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June 16, 2008

London arts and events space grows in stature

After a 16% increase on last year’s figures, Europe’s largest combined conference and arts venue, the Barbican, has been celebrating its best year ever. This figure included 83% occupancy of the Barbican Hall, the centre’s main meeting space, capable of seating 2,000 delegates.

Famed for its arts programme, London’s Barbican has been rapidly gaining kudos as a meetings and events venue, having originally been designed to accommodate both activities. The centre has developed some innovative corporate events packages recently, particularly in the hospitality arena, under the stewardship of head of corporate sales Anthony Hyde.

Suite music: The Barbican mixes conference and arts facilities

As a direct response to this recent success, Hyde has appointed a new account manager, Sabrina Beck, who joins the rapidly expanding team as a permanent member of staff after a short period of time on a temporary contract.

Beck’s role will focus on key corporate clients and a new range of packages using the centre’s cinemas for private screenings and corporate hospitality.

Exclusive private viewings of mainstream and art-house films can be arranged as part of the packages, which include:
– Hire of the cinema
-– A pre-screening champagne reception
– A post-screening reception with wine and catering
– Use of either the garden room, conservatory or conservatory terrace for the reception

The packages range from £65 per person and are based on a minimum of 100

The Barbican is also announcing an alfresco, lakeside catering space, due to open later this summer, The space, which will be managed by in-house caterers Searcy’s, will overlook St Giles’ (one of the few remaining medieval churches in the City’s square mile), and provide an outdoor dining and reception area for conference and corporate hospitality clients.

“Last year’s financial results were a credit to the team, but this year is already proving more exciting,” said Hyde. “The Centre is developing at an incredible pace, with new opportunities for both clients and staff.

“Despite the damp start to the summer, the new outdoor venue adds another level of flexibility to the centre, and we look forward to hosting a variety of barbeques and champagne receptions when the work is complete.

“Sabrina will be a superb addition to team, and we are already seeing the benefit of her passionate selling of the private screening packages – Sex and the City has been hugely popular, and we expect the same for the new Bond and Harry Potter films later this year.”

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