By Robin Tolley, General Manager, Vintners’ Hall
They say every cloud has a silver lining, and I am pleased to say that seems to be the case here at Vintners’ Hall at the moment.
The City of London has changed a great deal over recent years. Long lunches fuelled by wine are a thing of the past; delegates now very rarely arrive for a 1:30pm lunch, work their way through three courses followed by port and cheese before then attempting some form of business discussion and conversation.
The shift has been brought about by a change in attitude amongst City workers, a change in demographic (they tend to be younger and healthier), the need to save money and quite frankly a desire to achieve more in the average working day and not potentially waste time away from their desks for hours on end.
It is, however, this very need for efficiency that has created a silver lining for venues located in the heart of the city such as Vintners’ Hall.
City-based businesses and workers still need to meet, they still need to conduct briefings and they still need to share information. Instead of long lunches, we have seen such a dramatic rise in afternoon briefings and meetings. We have even started to build bespoke packages specific to their needs.
From menu choice to room layout, the focus is on efficiency and timeliness as businesses identify short, focused periods, often over lunch or in the early afternoon to gather and discuss key issues before returning to the office.
And finally, while on the hunt for silver linings, another can be found in the results of the EU referendum. It has led to a significant number of briefing-style bookings as businesses react to shifting markets and the on-going impact on both the British and global economies.