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News


NEARLY HALF OF ORGANISERS UNWILLING TO OFFER VIRTUAL ATTENDANCE AT EVENTS


A poll conducted by the Barbican amongst 120 event buyers has revealed that 48% are not considering options for attendees to take part in events remotely.


With the same poll revealing the 58% want domestic travel to events to be limited to an hour it puts increasing pressure on the need for high speed travel infrastructure and careful venue choice by organisers.


“Whilst some in the venue world will see such a lack of desire for virtual attendance as a positive due to increased revenues and footfall I am sitting on the fence,” comments the Barbican’s Head of Events, Jackie Boughton. “True it is good for business. However, it is better for long term business if people continue to hold events no matter what format they take. There will always be a need for people to gather in a face to face environment. Adding virtual attendance is however a great way to engage those who cannot be there for one reason or another. Ultimately, they will gain some benefits but there is a chance they will also perceive what they are missing through non-physical attendance and change that for the future.”


29% of organisers are however working to develop solutions and technology for virtual attendance, providing a wider range of ways in which people can attend and engage with fellow participants. Jackie concludes by commenting that “technology is a great enabler, we should constantly seek new ways to use it throughout our events. However, we mustn’t forget that the best way to build a relationship is face to face, which is why there will always be a need to get here, no matter how good the technology becomes.”


The research was conducted amongst more than 120 Barbican clients during Autumn 2017. 53% of respondents were corporate bookers, 21% association and 26% agency.


The Barbican is one of the world’s leading conference and international arts venues. Located in the City of London, it is capable of


36 JANUARY 2018 WWW.VENUE-INSIGHT.COM


holding meetings from 10-2,000 delegates in its fully equipped concert hall, theatres, conference suites and boardrooms. Barbican Business Events brings together the venue’s expertise in the arts and corporate meetings.


Built as part of London’s Barbican development and officially opened in March 1982 by HM Queen Elizabeth, unlike many other venues, Barbican was specifically built with the dual purpose of holding conferences and arts events presenting a diverse range of art, music, theatre, dance, film and creative learning.


The Barbican’s Business Events team contributes to the venue’s future success. To make the most of the Barbican’s rich culture and heritage, Barbican Business Events was created to bring together their expertise in three very different areas – the arts, creative learning and corporate business. This approach to corporate events is based on stronger, more in-depth partnerships with their artistic, creative learning and development teams in order to bring more creativity and rich content to events.


The Barbican provides a vibrant and inspiring venue for corporate events, conferences, meetings and entertainment. The venue is capable of holding meetings from 10-2,000 delegates in spaces including a concert hall, theatres, a boardroom and conference suites that can accommodate 10-170 delegates and can be adjusted using sound proofed sliding. As part of its wider investment strategy, the Barbican spent £2.2m on a significant refurbishment throughout the Centre in the summer of 2016 including its Frobisher rooms and Level 4. The focus of the Frobisher refurbishment is designed to create an even stronger connection between the Centre’s main conference and meeting facilities and its arts spaces.


The diverse meeting spaces at the Barbican include:


Barbican Hall Barbican Theatre Three cinemas


The Garden Room The Conservatory The Boardroom Frobisher Suite Various meeting and conference rooms Foyers


About the Barbican A world-class arts and learning organisation, the Barbican pushes the boundaries of all major art forms including dance, film, music, theatre and visual arts. Its creative learning programme further underpins everything it does. Over 1.1 million people attend Barbican events annually, hundreds of artists and performers are featured, and more than 300 staff work onsite. The architecturally renowned centre opened in 1982 and comprises the Barbican Hall, the Barbican Theatre, the Pit, Cinemas One, Two and Three, Barbican Art Gallery, a second gallery The Curve, foyers and public spaces, a library, Lakeside Terrace, a glasshouse conservatory, conference facilities and three restaurants. The City of London Corporation is the founder and principal funder of the Barbican Centre.


The Barbican is home to Resident Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra; Associate Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra; Associate Ensembles the Academy of Ancient Music and Britten Sinfonia, and Associate Producer Serious. Its Artistic Associates include Boy Blue Entertainment, Cheek by Jowl and Michael Clark Company. International Associates are Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig and Jazz at Lincoln Center.


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