top of page
  • Writer's pictureThe Intrepid Collective


Updated: Jul 29, 2020

The UK events industry was valued at £70 billion earlier this year, with 700,000 people employed in this sector and over 10,000 venues operating within the UK. The impact of COVID-19, and the subsequent lockdown for the industry has been wide ranging and in some cases devastating.

Now, however, there is cause to celebrate as we prepare for the return of small scale live events at the beginning of August and larger scale events from October. We have heard some brilliant stories of collaboration, innovation and ‘pivot’ over the last few months. With that in mind we recently spoke to 3 London venues to find out what they have been up to in lockdown and what steps they’re taking to get back up and running!

The Halley faced a unique challenge at the beginning of this year. With an opening date set for April 2020, plans had to pause and pivot. The members, events and café space, run by AEI group, created an online event series ‘opportunity in a crisis’ aimed at inspiring and encouraging entrepreneurs during these hard times.

Looking forward, Ellie Bryant, General Manager at The Halley, explained that although they are hitting pause on the live event series when they open in September, they will be looking to deliver a virtual programme to their members. Throughout August, they are implementing an ‘open-house’ initiative, providing the opportunity to trial the venue as people move cautiously back into large scale meetings.

For the past few years, we have seen a digital offering become a strong part of any event strategy. In recent months, the leaps taken in this area have been extraordinary, with many viewing a virtual event alternative now as a necessity. Tobacco Dock have looked to create the ultimate hybrid event experience, adapting two of their most popular spaces into event studios. Each will be decked out with the technology to deliver broadcast worthy hybrid experiences, allowing events to be scaled, reaching a larger more varied audience, increased accessibility and flexibility.

Head of Event Operations, Daniel Smith, explained that the newly implemented measures also provide an opportunity to create a ‘luxe’ experience for all in person attendees, offering luxury seating, private entrances for events and special service menus. The aim is to provide both in person and virtual attendees with a bespoke, VIP experience.

Be prepared. That’s the advice from {10-11} Carlton House Terrace. They have been prepping for industry opening up since May. They have already received the Visit Britain and Meetings Industry Association AIM Secure safe venue accreditations, which ensure the venue completes a comprehensive risk assessment, taking into account all government guidance. ‘As an industry we are well versed in creating risk assessments and taking enquiries on a case by case basis to ensure the safety of all attendees,’ says Catherine Owen, Head of Venue Sales & Marketing. ‘Whilst guidance hasn’t always been clear, we are well equipped, confident and excited to get back to business.’

However, Catherine is optimistic about where we’re going and what this has done for the industry in the long term. ‘It has brought out the best in the events industry, people sharing information, coming together to work to get us out of this more quickly and safely’.

We can’t wait for events to make their comeback. Safely, thoughtfully and carefully….let’s GO!

Contact us at for advice or support with your event.

If you work in the events industry and would be interested in contributing to our features, please contact the team.

116 views0 comments


bottom of page