As an event planner who organises conferences or training programmes, you may also be asked to find time to book a round table or board dinner.
Some clients do not always realise this is something ExecSpace can help with too! Booking a private room or a restaurant is often trickier that you may think – not everything may be right for your event, so we’ve put together some top tips for roundtable dinners in London to get you started.
1. Who is on the guest list?
The capital is full of both historical and modern architecture, skyline views and incredible culture. With nearly 1,500 venues including large conference spaces, hotel conference suites and rooftop bars and restaurants, it is guaranteed the perfect venue will be available to meet your event needs. However, it is important to consider what type of venue would be suitable for your attendees.
What impression you are trying to make, how the venue will reflect the culture of the company and what influence some potentially very important people? Think about who you are marketing your roundtable for – are you looking to cater for board-level members, investors and partners, or a mixture of employees throughout the organisation?
Make sure the venue you choose reflects the people you are inviting.
2. Technology is great when it works.
Roundtable or board meeting dinners are not always just about the food.
They often have presentations and speakers, so it is important to consider what technology you will need to make this as professional as possible, and whether the venue can accommodate this with up-to-date facilities.
A beautiful restaurant may have a menu to die for, but does it have the technology too? You can sometimes get around this by bringing your own equipment, but you will need to check this with the venue.
3. Location, location, location.
London’s extensive transport links make many places possible when considering the location of an event, with airports, main rail and bus networks from multiple stations across the city. However, the location is not always where it is, but what kudos it brings with it! How far are you asking attendees to travel, is the event connected to another conference and therefore how far is it, do you want to take them a little further to get that ‘WOW’ reaction?
When researching the perfect location for your event, consider not just the venue, but how easy it is to find too. Look at the nearest available tube stations, public transport links and parking facilities and don’t forget to check tube timetables for scheduled closures and repairs nearer the time.
4. Rest easy.
It is likely attendees, unless they live within a short distance away from the venue, may wish to stay overnight following the roundtable. It may be possible to host your roundtable in a hotel restaurant or private dining room so they can book a room at the same location.
If your venue doesn’t have rooms for an overnight stay, research the nearest available and reasonably priced hotels and provide a list.
5. A recipe for success.
Food is a big part of a roundtable event, so it is important to think about the type of menu you wish to serve on the day.
Would you like the menu to be representative of the theme of the meeting or evening? Does your organisation, or the organisations you are inviting have a sustainability agenda?
You may want to choose venues whose chefs’ source locally grown produce to cut down on food miles and reduce wastage. It hopefully goes without saying that you’ll also need to consider multiple attendees’ dietary requirements.
We often help event organisers source a private room, restaurant or something a bit different for their roundtable or board dinner. It does depend on what you are looking for, but some of our favourites are:
Swan at the Globe
Swan at the Globe is located on Bankside, London, and is linked to Shakespeare’s Globe, with views of St Paul’s across the Thames. It has a beautiful dining room and serves a seasonal a la carte menu and a well-curated wine list.
14 the Hills
14 the Hills is located in Fen Court on Fenchurch St. It is a 14th floor colonial-style ‘jungle,’ (with the interior filled with plants) that provides modern British dining a la carte and weekend brunch menus, with spectacular city views.
The Ned has six Grade I-listed meeting rooms and two outdoor terraces available to hire on their historic and fully-restored sixth floor. It also has six restaurants in their historic 3,000 square metre former banking hall and lower ground floor, which serves food from around the world.
The French Salon at Claridges
The French Salon has original features including beautiful art deco ironwork tassels by Basil Ionides, winged Renaissance-style cherubs over the doors, and a striking mural of a dancing couple that was uncovered when the room was last refurbished in preparation for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. A very beautiful space.