Battersea Power Station Boiler House launch: Industri answers criticism

The launch of the Battersea Power Station Boiler House has turned out to be one of the most talked-about events in years, with both congratulations and criticism raining down on those who staged it. Here Event talks to a corporate event manager and Industri Management director Elias Devries, the firm that runs the space.

Battersea Power Station Boiler House launch: Industri answers criticism
Battersea Power Station Boiler House launch: Industri answers criticism

Deloitte UK events team assistant manager Nyree Jones makes her first point on her experience of the showcase:

"Registration was handled poorly. If I were holding a client-facing event there [Battersea Power Station], I wouldn't want to be treated the way I was. I registered three times, after receiving three invitations from different suppliers, yet two girls in our Deloitte events team received confirmation emails while three of us didn't. I emailed the organisers, as did one of my suppliers, but nobody got back to us. We received an automated email telling us not to bother turning up if we hadn't received a confirmation. I decided to go along anyway because one of the suppliers promised he could get me in. We stood outside in the freezing cold and when the organisers allowed us in, we were told the cloakroom was full. I don't think any Deloitte partner would be happy with that."

Industi Management director and owner Elias Devries addresses the concerns:

"We had no idea about the level of interest for the event and were bombarded with more than 2,000 requests for access to the event. Apologies that we did not get to you. We chose not to supply hard-copy invites but regretted this once we discovered the interest in the event overall. Yes, there were multiple invites coming from suppliers."

NJ: "The caterers all provided good canapés, as you would expect, but it looked like an exhibition rather than a cocktail party. The layout of the room didn't make it easy to walk around as there were queues at all of the stations. I don't know why canapés and drinks couldn't have been on tray service; that's what I would have if I held a cocktail party there."

ED: "The venue was a showcase of the view and the suppliers. We chose not to do tray service because it would have been very difficult to showcase the difference between the suppliers otherwise. A tray service is naturally what clients would do, but our motivation for the night was very different. It was to sample a bit of everyone involved with it."

NJ: "I don't think the suppliers who dressed the room did a very good job of making an impact. The room didn't have a wow factor, just a few uplighters. From the invitation, it sounded like it was going to look stunning. There was so much to be done with the height of the venue."

ED: "I am sorry you felt this way. I think we wanted the night to be more discreet so people could see the venue in a subtle form. It was an open house really."

NJ: "The venue itself wasn't a good-quality marquee; I have been in much better. The floor was wobbly and the canvas itself just looked quite cheap."

ED: "It is an industrial site but thanks for your comments." 

NJ: "I spoke to several people in the event industry that night and quite a few people agreed with me. I know the venue would work for a big consumer brand such as Nike, Orange or Nokia, but not for a corporate event."

ED: "We have about 22 confirmed corporate events, and five that had already happened discretely before this launch, and they all loved it and plan on returning, but thanks for your point of view. I'm not sure it is necessarily commercially accurate. The response by corporate overall has been exceptional. I do agree that registration had a glitch and I think the bar was too busy. I am sorry you did not like the structure but overall this has not been the reaction we have been getting. We are just trying to add something new to the industry and are always looking to improve, but it's always easy to criticise. However, we do take your comments on board and will always look to better the venue each time."

Devries and Jones' views are shared by various sections of the event industry, but how do you think the event went? Will the space be a success? To leave a comment register and let us know your thoughts.


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