returning to large scale events.

 

  • How can you describe the new seasonal menu?

 

Creating the new seasonal menus is a lot of work, we have to do all the development sessions and then once we have finalised the dishes we then have to write recipe cards and do all the boring stuff like costing them. This can take months and with The Brewery’s opening schedule, we didn’t have the team back early enough to go through this process, so we decided to have some fun. We spoke to the event planners at The Brewery and asked them what their favourite dishes over the last few years have been and we also looked back at some data to see what our clients had chosen. This allowed us to create a ‘Greatest Hits’ menu that features all of these favourite dishes that we have adapted slightly and we have also added a couple of new surprising ones. We can’t wait to start event tastings and introducing these dishes to our clients.

 

  • What is your favourite dish on the new menu ?

 

It is the BBQ sticky rice with Gochujang Puree, marinated tofu, crispy sambal cauliflower, pickled mung beans and pak choi (Recipe here) As we all know reduced meat consumption is increasingly at the forefront of sustainability issues worldwide. I have selected this dish as it showcases how delicious and visually appealing vegetarian food can be. I love South East Asian inspired Cuisine from my younger backpacking days, the food always offered a bold mix of flavours and textures and I just couldn’t get enough of eating all the different dishes from the street vendors.. Authentic simple cooking at its roots, you just can’t beat it! We have taken these influences and made this beautifully appealing dish as one of the vegetarian options for our new Autumn Winter 2021 menu. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

PS. Its easily adaptable to vegan too by substituting the small amount of milk and honey with vegan alternatives…the difference would be minimal in flavour.

 

 

We won Gold at Business Events Venue of the Year 2020!

There is no point denying it: 2020 has been a very tough year, but a few days before the first lockdown, something extremely exciting happened for The Brewery: we were awarded Business Events Venue of the year 2020 by Visit London. This first award allowed us to be nominated as a finalist in the Visit England Excellence Awards in May 2020 and guess what? We won it too! 

Winning this award, especially in the middle of the pandemic, has been extremely rewarding for the entire Brewery team who always work tirelessly to provide a flawless visitor experience. It recognises business events venues that demonstrate an excellent understanding of the market, exceeding the expectations of their clients and have a strategic plan for future development within this area, with clear goals.

As part of the selection process, a judge from London & Partners came for a site visit of The Brewery, and met with our Marketing Executive and Senior Business Development Manager, who showed him around and talked him through everything there is to know about the venue: the history, the events we organise, food and beverage, our plans for the future… He also met with our Food Director and had a full tour of the kitchen. The judge was very impressed with our excellent levels of service, incapable spaces and the cleanliness of them, the quirky touches we have around the venue and also loved our sister venue, The Grubstreet Author.

The whole Brewery team is absolutely delighted and this is testament to all the hard work that goes into delivering exceptional events on a daily basis, something we can’t wait to get back to doing from the 14th August 2021!

Katrina Wallace, newly appointed Business Development Manager at The Brewery

Meet Katrina Wallace, our newly appointed Business Development Manager.

  • Hi Katrina, can you introduce yourself? 

 

Hi, I’m Katrina Wallace, I’m from Belfast and have been living in London for 4 years now – this month is my moving anniversary! I moved to London on a Sunday and started working for The Brewery on the Monday morning – it was very fast and exciting!

  • Can you please tell us more about your journey at The Brewery?

 

I started in The Brewery as an Event Sales Executive in 2017, was promoted to Senior Event Sales Manager in 2019 and 2 months ago secured a new promotion as Business Development Manager. In both of my Event Sales roles I converted reactive sales and planned each of my events. Now that I am BDM my role will focus on finding those events that have never been with us at The Brewery and letting them know what The Brewery can do for them 😊

  • What made you want to move to Business Development?

 

I wanted to move over to this side of the business to gain experience in a proactive sales role for a company that I already have a wealth of knowledge about. While I’ve been here for 4 years, in my new role there is still so much to learn and conquer! At the minute I am working on becoming an industry expert, specialising in Tech events.

  • What is the favourite part of your job?

 

My clients! I’ve missed that part of my job so much. I can’t wait to our next showcase or exhibition when I can see so many familiar faces and meet lots of new faces too!

  • What are, according to you, the best assets of The Brewery for corporate events?

 

The Brewery has always been a leader. Whether it’s been with our trend setting themes, innovative AV offering or creative food menus, guests always remember their experience at The Brewery. For so many of our corporate clients, this is an important message, as they are also trying to set themselves apart from others.

  • What are you looking forward to the most for the coming year? 

 

I’m looking forward to seeing the venue full of people and hearing that buzzing noise in the Porter Tun just before the lights go down and an event is about to start! Bring on a busy end to 2021.