by Tracy Halliwell, director of business tourism and major events, London & Partners
Ahead of the London Venue Awards, London & Partner’s Tracy Halliwell discusses her role as a judge and the requirement for regionally-specific awards for suppliers:
How did you come to be a judge for the London Venue Awards?
I got a call from the Global Conference Network, and I said yes! As the director of major events & business tourism at London & Partners I work with lots of venues across the capital and understand the intricacies involved in hosting events. I feel I’m in a good place to know what makes a truly excellent venue, so the London Venue Awards are a great match for me.
Why do you think London should have a specific set of awards for venues?
We have around 1,500 individual venues in London alone. There is great diversity on offer and I believe the standout venues deserve to be recognised.
Industry awards such as this also serve another purpose – as a venue, the process of sitting down to produce an award entry and carefully consider the points that make your venue better than your competitors is very healthy. When running a business, it’s important to take time to look holistically at your operation, and awards present the perfect opportunity to do this. This ultimately helps improve the product and I’ve no doubt that the London Venue Awards will result in an even stronger proposition from London venues.
How do these awards differ to others?
I think what makes the London Venue Awards great is that it is specifically supplier focused. Whereas other awards may tag a couple of supplier categories onto a process that mainly honours the events themselves, the London Venue Awards is taking a different approach and shining the spotlight solely on venues.
I think it’s also important to point out how drastically different market conditions can be in various cities across the country. Using the same metrics to compare a venue in Glasgow to a venue in London, for example, simply doesn’t make sense – so there really is a need for regionalised awards.
What has the calibre of entries been like?
We have just finished our third round of judging and the calibre has been excellent – I’ve even learnt a bit myself! We’ve seen lots of case studies and I’ve been particularly impressed with how many venues have been able to demonstrate the unique approaches they take to deliver impressive events.
I’m looking forward to finally announcing the worthy winners at the ceremony on 16 October.