Picture the scene: It's mid-day during a hot summer and you're sitting in a small, poorly lit hotel meeting room in Central London. You're waiting for your clients to arrive for a day's training. It's muggy and there's no air-con. There's just one window and it only seems to open an inch or so, allowing a barely perceptible breeze into the stuffy interior.
How it used to be
A bulky TV and video player along with a handful of wires, leads and connectors is wheeled in by a surly porter and left for you to figure out. A tray of pre-packed sandwiches - which have already begun to curl at the edges - sits on a table in the corner of the room. An old, dust-covered stuffed moose head adorns the oak paneled walls. It seems to be staring across the room out of the small window. Even he looks like he doesn't want to be there.
One by one people arrive. The training day is supposed to be a perk: an opportunity to learn, to develop their skills and advance their skills and advance their careers. They look as pleased to be there as the moose.
It was time to stop compromising
The year was 1992. It was the moment our founder - an experienced trainer - decided that enough was enough and they would design their own venue.
Unlike a hotel it would be purpose-built and created specifically for business only. For that reason, the company would be called 'etc' and acronym for events, training and conferences.
Transforming events, training and conferences
From its original inception almost 23 years ago, through to today, etc.venues has transformed the conference, training and event experience.
Instead of gloomy settings, rooms are full of natural light to energise people. Instead of per-packed lunches, energy-boosting nutritious food is freshly cooked by onsite chefs. Instead of old-fashioned decor, interiors are vibrant and decorated with contemporary art to stimulate ideas and conversation. Instead of clumsy and confusing tech, devices are built-in, simple to use and ready to go. Every single aspect is rigorously thought-through.
Impressing people who aren't easily impressed
Led by entrepreneur, Alastair Stewart, etc.venues has grown from strength to strength. Under Alastair's careful stewardship, etc.venues has become the UK's premium choice for event, training and conference planners. In 2018, we hosted 900,000 guests - including Royalty and the Prime Minister.
Over the next few years, we're set to build on our UK success story by launching meeting and conference venues in New York where we plan to make a 'Brit' of a difference. Stay tuned to find out more!