Coordinating and overseeing 66 press conferences over the 2012 London Media Centre which we have been housing during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games has not quite stressed out and messed up my hair to the same extent as Boris above or either of the Catalonian performance artists from Osadia in the photo below taken just outside our Brasserie One restaurant.
|Perry with his new very British fans!
It also has not left me craving gummy bears, but more about that later ‘I am after all, long in the Westminster tooth so to say’ and have dealt with very many Westminster press conferences during my time in and around local venues.
My most hectic time for press conferences is normally at election time. As we are so close to Parliament, have a division bell and are used to dealing with high profile, short notice press conferences on all things government, we tend to be very popular for these short bookings. BUT MPs would never put in a request for gummy bears.
In twitter lingo, the #2012LMC press conferences have been a bit different from government related press conferences. Our two purpose built theatres have been permanently prepared for press conferences with the required links to the whole world provided by NorthOne and Ether Live. Our on-site team of technicians worked closely throughout with the LMC Press Desk to ensure that presentations were formatted correctly and ready by the required time. Both the Telford and Godfrey Mitchell theatres have therefore been kept in a permanent state of readiness allowing them to be brought into use at a moment’s notice. Just as well as there were so many tight turnarounds particularly towards the end of the Games when it reached a crescendo with 10 press conferences on the last Thursday alone.
The high profile VIPs I can recall off the top of my head in recent weeks were made up of a mixture from the sports and culinary worlds including Lennox Lewis, Michael Phelps, Jamie Oliver, Heston Blumenthal, Marcus Wareing from the Berkeley, Paula Radcliffe and many more. The list is too long to mention. Boris has been in and out of OGGSVenue that many times that I have lost count and barely noticed when I passed by Brasserie One and heard he was just munching away on Chef’s lunch of fish lasagne. I think and hope he really likes it here and his style was certainly very entertaining during the press conferences. We’ll always be more than happy to look after his bike in the usual way.
Here is a selection of some of my favourite recent press conference photos taken at the LMC.
Jamie being interviewed by Ben McCormack from SquareMeal
Heston demonstrating his culinary artistic or mad scientist skills with nitrogen cylinders and test tubes?
The Telford Theatre filling up and ready for
Jamie’s arrival via our discreet secret entrance for VIPs
The LMC reopens for the Paralympic Games and OGGS gets tidied and ready to reopen for normal Westminster conferences and events on Monday, 17th September 2012.
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.