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    BMA House Case Study – Birkbeck University


    A long-term relationship built through trust and professionalism

    Brief

    Birkbeck, London’s only evening university with in-person teaching need extra space to deliver modular training as close as possible to their main campus every night from Monday to Thursday.

    The chosen venues needed to reflect Birkbeck’s own brand and high standards to ensure positive student feedback and ongoing course uptake.

     

    Solution

    Over the last eight years Birkbeck has used around a dozen different venues within walking distance of the main campus.  However, BMA House has continually sat at the heart of the external sites with regular use of 8-10 rooms a night, Monday to Thursday for 22 weeks a year.

    In particular, the Birkbeck team value BMA House’s high standards of customer service, reliability and professionalism.  As a purpose-built conference centre with dedicated and trained staff the Birkbeck team also appreciate the ability of the BMA House team to manage the access and attendance of 200 plus students each evening.  AV support is also always on hand with a technician available on-site to support the technical needs of the lecturers.

     

    When the pandemic decreased Birkbeck’s need for external space, BMA House continued to be one of the two external venues still used because it was the most popular amongst students, had the lowest rate of complaints and was the most reliable.  In particular BMA House has developed a reputation for fantastic customer service within the student body – notably because of the venue’s decision to significantly increase the number of staff on-site at the start of each new term.  Working as human-signs, these individuals assist new students as they navigate an unknown building, ensuring their experience is positive from the outset.

    Over time the relationship has grown to beyond the need for just teaching space to include open plan staff working spaces as well as occasional larger one-off events.

    Feedback

    “Ultimately, the Birkbeck team continue to feel that BMA House is the better choice, with a better level and care.  As the home of learning for the medical profession it has a rich history of education, which reflects Birkbeck’s own needs and creates a positive association.”  Anna Phillips, Deputy Director of Estates Resources, Birkbeck University.

     

    How to Make Your Wedding More Sustainable: Eco Advice from the Experts


    💍 Thrilled to be asked to contribute as an industry expert to this article with Hitched – click the link to find out ‘How to Make Your Wedding More Sustainable‘ – we promise it’s not as tricky or expensive as it sounds 💐

    Contact our caring wedding planners who’ll help you every step of the way when planning your sustainable wedding.

    Email: [email protected]

    Case Study – The perfect fit for the launch of EIN’s Sustainable Event Buyers Guide


    Vital Stats

    • Event Name: EIN Sustainable Event Buyers Guide Launch and Briefing
    • Client: Event Industry News
    • Event Style: In person, panel debate and networking
    • Attendees: 55

    Client Brief

    Event Industry News (EIN) wanted to launch the third edition of their Sustainable Event Buyers Guide to a room full of industry influencers and experts.  Specifically, organisers, brands and agencies demonstrably committed to dialling down their event’s pollutants.  With more than 10,000 downloads of the previous edition, the latest Guide was expected to be highly popular across the industry, so EIN needed to ensure that the launch reflected the content of the publication.

    Solution

    BMA House was chosen by EIN as an ideal location for the launch due to our ongoing efforts to increase the venue’s sustainable credentials.  With a number of sustainable award wins to our name, measurable sustainability improvements and a place amongst the EIN’s top ten sustainable venues we were the ideal choice.

    To ensure the launch added real value for the attendees, EIN decided to include a panel debate led by experts in the field of sustainable events.  Led by moderator Alistair Turner (Eight PR), the panellists included: Cassidy Knowles (Chorus Agency), Felicia Asiedu (Cvent), Toni Griggs (isla), Victoria Lewis (BMA House) and Maya Mhatre (Reset Connect).  The debate focused on the need for all to be more proactive in their event sustainability, whilst acknowledging there are many options for positive change – no matter how large or small the budget.

    Sustainability was incorporated into the event from the very beginning, with all pre-event comms being digital.  This even included pre-event client meetings, which took place via Zoom rather than require the client to travel to London from Leeds and incur either financial or environmental costs.

    To support the sustainable nature of the event BMA House worked with our catering partners, CH&CO. to provide a PLANT BASED breakfast that included:

    • Date and coconut rawnola, burst blueberries, soya yoghurt
    • Crushed pea, mint and chilli on toast, with roasted tomato
    • Plant based cream cheese bagel, nori marinated carrots, watercress, capers
    • Super green smoothie shots
    • Water (filtered and bottled on-site)
    • Fair Trade Tea & Coffee

    The event made use of the Paget and Snow rooms, whilst site inspections were offered throughout, giving the attendees a chance to see the rest of the venue whilst gaining a wider understanding of our sustainable credentials (more of which can be found here – https://bmahouse.org.uk/sustainability/)

    Audio Visual equipment used during the event also supported the sustainable nature of the launch, with plasma screens used to replace pop-up stands and banners throughout.  The use of QR codes on screens also removed the need for paper as attendees were able to directly download the Guide and other content.

    Even the delegate journey included sustainable elements as all attendees were encouraged to use public transport, including making use of BMA House’s Clean Air Walking Route, which took them on a picturesque stroll away from the busy Euston Road, whilst breathing 57% less air pollution.

    The whole event is showcased via a video created by AMMP Media: https://vimeo.com/704449867/f1aa586f0a

    Feedback

    Alison Jenkins Founder and CEO of meetingsclub provided the following feedback from the event:

    “I just wanted to say a big thank you to the fantastic panel at the Event Industry News Sustainable Breakfast Guide briefing at BMA House this week.  The whole piece around sustainability for meetings & events can mean many things to many people. It can be seen to be hugely confusing, complicated and expensive. The panel were able to bring their experience and knowledge to the room to help everyone understand more about this important and growing need and how it doesn’t need to be confusing, complicated and expensive. You just need to start and don’t be afraid to talk about even the small steps you are taking, they all count.”

    “It was a great informative morning at a venue which has sustainability right at the top of their list and have been driving this for some time and not forgetting the absolutely delicious food from CH&CO.  Thank you to everyone involved.”

    A verified meetingsclub reviewer also said: “I’ve worked with the venue on many projects in the past but this was the first time hosting an event.  All the staff from the minute go were clear, professional and organised from time/dates being accurate to paperwork on time and again clear.  Rebecca was amazing as always and I look forward to hosting further events in the future.  The in-house caterers were brilliant, the food was exceptional, highly recommended.”

    Case Study – London & Partners: Tourism Means Business


    Vital Stats

    • Event Name: Tourism Means Business conference 2022
    • Client: London & Partners
    • Event Style: In person, VIP lunch, conference, breakout sessions and press briefing
    • Attendees: 150, including Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London and press

    London & Partners wanted to use their Tourism Means Business conference to announce several major new initiatives, including substantial forward-looking investment into tourism.  The presence of Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London and Laura Citron, Chief Executive of London & Partners was expected to create substantial press interest, which would therefore require press briefing facilities.  The event started with a VIP lunch and concluded with a drinks reception both of which required a sustainable menu that would minimise food waste – there was no requirement for a plant-based menu, instead a desire to demonstrate how sustainable options are available beyond vegan products.

    Solution

    BMA House is a long standing member of London & Partners and is well known as one of the most sustainable in their portfolio.  These were key factors in the reason we were chosen for the event, as was our ongoing commitment to sustainability and the close working partnership we have with our catering partner, CH&CO.  We demonstrated this in 2020 when we signed up to the Mayor’s 3 Commitments for Hospitality and Sustainability via London & Partners. This aims for a zero carbon London by 2050, zero waste commitment and best practice guidance for individuals. Along with this commitment, BMA House itself is aiming for net zero within 10 years.

    The event made use of:

    • The Prince’s room for a VIP lunch
    • The Great Hall for the main conference
    • The Snow and Paget rooms for arrival refreshments and afternoon canapes
    • The Paget room for press interviews
    • The Courtyard for part of the afternoon and evening drinks reception

    To ensure the catering was sustainable, CH&CO. continued with the many sustainable practices they already undertake, many of which are listed below.  However, in addition they worked with Waste Knot, a social enterprise working to ensure all produce makes it to market rather than being wasted due to imperfections or surpluses.

    Menu for the VIP lunch:

    Main Course

    Chalk stream trout, spring greens, new season potatoes, herb oil, carrot powder, buttermilk sauce

    • Spring Greens from Waste Knot, Carrot powder using peelings from bowl food prep, potatoes from Waste Knot, herb oil using all herb trimmings and stalks and blended with British rapeseed oil

    or

    King cabbage, miso glaze, butternut puree, toasted seeds, shizo leaf (VE)

    • King cabbage from Waste Knot, toasting the seeds from the butternut squash to minimise wastage

    Dessert

    Set oat cream, vanilla poached rhubarb, ginger and spelt crumble, torched meringues (VE).  Served with tea, coffee and water/ Rhubarb Fizz (soft drink)

    • Meringues made from chick pea water, seasonal rhubarb used in dessert and all trimmings will be used to make rhubarb chutney for evening canapes, and the poaching syrup used to make a rhubarb fizz for the refreshing drink

    Canapes served in the afternoon included:

    Cauliflower and beetroot bhaji, spiced rhubarb puree and coriander salt (VE)

    • Beetroot from Waste Knot, using all the cauliflower trimmings from lunch menu, utilising the seasonal rhubarb across the whole of our menu to reduce wastage and drying coriander leaves and stalks that may be past their best and Knot normally used – then blending with salt to produce a fantastic seasoning

    Potato and celeriac tart, Montgomery cheddar, green herb sauce (V)

    • Using Waste Knot products across our menu to reduce wastage, also using the bruised pieces of the amazing Montgomery cheddar that are Knot normally sold for retail based solely on appearance when they taste delicious

    Gressingham duck, spring onion, Essex cucumber, Rhubarb puree

    • Gressingham ducks are an amazing British product, we confit the legs and use the bones to make a reduced duck sauce showcasing how we minimise wastage and use every part of the duck, the rhubarb puree comes from the rhubarb that is featured throughout our menu again to minimise wastage and energy use

    Miso fudge brownie, candied butternut seeds (V)

    • The candied butternut seeds are usually a bi product from menus but we ensure every part of the vegetable is used

    In addition to the catering choices at the event – some of BMA House’s ongoing waste reduction practices, which were appreciated by London & Partners, include:

    • Food waste is collected by Paper Round for energy production
    • Staff lunches use leftover or repurposed food
    • Soups are made using leftovers and food that might normally be thrown
    • We have used food bank collection for tinned and packaged food that has or is about to go out of date
    • Reuse food where we can eg soups, wasted bread and pastry products to make bread and butter pudding
    • Chutney made from peelings and waste fruit
    • Any leftover cakes are taken to many of the teams within BMA House as a treat – great for morale!
    • We ask for final numbers to be confirmed before the event so that we can make adjustments to production – reducing wastage

    Feedback

    “On behalf of the entire London & Partners team, may I take this opportunity to thank you for your hospitality and hosting of our event yesterday.  Your exceptional attention to detail and patience with our requests and requirements were most gratefully noted and received.  As stated verbally yesterday, it was the first time which I had worked with BMA House and it was seamless.  All the staff were attentive and responsive to any query and under Hannah’s direction the event results speak for themselves.” Donna Abberley, Corporate Events Manager for London & Partners

    During the event, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan discussed his goals for London’s tourism industry, adding: “While it is promising to see more and more people visiting the heart of London, I know that it has been, and continues to be, a difficult time for the tourism sector in the capital, which is used to welcoming people from all over the world.

    “I’m committed to doing everything I can to get London back on its feet after the pandemic, and I will continue to work alongside London’s businesses and tourism industry to encourage visitors back to our city. Now that restrictions for travellers coming to the UK have lifted, London is fully open once more, and our new £10m international tourism campaign will help to ensure we retake our place as one of the most visited cities in the world.”

    We took home a silver trophy at the COOL Event Awards!


    🏆 A Silver Award in the COOlest Sustainable Venue category 🏆
    Delighted with our recent award win at the COOL Event Awards! As always, this is a joint effort from our hardworking teams at BMA House including Estates, Porters, our catering partners, Company of Cooks, and Events.

    Here are all the winners and more about the Awards.

    To find out more about our sustainability achievements, click here: https://lnkd.in/eg6Cu7sv

    Prestige Events Magazine

    ‘Perspectives of a venue account manager’ – hear from our professional colleague, Hannah Robinson


    We love sharing news when our amazing team are asked to be interviewed for their expertise in the events industry, and here our very own Business Development Event Manager, Hannah Robinson tells us about her experience of dealing with clients from the enquiry stage through to contract.

    Read her interview with Locus-Point here.

       

    Contact our caring event planners on [email protected] for more information on our sustainable London venue or call 020 7874 7020

    Summer Party Guide: Tips for a More Earth-Friendly Celebration


    The sun is starting to appear more often, blossom is appearing on the trees and spring flowers are poking their way through the dark winter soil. It is impossible not to feel a little more upbeat when there is so much fresh growth around us.  The feeling of “potential” within nature’s bounty is incredibly powerful and that feeling generates thoughts of long summer’s evenings, outdoor celebrations and parties.

    Summer parties are of course not limited to just a few friends but also offer a wealth of opportunities to gather with a much wider range of acquaintances, colleagues, clients and more.  They are a chance to revel in the warmth of a setting sun, whilst enjoying fantastic food and drink, great company and here at BMA House the unique, undefinable feeling that nothing beats a British summer’s evening.  In fact, you might even describe it as “paradise.”

       

    Such an event sounds idyllic, what better way to spend a summer’s evening?  However, such events come at a cost both financially and environmentally.  With regards to the costs there are a wealth of tips organisers can follow to make the figures work.  However, the single biggest tip we can offer is to think in terms of value rather than cost.  Focus spend on the areas that really matter such as venue choice, catering and theming – those are the elements attendees will truly remember – particularly if you think in terms of quality rather than quantity.

    However, it is vital that we consider wider costs that might not initially or directly impact us in the short term – but could impact us all for many years to come.  Events by their very nature can have an impact on the environment and we therefore need to make allowances and adjustments wherever possible to minimise this.

       

    Here at BMA House environmental savings start with the simple choice to use our wonderful outdoor spaces for summer parties.  Whether it’s our Courtyard, with its magnificent fountain for up to 320 or the Garden with its hidden nooks capable of hosting 90, either of our external spaces free up the need for the additional lighting and electricity that accompanies indoor spaces.  However, at BMA House we go a lot further than thinking about just the electricity bill when it comes to sustainability, and we believe you should too.  So, what else can you consider when organising your sustainable summer party?

    • Start with travel – how will you and your guests get to the party? Few things are more pleasurable on a summer’s evening than a leisurely stroll, so consider proximity for your guests when selecting a venue.  A venue with a clean air walking route should also be a strong contender due to the higher air temperatures in summer – which can increase pollution and smog in traffic dense areas.

     

    • Public transport options should be considered – ranging from the tube and buses to include some of the more unusual options such as the scooters and bikes that are hireable in many cities. In fact, with good light remember cycling could be a great option that might not be considered at other times of the year.  Transport to and from an event is one of the single biggest environmental factors every organiser should consider and needs to be factored in from the start.

     

    • Attendee numbers are vital – so get them right. Food waste offers one of the biggest opportunities to get event sustainability right but can also be an area for huge mistakes.  Ensuring accurate catering numbers and sensible portion sizes are the perfect place to start.  Consider your minimum numbers, keep a close watch on registrations and communicate with the venue as things change.  A good venue will know how much food to cook and deliver for any given number of attendees – but only if they have accurate information.

     

    • Food choices are also a great way to minimise waste. People attending a stand-up party in hot summer weather will eat differently to the same group sitting down for a three course Christmas party.  Again, the venue will know and understand how to get the numbers right.  However, they can also steer you in truly sustainable directions when it comes to the food choices.  We are for example offering beef and lamb free menus as standard for 2023 as well as entirely meat free options – Jackfruit Burgers have to be tasted to be believed…

     

    • Summer food choices also provide a wealth of seasonal options, including some of the best fruits and vegetables unavailable locally in the winter. These allow for incredibly creative menu options – not to mention some pretty unusual cocktails.

     

    • It is also worth noting that changing climates mean some of the best sparkling wines are now produced here in the UK – so don’t ask for imports and their associated food miles when you can support vineyards all across the country.

       

    Finally, it is worth considering theming.  In the dark winter months, most venues might consider decorations and other paraphernalia to maintain the Christmas spirit.  Summer is very different – the weather is potentially all the theming you need.  So, avoid wasteful expenditure on single use décor and simply enjoy the wonderful light and warmth that comes from not just the climate but also the camaraderie and pleasure of spending time with other people.

    Paradise Found party packages at BMA House

    Join us for an unforgettable summer party in paradise, in the heart of Bloomsbury!

    This year we invite you to experience our version of paradise in our exciting Paradise Found party package. Being in paradise is said to improve your wellbeing, so let us transform your mood from work to bliss the moment you step inside our wrought iron gates. Soak up the sun whilst sipping on cocktails with colleagues next to our magnificent fountain in the Courtyard, suitable for up to 320 guests, or tuck into a sizzling BBQ or vibrant Street Food stalls in our lush idyllic Garden, for up to 90.

    A sustainable summer

    Sustainability is always at the forefront of party planning; our catering partners, Company of Cooks. will ensure only the finest quality ingredients are used. Our ethical & sustainable food practices mean we support British farmers & source local produce where possible, whilst ensuring food waste is at its absolute minimum.

    No matter the theme or size of the crowd, you can customise your Paradise party package to fit just what you imagined.

     

    For more information, contact us here

    The BMA House Events Team

    ‘Caring for our planet should be a shared experience’: An Interview with Rebecca Hurley at BMA House


    Our passion to care for the planet is one we love to shout about! Here our Venue Marketing Manager, Rebecca Hurley shares what it means to be one of the most sustainable venues in the capital and what we are doing to ensure the moment guests step inside our building, their experience is sustainable from start to finish.

    Read the Sustainable Venue Spotlight interview with HeadBox here:

    To find out more about our sustainable venue, or to book your next event, email [email protected] or call 020 7874 7020

     

    The BNC caught up with our Venue Marketing Manager – find out all there is to know about Rebecca Hurley


    This March, our Venue Marketing Manager, Rebecca Hurley was interviewed by the lovely team at The BNC (Buyers Networking Club) – here she reveals all about her experience in running events, her love for promoting everything sustainable, and why she’s been at BMA House for so long (14 years!)

    Read the full interview here

    You’ll find us at the next BNC Show at Central Hall Westminster on Wednesday 19th April 2023. Click here to register for your free ticket and to find out more about this exciting show.

    The BMA House Venues Team

    Email: [email protected]

    Tel: 020 7874 7020