News - The Brewery

Creating the perfect breakaway areas for your attendees

Every conference, no matter how engaging and interactive it is, needs breaks. Your attendees need time to process what they’ve been told, take advantage of networking opportunities and have a bite to eat. Breakaway areas can be the perfect way to accommodate these three requirements.

In order to create the perfect breakaway areas for your attendees at a trade show or conference, there are some key details you should take into account.

Space

When choosing a venue for your conference or trade show, make a note of how much space you have beyond your main keynote stage or booths. Depending on the size of that space, you’ll be able to estimate how big a breakaway area could be – or how many breakaway areas you could fit in.

Don’t try and cram a breakaway area into a tiny space but don’t make a breakaway area too big either. With a small area, you’ll find your attendees will feel cramped and unable to enjoy their break; with a large area, networking opportunities may diminish due to noise levels.

Choosing the right venue, that can allow for breakaway areas, is a crucial decision to make. You need to make sure, especially for a conference, that the venue has space for both a keynote stage and also smaller areas for workshops and breakaway areas. For a trade show, you’ll want enough space for booths and stands, but also enough space for your attendees to not feel cramped.

At The Brewery, our six venue rooms provide the space for both larger events and small breakaway rooms away from the action. Find out more here.

Purpose

Setting out the purpose of your breakaway area is a crucial first step. Do you want it to be used for small networking groups, workshop sessions or something more interactive?

Some events choose to simply use their breakaway areas as places for their attendees to relax after talks and network with other attendees, but you can use them for other purposes. One event created a headshot lounge in a breakaway area where attendees could get a professional, up-to-date photo taken of them for use on their social media channels, website or company about page.

If you’re using a breakaway area as a workshop space for a smaller group of people, you’ll want to make sure that you have multiple areas that other attendees can use while the workshop is in progress. Also, make sure to include tables in the workshop area so that your attendees can make notes or use their laptops during the session.

Other events introduce their breakaway areas closer to the end of the day when the networking and social activities tend to come into play more. You could even have live music playing to entertain.

Comfort

Comfort is key for a breakaway area – no one will spend time there if the seats are uncomfortable and there isn’t enough space for people to talk in groups. Ensuring that the furniture you use is comfortable and accommodating is a must, but comfort also extends towards the experience that your attendees have in the breakaway space.

Providing services, such as charging ports and snacks, can increase comfort levels since attendees feel appreciated and valued. Also, as a benefit to the organisers, charging ports located in a breakaway area means that attendees will be more likely to limit their phone usage to that area.

Theming

If you really want to make a lasting impression with your breakaway area, you could think about theming the space to fit around either your event or a concept. If your conference, exhibition or event is based around a theme in itself, such as a wedding fair, then theming the breakaway area to match will truly make a statement.

However, it is key to mention that themed spaces – depending on how they are designed – can take up more space than regular breakaway areas.

Sponsorships

If you have a company that you work with closely, you may want to think about offering them the opportunity to sponsor your breakaway area. That way, they can gain visibility of their brand at your event and will be able to tailor the space to make an impact on the attendees who visit.

Additionally, allowing another company to sponsor your breakaway event can also take the pressure off you to design it. They will want to make a good impression on attendees, so will be looking to create a perfect breakaway area themselves.

 

If you’d like help with planning and organising an upcoming conference, exhibition or other event, we’d be happy to help. Our venue is perfect for both large presentation areas and smaller breakaway groups, and our Event Design team can help you create the perfect representation of your company through the décor and design. Contact us to start your event planning at The Brewery.

10 of the best trade show booth ideas to steal

When attending a trade show as a business, the most important goal for your team is likely to be reaching potential new clients and customers. Your trade show booth is your shop window, so it pays to make it eye-catching and inviting, so people can’t help but stop and find out more about the products or services you offer.

We’ve gathered some of the best ideas we’ve seen at recent trade shows to help your booth stand out from the crowd.

1.      Touchscreens

One of the key things that will bring people to your booth is a level of interactivity. Most people like to get involved with anything interactive and, if it’s linked to demonstrating your business, more success for you.

To capitalise on the draw of interactivity, make sure that whatever touch screens you’re using – whether it’s iPads or TV sized screens – are visible and easily accessible by attendees. This way, they can interact actively with your content, instead of purely receiving information passively.

2.      Gamification

Gamification can be a fantastic way to promote unique brand associations and get people in your booth excited about learning about your products or services. The experience of being involved in a game will leave a lasting impression in their minds beyond the end of the event and will allow you to connect your brand with the game.

Games could include prize wheels, gaming apps, quiz shows, social media content and interactive activities. Making the prize linked to your business – even if it’s just through branding – can also leave a lasting impact.

3.      Video walls

Few things catch the eye more than a video wall, especially since it creates movement in a relatively static environment. Using a video wall is a great way to stand out from the other booths around you, and also showcase your company from a distance.

Video walls are far more visible from further away than text on a board, so even if you’re showing a slideshow of product images or a graphic using the branding colours of your business, you’ll be more noticeable than other companies.

4.      AR and VR

There’s nothing that says trade shows can’t be fun as well as informative, and what better way to bring some entertainment into your booth than by embracing new technologies. AR and VR are developing in leaps and bounds and, if your company is able to use them to your advantage, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t.

Why not consider a virtual scavenger hunt around the exhibition space or VR experiences including demonstrations of your products – at Goodwood Festival of Speed this year (2018), Siemens gave attendees the opportunity to travel in an autonomous car using a VR headset.

5.      Promotional gifts

Everybody loves freebies. However, giving away freebies that can be easily discarded, have no value, or aren’t things people will use again can actually work against you instead of for your brand.

Instead, work on making sure that the items you’re planning on giving away are both useful and/or something that people will want. For example, capitalise on the idea of staying hydrated at a trade event by giving away reusable water bottles. People will not only be thankful for them on the day but will be more likely to use them in the future too.

Or, give away something that will make a statement, but make sure it connects with your brand. Google Cloud demonstrated this effectively recently by giving away cotton candy at their recent trade event, capitalising on the cloud-like nature of the sweet treat.

6.      Booth design

One core detail to remember when designing your booth is that, while it’s important to make sure your space is eye-catching and original, it should also be tailored to reflect your company and branding.

Sustainability is a trailblazing concept that has started to seep into the trade show world – some companies are branching out to show their commitment to sustainability by building their booths out of cardboard. If there’s a concept or a movement that your company is involved in, embrace it and create something that reflects it.

7.      Work with the space you have

Trade show booths aren’t always the largest of spaces to work with, so it can often feel a little limiting when designing a space. However, don’t let size restrictions limit your creativity – sometimes the most eye-catching booths are the ones that use the space they have most effectively, instead of the ones that fill their space completely.

For example, maximise the space you have by using an open plan concept; doing away with the chairs, tables, dividers and stands at the entrance of your booth that stop attendees exploring further into your space. Instead, keep the front of your booth open, allowing people to explore at their leisure and not to feel blocked or trapped by your décor.

8.      Add some mystery

If your company is announcing something new at a trade show or event, why not consider employing techniques to keep it an intriguing mystery? The best way to do this could be making your booth fully enclosed with a single entrance to allow attendees in.

Secrecy is a great incentive for people to visit your booth since they won’t be able to see what it’s about from the outside. You will have to employ some incentives inside the booth when people visit so that they can spread the word about what’s really inside.

9.      Decrease sign-up time

Trade shows move at a quick pace, with talks and presentations happening throughout the day. Due to that, it can often be quite difficult for attendees to spend long amounts of time at the booths they’re interested in.

If you’d like to ensure more sign-ups for information at your booth, but can’t incentivise people to stay and chat for long, why not employ a different technique? Put a jar at the entrance of your booth, with a sign that tells attendees to put their business cards in the jar if they want to find out more – incentivise this by letting them know that one business card will be selected at the end of the day as the winner of a prize.

This way, people who are interested in your company but don’t have time can easily give you their contact information to find out more and could possibly even win something too!

10.      Photobooths or photo walls

Everybody loves taking photographs to remember a day and, if you create the best place for them to take their photos, then they may be more willing to chat to your team while they’re there. Creating a photo wall on one side of your booth is a great way to maximise visibility and also engage with people in a fun and creative way.

Theming the wall around the event, with some subtle links to your brand as well, will allow for you to appear in social media posts as people share their attendance at the event.

If you’re looking for a venue that can host your trade show, look no further than London’s The Brewery. We have a number of different venue spaces in varying sizes that can be tailored to showcase each of the businesses attending. Find out more information about our venue here, or contact us to talk about your event.

The Brewery and Speakers Corner examine the power of diversity at Knowledge Guild

On Monday evening (22 October), The Brewery and Speakers Corner welcomed more than 200 event professionals, thought leaders and entrepreneurs to the autumn 2018 Knowledge Guild showcase. The latest instalment in the popular conference series looked at diversity as an untapped natural resource we are yet to fully conquer.

Titled “Diversity: Let’s unlock our potential to innovate and achieve the unimaginable”, the event was compered by Konnie Huq, a celebrated TV personality and children’s author, who was joined by an impressive line-up of speakers who shared their compelling stories and discussed how diversity can unlock new ways of thinking.

The inspiring Martine Wright MBE told the audience about how the atrocities of 7/7 transformed her life forever and how she ended up embracing these changes to become an elite athlete, author and motivational speaker. Martine shared her “power of 7” – a strategy for coping with trauma and change that has helped her through her toughest challenges.

Next, Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE took to the stage to encourage more diversity in the technology industry. She explained that a wider variety of people need to be involved in the development of technology, including AI, in order to continue innovating products and services that are going to open up conversations to wider audiences.

Finally, John Amaechi OBE explored the difference between diversity and inclusivity. He shared his personal experiences of people’s pre-conceptions and emphasised that organisations need to reflect their values surrounding inclusivity in the daily experiences of their employees. He stated that to achieve truly valuable leadership you need to have a group of disparate people who bring different ideas to the table.

Nick Gold, Managing Director at Speakers Corner, comments: “Monday’s Knowledge Guild was another triumph for Speakers Corner, The Brewery and all of our wonderful speakers. Diversity is such a prominent topic across the business spectrum so it was great to hear from three people who have three very different experiences and ideas around the issue. Diversity is a key driver of innovation, so it’s crucial that we all consider ways in which we can tap into the power a diverse workforce holds in today’s world”.

Masha Boh, Business Development Manager at The Brewery added, “The Knowledge Guild is always a hugely popular evening with event professionals and we were absolutely delighted with the positive feedback we received. This month’s topic is particularly close to our hearts as we, along with our partners at Speakers Corner, pride ourselves on our diverse team and the individuals that make us who we are. We’d like to thank everyone who joined and shared their stories and look forward to welcoming guests back for our next session very soon!”

At the end of all Knowledge Guild events, guests and speakers share stories during a Q&A session. Before and after the panel session, attendees networked in The Brewery’s Queen Charlotte room. Guests also enjoyed a drinks reception and a bowl food menu, designed by The Brewery’s in-house catering team. Dishes included triple fried chips with charred fillet of beef and béarnaise, Hawaiian tuna poke with siracha mayo and crispy shallots and crab doughnuts with lemon aioli. For dessert, guests were treated to chocolate and cream mille feuille and lemon meringue cornetto’s.

The Knowledge Guild is a partnership between The Brewery and Speakers Corner, offering a mixture of world-class speakers and exceptional individuals discussing pertinent topics in a panel discussion.

Grand opening of The Golden Palms Lounge & Casino this Christmas at The Brewery!

Attend the grand opening of The Golden Palms Lounge & Casino this Christmas and allow yourself to be transported back to the glory days of 1960s Las Vegas. Wander among the palm fronds, sip a cocktail at the bar, enjoy sumptuous food at the buffet, and head into the lounge to listen to the distinctive Rat Pack and all the other charming characters who’ll be joining you.

With the choice of three different packages, offering a variety of options to help tailor your event specifically for you, The Brewery want to make sure that your Christmas party is a night to remember. The Golden Palms Lounge & Casino is only open for a limited period during the month of December, so if you want to visit, you’ll have to book soon!

Depending on the number of guests you have, you can either hire the entire venue, or share the it with another party. Either way, you’ll experience the fantastic entertainers that will be weaving their way through the crowds, all surrounded by the gorgeous Golden Palms venue design.

Keep an eye out for wandering magicians, the stunning chandelier contortionist, the mysterious fortune teller, and our Host – the owner of our casino, ready with a yarn about the last down and out gambler, and always looking for the next rising star.

Choose from a standing buffet or a three-course meal for your guests. Highlights from the menus include lobster mac and cheese, pumpkin panna cotta, the traditional stuffed turkey, sticky fig pudding, pecan pie and much more to tickle your tastebuds, courtesy of The Brewery’s fantastic chefs.

All this can be enjoyed from the best seats in the house, beneath the stunning crystal chandeliers and surrounded by the hubbub of the Las Vegas strip, all the while still in the heart of London.

If you’re looking to celebrate Christmas in style, we still have some limited availability for this year’s Golden Palms Lounge & Casino Christmas party. While we have almost sold out our main Porter Tun space, we do still have some spaces for smaller parties in December – there are no Thursdays or Fridays left though. Simply make an enquiry to find out more.

If you’re not able to book with us this year, since availability is ongoing, make sure to not miss out next year by booking your 2019 Christmas party now. Next year’s theme will be announced this December.

How to create a VIP experience at your event

A VIP Event at The Brewery

Giving your attendees extra special treatment at your events can help them feel valued and engaged, and can add extra wow-factor to your conference, retreat or other corporate event. Attendees will appreciate the extra touches and will be more likely to go away from your event both inspired and impressed.

Read on for some of the best ways to create a VIP experience for your guests.

Choose the right venue

The right venue choice can make all the difference when you’re trying to create a VIP atmosphere. You’ll want to focus on choosing a venue that looks stylish and leaves a lasting memory, as well as one that can host your event to the highest standard.

Think about the atmosphere you want to create. You won’t necessarily want to choose an outside venue, fully ensconced in natural surroundings, if you need high audio-visual components for your event. Similarly, you wouldn’t want to choose a venue that focuses on the technological presentation aspects for an event which is much more interactive.

Your attendees will also shape your choice of venue – take into account their demographics and interests, as well as the purpose of the event and the impact you want to make on them.

If you’re looking for an event venue which marries stylish sophistication, high-tech audio-visual functions, and a historic background, why not consider The Brewery? With a number of different sized rooms and a highly skilled Events Team, we can tailor each space to give that proper VIP experience for your delegates.

Prepare your agenda with care

While your VIPs will be expecting to hear engaging talks and keynote sessions from some fantastic speakers, you’ll need to make sure that your agenda is well tailored so that they can also experience the other special elements your event includes.

Make sure to balance talks with more interactive aspects and activity to keep your attendees fully engaged and focused. Breakout sessions will allow them to interact and network with other VIP attendees – if your event isn’t solely a VIP event, you can also create a special VIP area for your important guests to mingle away from the rest of your attendees.

Make sure to include content in the agenda which will specifically appeal to your VIPs, whether that’s discussing leadership techniques, their industry, or aspects of your own products and services that could directly appeal to them.

Quality not quantity

If you’re creating a gift bag or handout for your VIP guests to take home with them from the event, make sure the items you choose are appropriate to them and also high-quality. There’s nothing more impersonal than receiving low quality gifts with no use that are just going to get thrown away after the event.

You should make sure to consider the backgrounds and industries of your VIPs, while also making sure that the items are also connected to the event you’re holding. For example, a leather diary with a personalised message inside and a high-quality pen may be a better gift for a VIP attendee over a plastic stress ball and a branded paper notepad.

Make it personal

When creating an event purely for VIPs, make sure that you don’t invite too many people. The allure of being a VIP loses its shine quickly when a supposedly exclusive event is both crowded and impersonal.

Make sure to choose your invitees carefully – select the ones that you think will get most use out of the event and will help you achieve your event objectives. This will also enable each VIP to experience more of an opportunity for both input into the activities and talks during the day and engagement with other VIPs and the speakers, should you have any.

If your VIPs are included in part of a larger event with other attendees, creating spaces for the VIPs to use that are separate from the main conference area is a great way to reinforce the personal touches that you’ll be offering them. These spaces can provide vital areas to network and also get involved with other talks that could be exclusive to them.

With regards to providing food, another way to make your event personal for your VIPs is to offer them a bespoke menu. Especially if your event is being attended by other non-VIP guests, having a different menu to the general population of the event will add a level of exclusivity to your VIP treatment. At The Brewery, our world-class chefs can work with you to create a menu that is both personalise and delicious. Find out more here.

 

We pride ourselves on offering a unique venue for your VIP event at The Brewery. With our beautifully elegant spaces, inspired and moulded around the venue’s historical origins, and the attention to detail from our Events Team, your VIPs would certainly have an exclusive and luxurious experience. Contact us to start planning your VIP experience.

Five ways to get great feedback at your next event

Are you looking for a new and interesting way to gain great feedback from your attendees at your event that doesn’t rely on people filling in the traditional post-event survey? Want to know what your attendees liked and disliked about your event in real-time?

Read on and discover some different and unique ways that not only assist you in gaining great material to help you improve your events for the future, but are also fun and engaging for your attendees.

Social media

Social media plays a huge part in customer feedback nowadays with many people voicing their praise, and sometimes complaints, on their favourite platform. Giving your event a hashtag can help you link their conversations to your brand and event. Providing polls on Twitter can also invite people’s responses.

Why not also add photos and videos of your key speakers to any posts you publish asking for feedback? That way, your attendees can recognise faces instead of having to rely on remembering names. Posting videos of your speakers can also share your event’s presentations with a wider audience, giving you more opportunities for feedback.

Interaction

If you’d like to go interactive, position stations with feedback buttons that attendees can click to answer a question. You could locate these at the exit of the event, or near specific areas that you’d like feedback about.

For an event that focuses on technology, why not ask for feedback in the form of user testing? Attendees can try out specific products or brands and provide their thoughts through a questionnaire or an interview about their experience. You could also use this as a way to sign up beta testers for the future.

Apps

Including feedback options in an event app can be a great way to ask people questions about their day while they’re still engaged and interacting. Some event apps can now be set up with tracking devices – as seen at some of last summer’s festivals – which can show where your attendees are spending their time and when they move on to look at something else. You can use the apps to help your attendees plan their days; giving them a calendar or itinerary that they can use to create their own event plan is a great way to see which elements of your events are the most popular.

Make sure that any app you create works on both Android and iPhones, as well as other providers, so that you don’t limit or exclude any attendees. Publicise the app at the beginning of the event, so that people are aware of it, and remind people to use them to plan their day.

Feedback walls

Feature walls are becoming more popular at events simply as a way to cultivate photo opportunities for Instagram and other social medias, but you can also use them for another purpose. At the end of an event, when your attendees are beginning to leave, you can hand out post-it notes and ask people to write a piece of feedback and stick it on the wall.

At the end of the event, once everyone has left, you can then collect all the notes and review the feedback you’ve received. Since this is quite a relaxed way to collect feedback, it may not be quite as detailed as some of the other methods, but it is more likely to receive a large number of responses.

Cupcakes

This one probably shouldn’t be taken too seriously but, if you’re feeling creative, why not base your feedback around edible goodies?

Before your event, bake enough cupcakes for your attendees and decorate them with smiley, straight, and sad faces. At a break in your day’s event, offer cupcakes to your attendees and ask them to take the expression that they believe expresses their opinion about the day so far. You can do the same thing at other breaks during the day with different food or sweets and simply count up how many of each are left.

 

If you’re looking to hold an event in the future, why not consider The Brewery as your venue of choice? With a number of designated event rooms in varying sizes, an Event Design team, and a host of professional chefs, we’d love to help you create an event that your attendees will love. Simply contact us to find out more and we can help make your ideas a reality.

Current exhibitions in London

No Man's Sky screenshot from Design/Play/Distupt Exhibition at the V&A MuseumNo Man’s Sky © Hello Games. Courtesy V&A Museum.

London is a hotbed of cultural and creative talent, not least in terms of its fantastic and quirky exhibitions. This year, there have been some world-class exhibitions held in London, and there are still many more on the way.

Read on to find out some of the best upcoming exhibitions in London.

Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt, The V&A Museum

This uniquely insightful exhibition at the V&A has been heralded as “a force for change” by The Guardian, due to its exploration into the design process of some of the most well-known and ground-breaking contemporary video games.

It is fragmented in its approach – “design work, including concept art and prototypes, feature alongside large-scale immersive installations and interactive features”. The exhibition claims to want to allow people of all ages to explore the design and culture of videogames, and to promote their status as a legitimate artform.

The Squash by Anthea Hamilton, Tate Britain

Have you ever wanted to see a solo performer in a squash-like costume explore the Duveen Galleries at the Tate Britain in a quirky performance art piece?

Until the 8th October 2018, this is exactly what you can do. Anthea Hamilton, inspired by a photograph of Erick Hawkins in 1960, dressed as the Squash Kachina from the Hopi culture from Native America, created this exhibition to explore the complexity of the ways in which we read and respond to images.

THE MOVING MOMENT WHEN I WENT TO THE UNIVERSE by Yayoi Kusama, at Victoria Miro

Yayoi Kusama is well known for her unique and diverse body of work, much of which includes the themes of cosmic infinity and personal obsession. Her creation of infinity rooms is a way for her to explore these themes and, THE MOVING MOMENT WHEN I WENT TO THE UNIVERSE is no different.

You can explore a large-scale Infinity Mirror Room, which will “envelop visitors inside a large mirrored room with paper lanterns covered with polka dot patterns, which are suspended from the ceiling.” This develops her signature Infinity Mirror Room format, something she’s been working with since 1965, which aims to convey the illusion of being unmoored in endless space.

I object by Ian Hislop, The British Museum

Ian Hislop, most well known for Private Eye, has created an exhibition at The British Museum based on a range of intriguing objects from archives that explore the idea of dissent, subversion and satire. Whether that’s a graffiti-covered Babylonian brick or a Banksy art piece, all the items have a history and a story.

Accompanying a series on BBC Radio 4, this exhibition has been created to show that questioning authority, registering protest, and objecting, are an integral part of what makes us human. It has been heralded as “a rare delight” by The Times and is sure to be an interesting exhibition to explore.

Home Futures, The Design Museum

People have always been fascinated by ‘the home of the future’ and in this brand-new exhibition, coming to The Design Museum in November 2018, you can now actually see what people had imagined in years gone by. Are we living in the way that they expected?

You can discover over 200 objects and experiences in this exhibition and use them to trace the “key social and technological aspirations that have driven change in the home”. With interactive elements, you can explore and discover exactly how our ancestors thought we would be living right now.

The Future Starts Here, The V&A Museum

“This show is stimulating, inspiring, exciting and challenging” says the Times about the V&A’s exhibition exploring the possibilities for the near future. From smart appliances to satellites, and AI to internet culture, the V&A are bringing together more than 100 objects that could become a part of our future.

Will your home be run by AI? Can design stop climate change? Will trees transmit the internet? Find out the answers to all these questions, and more, in this highly interactive and engaging exhibition.

Sculpture in the City, London

This exhibition is not only open air, it’s also spread out across the city of London. There are 20 different pieces situated from Liverpool Street to Fenchurch Street Station and everywhere in between. This is the 8th edition of this exhibition and it features a fantastic selection of artists, from Tracey Emin and David Annesley, to Nancy Rubins and Do Ho Suh.

Whether you follow the trail all in one go, or stumble across pieces on your commute or journey to another destination, these sculptures are all eye-catching and stunningly juxtaposed against the hustle and bustle of daily London life.

If you’re looking for a unique and characterful space for your next exhibition, why not consider The Brewery? Our cavalcade of large, uninterrupted rooms are perfect for exhibitors and delegates, and our smaller rooms are perfect for seminars. With help from our Events Team, we can create the perfect personalised space for your exhibition. Find out more about how we can create the perfect backdrop for your exhibition here.

Cause a stir with these drinks at your event

Interesting looking drinks with ice

It can be easy to underestimate the power of eye-catching drinks at an event when so much of your attention is focused on the bigger picture. Time is taken up with event design, making sure the venue looks perfect, or the guest list, so it can be easy for the drinks to slip your mind.

However, we’re here to tell you to remember those drinks menus. You’d be surprised about how much of an impact these small, well-crafted details can make on your attendees, no matter what kind of event you’re holding.

Here are some of our ideas for how you can spice up your drinks list at your next event.

Tailor your drinks to your theme

If you’re holding an event which is centred around some kind of theme – such as a TV show or film, or a time of year like Christmas, Halloween or the summer – then you have the opportunity to apply that theme to your drinks.

Whether you choose to focus on flavouring, like peppermint and winter spices for Christmas, or the colours and presentation, such as dry ice and galaxy colours for a space theme, your drinks will both complement and add to the theme you’re having.

With a pop culture theme, such as a TV show or film, drawing on the main aspects or themes of it are the best way to focus on tailoring drinks. For example, if your event was fantasy themed – inspired by Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings – focusing on the main characters and creating cocktails based on their clothing or their roles in the franchise.

Give the glasses some character

If you decide not to fully customise your drinks menu in terms of the actual drinks being served, another way you can cause a stir at your event is by customising what the drinks will be served in. You can make a lot of difference to how your drinks are viewed when there is something a little unusual to focus on.

Using a receptacle like a mason jar can be a great way to create a vintage vibe and a more relaxed atmosphere to an event. This style could possibly work well for a relaxed wedding reception where you’re not looking for formality.

If you are including a theme for your event, as we mentioned above, you can go the extra step and theme your glasses too; tankards for a fantasy event or champagne glasses for an old-Hollywood or vintage theme. You could even simply customise the glasses themselves, instead of changing the shape – why not add eyelashes to glasses being used at a beauty event or bridal shower?

Get creative with the garnishes

Garnishes are the perfect way to add something extra, something a little special, to a drink on your menu for an event. You can go all out with stunning displays of cocktails presented in bell jars filled with smoke or lighting the top of drinks on fire. Or, you could stay subtler with some decorative foam art or include more alternative fruits in the drinks to show off some unusual shapes – for example, starfruit and dragon fruit are sure to create a discussion.

Other alternatives for garnishes could include flowers, although it is key to be careful about which you choose to use, since some flowers are edible and will not cause any harmful effects from being included with food and drink – like marigolds, daylilies, or primroses – but others can be highly toxic or poisonous. Find out all the flowers that are edible here.

Finally, why not draw inspiration from sweets and use items such as rock candy or Haribo to create some interesting garnishes in your sweet cocktails.

Play with colour

Colour, after smell, can be one of the most evocative of characteristics in drinks. Using certain colours for drinks can trick the drinker into expecting a certain flavour and using colours in the right situations can create some fantastic effects.

For example, if your event is going to be held at night, or stretch into the night, you could consider using glow in the dark ice cubes to add some excitement to your drinks once it gets dark. Similarly, should your event include some kind of UV light, why not add some neon colouring to your drinks so that they can glow under the lighting?

Include something unexpected

If you are really looking to make a statement at your event with your drinks, why not include something incredibly unexpected? If your venue doesn’t have a designated bar or if you’d have to pay extra to add bar services, why not consider spending your money on something a little different – a robot bartender!

These fantastic feats of engineering are made by company Makr Shakr and the perfect way to cause a stir. Attendees can create their own drinks from hundreds of options and can watch their cocktail being made by the robot bar-staff.

 

If you’re looking for some inspiration when it comes to choosing drinks for your event, and you’re looking for an event venue in London, we could lend a hand at The Brewery. We can help you match your drinks to your menu, whether you choose to focus on wine or foray into the world of spirits. Contact us today to find out more.

Tips for styling a beautiful wedding reception

While the most important part of your wedding day is the ceremony itself, the place where your guests will spend most of the day is often the reception.

If you’re struggling to pin down how you’d like your reception to look, and what the best way to style it is, we are here to help. While style is an incredibly subjective idea, and your style will differ from other couples, the tips we’re about to give you will help you recognise what you need to focus on to make sure your reception looks exactly how you’d like and fits with your wedding theme.

Research your venue

First things first, when considering how you’re going to style your reception, it’s a good idea to research the venue you have chosen beyond what it looks like on a daily basis. Make sure to find as much imagery from the venue as possible, especially any images of previous weddings that they have hosted.

This will show you what has worked well in the past for the venue, and what aspects of previous wedding styles may appeal to your own personal style. You’ll be able to see the styles of their tables and chairs, how many tables can fit in the space, the tablecloths they used, and details about the table arrangements.

Beautifully presented wedding reception venue

Consider how you can work with the room’s décor

You’ll have chosen your venue because it suits you, is in a style that you like and believe will complement the style and aesthetic of your reception. Although, if there is anything about the venue that you don’t quite like, such as the carpet, or the wallpaper, you can style your event to draw attention away from those aspects instead of considering it a deal breaker.

For the carpet, focus on oversized arrangements to draw the eyes up and decorate high ceilings. For the wallpaper, make sure the style draws on bolder colours and more eye-catching details, such as quirky table centrepieces or display boards that cover the walls. Find out what would work well by taking photos and overlaying your details in a mood board before making any decisions.

Find out what the venue can provide

Many venues who host weddings and other events will often have their own events company that provides their tableware and chair covers. Find out what they provide and whether it will work for you. Many venues will have tablecloths of some kind, but it depends whether they’ll complement the style you’re going for.

Floor length tablecloths will hide exposed table legs and make sure that attention is focused on the pretty table top details and the floral centrepieces, as well as the other decorations around the room. Alternatively, if it suits your venue and style, you could opt for exposed tables.

Don’t forget the lighting

Whether you’re having a day event or one that stretches into the evening, you’ll want to make sure that the lighting at your venue complements the rest of the aspects of your reception. Make sure you visit your venue at the time of year and time of day that your reception will be held so that you can see what kind of light you’ll be working with. For a dimmer room, you’ll want to use stronger colours or metallics, whereas for a light room you can stick with blush and pale tones.

For a venue that doesn’t get much natural light, make sure that the lighting systems in place are complementary to the style you’re aiming for. At The Brewery, our rooms don’t rely on natural light to illuminate spaces. Our LED systems are tailored to enhance the mood of your event or fit a specific colour scheme so that you don’t need to worry about a dim room or bad lighting on your big day.

Incredible wedding venue lighting

Think outside the box

Creating an impact is a great way to make sure that your guests are talking about your stunning reception weeks after the event. Think outside the box when it comes to table centrepieces and key items: you could use almost anything as a vase – teapots, jars, bottles etc. – or could go in a completely different direction, eschew the vase of flowers and display your arrangements in birdcages or on top of a pile of books, or even nestled in hampers and boxes.

If you don’t want to use the provided, most likely neutral-coloured, tableware then you can really make a statement with a different coloured tablecloth or napkins. In the same way, instead of using plain glassware, coloured glassware can really stand out and draw the eye.

Remember some stylistic rules

When styling your wedding reception, there are a couple of rules of thumb that you should probably remember. Firstly, when arranging items, they often look best grouped in odd numbers like threes or fives. The reason for this is that it both echoes symmetry and also allows for them to be positioned with a central point. With tall items, position the tallest one in the middle and gradually decline the height as you move away from the centre.

Also, if you want to introduce a hint of a colour but don’t want it to be too overpowering, try including it in a few of the flowers in the table arrangements, or in the colour of the napkins. That way you can play around with how it is positioned to keep it subtle yet visible.

 

If you’re considering holding your wedding reception at The Brewery, and need some help with styling your event, our Event Design team would be more than happy to help! They understand the unique dimensions of our spaces better than anyone and can help to make sure your wedding reception is as beautiful as it can be.

How to make your event health-conscious

More people are focusing on their health and wellness than ever before. People want to move more and eat smarter, and to incorporate a healthy lifestyle into every aspect of their day.

These days, attendees at events expect organisers to provide them with improved options so that they can maintain their healthy lifestyle and habits. Therefore, events organisers need to adapt in order to offer health-conscious elements capable of keeping their guests on the straight and narrow.  Here are some of our favourite ways you can do that:

Choose the right venue

While this idea may initially suggest that you need to choose a venue with a gym or a multitude of health-based classes, it’s not essential. If your event is primarily focused on health and wellbeing, it may be better to choose a venue with these facilities so that they can accommodate all the activities or classes you wish to offer to your attendees.

However, if you’re just looking to include a couple of health-conscious activities or offer nutritious and healthy meals at your event, simply look for a venue that includes the amount of space you need or the right catering.

Create an active agenda

For modern and health-conscious lifestyles, staying still for an entire day can be difficult. If you’re holding an event for an active group of people, including some activity is a great way to maintain focus while also making the event fun.

If your event stretches over a couple of days, why not take some time out to explore your surroundings. If your event is situated in London, why not hire a bunch of “Boris Bikes” and take your attendees out to explore the city? Sightseeing is a fantastic way to both add some activity to your day and break up the event into manageable chunks.

If you want to add more activity to your event without heading outside, why not make things competitive? Set up a few exercise bikes and challenge your attendees to participate in teams, with a goal set up – whether that’s the fastest time they can set, the ability to power something, or even to make smoothies. Or why not go even further and set up an aerobics or dance class to get everyone moving.

Include healthy menu choices

Whether you’re planning on having your event fully catered or are simply going to provide food freebies for your attendees, keeping any food options healthy and nutritious is essential for a health-conscious event.

If you opt for a catered event, the first thing to realise is that health-conscious food doesn’t have to be limited to salads. Using locally sourced and nutritious ingredients can allow you to plan a menu that is far from dull. Beyond that, you can identify the nutritional benefits and details about the dishes being served so that your attendees can make informed choices.

If you aren’t planning on catering an event, offering snacks and drinks for your attendees can still be health-conscious and nutritious. Maybe include a fruit stand to help stave off any sugar cravings or give away protein balls or bars to keep people going through the day. However, if you’re buying products to give away instead of making them, always check the ingredients of the snacks. Avoid ones that include any additives and make sure to take into account any eating plans, allergies or intolerances.

You could even get in contact with health-focused food brands to offer a collaboration or sponsorship opportunity. Your event will be able to offer them brand exposure, and their contribution can help support your health-conscious agenda.

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If you’re looking for an event venue that can cater to your health-conscious event, look no further.  At The Brewery, we offer six different function rooms with capacities ranging from 75 to 1000 guests, and we are proud to provide the services of our award-winning chefs to help make your health-conscious culinary ideas into a reality. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help.