The stage is set… make it yours
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium - an extraordinary venue for events and entertainment
Shirley Ruiz, EA at Citi discusses her career and the future of the role
COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS
Where to take your party, plus the power of flowers
Best events, venues and entertainment to book now
SUBSCRIBE TO PA LIFE
CREATING RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN PAS, CORPORATE BOOKERS AND THEIR INDUSTRY SUPPLIERS ISSUE: 64 AUTUMN 2023
Are you ready?
Energy, excitement, enjoyment – are you ready to host the most unforgettable corporate event ever? Gravity MAX Wandsworth offers competitive socialising fun while bringing out the kid in everyone. The in-house corporate team knows that events need to tick a lot of boxes, which is why Gravity MAX has been hailed ‘the future of corporate events’ with its versatile offering – there really is something for everyone!
The UK’s FIRST Multi-level E-Karting, Immersive Gamebox, 14 Lane Immersive Bowling, AR Digital Darts, Hologate VR, E- Sports and New York Style Urban Street Golf are just some of the team- building activities to try out. A full Gravity Bar takeover can be arranged to sip gorgeous cocktails and try the popular sharing menus, while listening to live music!
A dedicated events team will ensure a personalised service that makes your corporate booking work to your specific needs. Complete with a board room, corporate spaces, break-out rooms and numerous ways to tailor your experience – any corporate event, from team building away-days to Christmas parties, Gravity MAX Wandworth will make it a corporate event like no other.
@gravitymax_uk Southside, Wandsworth High St, London, South, SW18 4TF 0330 159 5815 firstname.lastname@example.org
For the latest stories visit www.palife.co.uk
The PA Life Team
Welcome to our autumn issue…
The countdown to Christmas is well under way and PAs and EAs are already ticking off tasks in their long To Do lists ahead of the season. To help Assistants with their party and gifting plans we’ve put together a great round up of fantastic party venues to suit any taste and requirements, from the stylish and traditional to those offering fun team activities and even an electrifying neon urban wonderland (find out more on pages 33-45). See also what’s on offer from the best corporate hospitality venues and agencies – including the incredibly versatile Tottenham Hotspur Stadium which is featured on our cover too, We’ve put together a diary of 2024 top Corporate Hospitality events to book now (pages 28-32).
This issue’s PA Profile features Shirley Ruiz, Senior EA at Citi, who talks about her career in the financial industry and shares excellent advice and insights into her demanding role. We also talked to a PA Life Club member Jo Sedwick who has made her position as a virtual PA work perfectly for her as someone with mobility challenges. Our Club pages (4-9) bring you the latest Club news starting with this year’s Star Awards which will be presented at our Christmas Party on November 13th – book your place early as you won’t want to miss this! And don’t miss out the highlights of our recent Meet Ups, plus upcoming autumn events.
PA Life travelled to Manchester to put some of the city’s best loved establishments to test: you can read our reviews on the five star Lowry Hotel and the Firefly restaurant & bar on pages 47-49. Manchester also gets a closer look in our spotlight feature on the city’s meetings and events venues, and Mancunian Liz Taylor from Taylor Lynn Corporation discusses why Manchester scores top points as an events destination.
Our regular columnists share their wealth of knowledge with us again; wellness guru, Lucy Eden, Founder of Be In Your Element, discusses how to harness the power of autumn and draw from the nature as it undergoes its transformation into winter, and how we can do the same. Assistant career development and training specialist Adam Fidler, Founder of Adam Fidler Academy, is totally frank about the mistakes EAs and PAs make and gives great advice on addressing these. Another regular, our online jobs board partner SecsintheCity, covers a hot topic of the moment – how to future proof your role as an Assistant during the rise of AI.
More helpful ‘How To’ articles can be found on pages 14-18 where Dr Lynda Shaw discusses anxiety at work. How to create a more sustainable office and what the introduction of ETIAS mean to business travellers are great reads as well.
Keep an eye out at www.palife.co.uk for our latest stories.
We’ll be back in February. Have a wonderful autumn and see you at our events soon.
Marja-Leena Toseland Editor
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Marja-Leena Toseland Editor
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PA Life Club membership hits record numbers
We have plenty to shout about at the PA Life Club this autumn. We are so excited that the PA Life Club has passed the 700 members mark, our Mentoring Programme is receiving brilliant feedback and our Meet Up calendar is filling up with fantastic showcase events…
THE PA LIFE CLUB IS ON THE ROLL!
We are so excited that the PA Life Club has grown to over 700 members this autumn, and the requests to join keep on coming. That’s testament to the great events and offers we provide with the help of our partners – all outstanding venues, service providers and suppliers to the corporate booker.
WE HAVE BEEN BUSY AT THE CLUB
We have treated our members to truly spectacular Meet Ups such as the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Part One and Two, with a fantastic dinner between the shows. We’ve also enjoyed an activity packed afternoon at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and our overnight showcase trip
to see the best venues and attractions of Portsmouth with MEET Beyond London. And we have plenty more for you in our upcoming events diary. As always, we advise booking your place early to secure your invite.
There’s been a lot of activity behind the scenes too, with our Mentoring Programme in full swing now. Ten Mentor and Mentee pairs have embarked on their learning and development journey to date, with more eager participants waiting to be matched to suitable partners. There is no deadline to join, so please feel free to get in touch if you are interested, or have any questions by emailing us at email@example.com.
Our Partners include
WE’RE EXPANDING OUR NETWORK PA Life Club has also expanded its partner network and will be working more closely with other notable PA networks and professional bodies such as the Global PA Network, Manchester PA Network, Institute of Administrative Management (IAM) to name but a few. We are excited to be sharing invitations to each other’s events and help to spread the word about special offerings such as the excellent education programmes, the way we already do for the courses provided by Your Excellency.
Articles to help Assistants in their roles are added daily to palife.co.uk and you’ll find Club news in the members section.
It’s time to celebrate the finalists at this year’s PA Life Star Awards
RISING STAR: an outstanding Assistant who has been working in the sector fewer than five years, but has demonstrated excellence in their approach to the role in supporting their executives and wider teams.
STAR: this accolade will be awarded to an individual who has shown exceptional applications of services to clients.
The nominations for the PA Life Star Awards 2023 have now closed and the judges are casting their final votes by mid-October when we will know who’ve made the shortlist in each of the six categories. The finalists will be notified ahead of the awards presentation on November 13th, part of our Christmas party, hosted jointly with Inca London The standard of nominations was very impressive once again and choosing the finalists was incredibly hard. We would love to give everyone a Star but there can only be one winner in each category. The awards were open to all PAs, EAs, VAs and Office Managers who were invited to nominate themselves, a colleague or a friend, with a testimonial by their boss or a close colleague to back it up.
Our judges are independent industry experts who work either in training, recriuitment, as an EA or have an Assistant career behind them.
Sarah Howson, the founder of Strategic PA Recruitment and Strategic PA Network is a former EA with twenty years of C-Suite level experience. She is a Business Support profession ambassador and passionate about the role.
Abigail Jones is a career EA, currently working at Instagram. The winner of PA Life Club PA of the Year 2019, plus many other PA awards. Abigail is also a regular speaker on panel shows, events, writes articles and runs. She specialises in working at ‘C suite’ level, and is passionate about encouraging PA’s to get the most of out their careers
Rosemary Parr, Founder, Global PA Association. Following a highly successful career with some of the UK’s largest companies and in the UK Parliament, Rosemary founded the Global PA Association & Training
Academy in 2007. Suzy Sanders, Founder and Franchisor of Alchemy VA. Suzy has won awards for her noticeably different approach to running her successful VA business with collaboration and community as core. and has been featured on radio, TV and in leading industry publications, including the BBC, HuffPost and Go Daddy. Kathy Soulsby, Founder and Director of Personally Virtual. After a varied career in other roles as also as a PA and EA in Management Consultancies, Recruitment and Executive Coaching Businesses Kathy set up Personally Virtual in 2014 which provides services that you’d expect from a skilled Executive Assistant.
Marja-Leena Toseland, Editor, PA Life. Assistants are at the core of everything we do and Marja-Leena recognises the talent, hard work and determination required for succeeding in the role.
Here are the categories and the qualities, efforts and achievements our judges were looking for:
PA LIFE CLUB MEMBER
STAR: awarded to the member of the PA Life Club who has shown strong commitment to supporting the Club by attending events, and engaging with other Club initiatives.
COMMITMENT TO CSR STAR: an Assistant who has helped their organisation make a difference within the workplace or wider community, via sustainability and green initiatives, charity work and more.
COMMITMENT TO WELLBEING
STAR: an Assistant who has actively helped others in their organisations with wellbeing and wellness initiatives, either by introducing projects and programmes, or by managing them.
PA STAR OF THE YEAR: The big one! This award will celebrate the work of a PA, EA, VA or Office Manager who has had an impact on their workplace, by going above and beyond duty to make processes smoother and their Execs’ and teams’ lives easier.
What do our Mentors and Mentees think of the PA Life Club Mentoring programme?
This year to offer our Club members access to free career development in a peer-to-peer environment we introduced a Mentoring Programme. This is an invaluable opportunity for Assistants who want to advance in their roles. The programme is only possible thanks to the support of the Senior EAs and PAs who support those fairly new to the role, and also PAs who are in need of a soundboard to help them address challenges or changes they are facing…
LET’S HEAR IT FROM SOME OF OUR MENTORS AND MENTEES
“Helen and I have met twice on Teams and it has been so beneficial. It has boosted my confidence, provided practical tips for being an EA and been a constructive space to talk through challenges. Fitting meetings in has worked well and I feel reassured that I can contact Helen for advice via email too!” -
Lou Tyson, EA, Galop
“We’ve had two meetings so far and despite busy schedules, we’re on a roll. It’s really nice to be able to connect with someone from the industry with experience and expertise and who understands the ups and downs! I’m the only assistant in our company so it’s a very valuable connection.” - Ellie
Passingham, Leadership Team Administrator, B Lab UK
“Lou and I have had two good sessions now and I have noticed that Lou has been feeling a little overwhelmed in her new role, so we have been boosting her confidence. I have provided a few tricks of the trade and ways to cope with the workload pressures, and more
importantly, trying to help her see what a great job she is doing.”- Helen
Haslam, Director and Founder, Virtually for You
“Mentoring has been highly rewarding. The exchange of ideas and the opportunity to guide someone on their journey has motivated both of us. Mixing in-person and phone meetings, plus regular WhatsApp messages, suits our busy schedules.” - Rashmi Patel, Company EA and Office Administrator, Trispan
“We are both balancing meetings on busy schedules. I feel that our meetings enhance productivity and growth. As a mentor, I’ve gained fresh perspectives and the joy of shared growth. Valuable insights and ideas are exchanged!”
- Helena Jackson, CEAP, Business Support Supervisor, WTW
“My mentoring journey has been rewarding, fun and easy to fit into our similarly hectic schedules. We meet roughly twice a month and the partnership works very well. Guiding fuels purpose; witnessing growth sparks
commitment”. - Hannah HoustonBanks, EA, Associated British Foods
“I am so grateful to have found such an amazing mentor, who sees more ability and talent within me than I would ever do and who helps me to bring this out and guide me to find my way to where I need to be.” -
Juliane Schriber, EA, businessfourzero
“We have had one call so far and agreed to meet monthly, at lunchtime or after work. We have shared tips with each other already and I believe we will have a good peer to peer mentoring relationship”- Natalie Richardson, EA at London South Bank University
“Natalie and I are a perfect match. Similar background and experiences. We have had one session so far and scheduling another session for next week.”Vivienne Morgan, EA, Barclaycard Payments
All Club members are welcome to join. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject ‘Mentoring’.
WHAT YOU MISSED…
PA Life Club members enjoyed a fantastic afternoon and evening of magical entertainment on August 18th when 30 of our Club members attended the Meet Up to watch the original production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre in London’s West End.
The play is performed as two separate shows, both
two and a half hours long. Part One of the play started at 2pm and finished around 4:30, allowing us ample time to walk to the nearby Sophie’s Steakhouse where we were welcomed with a glass of prosecco and treated to a delicious three-course dinner.
The post-event survey rated this as a great option for team days out, as staff rewards and also client entertainment.
The PA Life Club Meet Up at the world-renowned Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 7th is one of the highlights of our busy autumn so far. 25 Club members joined the exhilarating afternoon. We braved The Dare Skywalk, 46 metres above the pitch. It’s a great team activity and we all felt a real sense of achievement afterwards. We also packed in a 90 minute stadium tour which took us
behind the scenes into the player areas, including the famous tunnel – the players entrance to the stadium, the NFL changing rooms, several amazing restaurants, bars and VIP lounges as well as some of the stunning event spaces. There is also a micro-brewery with its own bar on site. Our day finished with a wonderful feast of food prepared inhouse of course, and drinks to match on the plush Level 9 hospitality area.
The 15th PA Life Summit at Hilton London Tower Bridge on 14th September was widely regarded by both the participating suppliers and PA/EA delegates alike as one of the best industry events they’ve attended. The quality of seminars, the pre-arranged one-to-one meetings as well
as the walk-up stands, not to mention the delicious catering, made it a day to remember. We even treated everyone to a celebratory reception with fantastic raffle prizes.
Make sure to book your free delegate place for autumn 2024 Summit.
September 21st saw over 50 of PA Life Club members attend the Yuki by Tabu showcase event at their glamorous event and party space on Dover Street, in the heart of Mayfair. The space has a sophisticated lounge bar vibe with bespoke art, plush furnishings, and a stunning handmade fish tank bar. Influenced by the awe-inspiring colour
palette of famous Japanese landscapes – you can even choose your lighting to suit the mood of your event, maybe a sunrise yellow hue, vibrant pink, or electrifying blue perhaps.
There is also a night club downstairs, perfect for larger parties where separate spaces for dancing and conversations over dinks and food are needed.
HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD PART ONE & TWO WITH DINNER AT SOPHIE’S STEAKHOUSE
AN AFTERNOON AT THE TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR STADIUM
PA LIFE SUMMIT
A FULL HOUSE AT YUKI BY TABU MEET UP
WHAT’S ON – TOP PICKS FOR YOUR DIARY
The best networking, showcase and learning events for PAs and EAs to attend this autumn…
PA LIFE CHRISTMAS PARTY & PA LIFE STAR AWARDS 2023
You are invited to the most coveted Christmas Party of the year for PAs and EAs –the PA Life annual Christmas Party & Star Awards which will be hosted jointly with Inca London at their fabulous South American restaurant in the heart of the iconic
Mayfair. It will be a double celebration with the PA Life Star Awards 2023 being presented during the evening. Free for Assistants to attend. If you haven’t received your place yet then do hurry as you won’t want to miss the fun!
AUTUMN MEET UPS TO LOOK OUT FOR
The PA Show Autumn edition on October 17th brings new suppliers and fresh content to Old Billingsgate. As always, the education programme will be excellent at the show and will help you reach targets and find out what’s new for PA community. Our
Editor will be talking at two sessions: at 11am with Mesi Balog on ‘The WFH BattleEmployee v Employer’. And at 3:30pm with Shirley Ruiz, EA at Citi about ‘How to Excel at Corporate Gifting and Christmas Party Organising’. www.thepashow.com
WELLNESS IN THE WORKPLACE BY SOCIAL PANTRY
An immersive morningof wellbeing with a panel discussion on Preventing Employee Burnout, workshops and a delicious and nutritious breakfast prepared by Social Pantry. You’ll hear from experts on how to help build happier,
engaged and productive teams. An experienced nutritionist will also participate in the panel and workshop as will a company specialising in cycling with an aim to inspire and equip people to cycle and have a positive environmental and social impact.
FAM TRIP TO PAINTERS’ HALL
Club members are invited to an early evening reception at Painters’ Hall and to view the event spaces available for hire. Painters’ Hall is home to Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainer’s, a company whose origins can be traced
back to the thirteenth century. Today, the company is less an association of painters and more a charitable organisation, with the promotion of education in the fine and decorative arts and crafts as its main theme.
EXPERIENCE THE CHRISTMAS PARTY WORLD 2023 AT ATHENA LEICESTER
LUNCH WITH A GUEST SPEAKER AT THE HAC, LONDON
Venues of Excellence are delighted to host PA Life Club members at The HAC, London, where you will be able to meet and network with a selection of their member venues. The historic HAC is steeped in history and located in beatiful grounds, in the heart of the City.
The three individual venues: Armoury House, Prince Consort Rooms and the Artillery Garden offer unique conference and event spaces.
The guest speaker, Adrianne Carter, also known as ‘The Face Whisperer’, is a body language expert and trained psychotherapist.
Christmas Party World takes residence within Leicester’s leading events venue, Athena, creating the most immersive Christmas party experience in the Midlands area.
Each year Athena hosts an incredible range of guests; from small private tables of
eight, to larger companies into the 100’s, with one thing in common – they share in the most electrifying evening from start to finish and make memories that last a lifetime. Overnight accommodation is arranged for Club members. Book your place early.
PA LIFE EDUCATION SESSION AT THE AUTUMN PA SHOW
I live in Lincoln where I have been a ‘traditional’ PA for the past ten years, working in Local Government. I made the move to the private sector a year ago and have not looked back...
My background is in marketing and I’d describe myself as a good communicator, known for my loyalty, attention to detail, commitment to high standards, collaboration and a sense of humour. I am keen to draw positives from any situation. The pandemic was devasting for many, but it allowed me, someone who is disabled, to work on a level playing field when working from home became everyone’s new normal. That gave me the confidence to try something new, and move into the virtual world removing the barriers that once hindered me.
Joining De Courcy Alexander in London, at the start of 2023 as a Virtual Assistant, was the best decision I have ever made. I have quickly proven myself to be a first-class Personal Assistant, I now not only support one senior executive, but two.
I’ve been a member of the PA Life Club for a few months now and I’m hoping to build my network – please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.
Your membership of the PA Life Club has been primarily digital due to your mobility challenges. What aspects of the Club membership have you enjoyed most?
I look forward to reading the PA Life magazine regularly and I was excited about attending the PA Life Summit virtually this year. It’s really nice to see the PA Life Club being so inclusive and accommodating for its members.
During my short time at De Courcy Alexander I have been fortunate to be recognised for my PA skills and I’ve been nominated for a PA Award which is very exciting.
Are there any additional offerings you would like PA Life Club to introduce to its members – either face-to-face or digitally?
I would like to see more social events focusing on upskilling, and the opportunity to dial into virtual sessions, over lunchtime perhaps.
What do you enjoy most about your role, and what do you enjoy the least?
I love being part of a London-based sustainable innovation consultancy. We are currently working on a government funded project linking UK academia and small-scale rural industry in Kenya, where a flat-pack wind turbine that has been designed in the UK will provide low-cost power. It makes a real difference by transforming lives. I get a lot of job satisfaction being able to produce concise minutes and actions from attending complex meetings.
Whilst there are a lot of benefits from working remotely it can be a little isolating at times and I miss the face to-face interaction with colleagues.
What do you think are the key professional development areas Assistants should focus on now?
I expect more and more assistants
joining the virtual world as a more efficient and cost-effective option for businesses. Assistants will need to upskill in project management, financial management and strategic planning skills, and be expected to deputise for their executives in all aspects of the business.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given, and do you have a favourite quote?
‘Be kind. Treat people as you would like to be treated.’ You can’t go wrong with this attitude. My favourite quote is one of the late Sir Winston Churchill’s: “Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”
Which book recommendation would you pass on to your fellow PAs?
I prefer to read a good magazine which I find to be a bit of escapism from a busy job. I have just subscribed to ‘Red’ magazine which I would highly recommend.
Who inspires you?
Women who appear to have it all, excelling in both their professional and personal lives.
What do like to do in your spare time?
I love nothing more than travelling to different parts of the world. I also enjoy swimming and going to the theatre. At home, I have my own little bodyguard, a fun loving but protective puppy.
“It’s so nice to see
Club being so inclusive for its members”
[WORK & LIFE]
Jo Sedgwick,PA at De Courcy Alexander
Ten fatal mistakes Executive Assistants (still) make
Adam Fidler, founder of Adam Fildler Academy, draws attention to the top ten mistakes that EAs need to avoid. Don’t feel offended as he urges you to use this as a development tool and take a self-critical approach to your EA career…
LACK OF WRITING SKILL
Developing the ability to write, and draft documents takes time, practice and confidence. The best Assistants I’ve seen are good writers; they not only format a document for their Executive, but write it.
MISUSE OF APOSTROPHES
Too many EAs can’t use an apostrophe correctly. Apostrophes are never used for plurals; only to show omission or belonging. That means when you write EAs, meaning more than one, we don’t type it as ‘EA’s’. Whether you’re writing about ten or twenty EAs, notice no apostrophe is needed.
UNABLE TO THINK STRATEGICALLY
EAs are naturally able to think operationally, and even tactically – but they also need to think strategically and see the bigger picture. Taking that helicopter view is also essential for supporting your Executive more broadly.
The way we see ourselves has a direct correlation on how others see us. If you view yourself as a secretary or low-level admin, then that’s how others will see
you and how they will behave towards you.
STAYING WITHIN THE EA BUBBLE
It’s amazing how many EAs are happy to stay within traditional expectations, and don’t want to look outside of their role. What else are you offering and doing, above and beyond admin?
Let’s not get this mixed up with being diplomatic or having a pleasing personality. Too much sitting on the fence, not saying boo to a goose, nor having an opinion, really steals your credibility.
HAVING A FIXED MINDSET
Being agile and adaptable are the hallmarks of a solid EA. Success is about being open-minded to try new things, and even if you fail, you bounce back and keep trying.
PLAYING THE GATEKEEPER (BECAUSE YOU THINK THAT’S HOW SENIOR EAS NEED TO BE)
If you aren’t approachable, or the answer is always ‘No’, how does that foster collaboration and team spirit? In the words of Peggy Grande, former EA to President Ronald Reagan, “I was never a gatekeeper, but a gateway”.
USING DEMEANING DESCRIPTORS TO DESCRIBE YOUR ROLE
If you describe yourself as a rockstar or super-hero, even in jest, why do you expect anyone to take you seriously? For a better definition, see my EA Manifesto: What I Am.
LACK OF PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
It’s a real shame so many EAs lack qualifications. Most EAs (in the UK) are qualified to Level 3 at best – but the industry is now asking for Level 4 qualifications as a minimum. A training course is great, but nothing beats getting a formal qualification under your belt.
CAREER DEVELOPMENT 10
Success is about being open-minded to try new things, and even if you fail, you bounce back and keep trying “
How to future-proof your Assistant profession during the rise of AI
‘Generative AI’ has become a buzz term circling the assistant world. AI tools such as Chat GPT have become arguably ‘conventional’, with industry experts warning us of its disruptive force. According to World Economic Forum research, AI is projected to create around 97 million new jobs, countering workforce displacement concerns. So, why in the business support world are we left feeling on edge about the emergence of AI? And, how can we combat it? Evie Courtier at SecsintheCity, the UK’s leading job site for PAs, EAs, and other business support professionals, answers questions that worry many Assistants…
IS MY ASSISTANT PROFESSION UNDER THREAT?
AI, in the form of automation and language processing, is rendering certain tasks more efficient than those completed by the human hand. Whilst it may seem daunting, it’s welcome to note that AI is designed to augment our working capabilities, and not replace them in their entirety.
Roles that are susceptible are those which include repetitive tasks and datacentric duties. Yet vulnerability doesn’t equate to obsolescence, it allows for upskilling and development.
pro-activity to the remit of their daily grind. With this in mind, adapting to new technologies and emerging AI platforms, should not faze business support professionals.
Upgrading your calibre of skills will stand you in good stead for future employability. Whether it’s by utilising company-approved AI tools, developing a culture that is open to change, or conducting AI training programmes.
In the face of technological disruptions, it’s wise
effectively, and be open to learning new techniques.
Having confidence in your ability to conduct an ever-changing role is the foundation to overcoming AI anxiety. By embracing a new mindset, having a curiosity to learn, and accepting the new technologies coming our way, those working within the assistant landscape should feel safeguarded within their role.
www. secsinthecity. co.uk
HOW CAN YOU FUTUREPROOF YOUR PROFESSION?
Change is inevitable when choosing to adopt new technologies, yet as an employee it’s easy to feel ill-equipped in terms of your confidence in approaching AI tools. A certified way of futureproofing your employability, is to embrace change, communicate, and upskill yourself.
With innovative AI emerging from the woodwork, an open mindset allows you to reap the benefits of AI. Asking questions and reframing your thinking around the challenges of AI will help in the adjustment of new technologies.
For employers, a widespread concern is individuals’ lack of flexibility, and desire to adopt new technological structures. Successful PAs or EAs will often correlate
to remind yourself of the multitude of transferable skills you have at your disposal. Whilst technical expertise brings value, it’s the soft skills that make us indispensable within a team. Problem-solving, communication, creativity, and critical thinking are all skills embedded within Assistant work. It’s also the expertise that enables us to navigate challenges, collaborate
CAREER DEVELOPMENT 11
A certified way of futureproofing your employability, is to embrace change, communicate, and upskill yourself
Harnessing the power of autumn for your well-being
As summer gracefully fades into autumn, nature undergoes a breathtaking transformation, and so can we. The shift from the sunny, carefree days of summer to the cosy, contemplative ambience of the autumn provides a unique opportunity to enhance our overall well-being and give us back (or invite in) some self-care rituals and routines. Lucy Eden, founder of Be In Your Element shares her advice on how to achieve this…
Autumn encourages introspection. The days grow shorter, inviting us to slow down, recharge and reflect. Take advantage of this natural inclination by incorporating mindfulness practices into your daily routine. Meditation, journaling and deep breathing exercises help you stay present and cultivate gratitude during this transitional period. Just with a few simple minutes set aside each day, can make a huge difference over time.
Want to practice this with your team at work, why not try a mindfulness and meditation session to kick start your week and give you and your team the tools to practice this anytime, anywhere.
EMBRACE THE CHANGING COLOURS
While the cooler temperatures may make it tempting to stay indoors, don’t let the change in weather deter you from physical activity. The sight of trees adorned with shades of red, orange and
gold can have a profound impact on our mood. Enjoy the crisp autumn air during a walk, run or yoga session outside.
Want to practice this with your team at work, why not arrange a wellness walk or yoga session in your lunchbreak to break the day up and get the body moving. Or get creative with a macrame autumn leaves workshop or art class.
Take time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Weather that’s getting lost in a creative hobby or indulging in a spa day at home. Pampering yourself and giving yourself that all important ‘me time’ is crucial for maintaining your mental and emotional health.
Want to practice this with your team at work, why not try an aromatherapy workshop to make your own spray or roller to uplift, re-balance or relax. Or learn how to make your own spa products for that spa day at home.
CONNECT WITH OTHERS
As the days grow shorter, it’s easy to become more introspective and isolate ourselves. However, maintaining social connections is vital to our overall wellbeing. Plan gatherings in and out of work. With World Mental Health Day just around the corner, on the 10th October celebrate that ‘Mental health is a universal human right’ and come together for ‘Tea & Talks’
Want to practice this with your team at work, why not try a tea making workshop and create the perfect space to get creative and get talking.
Transition from summer to autumn is not just a change in the seasons, but an opportunity for personal growth and well-being. Step into autumn with your well-being in mind, and you can’t put a foot wrong.
To learn more contact email@example.com
Meditation, journaling and deep breathing exercises help you stay present and cultivate gratitude during this transitional period.
A UNIQUE VENUE FOR YOUR NEXT EVENT London Art House exhibits 10 event spaces, each inspired by different artistic themes perfect for small meetings to whole building conferences. Our experienced event staff are on hand to make your event one to remember at this hidden gem based in Islington. firstname.lastname@example.org | 020 3227 3200 | www.londonarthouse.com
How to tackle anxiety at work
Anxiety at work is common, with just under one million cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety recorded in 2021-22 in Great Britain alone. Stress in the workplace is unavoidable, with causes ranging from work overwhelm to conflict in relationships and the results can be severe if unchecked. Anxiety can be mitigated but employers and PAs need to work together to notice the signs and help implement solutions to create more supportive, safe and healthy work environments. These tips will provide some help on ways to manage anxiety at work.
Identify the root of the stressAddressing workplace stress can be helped by simply talking to others about concerns to find a collaborative solution. Organisations who want to tackle workplace stress and anxiety naturally have a more open environment at work, allowing for conversations to be had and support to be given. Whether you are the employee or employer, reach out and start the conversation.
Minimise multi-taskingMultitasking may seem the more efficient, effective way to get through your day at work, but it has actually been shown to be less productive and anxiety-inducing. Taking the time to switch from taskto-task results in losing time and concentration which can add up, whereas focusing solely on one task usually takes less time overall by reducing the risk of getting sidetracked and overwhelmed, and making mistakes.
Overcome Imposter Syndrome - Take the time to recognise and reflect on your accomplishments, and celebrate your successes, to remind yourself why you are equipped for your position. Counter any self-doubts by seeking feedback from others and looking at any possible criticisms in a constructive light, using them to grow from and build up your confidence.
Learn how to say no – Being able to recognise your limits at work and not take on more than you can handle is important. Valuing prioritising and delegating work can ensure you have a more manageable workload.
Ask for flexibility - The workplace is seeing a huge period of transition as we assess how we can best do hybrid and home working. If you have good reasons for a need for flexibility and it could be life-changing for you then this opportunity has never been more of an option than it is today. You need to evidence your case of why this will help you, and in turn help the business.
Deal with toxic colleagues – Deal with conflict early on. Conflict is a common cause of anxiety at work, so if you can, set boundaries, steer clear of others’ toxic behaviour when possible, maintain professionalism, document incidents and seek support if you need to.
Have good work habits – Being able to switch off at the end of the workday is key to maintaining a healthy work/life divide. Tidying your desk and making a to-do list for the next day are two examples of small habits that enable you to put the day behind you so you can go home, switch off and recharge.
14 HOW TO
Multitasking may seem the more efficient, effective way to get through your day at work, but it has actually been shown to be less productive, and anxiety-inducing
Brain and Behaviour Specialist, Neuroscientist and C-suite Mentor Dr Lynda Shaw shares her advice on what we can do if we suffer from anxiety at work…
Photo by Pennie Withers
Scan to enquire
Sustainability in the workplace: six tips on how offices can become more sustainable
Sustainability in the workplace has become a hot topic these days, and for a good reason. With environmental concerns taking centre stage, and the growing awareness of our collective impact on the planet, businesses recognise their role in creating a more sustainable future…
Integrating eco-friendly practices minimises the carbon footprint and demonstrates a commitment to responsible corporate citizenship.
Studio Alliance, a European alliance of workplace experts, has provided six effective tips on how offices can become more sustainable and what benefits this can bring.
1SMART ENERGY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS that utilise IoT (Internet of Things) devices and sensors can significantly reduce energy consumption in offices. These systems can monitor and adjust lighting, heating, and cooling based on occupancy and natural lighting conditions. By optimising energy usage, companies can lower their carbon footprint and operational
costs, showcasing their commitment to sustainability to both employees and clients. This approach also aligns with digital trends, demonstrating technological innovation and efficiency.
2BIOPHILIC DESIGN INTEGRATION in office spaces involves introducing natural elements like plants, natural
16 HOW TO
light, and natural materials. This design approach not only improves air quality and enhances the aesthetics of the workplace, but also promotes employee wellbeing and productivity. Exposure to nature has been linked to reduced stress levels, improved cognitive function, and increased job satisfaction. A sustainable, nature-inspired workspace can be a strong selling point in recruitment efforts and contribute to higher employee retention rates.
This approach aligns with the trend of flexible work arrangements, showcasing a forward-thinking and adaptable organisational culture.
FLEXIBLE REMOTE WORK
Infrastructure that supports remote work through digital solutions not only reduces commuting related emissions, but also enhances employee wellbeing and work-life balance. By investing in secure and efficient remote work technologies, companies can attract a wider talent pool from different geographical areas, thereby diversifying their workforce.
WASTE REDUCTION AND RECYCLING PROGRAMMES
By establishing comprehensive waste reduction and recycling programmes within the office space can significantly minimise the environmental impact. Encouraging employees to reduce single-use plastics, recycle properly, and engage in waste reduction initiatives fosters a culture of sustainability. Such efforts resonate with younger generations who prioritise environmentally-conscious.
employee wellbeing. Providing incentives like subsidised travel passes, bike storage facilities, and flexible work hours can encourage employees to adopt ecofriendly commuting methods. This approach aligns with digital platforms for organising carpools and managing commuting schedules, appealing to tech-savvy generations and reflecting a commitment to a greener future.
GREEN COMMUTING INCENTIVES such as commuting by cycling, public transport, and carpooling, not only reduces carbon emissions but also contributes to
ECO-FRIENDLY DIGITAL PRACTICES such as paperless workflows, cloud storage, and video conferencing, reduces paper waste, and also energy and resources required for physical infrastructure. Transitioning to digital documentation and communication methods showcases a commitment to efficiency and sustainability, and supports employee wellbeing by streamlining processes and reducing administrative burdens. www.studio-alliance.com
17 HOW TO
A sustainable, nature-inspired workspace can be a strong selling point in recruitment efforts and contribute to higher employee retention ratestention rates
Preparing for the introduction of ETIAS: A guide for business travellers to Europe
Laura Busby, Commercial Director at the Good Travel Management, explains what the introduction of the new screening process by the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will mean for travellers and companies arranging business trips to Europe, and how to prepare for it now…
Travellers will encounter a new €7 fee next year as part of the ETIAS, expected to be implemented in November 2024 and will apply to foreign visitors aged 18 to 70. To enter the Schengen Zone, travellers from visa-exempt countries will need to obtain ETIAS authorisation through an official website. Nationals of the ETIAS requiring countries are exempt.
ETIAS represents an electronic travel authorisation system with a primary goal to enhance security by identifying potential risks while facilitating legitimate travel within the region. As a result, professionals travelling on business will also be affected.
Fortunately, for most travellers, the application for ETIAS authorisation will be swiftly approved, with the European Commission estimating that about 95 per cent will be approved within minutes. However, in some cases, it may take longer, even up to 30 days for approval.
The obtained authorisation will be required for entry into all countries in the Schengen area, and it will remain valid for three years or until the expiration of the traveller’s travel document. During border checks, the ETIAS authorisation will be verified along with other travel documents, like passports.
Travellers from visa-exempt countries will need to complete an online application, provide personal information, and undergo security checks to obtain their ETIAS authorisation.
To ensure a smooth and hasslefree business travel experience within the Schengen Zone under the new ETIAS, companies and travellers should consider the following steps:
FAMILIARISE YOURSELF WITH THE CHANGES
Stay informed about the specific ETIAS requirements, know what information is needed, the fee structure, and any additional documents that may be requested.
Travel requirements may evolve over time, so keep up to date with any changes to the ETIAS regulations. This will help you adapt your travel plans and prevent any unwanted surprises.
COMPLIANCE IS KEY
Communicate the ETIAS requirements to all travelling staff members. Provide them with clear guidance on how to apply for the authorisation and support them in navigating the process. Ensuring compliance with the new regulations will
prevent any last-minute complications during travel.
Allocate sufficient time for the application process and consider potential processing delays. If managing travel arrangements becomes overwhelming, outsourcing to a Travel Management Company can be a wise choice as they have a team of travel experts dedicated to booking and managing your business travel experience. See more at www.good-travel.co.uk
The Schengen zone is a separate part of the EU where internal border controls between the 27 participating countries have been lifted. Ireland is excluded. For more information see www.traveleurope.europa.eu/etias_en
18 HOW TO
The Obtained authorisation will be required for entry into all countries in the Schengen area, and it will remain valid for three years, or until the expiration of the traveller's travel document
DELIVERING UNFORGETTABLE HOSPITALITY FOR 23 YEARS 020 8222 8420 aokcavendish.com email@example.com We’ve been selected as preferred agents for some incredible events including Wimbledon, Wembley Stadium, ICC Cricket World Cup, Lord’s Cricket Ground, Formula 1, the Olympic Velodrome, the Rugby World Cup, Cheltenham Festival and many, many more. Get in touch to receive your 2024 Hospitality Calendar
Private flight solutions for when reliability and time are of the essence
Are you looking for an efficient travel that dovetails with your business itinerary? ACC Aviation’s private charter flights work around your schedule, allowing you to use your time more productively…
For over 20 years, we have provided bespoke charter solutions to clients and businesses across the globe. From small executive jets to aircraft suitable for larger groups and corporate getaways, we have you covered.
Our private travel specialists will work with you to create a flight schedule that works around you, allowing you to depart and arrive at your preferred times. Thanks to our ongoing relationships with the world’s most exclusive private terminals, we’ll always ensure your VIP treatment extends well beyond the aircraft. When you are ready, you will glide to your aircraft, avoiding long check-in lines, security procedures, and waiting at airports.
FLEXIBILITY AND CONVENIENCE
Leveraging the wealth of our knowledge and experience, our dedicated business jet charter team can recommend the most convenient local airports, even using smaller airports that may be closer to your destination, giving you complete control over when and where you fly. If your presentation runs over or your client asks you to join them for dinner, our 24/7 team will handle any change
and ensure a smooth transition between locations.
PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY
Private jets offer a high level of privacy and confidentiality allowing you to conduct meetings, work on confidential matters, make important phone calls, or simply relax and prepare for upcoming meetings or presentations. Thanks to our network of aircraft operators, we can access the most modern aircraft with comfortable seating, spacious cabins, Wi-Fi connections and onboard meeting facilities to enable you to be productive while in the air.
to accommodate your dietary needs, ensuring a comfortable and stress-free dining experience during your flight. Likewise, seamless ground transfer can be arranged for a comfortable and timesaving transition.
Private jets offer a high level of privacy and confidentiality allowing you to conduct meetings, work on confidential matters, make important phone calls, or simply relax and prepare for upcoming meetings or presentations
We understand that even seasoned business travellers can find travel stressful at times. Our dedicated account managers can personalise your charter experience to the smallest details – from the cabin set-up to having your favourite coffee and newspapers onboard. Our team works closely with the operators
“I was relatively new to booking private charters and a little unsure of what to do. I spoke to 5 charter companies and ACC really [stood out. Their competence, attention to detail, and speed of delivery were faultless. My clients were extremely impressed, especially as this was for a very high profile client, and have emailed their feedback to say thanks. I will be sure to come to ACC for future projects.” Director – Travel Management Company
Carbon-offsetting options available. To learn more, call 01737 232 230 or email Charlie.Wilcox@accaviation.com and quote PA Life.
20 BUSINESS TRAVEL
“HUGE thank you to everyone in the Team for making the evening such a great success. The food and entertainment were wonderful, and I’ve had so much positive feedback from everyone I’ve spoken to.”
- Helen, Amazon UK
The Midlands’ Leading Event Venue firstname.lastname@example.org | 0116 262 6556 | www.athenacb.co.uk | Corporate Events | Christmas Parties | Awards | Conferences | Meetings | Exhibitions | Festivals | Live Shows
Senior Executive Assistant, Citi
Our Editor met up with Shirley Ruiz, a Senior Executive Assistant at Citi, to discuss the role of an EA, her recent move from one international banking giant to another, and what career success looks like to her…
What are the most important life and career choices and milestones that have led to your current role?
I have been at Citi for nearly six months now, prior to that I worked at HSBC, BNY Mellon and Standard Chartered Bank.
There are three important events in my life that have led me to my current role. The first was my son getting married in Japan. I felt I needed a new venture in my life. I was then approached by a recruitment agency via LinkedIn proposing an exciting role at Citi which I applied for and got! This role not only provides assistance to the Executive ,but it also allows me to learn new skills and gain new knowledge. It felt like the perfect time and opportunity for me to face a new challenge, acquire new knowledge and meet a new group of talented people.
The role of an EA is fast paced and forever evolving, not least in today’s environment of rapid technological advances.
What, in your opinion, makes a great Assistant today and how to futureproof the role?
The ability to learn and embrace new technology is key. We are on a stimulating and exciting journey. Technology will improve our work processes, automating routine tasks and providing easy and fast access to information. The role of an Executive Assistant will continue to be the linchpin connecting executives with crucial information on one side, whilst proving a human touch on the other.
What do you enjoy most about working at your current role?
Aside from the EA duties, I enjoy helping to create an environment that’s conducive to success, based on collaboration amongst the team members and those carrying out the varied responsibilities. I also enjoy discovering new digital tools and learning new skills. It is a constant learning curve, and I am loving it.
What do you find most challenging in your role?
Dealing with multiple demands, and having to change conflicting priorities at last minute. Keeping track of different activities to ensure project deliverable timelines are met and that stakeholder presentations are prepared on time. However, I manage this by ensuring I keep a to do list, reminders and prioritise tasks and deadlines and focus on what I do.
What would be your top advice for a newbie wanting to enter the Assistant profession?
Being an Assistant is very challenging however it can also be rewarding. Have an open mind, love what you do and don’t take things personally. Be professional and always provide the best service you can to assist your manager. Establish good communication from the start and build trust with your actions.
Who do you admire and why?
I don’t have a specific person in mind; however, I admire all parents, and it’s still mostly mothers, who are successful in balancing their personal and professional lives. Their dedication is truly inspiring.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and by whom?
My grandfather said to me when I was very young that knowledge is power but always be humble, work hard and treat people as you would expect to be treated.
Are you involved in any special projects, either at work or during your free time, that you are particularly passionate about?
I enjoy volunteering at various events from the London Marathon to charity events such as cooking and wrapping Christmas presents for children. I also love booking events and getting away at weekends. I love organising it all, and it’s especially fun when I manage to find great discounts.
What are your favourite things to do and places to visit in London? Plus, what are your go-to places when booking your executives for a business lunch or dinner in London?
I love walking and exploring different areas and places, and London is a great place for that with its iconic landmarks. I recently visited the Rose Court in the Bankside which boasts
stunning panoramic views. I walked back by the river, passing the Globe Theatre and The Millennium Footbridge with Tate Modern and St Paul’s Cathedral on each side of the bridge –the architecture was outstanding, very exhilarating.
Travelling is my passion and I have a bucket list which includes visiting the wonders of the world, UNESCO World Heritage sites and famous landmarks. This year I visited the Iguazu Falls situated between the Argentinian province of Misiones and the Parana in Brazil. I get a lot of pleasure and satisfaction out of travelling, as well as a sense of achievement. It’s a lovely way to learn new things and broaden my horizon whilst discovering new places.I enjoy meeting people from different countries and cultures, and making new friends. I’d love to continue travelling as long as I have the strength and health to be able to do so.
As for London restaurant recommendations, I regularly book the Rules restaurant for lunches and dinners. It’s a great restaurant and never disappoints.
A former collegue has this to say of Shirley:
“Shirley is one of those people who lights up a room with her smile, positivity and happiness. It’s always a pleasure to work with her - so hardworking and showing a high commitment and dedication to any task in hand. She’s a real team player who looks out for others, and an excellent friend.”
23 PA PROFILE
“The role of an Executive Assistant will continue to be the linchpin connecting executives with crucial information on one side, and providing a human touch on the other.”
Jenny Brittain - a former HSBC colleague.
We are bringing you a night to remember!
You are invited to the most coveted Christmas Party of the year for PAs and EAs – the PA Life annual Christmas Party & Star Awards which will be hosted jointly with Inca London at their fabulous South American restaurant & club in the heart of the iconic Mayfair.
Monday 13th November 2023
It will be a double celebration with the PA Life Star Awards 2023 being presented during the evening. Make sure you reserve your place early as you don’t want to miss this!
If you would like to discuss sponsorship opportunities available at the PA Life Christmas Party, contact Lucy Gallivan on email@example.com
Looking for a memorable venue for your next event?
Athena Leicester is an Art Deco landmark building, centrally located in the UK, offering luxury, modern facilities, and flexibility to your events…
Amazon, Krispy Kreme, Next, JD
Sports and Virgin
Media O2 are among the big corporate brands to have hosted events at Athena, a Grade II-listed venue located in Leicester’s buzzing cultural quarter, only an hour from London by train.
Built in 1936 as an Odeon cinema, the award-winning Athena has been restored to its former glory and now hosts a wide range of corporate events, awards, exhibitions, conferences, meetings, and Christmas parties, with a capacity for between 120 and 2,000 guests. The independent venue also boasts stateof-the-art- technology, and specialist in-house teams for event delivery, production, and catering.
CASE STUDY: Blue Diamond Employee Awards
Daniela Corizza, PA of Blue Diamond,
one of the UK’s largest garden centre retail groups, recently held an awards event for 650 employees at Athena. “As a business, we like to do things differently, so we needed a stand-out venue with character,” says Corizza. “We loved Athena’s theatrical Art Deco appearance and used this theme for the awards. The venue is also centrally located in the UK, which works for our business as employees are scattered across the country. Venues that hold such a large capacity are few and far between, so Athena stood out in that respect, too.”
Post-event, the feedback from Blue Diamond employees was that it was their favourite awards ceremony to date, extremely well planned, executed
and all ran smoothly and on time. The service was the best guests had seen. Corizza added: “The experience of Athena’s events team shone through – they helped to bring our ideas to life and were extremely hands-on. The team made my job a easier and the whole planning phase less stressful. They really understood what we wanted and worked with us to execute it and make it even better.”
For event enquiries please see www.athenacb.co.uk
Contact the events team at: contact@ athenacb.co.uk | 0116 262 6556
The experience of Athena’s events team shone through - they helped to bring our ideas to life and were extremely hands-on
Daniela Corizza, PA at Blue Diamond
CHRISTMAS PARTIES AT THE KIA OVAL Christmas party packages available from £84 (includes VAT) per person Visit our website to find out more Events.kiaoval.com or Call 0207 820 5670 ICE PACKAGE From £118 per person (includes VAT) The Kia Oval’s first themed event space • Welcome Festive Cocktail • DJ & Dance Floor • 4-hour Drinks Package • Christmas Themed Buffet • Desserts Table • Exclusive Room Hire Dining upgrade available
THE CURLING CLUB IS GLIDING ITS WAY BACK TO THE SOUTH BANK CENTRE THIS WINTER Celebrate the festive season in style with friends, colleagues, and loved ones at The Curling Club, opening this October! Call today on 0208 126 1561 WWW.THECURLINGCLUB.COM Located in the heart of The South Bank Centre this immersive, alpine-themed, curling-infused pop-up is the perfect way to party this winter and we want you to be a part of it. Casual Curling combines a short, fast form of curling with winter cocktails and festive music. The Curling Club is the perfect way to entertain friends, colleagues and loved ones this winter whilst experiencing the apres-ski vibes in an all-inclusive, competitive, social environment.
We can source, suggest and book talent for your Event including: Keynote Speakers Hosts & Presenters Moderators Experts & Trainers Comedians Musicians After Dinner Entertainment Drop us a line and let us help make your Event special: firstname.lastname@example.org 020 3916 5074 / 07881 825 287 www.andromedatalent.com
Do you organise Events?
15 fantastic corporate hospitality ideas for 2024
The UK isn’t short of options when it comes to prestigious events that are perfect for your corporate hospitality needs. Whether it’s sports, music or culture that you’re after, we’ve pulled together a list of our favourites to get you started with 2024 planning…
Coldplay European Tour: Love them or hate them, Coldplay are a huge pull and 2024 will see them play four nights at Dublin’s Croke Park and a host of other European cities (nothing yet for the UK!).
Cricket Test Matches: All of the UK’s test Match venues offer a huge variety of corporate hospitality packages, with Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka all visiting in 2024.
Edinburgh Military Tattoo: Set against the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, this annual event offers a blend of music, ceremony, and entertainment.
Foo Fighters UK Tour: The biggest rock band in the world is coming to UK stadiums and arenas next June, so grab your earplugs and a corporate hospitality box while you can!
Formula E British Grand Prix: We experienced the unique indoor/ outdoor setting at London’s ExCeL, with thousands of fans packed in for exciting two days of EV racing. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will launch their electric F1 attraction later this year.
Henley Royal Regatta: A traditional rowing event held on the River Thames, it’s known for its strict dress code and
Premier League Football: Particularly those involving top clubs and great venues such as the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, these matches can be significant for corporate hospitality, especially in private boxes or VIP sections.
Royal Ascot: One of the highlights of the British summer social season, this horse racing event offers a blend of tradition, pageantry and style.
Royal Opera House: The Royal Opera House is home to The Royal Opera, The Royal Ballet and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House with over 500 performances each year.
Rugby Six Nations Matches at Twickenham: Whenever matches are held at Twickenham, they become prime opportunities for corporate hospitality, particularly when England is playing.
Taylor Swift UK Tour: You and your clients can shake it off all summer when Taylor Swift hits the UK, including a mammoth six nights at Wembley Stadium.
The British Grand Prix at Silverstone: A flagship event of the Formula 1 calendar, offering not just thrilling races but also exceptional corporate hospitality experiences.
The Open Championship: One of the most historic golf events in the world, this is a favourite for corporate hospitality, with a focus on luxury and exclusivity.
The Proms: The annual eight-week summer series of daily classical music concerts and events held predominantly in London’s Royal Albert Hall. Established in 1895, it has become a quintessential British tradition.
The Wimbledon Championships: Tennis enthusiasts and corporate guests flock to the All England Club every summer for two weeks of world-class tennis.
If you’re interested in exploring any of the above events, or are looking for more ideas, see the Corporate Hospitality section of our Recommended Suppliers directory at www.palife.co.uk.
Extraordinary experiences for unforgettable memories
From MVPs (Most Valuable Players) to VIPs, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was made to deliver extraordinary experiences. The stadium and its events team are forever looking at ways to deliver even more…
Very few venues in the UK boast the experiences that Tottenham Hotspur Stadium offers. Think of the stadium as a universe where worlds collide, bringing together the best of the best. From world class acts, including Beyoncé, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Lady Gaga, to edge of the seat action of the Premier League or the NFL, it never fails to deliver. Prepare to be awed by footballers, rock stars, MVPs (Most Valuable Players) and boxers ready to pack a punch!
Always in pole position when it comes to transforming the way you experience entertainment, F1® DRIVE – London is the latest exciting venture heading to N17. Set to launch this winter, it will see the world’s first in-stadium electric karting facility come to life underneath Tottenham Hotspur Stadium’s famous
Not just limited to the stage or pitch – there are many spaces waiting for you to make your mark. When it comes to celebrations, events and conferences, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium means business. Ever striving to push the boundaries of innovation, it’s one of the most technologically advanced venues in the world.
Whether you’re looking to host an unforgettable Christmas Party, an awards dinner, product launch or event, the possibilities are endless. Offering a range of options including digital LED
screens and audio-visual requirements courtesy of on-site supplier, Eclipse, the events team will work with you to amplify your brand and deliver a truly immersive delegate experience
memorable location for your next team building away day? Look no further than Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. With an array of breakout spaces and an expanding selection of onsite visitor attractions, your guests will be captivated and entertained throughout the day. From the moment you step inside the stadium, you will be transported to a world of excitement and adventure. Take in panoramic views of London’s iconic skyline as you scale the stadium and enjoy a thrilling DARE Skywalk experience. For the ultimate challenge, add The Edge to your skywalk adventure and become one of the first to tackle the UK’s first controlled descent from a stadium. Explore behind-the-scenes of this world-famous venue on the exclusive stadium tour. Get up close and personal with the first team areas and NFL locker rooms and about the rich history of Tottenham Hotspur. Immerse yourself
Transforming the way you experience entertainment, this award-winning Stadium boasts an electric atmosphere that mirrors the energy of the stage, the field, the main act
personalised to you.
Transforming the way you experience entertainment, this award-winning Stadium boasts an electric atmosphere that mirrors the energy of the stage, the field, the main act. So, whether it’s Beyoncé owning the mic or sporting superstars tearing it up on the pitch, see, hear, dance, cheer when witnessing greatness and say you were here for it. See it, hear it, live it!
Cabaret style or theatre? 120 guests or 1,200? Christmas gathering or a vibrant summer party? Whichever you choose, we’ll go the extra mile to deliver a memorable experience for you from start to finish.
WHERE TEAMS ARE BUILT, AND MEMORIES MADE
Are you in search of a unique and
in the world of football and experience what it’s like to be a part of the team. After a day of team-building activities, unwind and network with your colleagues as you admire the breathtaking views of London while sipping on a refreshing drink. The perfect end to a memorable day at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
SPEAK TO A MEMBER OF THE EVENTS TEAM
Contact the events team at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to discuss an event or book in for a site visit to view the incredible spaces for yourself.
email@example.com 0208 365 5140
31 CORPORATE HOSPITALITY
<<< THE CURLING CLUB
Gliding into London’s iconic Southbank Centre on Friday 13th October, the banks of London’s River Thames will once again boast the most exhilarating apres-ski experience.
Based on the Winter Olympic sport of Curling, The Curling Club’s ambassador and four-time Olympic champion Eve Muirhead OBE, will also return. Guests can experience authentic curling by gliding stones down a fit-for-purpose sheet without
the need for ice or specialist footwear.
The Curling Club offers bespoke and set experiences for companies of all sizes. Putting a new meaning to the term ‘ice breaker’, colleagues and teams can hope for a clean sweep playing the competitive, all-inclusive sport, while enjoying the live entertainment and a selection of mouth-watering mains, sides and delicious beverages.
Eve Muirhead OBE commented: “The Curling Club is the perfect opportunity to experience the
intense and suspenseful sport that is curling. Combining the continued success of Great Britain’s curling achievements and the popularity of previous year’s spectaculars, it’s
farms. Founded by Rosebie Morton in 1995 after she was disillusioned with the lack of scented flowers that were available to buy, she set out bringing scented garden roses back to the market.
a hugely exciting way to celebrate the festive seasonand I am so proud to be part of it again. I can’t wait to meet everyone at Southbank!”
<<< REAL FLOWER COMPANY
The Real Flower Company specialise in luxury floral bouquets and arrangements
<<< ANDROMEDA TALENT
Have you been asked to organise an event?
Maybe it’s the latest Leadership Seminar, the holiday party or the team Wellbeing day? We can help make your life easier! Here at Andromeda Talent we can source, suggest and book Speakers, Hosts, and Entertainment and pretty much anything else you throw at us for these Events. Foraging expert to lead a Nature Walk? Sure! Comedy Magician to entertain guest? Easy! Economist to explain Circular Economics?
including beautiful Christmas wreaths. All made with sustainably grown, naturally scented roses, English flowers, herbs and foliage all grown on their own LEAF accredited
Piece of cake!
All you need to do is drop Kaye, our Head Agent, a note (email, phone, or text is fine) and she will wave her magic wand and help sort some genuinely engaging talent for whatever your budget is. Her advice is completely free and accessible, there is no cost until a booking is confirmed.
Here are just some of the types of talent we have booked this year already:
Keynote Speakers, Awards Hosts, Corporate Presenters, Moderators, Comedians, Influencers, Musicians and Bands
Topics have included:
Not only are scent and seasonality of high importance to The Real Flower Company, but equally important is sustainability. The company is based on the farm in Hinton Ampner, Hampshire, nestled in the South Downs National Park, and the farm is both carbon negative and climate positive.
This year marked the recent opening of their second store in Hampstead
Heath (first store launched in Parson’s Green) as the brand continues to exceed customer expectations in running a fair and sustainable business that grows the best naturally scented, luxurious bouquets in the sector.
Each of the beautiful flower arrangements is lovingly designed and hand tied by expert florists and all gifts are available for next day delivery across the UK, delivered in the brand’s signature luxury green boxes.
For orders and enquiries please call 01730 818300. Find out more at www.realflowers.co.uk
Mental Health and Wellbeing, Technology and Social Media, Sustainability, Food and Green Issues, Education, Time Management and Productivity, Legal, Security
and Policing, and Diversity and Inclusion.
020 3916 5074 / 07881 825 287
Snow Ordinary Christmas!
BE EVENTUROUS THIS FESTIVE SEASON
Free Play Games
A ho ho ho lot of fun! Arcades and traditional pub games are a great way to inject some interactive joy to your festive event.
Spice up your evening celebrations with exciting entertainment such as Fun Casino, Bangers Bingo, Game Shows, Singing Waiters, Virtual Race Nights & more!
Conferences & Awards Dinners
Equipped with in house AV kit and expertise, theming and a set workshop, we can make your year end with a bang!
Festive Team Treasure Hunts
In teams, explore your city at the most magical time of the year. Hunt for Santa’s lost presents, unlocking fun festive challenges for points, using only an iPad.
Scan for chance to win!
Win a treasure hunt for your team*
* Terms and conditions apply see eventurous.co.uk/competition for details.
2024 PREMIUM SEATING AT THE HOME OF CRICKET NOW ON SALE WITH FANCY A BEER? BRINGING THE SPIRIT OF OKTOBERFEST TO THE CITY OF LONDON INTRODUCING OUR NEW HOST TOM SKINNER!! UNLIMITED STEINS • LIVE MUSIC • CHAMPAGNE BAR AUTHENTIC GERMAN CATERING • ENTERTAINMENT 19TH & 20TH OCTOBER 2023 OLD BILLINGSGATE THELONDONBIERFEST.COM LONDONBIERFEST BOOK NOW AND RECEIVE 10% OFF YOUR BOOKING USING CODE ‘PALIFE23’ A SPACE TO INSPIRE Flexible, Modern, Grade II Listed Event Space in the heart of Westminster 020 7390 1590 sales@churchhouseconf co uk www churchhouseconf co uk
The countdown has begun…
Christmas is literally just around the corner and that can only mean that PAs and EAs are busy planning company Christmas parties and sourcing venues, entertainers and suitable gifts for clients and colleagues. We’ve put together a helpful guide over the next pages to get you started…
SNOW ORDINARY CHRISTMAS PARTY!
Be Eventurous this festive season with a Christmas party and team activity that helps form strong bonds and reward and develop teams in a new and exciting environment. Send teams to discover your chosen city during the most magical time of year. Search across Christmas markets and Santa’s grotto to find lost presents, meet new people and find new places along the way.
Discover hilarious photo and video opportunities, practice your acting skills or brag the brainiest bunch with a broad selection of cerebral puzzles and fun team challenges.
Experience a magical Christmas celebration on the Thames with City Cruises London. Enjoy festive food, drinks, and breath-taking views for an unforgettable holiday party. Plan your unique Christmas venue on
Finish at a local bar, restaurant or hotel to watch the highlights of the hunt whilst you tuck into a festive feast and enjoy an egg nogg or two. The Eventurous team will find the perfect venue and location for your hunt.
Team Treasure Hunts are a sustainable and favourite Christmas party event. The only equipment needed are our iPads that are charged using solar power from our
the water today!
As the holiday season approaches, the search for unique and unforgettable venues to host a Christmas work party begins. If you’re looking to break away from the traditional office setting and add a touch of magic to your celebrations, why not
500 panels at the Eventurous office. A hunt requires a single event manager to run, who travels via public transport. All participants are required to take part on foot throughout, eliminating the need for
consider hosting your event on a river boat cruising along the iconic Thames?
We offer a variety of packages to suit different budgets and requirements, allowing you to customize your Christmas work party experience. Whether you’re planning an intimate gathering or a larger-scale event, you’ll find options that accommodate your needs. From elegant dining experiences to festive-themed entertainment, there are plenty of possibilities to ensure your colleagues have
vehicles – as an ECOsmart accredited agency, it is one of our favourite ways to celebrate without it costing the earth!
a delightful time. Hosting your Christmas work party on a river boat on the Thames offers a unique and unforgettable experience that will leave a lasting impression on your colleagues. The picturesque views, the enchanting ambiance, and the festive delights will create a magical atmosphere for your celebration. So, set sail on the Thames this holiday season and create cherished memories as you enjoy a Christmas work party like no other.
For enquiries, please visit our website or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org www.cityexperiences. com/london/city-cruises/ christmas-private-hire/
GREEN NOT GRINCH!
in 2023 – join the list of iconic events that have been hosted in
Whether you’re looking for a small intimate dinner in a restaurant
Explore our venue directory at southbankvenues.london
Se o n e
Ban s deHo
>>> CHRISTMAS PARTIES AT THE KIA OVAL
The Kia Oval is not just one of the most famous cricket venues in the world, it operates 365 days of the year as one of the capital’s leading Conference and Events spaces. Right in the heart of London, it’s an extremely accessible venue with a variety of different small, medium and large Event spaces, perfect for a Christmas Party for any type of business. Their Christmas Party Packages are available from just £84 per person (inc. VAT), and NEW for 2023, why not try the Ice Package?
The Ice Package is The Kia Oval’s first themed event space and includes a welcome festive cocktail, a four-hour drinks package,
Christmas themed buffet*, dessert table and exclusive room hire with a DJ and a dancefloor! From just £118 pp (inc. VAT)
The Kia Oval’s Ice Package is perfect for any Christmas Party this year.
*dining upgrades are available
For further details please visit events.kiaoval.com or email the Events team on: email@example.com or phone: 0207 820 5670
>>> BOOM BATTLE BAR
Looking for somewhere to host your annual festive shindig? BOOM BATTLE BAR have got you covered with a range of epic Christmas packages. Pick one that suits your needs and they’ll do the rest. How cool is that? With packages ranging from £3595pp there’s something for every type of team!
Picture this. You’re thrashing your work colleagues in epic games like Axe Throwing, Shuffleboard, AR Darts and more. Getting stuck into the festive menus. Think glittery cocktails adorned with candy canes and drool worthy street food, including glazed pigs in blankets and loaded truffle fries. Whether you’re a team of 10 or 100+ all your festive party needs will be covered.
If you’re looking to go big, private hire is available too. This isn’t your standard private hire, this is a truly unforgettable experience for groups looking to book a one-of-a-kind events. With an array of private hire options with minimum spends and add on options for you to choose from. Go big or go home! You’ve never had a Christmas Party like this.
If that wasn’t enough, you can sort your festive office gifts out in one hit with brand new BOOM Gift Cards that are delivered directly to the lucky recipient’s door. Christmas has come early and we’re here for it.
For enquiries and to book please email: sales. firstname.lastname@example.org
THE ROARING TWENTIES NEWCASTLE MANCHESTER LIVERPOOL NOTTINGHAM MILTON KEYNES WINDSOR BILLERICAY TOBACCO DOCK SYON PARK MAIDSTONE ARDINGLY BICESTER OUR VENUES Best Parties Ever are the UK’s largest Christmas Parties company with over 15 venues providing amazing Shared or Exclusive Office Christmas Parties. 01932 359900 BESTPARTIESEVER.COM EXCLUSIVES@BESTPARTIESEVER.COM Scan here for more information, secure your place or book today. email@example.com 0844 980 2235 corporatefestivalcompany.co.uk 0844 980 2235 WWW.IELIVE.CO.UK INFO@IELIVE.CO.UK CREATIVE EVENT PRODUCTION We have unique experience in delivering employee engagement and creative production services, delivering tangible experiences that drive increase productivty and return on investment. Put your event in the hands of an innovative, passionate team of specialists who genuinely care about the detail.
CHRISTMAS >>>AOK EVENTS
How to build the perfect corporate Christmas Party?
1. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION:
To ensure you maximise attendance, location is key! It’s crucial to consider your guests’ travel plans, nobody enjoys a lengthy journey home! If your chosen venue isn’t near a station or you want to party later than the last train, you may consider arranging private travel or providing accommodation for guests.
Think about style, formality, fun, seated dinner or just a full-blown party. Use a venue finding agency that can guide
you through the best options that work for your budget.
Where venues are concerned, size DOES matter. The number of guests and the format of your party will define the size of venue you will need. 150 people seated takes up a lot more space than 150 standing up. With clever lighting and furniture placement you can make a room smaller, but you can’t make it bigger!
4. FESTIVE FOOD:
The Christmas feast is integral to every party and there are plenty of alternatives to turkey! Whether you prefer a seated three-course dinner, a relaxed reception with canapés & bowls,
food stations, or immersive food theatre, we’ve got you covered.
More is more… DJs, speakers, gospel choirs, break dancers, violinists, harpists and singing waiters. This is the bit where
you make your mark!
AOK Events can help you with all of the above to build the perfect Christmas Party! firstname.lastname@example.org |
>>>SOUTH BANK VENUES
Party on London’s riverside
When it comes to Christmas in London, you can’t beat the magical atmosphere of South Bank. Lights glittering in the trees along the riverside, the warming smells of mulled wine from the Winter Markets, and festive music drifting in the air from all the seasonal pop-ups and entertainers are guaranteed to get you in the
Home to some of the UK’s top attractions including the London Eye, world-renowned cultural institutions The National Theatre, Southbank Centre and BFI, the London Literary Festival, numerous red carpet premieres, the 2023 BAFTAs and not forgetting England’s iconic New Year fireworks display, it’s South Bank that takes centre stage for some of the biggest
events in the city.
So why not book your Christmas party where it’s all happening?
Whether you’re looking for a small office get-together or are planning an elaborate party for over 200, every possibility can be catered for. Head to the skies for a sparkling rooftop drinks reception, tuck into great street food alongside an
evening of competitive socialising, book out a riverside venue for a black-tie event, or choose a private dining room in one of the area’s brilliant hotels and restaurants.
Whatever celebration you’re after, South Bank’s extensive portfolio of stunning venues has the answer.
aokevents.com | 020 8222 8420
CHRISTMAS >>> LONDON ART HOUSE
A true hidden gem of Islington, the London Art House is a completely unique event space that takes your guests away from the usual and into the colourful, exciting, and vibrant. Each room is designed around an artistic theme to create 10 individual event spaces to inject energy into your next conference, seminar, meeting, away day, workshop and party.
Change up your Christmas party in The Egyptian room found in the Klimt Wing. Perfect for a mulled wine reception, or join us for a meal with our special Christmas Menu. Decorated with traditional Egyptian ornaments and classic Scarab designs, you’ll forget you’re in
>>> MAGAZINE LONDON
Welcome to an electrifying evening. Experience a shared Christmas party at Magazine London, one of the capital’s hottest venues, conveniently located only 10 minutes away from London Bridge. Enter into a neon urban wonderland, with towering ceilings and
central London for a fabulous Christmas celebration.
With day hire and various day delegate options, there is something to suit every team. From enquiry through to your
event, the London Art House team will organise every detail to ensure a magical event and a Christmas party to remember. To treat your team to something new this year, book a tour today and
For enquiries contact the events team at email@example.com | www.londonarthouse.com
stunning panoramic views of the Thames, Canary Wharf and the City beyond. A live orchestra will be playing electronic chilled beats as you sip on ice-cold drinks and take in the spectacular view. As the tempo of the evening picks up, the beat pulsates throughout the space, drawing you into our dining room, where neon
installations adorn the space, casting an electric glow that sets the stage for an unforgettable experience. Enjoy a delicious three-course banquet, with accompanying wines, Champagne and chilled beers. Once you have finished, this is where the real night starts, with sensational live music entertainment acts, including a beatbox
trio, pianist and a 12-piece orchestra. As we enter the final electrifying set, our inhouse DJ pushes the night to the max and will have you dancing like you have never danced before. Get ready to be electrified, energised, and enchanted by an experience like no other. To book your Christmas party visit www.smartparties.co.uk
visit the London Art House in Islington.
>>> SO BLOOMING BEAUTIFUL
“My efforts to be eco-friendly and sustainable are ongoing. It is not an easy task as the floristry industry is well established in its bad habits, but having taught myself has helped to avoid them. I am a rule breaker and I am always trying to find different ways to do things” explains the founder of So Blooming Beautiful, Candice Westgate.
So regarding sustainability, there are some principles that we try to work with as much as possible and are not keen on compromising on:
Buy from local suppliers, whenever possible, altough a few large events demand flowers from abroad.
Replace floral foam with compostable alternatives we can use and as well as other methods like kenzans, reused glass vases, and using all sorts
of things inside a vase to hold flowers in place.
Another aspect of sustainable floristry is to have safe and fair conditions of work.
As well as events, we also make bespoke Christmas and corporate gifts with fresh and dried flowers and other elements. Once we understand what our client’s ethos, and their style preferences are, we can start to create a unique idea.
We believe flowers have
the power to move people and ignite positive emotions, so we offer in-company workshops for wellbeing and to celebrate special occasions, such as Mother’s Day, as well as traditional Christmas Wreath workshops.
As one of the event sponsors, So Blooming Beautiful will be at the PA Life Club Christmas Party at Inca London on November 13th.
For enquiries see www. sobloomingbeautiful.co.uk
>>> STRAND PLAZA HOTEL
Set in the heart of London, a stone’s throw from Trafalgar Square and the buzzing Covent Garden, Strand Palace is your home away from home, where modern
comforts are complemented by truly British charm.
Strand Plaza has been welcoming guests to the capital since 1909. Based near Covent Garden, its enviable position on the Strand serves as an excellent location for
both leisure and business travellers alike.
This Festive season we are offering 10% off Christmas parties when booking before November 10th, simply use exclusive code PALIFE at the time of booking.
The offer is only available via our reservations team on 020 7379 4737.
Discover more about our Christmas offerings in our Christmas Brochure at www.strandpalacehotel. co.uk/christmas.html
INCA LONDON – The Best Latin Dinner Show In Town
Inca London is the first cabaret style, up-scale restaurant in the Soho and Mayfair area offering extravagant, theatrical, and glamorous South American performances throughout the evening that take you on a exciting journey to this vibrant continent…
The menu matches the colourful and adventurous shows with authentic dishes such as guacamole, salads, tacos, ceviche followed by traditionally rich and sweet desserts including dulche de leche, alfajor, and tres leches cake. Signature Latin American Cocktails complete the journey of flavours.
The Inca catering team can be booked for your events. They offer banqueting style sharing concept tasting menus and private dining set menus, as well as abundant canapé and bowl food options with an extensive drink selection to complement the food.
Inca London is set across three versatile rooms:
THE MAIN RESTAURANT
5000 ft area with exposed brick arches and raised levels with sumptuous seating. The centre stage, wrapped around by dining style tables, can be adapted into any type of setting.
Dining Capacity: 145
Standing Capacity: 250+
PRIVATE DINING ROOM
This unique space is complete with a FunktionOne sound system, DJ booth and bar, and it is perfect for creating an intimate sanctuary.
Dining Capacity: 16
A self-sufficient lounge with a bar and DJ booth plus a separate cloakroom. Spanning across two elegantly framed arches, this space can be sectioned off if desired or used for private parties and corporate functions.
Dining Capacity: 50
Standing Capacity: 170
The venue is a tremendously versatile space and has teamed up with experienced event professionals. Inca can accommodate a range of private events, from large, seated dinners to private celebrations, corporate events to art exhibitions.
All rooms can be adapted to meet specific event requirements, with options for private screenings, photo shoots, dry hire, Christmas events, media and TV locations, product launches, group meetings, pre-dinner events, live music
showcases, team building events and pop ups.
If you prefer a bespoke catering experience, we will be happy to source this. Whether you wish to create an intimate dinner party or large-scale celebration let our skilled events team assist you in making your event one to remember.
Availability: INCA has a hard-tocome-by extended license which allows operating hours to continue until 5am with alcohol through to 7am entertainment-only. Available 7 days a week, flexible timings to meet all requirements.
Technically, Funktion-One audio is fitted as standard across the venue. Each room has a separate audio zone or can be interconnected. Our intelligent lighting system offers a combination of moving lights, architectural LED, and feature neons. If required, we can source media projectors and large LED/LCD screens, wireless uplighters Gobo/ Logo projectors, extra DJ equipment, dressing and set design.
For enquiries and bookings please email firstname.lastname@example.org See www.incalondon.com for further details.
ENJOY CHRISTMAS IN THE HEART OF LONDON
Host your Christmas celebration at Strand Palace with the perfect party package. With seasonal menus and private dining, to drinks & Canape receptions, we have something to suit all group sizes in an unbeatable location, a stone’s throw away from Covent Garden on The Strand.
10% discount for bookings before 10th November for groups of 10 or more. Quote PALIFE
+44 (0)20 7379 4737 372 Strand, London, WC2R 0JJ strandpalacehotel.co.uk
Mad for it!
PA Life throws the spotlight on the UK’s second largest urban hub, highlighting why Manchester is a hotspot for meetings & events…
Manchester has emerged as an unrivalled hub for meetings and events, offering a perfect blend of world-class venues, outstanding accommodation, and seamless connectivity. Here we take a look at why it’s worth considering this great place for your next event, with reviews of a top restaurant and hotel in the city on the following pages.
A DIVERSE RANGE OF VENUES: From historic buildings that whisper tales of yesteryears to contemporary structures that scream modernity, Manchester offers a vast array of venues suitable for any event. Manchester Central, for example, is a historic railway station turned exhibition centre, providing a sprawling space for large conferences, exhibitions, and gala dinners. For a more intimate setting, venues like The Lowry, an architectural gem on Salford Quays, or the iconic Manchester Town Hall, provide a captivating backdrop for smaller meetings and events.
ACCOMMODATION TO SUIT
ALL BUDGETS: Manchester has an impressive array of hotels ranging from luxury to budget. The Midland Hotel, a historic landmark in the city, has been the choice for many dignitaries and celebrities over the years, offering lavish rooms and top-notch amenities. Meanwhile, the likes of Hotel Football, overlooking the famous Old Trafford stadium, offer a unique experience for football fans and business travellers alike. Budget chains such as Premier Inn and Travelodge pepper the city, ensuring that all visitors find something tailored to their needs and wallets.
WORLD-CLASS TRANSPORT LINKS:
Manchester is one of the most accessible cities in the UK. Served by the Manchester Airport, the UK’s third largest, it offers direct flights to over 200 destinations worldwide. For domestic travellers, the city is well-connected by train, with Manchester Piccadilly Station acting as a major hub for services across the country, including direct routes to London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, and many more. Once in the city, the extensive Metrolink tram system, buses, and taxis make navigation effortless.
Ship Canal. The city is a haven for art enthusiasts, history buffs, and music lovers, ensuring that there’s more to any event than just business.
CULINARY DELIGHTS: Manchester’s food scene is diverse, with a range of restaurants offering global cuisines. From the award-winning fine dining establishments to the bustling Curry Mile, attendees are spoilt for choice. Postevent, many flock to vibrant bars and pubs, like those in the Northern Quarter, for a taste of Manchester’s nightlife.
A CITY THAT BREATHES INNOVATION:
Known as the birthplace of the industrial revolution, Manchester has innovation ingrained in its DNA. The city boasts world-leading universities, cuttingedge research institutions, and a thriving business ecosystem. This environment of creativity and innovation can add unparalleled value to any business event or meeting, making the city a natural choice for forward-thinking organisations.
A MELTING POT OF CULTURE: What truly sets Manchester apart as an event destination is its rich tapestry of culture and history. Attendees can explore world-class museums such as the Manchester Museum or the Museum of Science and Industry, indulge in theatre and music at venues like the Manchester AO Arena or Bridgewater Hall, or even take a historical tour of the Manchester
Manchester, with its perfect blend of history, culture, modernity, and business acumen, stands out as a premier destination for hosting meetings and events. Whether it’s the state-of-the-art venues, the extensive travel links, or the vibrant energy of the city that draws you in, one thing is certain: an event in Manchester is bound to leave an indelible mark.
To find out more visit www.visitmanchester.com
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Photo by Jonny Gios on Unsplash
On PA Life’s recent trip to Manchester, we were lucky enough to spend an evening at the super lively Firefly restaurant and bar. Here are our thoughts…
A weekend trip to Manchester at the start of September saw us facing the intense heat of the late-summer heatwave. The temperature in the city tipped 30 degrees during the day, so it was fitting that we were booked in for an early evening dinner at one of Manchester’s hottest venues – Firefly.
Located just on the outside of the city (but just a 10 minute walk from the centre), Firefly boasts a glorious décor and environment, plus a stunning and contemporary menu. What was clear right from the off is that this restaurant/ bar is not an ideal venue for a business meeting.
The music is loud and the atmosphere buzzing. But if you’re looking for a great place for a team get-together, or a night out with friends,
we couldn’t recommend it more highly.
Plus, there is the opportunity to hire the venue or an area of
Private Hire & Events
it – it would be a fantastic choice for a Christmas party, for example. See boxout for more info on hosting an event there.
The staff couldn’t have been more welcoming or helpful. Our waiter, Riz, deserves a particular mention for guiding us through the menu – despite
Need To Know
1 New Bailey, Stanely Street, Salford M3 5JL
Open Wednesday to Sunday www.fireflymcr.com
Croquettes which came with truffle mayonnaise.
having to shout over the music! The menu can initially appear daunting in terms of what to order, and how, as it features an eclectic mix of dishes inspired by the tastes of Asia, North and South America, Europe and more – all served tapas-style for sharing. But Riz was incredibly helpful in his suggestions.
All dishes are served as they are created, like a tapas or mezze dining experience, so the starters were quickly followed by our choice of Beef Yakitori, meltin-your-mouth beef skewers served with a Thai Chimichurri sauce; Miso Chicken featuring fried golden Kimchi and the Thai Chimichurri sauce; the Kyoto Fries (Szechuan, Nori and Sesame seasoning, plus Yuzu mayonnaise); and sprouting broccoli.
All dishes were incredible; we couldn’t decide which we preferred as it was all so good. If there were any negatives, it would be that we probably could have dropped one of the main dishes; we were so full, we had to skip dessert –which we sorely regretted having to do!
The venue can be hired out exclusively to host up to 400 guests, plus there is the option to hire areas of the venue, including the bar/lounge, the private dining room and the sheltered outdoor space.
For starters, we opted for the Burrata which was served with Datterini tomatoes, Amalfi lemon oil and flatbreads, plus the Chipotle Short Rib
We opted for a bottle of wine to drink during the meal, but the cocktail menu at Firefly is hugely popular – and easy to see why, as it features a huge selection of unique options which can also be paired to match your food.
All in all, we would heartily recommend checking out Firefly. It’s not a place for business negotiations, but certainly somewhere for fun, a great atmosphere and amazing food and drink.
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The Lowry, Manchester
PA Life’s whistle-stop tour of Manchester venues included a stay at the city’s five-star Lowry Hotel, a fabulous place to eat, drink and stay – whether for business or pleasure…
Manchester has plenty to offer in terms of chic hotels – from the majestic and historic Midland, to the quirky and uber-cool Hotel Gotham. But if you’re looking for contemporary luxury for your executives, and larger-than-average rooms, you need to check out The Lowry Hotel.
Situated just inside Salford, but just a five-minute walk from town (and a 10-minute taxi ride from Manchester Piccadilly station), the hotel also boasts a car park (unlike many of the city centre venues), along electric car charging points.
We arrived ahead of the checkin time, but the reception staff were welcoming and helpful. Although our room wasn’t ready, our bags were taken and we headed up to the lounge bar for refreshments after our journey. Cocktails on the bar’s long balcony were very welcome, and the view over the canal was enjoyable, particularly given the late-summer heatwave we were experiencing. The cocktail menu is impressive, featuring both classics and
Lowry Hotel ‘specials’, and our server was friendly and helpful when we asked for help with navigating the best route into the city.
Our bags had already been taken to our room once we were able to check in. The twin room was larger than you’d expect to find in other hotels, with floor to ceiling windows, and a sofa area, which made a big difference to our experience of the stay; we could read books and watch tv without having to balance on the edge of the beds.
The good-sized tv featured Netflix and other streaming channels, and the mini bar was well-stocked, although pricey (aren’t they always?). A walk-in wardrobe area also served as a dressing area with a long mirror which was well-lit, which for two women, was a big plus point (why are most hotels seemingly designed without a thought for women applying make-up…?). A Nespresso
machine and kettle, plus complimentary bottled water, were also featured, along with robes and slippers.
And the air-conditioning was good –hugely important to us on that 30-degree weekend – and meaning that we slept better than we had in days during the heatwave. The incredibly comfortable
48 CHECKING IN
bed and bedding also helped, of course. DINING
We didn’t have dinner at the hotel, as we had a reservation at the Firefly bar & restaurant (see previous page) which was just a few minutes walk away (even in high heels). But the menu at the hotel’s River Restaurant did look very tempting, and the in-room menu offered a good selection of light bites and more substantial dishes for those wanting some solitude.
We did enjoy breakfast, however, and were very happy to find that serving times are a little later than you’d expect at the weekend. The serving staff were friendly and cheerful, and the selection on offer was impressive. Alongside the
buffet of cereals, pastries, bread and fruit, plus ‘Full English’ hot plates of sausages, bacon, eggs et al, was a menu of Crushed Avocado, Eggs Benedict, Omlettes and American Pancakes. The juices were plentiful and varied, and the coffee was excellent.
The Lowry Hotel is in an ideal location for all travel links, and offers a range of spaces, from meeting rooms to its Grand Ballroom which accommodates up to 600 guests. A range of event menus are available to cater to all tastes, and all types of events and day delegate rates start from £39. Private dining spaces are also available, while the hotel also has a teambuilding
Need To Know
package, working with a local supplier.
AND THERE’S MORE…
The Re:TREAT spa offers a range of treatments, including a Mediation Pod, Cryotherapy Chamber and Floatation Tank, alongside more traditional spa options – ideal to help you relax after a busy day managing an event, or shopping.
In short, The Lowry Hotel is a perfect venue for events or meetings, dining and drinking; and certainly a fabulous place to stay on a weekend away. Highly recommended.
50 Dearmans Place Chapel Wharf, Salford, Manchester United Kingdom, M3 5LH www.thelowryhotel.com
A Deluxe King/Twin room costs from £139 per night
49 CHECKING IN
‘This is the place…’ to hold your next event
In search of a vibrant destination for an event? London has much to offer of course, but according to one event planner with decades of experience, it’s not all about the Capital. Liz Taylor of the Taylor Lynn Corporation (TLC) explains why she thinks, when it comes to events, Manchester can more than compete…
“Manchester is a phenomenally eclectic place to stage an event. The region has transformed itself over the last thirty years into an exciting and dynamic event destination on an international level. And much of that is down to the wide choice of venues “ starts Liz.
From Gordon Ramsey’s Lucky Cat to Higher Ground and venues outside of the city such as Bohemian Arts Club, a speakeasy style cocktail bar, run by Blossoms star Tom Ogden and wife Katie – there are new venues popping up almost daily. Manchester’s restaurants are gaining recognition too with The Sparrows and El Gato Negro both now holding an acclaimed Bib Gourmand alongside the Michelin starred Mana. And it’s not just bars and restaurants. Stoller Hall is a fabulous event space in the heart of Manchester with first class AV technology and acoustics. Aviva
Studios, a favourite of mine, is home to Factory International. It’s a hugely exciting and versatile event space - a hub of creativity supporting rising talent in the city.
We have our fair share of awe-inspiring established venues too. From art galleries to disused warehouses reimagined. Large industrial spaces such as Victoria Warehouse or Manchester Central bringing a particular urban character to an event. Centuries old buildings that are etched into the landscape, like the John Rylands library or Manchester Town Hall, to the multiple, modern glass clad skyscrapers with panoramic views out over the city. Traditional hotels like The Midland and Kimpton Clockhouse, sit alongside the contemporary five-star Lowry Hotel. How about not one, but two, football stadiums that between them have seen 20 premier league titles fought and won? Or a little way out of the city, The Monastery, a masterpiece of Victorian Gothic sacred architecture by Edward Welby Pugin.
According to a recent news
article, ‘Manchester has recently been named the top large UK city of the future in The Financial Times’ FDi international investment ranking.’ That means you can take advantage of an excellent infrastructure and a buoyant local economy. And if the new HS3 Northern Powerhouse plans do come to fruition in their entirety, then things, as they say, can only get better.
AND FINALLY…COST SAVINGS
Compared to London, where wages are 28% higher, holding your event in Manchester could mean a significant saving. A hotel room in Manchester is rumoured to cost £127 less on average than one in the capital; and a meal for two at a mid-range restaurant is around £45, compared to £60 in London. In the current climate, that’s one big reason to look again at Manchester for your next event.
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Are you ready?
Energy, excitement, enjoyment – are you ready to host the most unforgettable corporate event ever?
Gravity MAX Wandsworth offers competitive socialising fun while bringing out the kid in everyone. The in-house corporate team knows that events need to tick a lot of boxes, which is why Gravity MAX has been hailed ‘the future of corporate events’ with its versatile offering – there really is something for everyone!
The UK’s FIRST Multi-level E-Karting, Immersive Gamebox, 14 Lane Immersive Bowling, AR Digital Darts, Hologate VR, E- Sports and New York Style Urban Street Golf are just some of the teambuilding activities to try out. A full Gravity Bar takeover can be arranged to sip gorgeous cocktails and try the popular sharing menus, while listening to live music!
A dedicated events team will ensure a personalised service that makes your corporate booking work to your specific needs. Complete with a board room, corporate spaces, break-out rooms and numerous ways to tailor your experience – any corporate event, from team building away-days to Christmas parties, Gravity MAX Wandworth will make it a corporate event like no other. @gravitymax_uk
Wandsworth High St, London, South,
SW18 4TF 0330 159 5815 firstname.lastname@example.org