The third in a series of BNC Networking Evenings was an enormous success, with 84 events professionals meeting over drinks and canapés at the Soho Hotel, one of London’s most talked about locations.
Two and a half hours of non stop networking took place in the Crimson Bar and Black and White room of the Soho Hotel, a 91-guestroom and apartment hotel set in the heart of London’s entertainment and creative district.
Part of the seven-strong Firmdale Hotels chain, Soho Hotel is a design-led property that certainly delivers impact with its boldness, uniqueness and high style. Not only was the location ideal, but the two strikingly different - yet adjoining - rooms provided us with the right type and sized space to network just under 100 people.
The Moroccan-inspired Crimson Bar was incredibly atmospheric (great for conversation and relaxation) and the Black and White room had a vibrant energy and freshness to it. BNC members also took a tour of the hotel, and were further impressed by the two stylish screening rooms and private meeting and dining space, The Swirl Room.
Mingling in and out of the groups of conference and event organisers were two ex- Red Arrow and RAF pilots, Chris Norton OBE and Dave Slow. The duo form part of the Blades Aerobatic Display Team, the UK’s only commercially run aerobatic display company. They came that night dressed in their flying gear, telling stories of what it’s like to fly the famous two-seater Extra 300LP aircraft.
Fascinated BNC members found out about bespoke corporate days with Blades, where delegates can be taken up into the air and events for anything up to 500 people can be arranged at a specialised venue through Norton’s company, 2Excel Aviation Limited, in Northamptonshire.
Over champagne served with tasty, fulfilling, sizeable canapés of steak, vegetable quiche and tempura, BNC members discussed their news and industry views with colleagues and new contacts. The hot topic of the night was about going freelance. The buzz centered around professional freelance event organisers such as Claire Norris, who successfully manages her own event business, Eventive.
People queued up to speak to her about the pros and cons of ‘going it alone’. “I was surprised by how many people wanted advice,” commented Claire. “It’s tough, tougher than you think and you have to know your stuff and have really great contacts. Something must be going on in the industry as so many people are thinking about freelancing.”
One person who sought Claire’s advice said: “I think I’ve already made my decision about whether or not to go freelance. It was just great to talk to someone about it; it gave me great reassurance and confidence to go ahead with my decision. Bouncing ideas off others is what’s great about The BNC.”
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