Royal events and pageantry have long been a draw to London for both leisure and business tourists globally, but you don’t have to be a prince or princess to add a regal touch to your meeting, conference or event.
As London touches down in Frankfurt to add a royal flavour to IMEX with a showcase of regal venues, hotels and attractions alongside a classically British Wedding Breakfast, the Convention Bureau has picked out the royal MICE market jewels in the city's crown:
Marriott London Complex - where The Queen learnt to ice-skate
London is home to a number of Marriott properties dotted all over the city. Grosvenor House, located on prestigious Park Lane, will be celebrating its 90th anniversary next year and has a royal connection only an handful of people in the know are aware of. Back in 1929, the year the hotel opened, its Great Room was an ice rink, and it is on this very ice rink that a young Queen Elizabeth once took ice skating lessons. Today the Great Room is the hotel’s largest event space and can accommodate up to 2,000 delegates.
The Langham – a favourite of the Royals
A 5-star hotel at the heart of the West End, The Langham had a royal debut. The property’s opening in 1865 was presided over by HRH The Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII, and has subsequently hosted a number of royal guests over the years, such as Prince Phillip, Prince Charles and Princess Anne.
Today, the hotel offers a range of venue space, from state-of-the-art meetings rooms to the lavish Grand Ballroom, and dining options from celebrity chefs Albert Roux and Michel Roux Jr.
The May Fair Hotel - opened and inspected by a King
Another hotel which welcomed members of the royal family upon opening is the May Fair Hotel. The property, named after what has now become one of London’s most iconic areas, was opened in 1927 in the presence of King George V and Queen Mary, who then proceeded to make a tour of inspection.
The hotel is located just around the corner from Green Park, one of London’s eight Royal Parks, and is a short walk from Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s official residence in London.
Those looking for purpose-built event venues with a royal touch will be spoilt for choice in London. Located at the heart of British democracy and royalty, Central Hall Westminster, QEII and Church House Westminster are just a stone’s throw from the Houses of Parliament, where the Queen was crowned, Westminster Abbey, where the Duke of Cambridge got married, and Buckingham Palace.
Chelsea Football Club – Kate Middleton’s favourite team
Sports fans might want to head to Chelsea Football Club, the Duchess of Cambridge’s favourite team. The Club can host events from 2 to 1,000 thanks to their 25 function rooms and 60 syndicate rooms, and also offers world-class hospitality packages.
Historic Royal Palaces – the homes of the royals
Historic Royal Palaces is the charity looking after a number of royal palaces situated in London. This includes iconic Kensington Palace, which is the residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and will also be where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle live once they are married, and the Tower of London, a 1000 year old UNESCO World Heritage Site situated in the heart of the British capital. All 5 London sites have venue space available, and what best backdrop for a regal event than a palace?
Other exhibitors will include Destination Management Companies, such as Spectra and Principal.London DMC, who have a strong knowledge of London’s offering and can help make event truly unforgettable. Transport providers Eurostar and Rail Europe will also be present on the London Convention Bureau stand.
In addition, the city will be putting on a “Wedding Breakfast”-themed networking hour, which IMEX attendees can join from 5pm on Tuesday 16th and Wednesday 17th. It was announced on Monday (7th May) that London once again held 5th place in the annual International Congress and Convention Association’s (ICCA) ranking for number of association events held in 2017. The London Convention Bureau will also be present at EduMonday at IMEX Frankfurt, supporting She Means Business.
For more information on hosting meetings and events in London, visit conventionbureau.london