5 Tips for London Events

With its massive 818 conference hotels, over 100000 hotel rooms, and new event spaces opening everyday, London is the city to be. Just like Dublin, London is the EMEA headquarters for many of the global tech giants and, as such, the demand for event space in these cities is huge. With the eyes of the international events market on London, Cogs & Marvel have put together a guide marking the major pitfalls planners need to be aware of when looking to host an event in the UK capital.

 

5 gle tips for london events

 

The Brexit Battle – what you need to know

The UK is still in a grey area regarding their recent departure from the EU, one which they’re not likely to resolve for some time. For international event planners, the landscape for UK events is changing. The fall in the Sterling has maximised buying power for the Euro, Dollar, and other international markets, making the 2016/17 season a profitable one for events traveling from the US into London. Best practice? With the market fluctuating for the foreseeable future, get your costs quoted in Dollars so you know exactly where you stand. The implications the referendum will have on travel within Europe has yet to be determined; for roadshows traveling between European cities export taxes may need to be considered.

 

5 gle tips for london events

 

Venues – get your dates locked in

London boasts an incredible variety of event spaces, with over 1000 purpose-built event venues and numerous restaurants which can be booked privately for events. Whether you’re looking for historical venues, unique settings bursting with character, or blank canvas spaces to make your own, there is no lack of choice. The demand for venue space, particularly for large scale conferences, is high: as a guideline, start looking for space 8-10 months out from the event to secure your preferred dates and be mindful that association conferences book up the large convention centres up to 6 years in advance. Partner with local agencies who have built relationships with venues for greater buying power. For inspiration, check out our Recommends Series (working title): London where we explore some of our favourite London spaces.

 

5 gle tips for london events

 

Travel – getting to London

With over 350 and growing direct flight routes into the city’s five international airports, London is the world’s most connected city. Each airport is serviced by excellent rail and bus routes into central London, allowing for hassle-free access to your conference or event. London is connected to mainland Europe by the Eurostar rail line, stopping in both Paris and Brussels which act as connection hubs to all major European cities. Visas are required to enter the UK for non-EU residents, which must be secured before you travel. For help in getting your travel documents in line check out the US Passports and International Travel guide to the UK.

5 gle tips for london events

 

Transfers – getting around

As of 2016, there are a recorded 8.5 million people living and working in London which makes congestion in Central London a constant struggle. The city has a well-developed public transport system to keep driving to a minimum; 11 rail lines connect on the city’s underground network, the swiftest way to travel for individuals in London. Private car services are popular; booked in advance it can be the easiest way to move delegates in small numbers. Coaching can be arranged for larger groups but, with parking restrictions in place across the city, it is venue dependent.

5 gle tips for london events

Accommodation – where to rest your head

The world’s largest hotel chains all have properties in London: Intercontinental, Hilton, and Marriott each have multiple properties in boroughs across the city. For hotels with high delegate volume, the city has a number of 1000+ bedroom properties for which group rates can be arranged, with the larger stadium venues attracting hotels to fill their needs. London is also home to some spectacular boutique hotels which can provide a unique experience for delegates or conference VIPs, offering London charm and facilities for private boardroom meetings. Transfers, as we mentioned, can be challenging so look to hotels within walking distance of your venue first. Be conscious of your conference dates; London is a corporate city Monday to Thursday but tourists and holidaymakers will be vying for your bedrooms Friday to Sunday. London is a major culture capital, with a calendar filled with music, sport, and fashion events throughout the year which will drive occupancy rates and costs so look ahead when planning your dates. Across the board, expect to pay high prices as accommodation in London is expensive and books up well in advance.

 

At Cogs & Marvel, we believe that every time you get a group of people together, whether they be staff, customers, partners or consumers, you have an opportunity to strengthen their relationship with you. You have an opportunity to turn passive admirers into an army of advocates for your corporate brand. Cogs & Marvel is an event agency that creates brand experiences to delight in the moment and inspire lasting change.

Want to inspire change in your audience? Get in touch with the Cogs & Marvel team.

Interview with Oliver Astrologo

In October last year we worked with the Google UK PR team to create #romewithgoogle – an event which brought 87 travel journalists to Rome to experience the city using Google as their guide. With our event partner Samsung, we equipped each traveler with a phone and a local sim to explore the city using Google Maps, Google Translate, and Google Photos. Before they embarked, they were given a lesson in photography by Italian photographer Oliver Astrologo on how to capture that perfect shot. We caught up with Oliver to talk about photography, social media, and Rome.

Cogs & Marvel: Camera of choice: the iPhone vs the Android?

Oliver: I use both iPhone and Android devices: both the iPhone6S and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge have sensational cameras built-in.

Cogs & Marvel: Best photo editing app?

Oliver: VSCO is my first choice to adjust colours of photos. I have recently discovered PhotoDirector, an excellent app to remove objects from photos.

Cogs & Marvel: You’re based in Rome, what’s your favourite Roman photo op?

Oliver: The sunset view of the historic Villa Borghese must be one of my favourite place in Rome to photograph, though I do love to wander around and take snapshots of the abandoned buildings scattered around Ostia on the coastline.

Cogs & Marvel: Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for photo sharing?

Oliver: Instagram is my first choice. I believe that, at the moment, it’s the best platform for artists to showcase their work to large audiences. Personally I do like Flickr too; I tend to use it to host my best photographs.

Cogs & Marvel: Favourite photograph you’ve ever taken?

Oliver: It must be this one! (Check out the photo of Darth Vader above)

Cogs & Marvel: Any tips or trick for using live video on Facebook, Snapchat, or Periscope?

Oliver: Make sure you get live when your audience is more likely to be awake and engage with your live video. Needless to say but strong 4G or WiFi connection is a must. Content needs to provide the wow factor: it should be instructional, controversial, or interactive. Keep it authentic: showcase behind-the-scenes footage or the everyday mundane moments.

Cogs & Marvel: To selfie or not to selfie – what’s your advice?

Oliver: The Samsung Galaxy S7 provides the Wide Selfie mode that I consider an excellent feature especially when you don’t have a selfie stick at hand. I would however suggest capturing some moments of peoples life without having the people pose – it will make the photos much more interesting and you will appreciate it more when you are flicking through your photo album in years time.

Cogs & Marvel: And finally…if you could give one piece of advice to someone using a smartphone for marketing photography, what would it be?

Oliver: Nowadays the camera tech built into smartphones provides such excellent results that sometimes a professional DSRL is not be needed. This doesn’t mean that the basic rules of photography can be forgotten though: exposure and correct photo alignment are a must and can be achieved with a smartphone.  My recommendation is to read through the basic guides that explain how to take photographs: give yourself time to learn and apply your lessons to give your photos that professional look. I wrote this guide that would be a good start for any beginner.

A massive thank you to Oliver Astrologo for giving us some insight. To see his work check out his website and Instagram.

 

At Cogs & Marvel, we believe that every time you get a group of people together, whether they be staff, customers, partners or consumers, you have an opportunity to strengthen their relationship with you. You have an opportunity to turn passive admirers into an army of advocates for your corporate brand. Cogs & Marvel is an event agency that creates brand experiences to delight in the moment and inspire lasting change.

Want to inspire change in your audience? Get in touch with the Cogs & Marvel team.

The Irish Times September 2016

Green Light featured in the business section of Friday’s Irish Times – an Inside Track Q&A with our founding partners Roisin and Jane to discuss Green Light, surviving the recession, and the future of the event management industry in Ireland. Read below for Michelle Jackson’s feature.

 

Green Light Events Irish Times

Inside Track Q&A – Roisin Callaghan and Jane Gallagher, Cogs & Marvel

Cogs & Marvel is an international creative events agency.

 

Working with many of the world’s largest tech brands, including Google, Twitter and Facebook, Cogs & Marvel is an international creative events agency based in Dublin. Founded by Roisin Callaghan and Jane Gallagher, it is celebrating 10 years in business.

 

What sets your business apart from the competition?

We have retained our clients who came on board when we started in 2006. In 2015, we organised one of the biggest corporate conferences ever held in Ireland for Google, with over 5,000 attendees. We have also managed these types of sizeable events outside of Ireland – in Spain, Greece, Germany and France. Our skills can travel.

 

What was the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?

Try to hire people who are better than you so you can learn from them. We’re very aware that the greatest asset of a company is its people. We know we have a fantastic team and we are immensely proud of them. In fact, we won an Event Industry award this year for the best team to prove it!

 

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in business?

Our biggest mistake was that we were too slow to scale and grow our business. Despite the advice above, in the early days we felt we had to do everything ourselves.

We learned quickly that this was not the case, especially once our personal lives suffered. So we hired additional people to build the team and structure the company into what we needed. We have grown 200 per cent in the past 18 months and now have a team of over 30.

 

Your major success to date?

We have so many things to shout about. We have won major contracts on the back of previous work we’ve done, which we think is a fabulous endorsement of our team and company.

We’re immensely proud of our great team who show pride in the company and in the work that they do. Winning an accolade to prove how great our team was cemented that for us.

 

Who do you most admire in business and why?

We admire women entrepreneurs like us who have worked hard to get where they are and who lead fantastic companies and also juggle busy family lives – for example Sheryl Sandberg, Arianna Huffington and Samantha Power (US ambassador to the UN). Closer to home, there are some amazing Irish women in business like Louise Phelan and Una Fox.

 

Based on your experience in the downturn, are the banks in Ireland open for business to SMEs?

Green Light Events was set up at the start of the downturn. We went to Dún Laoghaire and walked into all the banks to chat to the managers directly to see what they would do for us and eventually settled on AIB, as they had a fantastic female manager who was very proactive and helpful. It feels that the banks are not treating SMEs in the same way now. It’s much harder to get any sort of support from the banks.

 

What one piece of advice would you give to the Government to help stimulate the economy?

Keep the 9 per cent tax rate for tourism and reduce the venue hire tax rate to 9 per cent for all venues.

Ireland is facing some serious international competition for conferences, congresses and events. Maintaining the tax rate at a favourable rate will help to encourage further business tourism into Ireland.

 

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to face?

Rapid growth. It’s an interesting challenge to face as it’s fantastic and shows massive success, but it doesn’t come without its pitfalls. The team has tripled in size in the last two years.

Last year we set up a travel agency – Green Light Travel – to enhance our client offering. This is solely to deliver travel to our clients who are travelling to our events. This brought challenges, as it’s a new area for us, but we’ve had a very healthy first year and the clients are pleaser with the added value it brings to for them and their events.

 

How do you see the short-term future for your business?

We have a lot of exciting ideas in the pipeline for Cogs & Marvel. We are expanding the company both geographically and within different markets.

 

What’s your business worth and would you sell it?

We’ve been increasing our turnover year on year and are showing profits. Reinvesting this profit back into the company will help further growth of the business. While we’re very successful, we’re not for sale – yet

 

At Cogs & Marvel, we believe that every time you get a group of people together, whether they be staff, customers, partners or consumers, you have an opportunity to strengthen their relationship with you. You have an opportunity to turn passive admirers into an army of advocates for your corporate brand. Cogs & Marvel is an event agency that creates brand experiences to delight in the moment and inspire lasting change.

Want to inspire change in your audience? Get in touch with the Cogs & Marvel team.

EMEA MICE Destinations

In the listings announced this week by event profs’ go-to tool for international venue searching, Dublin has been announced as #12 on Cvent’s Top 25 Meeting Destinations in the Europe Middle East Africa region. Having evaluated over 2500 cities across EMEA for their meeting and event booking activity in the Cvent Supplier Network as well as the number of meeting and event venues in the area, Dublin was ranked #12 for its offering to the MICE industry. Personally we’re biased – we know what an incredible city Dublin is and the potential it holds for intimate incentive experiences and large scale conferences and corporate events – so we’re thrilled to see the city being internationally recognised. With 1000 new hotel rooms in the works for the Dalata Group announced in this morning’s Irish Times, Dublin is the EMEA city to watch.

Full listing for Cvent’s Top 25 Meeting Destinations in Europe Middle East Africa – kudos to the German Convention Bureau with a mammoth 5 cities in the for 25.

#1 London, England

#2 Barcelona, Spain

#3 Amsterdam, Netherlands

#4 Paris, France

#5 Berlin, Germany

#6 Rome, Italy

#7 Frankfurt, Germany

#8 Madrid, Spain

#9 Brussels, Belgium

#10 Prague, Czech Republic

#11 Dubai, UAE

#12 Dublin, Ireland

#13 Vienna, Austria

#14 Munich, Germany

#15 Lisbon, Portugal

#16 Istanbul, Turkey

#17 Copenhagen, Denmark

#18 Budapest, Hungary

#19 Milan, Italy

#20 Stockholm, Sweeden

#21 Athens, Greece

#22 Birmingham, England

#23 Manchester, England

#24 Dusseldorf, Germany

#25 Hannover, Germany

 

At Cogs & Marvel, we believe that every time you get a group of people together, whether they be staff, customers, partners or consumers, you have an opportunity to strengthen their relationship with you. You have an opportunity to turn passive admirers into an army of advocates for your corporate brand. Cogs & Marvel is an event agency that creates brand experiences to delight in the moment and inspire lasting change.

Want to inspire change in your audience? Get in touch with the Cogs & Marvel team.

C&IT Awards

Fresh off our wins at the Event Industry Awards (flick through our blog for the highlights of that night when we won for Best Event Design and Best Event Team) we’re on the nominees list again!

The C&IT Awards full list of nominees was announced this week on their online forum, where we were nominated for Incentive Programme of the Year. We’re thrilled to be a part of a list of the best event management companies in the industry.

Check out C&IT’s full listing here.

 

At Cogs & Marvel, we believe that every time you get a group of people together, whether they be staff, customers, partners or consumers, you have an opportunity to strengthen their relationship with you. You have an opportunity to turn passive admirers into an army of advocates for your corporate brand. Cogs & Marvel is an event agency that creates brand experiences to delight in the moment and inspire lasting change.

Want to inspire change in your audience? Get in touch with the Cogs & Marvel team.

Case Study: #lisbonwithgoogle

We posted a few weeks ago with our top picks of our Lisbon scouting mission for an upcoming event, and here it is! We brought 25 bloggers and social media influencers to Lisbon to experience the city using the Google travel apps: Google Maps, Google Translate, and Google Images. The group, from all across the EMEA region, reported back via #lisbonwithgoogle – checkout some photos of the event!

 

At Cogs & Marvel, we believe that every time you get a group of people together, whether they be staff, customers, partners or consumers, you have an opportunity to strengthen their relationship with you. You have an opportunity to turn passive admirers into an army of advocates for your corporate brand. Cogs & Marvel is an event agency that creates brand experiences to delight in the moment and inspire lasting change.

Want to inspire change in your audience? Get in touch with the Cogs & Marvel team.

Lisbon Venues

Scouting out venues for an incentive trip to Lisbon we’re hosting next week produced some incredible photo content for our Instagram mad team. Here are some of the weird and wonderful snaps they took on their travels.

 

At Cogs & Marvel, we believe that every time you get a group of people together, whether they be staff, customers, partners or consumers, you have an opportunity to strengthen their relationship with you. You have an opportunity to turn passive admirers into an army of advocates for your corporate brand. Cogs & Marvel is an event agency that creates brand experiences to delight in the moment and inspire lasting change.

Want to inspire change in your audience? Get in touch with the Cogs & Marvel team.