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St. James’ Place Meeting & Christmas Lunch

Client: St. James’s Place
Event: National Establishment Meeting and Christmas Lunch
Date: Thursday 1st December
No of guests: 200+
Venue: Illuminate

Event brief & objective:

To bring everyone together from different locations for a big meeting in the morning where we presented the end of year results and shared high-level information on targets for next year, and to celebrate the year and say thank you to staff.

Why did you choose the Science Museum for your event?

We had considered the Science Museum for a previous event in 2020 but didn’t end up booking as the space was a little too big for the number of attendees we had. However, on this occasion it was ideal as the museum could accommodate cabaret style for 200+ guests, when not many other London venues could.

We had delegates travelling from all over the country and the museum was ideal for its fantastic transport links. We had a later start in the morning and finished by 5pm so people could travel easily without needing to stay over in London.

How did you choose which spaces at the museum you wanted to use?

Illuminate is such a stand out space with an incredible view and we had wanted to do an event in there for a while! It’s a big space and being set across two levels helped us with what we were trying to achieve with a meeting in the morning and a Christmas lunch to follow. We were able to hold the meeting in Level 5 before moving to Level 4 for the drinks reception whilst the Science Museum team changed the room around for the Christmas lunch.

Illuminate is a fantastic blank canvas but still has lots of character! The ease of access to the space and the fact it’s situated within such an iconic venue, were huge bonuses for us.

How did Illuminate work for your event?

For the formal meeting in the morning we had no Christmas theming or decoration, however the team completely transformed the space for the Christmas lunch whilst the drinks reception was happening on Level 4. When our guests returned to Level 5 there were festive table centrepieces, lighting, and decorations, as well as Christmas music and a band.

We had 32 cabarets round tables for the meeting and then 22 for the lunch with more chairs set around the tables to accommodate everyone. We also utilised the LED screens by the lifts with branding to make a feature for delegates as they arrived.

Who were your catering and AV partners? Did they create anything bespoke for the event?

We used White Light (WL) for AV and Moving Venue for Catering.

WL supplied the lighting, audio, and video elements to enhance the event. For the morning conference in Level 5, the package included staging with stage lighting, projection screens for video content and a PA system.

Given the different technical briefs for the conference and Christmas party and the rapid turnaround in Level 5 between the two, WL adapted the solution for dual purpose. The PA system was designed to facilitate the morning presentations, as well as accommodate the rider for a 4-piece band.

The aesthetic brief for the party was inspired by a collaborative festive installation designed by Sir Jony Ive & Marc Newson’s at Claridge’s in 2016. To achieve a similar look and feel, an array of moving lights were pre-rigged in Level’s 5 ceiling grid, before delegates arrived. This meant that with minimal control or the need for additional equipment, beams of atmospheric light transformed the space and highlighted the Christmas theming in a seamless transition.

In terms of catering, we opted to have canapes during the drinks reception rather than a seated starter with Moving Venue creating both hot and cold options. For the main course, guests enjoyed slow braised Cornish lamb shoulder with creamed mash, cavolo nero, butternut squash, redcurrant sauce and basil crumb, whilst dessert was a festive ‘Santa’s Hat’, a dark chocolate mousse, cranberry & mulled wine compote, coconut marshmallow & crunchy almond biscuit. Vegan options were also provided.

Client testimonial:

“Thank you so much to you and your incredible team for all your hard work and professionalism in making our team meeting and Christmas lunch such a success. The changeover of the room from the meeting to lunch was seamless and everyone was completely wowed by the breath-taking views in Illuminate.”

Sophie Charlesworth, Events Specialist, Partnership Operations at St. James’s Place