Guest blog post by Eleanor Besley, Policy Advisor, Sustrans
I last hosted an event with OGGS when I worked for a charity named PACTS (Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety) and thought it to be a great venue in a great location. So when I was asked to organise a venue for our Sustrans panel debate for Boris Johnson, Ken Livingstone, Jenny Jones, Brian Paddick and Siobhan Benita to be grilled on how they intend to make London a cycling city as part of The Times’s Cities fit for cycling campaign, OGGSVenue immediately jumped to the forefront of my mind.
Photo courtesy of Sustrans
Predictably Boris arrived for the Westminster event on his bike but thankfully not in ‘whippet thin legs clad in cycling lycra whilst skipping red traffic lights’ which is a remark he got heckled much for later on in the debate!
This is why we think OGGS is great for meetings and events
including charitable organisations like ours:
1) Their location in relation Whitehall and Parliament was just perfect. Very handy and convenient when you have Ministers and MPs in attendance.
2) Security: As they are so close to the Houses of Parliament and located within the exclusion zone, they were well used to dealing with high profile visitors.
3) Their purpose built theatre, the Telford
was ideal as we needed a top table for the panelists with microphones within striking distance (I am joking!) from the 240 delegates and the package included all the Audio Visual equipment we needed.
is important to us as Sustrans has its own manifesto 2012 mayoral elections calling on whoever is Mayor to cut congestion and pollution by making it easier to cycle, walk and use public transport. OGGS’s commitment to sustainability is good generally and their recently signed food pledges
commended by Rosie Boycott combined with their Silver Green Tourism Award complemented our own ideals in some respects.
5) As luck would have it, OGGS had an excellent not-for-profit
rate available on our event date! We were given a 20% discount off our room hire, saving us just over £400.00 (that should be enough to get a few more “Boris Bikes” around town!)
Yesterday’s event ran like clockwork. Our dedicated Event Co-ordinator (Yvonne Williams) could not have done any more to aid the smooth running of the event. Thank you to all involved and we’ll definitely consider and recommend OGGS for similar events.
Goalball player professionals?
I don’t really know where to start telling you about this so how about the beginning? Our Sales & Marketing Director popped by my desk a while back in January and started asking me some peculiar questions such as:
- “What type of wooden floor is there in the Great Hall?”
- “What is the wall to wall measurement in square feet?”
- “Is the Great Hall available on the 16th and 23rd of April?”
At this point I started to get suspicious and simply said….”IT DEPENDS!”
Then the second round of questions made me really shift around my seat a bit:
- “Would it be ok to throw a 25cm diameter rubber ball with 8 holes and bells in it around our most magnificent room, decked out with gold leaf detail, marble walls, crystal chandeliers, oak floor and painted ceiling?”
- “Would it be ok to put two goals (9m wide x 1.3m high) at either end of the Great Hall on both days?”
She then said …”Only 65 cheering, over excited, probably amateur players per day” as if to say that makes it better because the Great Hall can take up to 400 people for a reception.
One thing led to another and next thing I know we were chosen by London & Partners to host their Going for Gold, Olympic staff engagement event. The aim of the Goalball league is to get London and Partners’ staff fired up before the Games, and what better way than through playing one of the most popular Paralympic sports.
What is Goalball?
I decided that it would be best if I found out a bit more so reached for my keyboard to contact ‘Dr Google’ and found out all I need to know on this YouTube video clip.
What happened yesterday?
12 teams with between four and six amateur (hope they don’t mind me saying so!) players in each team fell about blindfolded all day during the qualifying rounds.
The following teams have made it through to the semi-finals on the 23rd of April:
London Fireballs, Beauties and the Beast, Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Fire, Sepp Reindle Aficionados, Thames Barriers and Tinkle Bells.
The semi finals and final will be played on the 23rd before Gordon Innes, CEO of London & Partners congratulates the winners and they all head for the Westminster Arms across the road for a well-deserved pint or two. Jessica from our Marketing team will be live tweeting updates so be sure to follow us on Twitter and keep an eye on our Facebook page if you want to know the winners.