Destination: We're all off to... Greenwich

An area of world renown, the London Borough of Greenwich offers a stunning historical backdrop for events and activations.

Event's guide to Greenwich, London
Event's guide to Greenwich, London

What's it known for?
When planning an event, timing is everything, which makes the borough of Greenwich in south-east London particularly relevant. Known internationally as the home of time, it has a World Heritage Site and strong ties to royalty, the Army and the Royal Navy. It is also the location of the Prime Meridian of the World - every place on Earth is measured by its distance from here.

Famous sights
The Old Royal Naval College is a twin-dome building designed by Sir Christopher Wren and one of the UK's most visited tourist attractions. Royal Museums Greenwich incorporates the National Maritime Museum, Cutty Sark, the Royal Observatory and the Queen's House.

A hotspot for brands
Craft brewing company Meantime Brewery is based in the area and held its third Brewfest event in August, celebrating craft beer and brewing, at the Old Brewery in the grounds of the Old Royal Navy College. This summer, the brand also launched a permanent pop-up bar, Beerbox, made of shipping containers, at Greenwich Peninsula Square outside The O2.

"Regeneration projects are making Greenwich an exciting place to hold events," says Richard Myers, marketing director at Meantime Brewing Company.

The Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta took place on 5-9 September, the first such event since London hosted the Tall Ships Race in 1989. Live music, entertainment and stalls kept the crowds happy, along with fireworks, a parade of traditional barges along the Thames, a performance from theatre group Sarruga and pop-up theatre experiences.

The Magners Greenwich Comedy Festival at the end of September followed the cider brand's sponsorship of Bristol Comedy Garden, which saw Magners team up with street food providers and offer entertainment with a circus theme.

Venues across the borough hosted the Change4Life summer roadshow from July to September, with Disney characters encouraging kids to move for 60 minutes a day.

Inspiration
Think quirky and water-based. PS Live created a stunt for 20th Century Fox on 1 July to promote new film How to Train Your Dragon 2. A high-speed RIB pulled a huge dragon kite through Tower Bridge, before landing in the water by Tower Pier on the north bank of the River Thames.

Where to hold an event
Building Six at The O2, a standalone club, has three interconnected spaces with projection facilities. It can host up to 3,000 guests and is suited to product launches and dinners. This year, it hosted Bauer Media's digital and radio awards, organised by agency Everybody Engage.

The Cutty Sark has views over Canary Wharf and the City of London and provides three spaces for events. The Dry Berth, directly beneath the copper hull of the ship, caters for 200 for dinner or 400 for a reception; the Tween Deck hosts 60 for dinner or 100 for a reception; and the Master's Saloon, the captain's dining room, offers a dining experience for up to ten.

Greenwich Market is available to hire for events and receptions on Monday daytimes and in the evenings.

Looking forward, the Hotel Intercontinental London The O2 is set to open next summer on the Greenwich Peninsula, adjacent to The O2 Arena. It will offer 4,800sqm of event space, including a 3,000sqm, pillar-free ballroom, the largest in Europe.

And another thing...
Events agency House of Experience (HoE) announced a deal with airline Emirates in April to develop the Emirates Aviation Experience, a visitor centre in north Greenwich. The attraction features flight simulators, life-size models and interactive technology. Emirates, which has secured the location for ten years, hopes to educate the public about commercial air travel and sell its experience to agents and clients.

TOP TIP
If you're considering an event akin to that devised by 20th Century Fox, timing is imperative. Michael Brown, managing director of PS Live, said the live stunt had been six months in the planning, and saw the agency work with the Port of London Authority and Corporation of London to gain necessary permission to deliver the event.


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