Inspiration: Focus group - RSVP listens to its readers over dim sum

WHAT WAS THE EVENT?

A focus group lunch held at Shanghai Blues in Holborn for nine full-time event organisers, who met with RSVP magazine's editorial team to reveal their thoughts on the publication and the service that it provides.

WHAT WAS THE FORMAT OF THE DAY?

A champagne reception held on the venue's VIP mezzanine floor was followed by a lunch in the restaurant's private dining room. Here the special guests and the editorial team were treated to an array of dim sum dishes, followed by a range of traditional oriental meals and a selection of quality wines.

WHO ATTENDED THE EVENT?

The hosts were RSVP editor Mike Fletcher and associate editor Jeremy King. They were joined by Deloitte & Touche brand and business development manager Sharon O'Tuathail, JP Morgan associate Neil Cullen, JP Morgan head of events Steve Nutbeam, Standard Charter freelance event manager Cait Chidgey, Building on Business operations manager and head of events Fia Holstrom, RSA head of events Pam Morris, Dennis Publishing event manager Jemma Ryan, Freshfields conference co-ordinator Sarah Hartley and Confectioners Benevolent Fund fundraising and events manager Sarah Fitzer.

WHAT WAS DISCUSSED?

After an entire afternoon spent analysing the magazine, the general consensus was that RSVP not only provides entertainment, but is an informative and essential read for anyone who is actively involved in the creative events industry.

In terms of taking the magazine forward and increasing its appeal, the guests decided it would be beneficial to include the cost of hire in the New Venue Guide, and, wherever possible, to add the contact details of suppliers and services mentioned in features such as Showcase and Creative Space.

Providing more food for thought, everyone in the group said that they would like to see a new feature on bars and restaurants in foreign cities, information on hidden costs when organising events, and a section where suppliers are challenged over the price, format and quality of their hospitality options. Interestingly, they were also keen on seeing a central recruitment section for the entire industry.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Send us your views on what you like - or dislike - about the content of RSVP magazine. Email rsvpmagazine@haymarket.com.

STEVE NUTBEAM, Head of events, JP Morgan

"Would it be worth putting together a panel of party planners that votes for three venues for the Top 20?"

SARAH HARTLEY, Conference co-ordinator, Freshfields

"It would be good to break down the Top 20 poll into sections such as Best Large/Small Party Venue."

PAM MORRIS, Head of events, RSA

"As a corporate event organiser we are always looking for new spaces, so the New Venue Guide is ideal."

FIA HOLSTROM, Head of events, Building on Business

"It would be good to see more information on suppliers that have made mistakes during events."

NEIL CULLEN, Associate, JP Morgan

"RSVP is a short, sharp, shock. It gives me ideas, it's refreshing and a breath of fresh air for the industry."

CAIT CHIDGEY, Freelance event manager, Standard Charter

"It would be great for the magazine to look at quirky bars and unusual venues in the European market."

SARAH FITZER, Fundraising/events manager, Confectioners Benevolent Fund

"In the Creative Space feature I would like to see the contact details of each of the suppliers mentioned."

JEMMA RYAN, Event manager, Dennis Publishing

"In publishing it's about budgets. Having prices for the suppliers mentioned is essential to me."

SHANGHAI BLUES, Oriental/Feng Shui, Andrew Tan, manager

In the 12 months since opening, the venue has established itself as a viable space for creative events.

SANDRA O'TUATHAIL, Brand/business develop. mgr, Deloitte & Touche

"I would love to see an article that challenges suppliers over the options for corporate hospitality."


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