Since 1986, the QEII Centre has been the trusted destination for hundreds of high profile events annually, spanning press conferences, meetings and global conventions for up to 2,500 delegates. The centre’s reputation for conferences is known worldwide, but as the centre celebrates its 30th year it is modernising and adapting to host a wider variety of events including awards ceremonies, fashion shows, product launches and banquets.
The centre began a £12 million capital investment programme and rebranding in 2014 to re-establish its ‘wow factor’ and improve visitor experiences. Cutting-edge technology, luxury fixtures, discreet security and a QEII concierge have combined to warm the welcome, while airport-style check-in desks to aid concurrent registration for events.
In 2015 the second stage of the renovations saw six weeks of interior and exterior improvements taking place. To further improve the customer experience, new static and digital signage systems were installed which has significantly improved wayfinding within the centre and combined with the new, improved style of check in makes it much quicker and easier to arrive, register and find an event.
The registration screens and quad resolution video wall provide more branding opportunities for clients in the foyer and the new IPTV system enables clients to relay sound and vision to any areas within the centre at a reasonable cost. This benefits companies hosting full centre takeover events as it allows content from different plenaries to be streamed throughout the centre so delegates have access to all of the content from the event.
In 2015 a new centre-wide lighting infrastructure was introduced to the QEII Centre, featuring new ceilings, dimmable halo lighting, strip lighting and LED colour changing uplighters.
QEII’s flagship conference room The Churchill was fitted with an LED star cloth and ceiling-mounted moving lights to add glamour and glitz to award ceremonies and parties. The renovated front canopy of the building has also been given an injection of glamour, with colour customisable pin spot lighting added to the exterior colour washes already available.
To meet client demands for the latest technologies and innovations the centre has upgraded its facilities and introduced leading technologies such as its quad resolution video wall in the foyer, induction loop system for audio and high definition laser projection. The centre’s AV technology allowed all events to be filmed and streamed live, making it perfect for the centre’s international clients with worldwide audiences. It also helps to extend the lifetime of an event by creating downloadable content that can be accessed immediately after the event.
Connectivity is key at the centre and QEII has invested in state-of-the-art technology, including spending £80,000 on a fibre optic backbone and intelligent switching devices. Clients now enjoy free-to-access 1 Gbps Wi-Fi.
The centre has also introduced a new digital services team in response to client demand which can offer 3D visuals, video editing, 2D and 3D animations, digital content creation including presentation design, social media engagement and management and bespoke app creation. Clients holding an event at the QEII Centre can find a solution to their AV needs without having to look to external providers, making the event plan process as seamless as possible.
Now in its 30th year, QEII is celebrating a new era for the centre, hosting a wider variety of events including awards ceremonies, fashion shows, product launches and banquets. The refurbishment of the centre is continuing this year with the remodelling of the 6th floor, creating an open-plan banqueting space with breath-taking views of Westminster and the London city skyline which will give event planners a new and exciting option for banqueting and special events.