Embracing a New Chapter at Ministry Venues

Since our inception in 1991, Ministry Venues has been synonymous with entrepreneurial spirit. As we step into 2024, we are thrilled to announce a significant evolution in our brand and messaging, aimed at offering you an even better experience.

New Look, New Experience

We’ll soon be unveiling our brand-new website, designed to provide you with access to comprehensive information about each of our venues and spaces. We want to ensure that you, our valued clients, understand us better and our look is synonymous with our new branding. Keep your eyes peeled!

Aligning with Heritage and Sister Companies

While our commitment to delivering bespoke services remains unchanged, we are aligning more closely with our sister companies and embracing the rich heritage of our venues. Consequently, some changes are underway, including new venue names…

Venue Name Changes

Ministry Venues – Elephant & Castle will now be known as Ministry of Sound. This change reflects our commitment to embracing the renowned destination for music and expanding the possibilities for all types of events in its versatile spaces.

Ministry Venues – Borough will become The Ministry, a contemporary work and event space boasting industrial charm and bespoke, modern furnishings.

We are excited about these changes and the enhanced opportunities they bring for creating memorable events in our venues. We look forward to welcoming you to the reimagined Ministry of Sound and The Ministry soon.

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In the Booth: An Interview with Antonio, Events Manager

We sat down with Antonio Castaldo, our newest member of the team, to find out a little bit more about him and how he came to join us at Ministry Venues.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into the events industry?

As a professional performer for over 15 years, working as an actor and presenter for TV, Film and Theatre, my time in the entertainment industry was an amazing adventure that took me all around the world – from over the pond in Miami all the way down under to Sydney.

The diverse transferable skills I obtained as an entertainer accompanied by my wealth of experience in the hospitality industry fit beautifully in line with the Event Manager role which provided me the opportunity to showcase my skills in the selling, planning and operating of events. I’ve always been fascinated with the Events Industry and so when I had the chance to leap into it, it just felt right when I did.

2. What do you like to do outside of work?

I love travelling; I’m an absolute wanderlust who enjoys meeting new people, discovering unfamiliar places and experiencing different cultures. Catching the latest West-End hit with a cocktail or two as well as spending quality time with my fabulous friends and family.

3. What do you like most about working in Events?

I live for the adrenaline rush that I feel when juggling balls and spinning plates in the circus of managing an event; finding unique solutions to the unpredictable moments that occur before and during an event. Ultimately, what fills me with the most pride is witnessing the pure joy and satisfaction, from both the client and their guests, after I’ve helped them architect an unforgettable experience.

4. If you could swap lives with anyone for a day, who would it be?

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – what a beast of a man – the amount of energy he possesses is unbelievable. It’s such an inspiration to see where he came from to what he has accomplished now. To be The Rock for the day would be the closest feeling we mere mortals have of being a superhuman. Just to experience his cheat day meals alone would be amazing.

5. What have been the standout moments in your career?

I have been incredibly fortunate to have a few career highlights in my life – from hosting the red carpet at London Fashion Week, performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, doubling for Harry Potter and launching the World’s Largest Cruise Ship … but to come back to the wonderful world of events, I would say managing the mighty mammoth Pride In London LGBT+ event earlier this year. It was such an honour and it was the perfect combination of challenge, chaos, enjoyment and excitement!

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Top 10 Reasons Why Clients Choose Ministry Venues – Borough

When it comes to planning events, selecting the perfect venue is a crucial decision that can make or break the entire experience. Event organisers and clients are often on the lookout for venues that offer a blend of modern facilities, exceptional service, and a convenient location. Ministry Venues – Borough (hereafter Borough), a popular event space in the heart of the city, has gained a reputation for meeting and exceeding these expectations. We explored ten reasons why clients choose Ministry Venues – Borough for their events, making it a go-to choice.

1. Location 

One of the primary factors that attract clients is the prime location. Situated in the vibrant Borough area, just a short walk from Waterloo and London Bridge, it offers easy accessibility to attendees coming from different parts of the city. The well-connected transportation network allows guests to reach the venue conveniently, making it an ideal choice for corporate events, conferences, and social gatherings.

2. Versatility

Borough boasts an array of versatile event spaces, designed to cater to different types of events and gatherings. Whether it’s a small intimate gathering or a larger conference, the venue can accommodate a plethora of event types. The availability of multiple spaces and setups allows clients to tailor the space according to their specific event requirements.

3. AV

Clients are always on the lookout for venues equipped with modern facilities to ensure a seamless event experience. Borough delivers on this front by offering state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, high-speed internet connectivity, and customisable lighting system. These amenities not only enhance the overall event but also ensure that presenters and speakers can communicate effectively with the audience.

4. Event Management

A standout feature that sets Borough apart is its team of dedicated and experienced event management professionals. From the initial planning stages through to the day of the event, the in-house team provides impeccable service, ensuring that every aspect of the event is executed flawlessly. The attention to detail and commitment to delivering excellence ensures the client journey is seamless and clients are left looking forward to their next event.

5. Aesthetics

As a converted Victorian factory, the aesthetics of a venue play a significant role in creating a lasting impression on event attendees. Borough offers a modern and stylish ambience that is both elegant and inviting. The contemporary design and well-thought-out decor add a touch of sophistication to any event.

6. Catering

Borough recognises the vital role catering plays in any event and places significant emphasis on its importance. To ensure every event is enhanced by delectable cuisine that is responsibly and sustainably sourced, the venue collaborates with excellent independent local caterers. Presently, Ministry Venues partners with Boulevard Events, Jimmy Garcia, and The London Kitchen, ensuring a diverse and high-quality culinary experience for clients and their guests.

7. Outdoor Space

The White Space benefits from a dedicated outside courtyard. Additionally, a shared Garden is available for meetings and events throughout the rest of the building. Coupled with the abundance of natural daylight that floods the venue, this ensures your clients will remain fully engaged throughout their time.

8. Production 

The production team at Ministry Venues understands that every event is unique; working closely with clients to tailor the production setup according to specific requirements. Whether it’s integrating branded visuals, managing live streaming, or coordinating complex stage setups, the production team goes above and beyond to exceed expectations.

9. Breakouts 

The White Space at Ministry Venues – Borough enjoys a convenient location in close proximity to multiple breakout rooms, making it an ideal choice for hosting conferences that require the option to divide into smaller groups.

10. Late License 

Ministry Venues – Borough offers clients the advantage of flexible licensing, allowing them to extend their events beyond standard hours. On weekdays, the venue is licensed until 1am, while on Thursdays through Sundays, the license extends to 2:30am. This flexibility empowers clients to conclude their events at their desired time without being constrained by restrictive venue regulations.

Launched in 2018, Ministry Venues – Borough has become a preferred choice for clients seeking the perfect event space in London. Whether it’s a corporate event, a wedding celebration, or a special occasion, clients can trust Ministry Venues – Borough to deliver an unforgettable experience for both clients and guests alike.

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In the Booth: Rachael, Deputy Head of Events

We sat down to talk to Rachael Scollen, to tell us a little about herself and how she couldn’t stay away from Ministry Group for a third time:

1. Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into the events industry?

After a lifetime of working in F&B, managing various restaurants, bars and members’ clubs, I was looking for a change but was unclear about which direction I wanted to take or even where to start. Having worked for The Ministry twice before (it’s an in-house giggle for sure) I randomly got talking to the powers-that-be and stumbled into an interview by chance with the senior team for an events role. They say the third time’s a charm, and they couldn’t be more right!

I’ve found that my Events Role ticks all the boxes for me and having a career change has been such an exciting journey. I love the fact it allows me to use all my Operations skills from my F&B days whilst learning the complexities of event planning. Best move I’ve ever made and I’m super grateful for the chance to come back to a company I love.

2. What do you like to do outside of work?

I’m a bit of a tree hugger for sure. I love being outdoors; it could be lazy strolls in the park with my Frenchie, travelling to distant lands, or anything that involves water. I’ve spent a lot of time living abroad so love to get off the beaten track and discover new places. I do much more self-care as I’m getting older and more zen-like, you’ll either find me floating in a tank of salts, drooling on a massage table or meditating to slow the flow of the rat race. When I’m not getting my chill time on, I’ll catch up with friends and mooch and eat my way around food markets, with a few Mezcal Martinis thrown in for good measure of course.

3. What do you like most about working in Events?

It’s fast, organised madness at times. I love having a million things on the go all at the same time, there’s nothing that satisfies my energy levels more – I live for it! I love working with great clients and agents turning skeleton ideas into incredible events.

4. If you could swap lives with anyone for a day, who would it be?

It has to be Sir David Attenborough. The man is a legend. I can think of nothing more incredible than travelling the world looking at all the beautiful creatures – just leave out the insects!

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In the Booth: An Interview with Louis, Sales Executive

We sat down to talk to Louis Constantine, the newest addition to the Ministry Venues team, to tell us a little about himself and how he came into the role:

1. So, tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into the events industry?

Coming from a background in television and film, where I had the opportunity to work on renowned shows like ‘Cold Feet’ and ‘Doctor Who’, I underwent a career transition into sales. Surprisingly, I found myself immersed in the world of weddings, which proved to be quite a challenging yet thrilling experience (a bit of a baptism of fire – events-wise). However, I quickly developed a profound passion for it, the industry is so varied and I do something different every day. Working at Ministry Venues is always very exciting – multiple venues, clients, and events.

2. What do you like to do outside of work?

I love to travel – I am always planning my next adventure somewhere new. Some of my favourite places are Crete, Laos & Vietnam. My partner is from Bermuda, so I should probably say that. Outside of travelling, I love music and food, and my number one is dogs. I have my own fur baby Stirling, who keeps me very busy.

3. What do you like most about working in the industry?

If I was to say what I like most about working in events, I would have to say not one event is the same, the same goes for clients. You have to learn to work with a host of different factors, personalities &…budgets. This dynamic environment is what makes the job incredibly enjoyable, as it continuously presents new challenges and keeps things in a state of constant change. It’s always a buzz when you manage to deliver on a special request for a client and it’s even more fun to see them enjoy it at their event.

4. If you could swap lives with anyone for a day, who would it be?

This is a hard one – I am going to say our Head of Events, Adam Quigley. Let me tell you, he has the most extensive shoe collection I have ever come across, and that’s saying a lot. Would be really fun to boss everyone around and interesting to see how he handles his workload. Wouldn’t mind a cheeky look through his kitchen cupboards – is there anything more satisfying?!

5. What have been the stand-out moments in your career?

One of the most memorable experiences in my events career was working with Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the brilliant minds behind ‘South Park Studios,’ on the original London cast of ‘Book of Mormon.’ Another remarkable moment that left me in awe was witnessing our venue undergo a breathtaking transformation for the SEGA Europe Christmas Party. It was at that moment that I realised the true MAGIC of what we do.

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In the Booth: An interview with Gabrielle, Marketing Executive

Our new Marketing Executive, Gabby Cook, took a moment to tell us a little bit about herself and how she came to Ministry Venues.

1.   So, tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into the events industry?

Coming from a military family, I’ve moved around a lot during my lifetime, both in the UK and abroad. I was born in Germany (although I have limited German language abilities) and then moved to England to a variety of towns. I then went on to study Korean at university and spent a year living in Seoul, South Korea studying the language at Sungkyunkwan University. It was at Uni that I ended up in hospitality, primarily as a cocktail mixologist, but moved into marketing for the bars that I was at, starting with socials and then moving into the wider marketing for the umbrella group. After a couple more roles, and a move to London in the middle, I finally found Ministry Venues and that’s me today.

So, funnily enough, Ministry Venues is my first position within the events industry. Having worked in marketing for a number of years, I’ve been responsible for a couple of one-off events but the industry itself is brand-new to me. Luckily though, I think the background in hospitality definitely helps to a certain extent but there’s so much more to learn.

2.   What do you like to do outside of work?

I like to keep myself busy outside of work, there are too many things in the world to try. I’m quite a social person so enjoy spending time with friends, whether that be going for walks, dinners, drinks, or activities. When I’m by myself though, I’m a bit of a nerd. I really enjoy video games and consider myself just a little bit of a tech nerd which I get from my older brother. And before you ask, PlayStation (Nintendo on the side) all the way…

Otherwise, I consider myself pretty creative. When I can find the time, I’m into portraiture drawing, sketching and design work (as I wanted to be a tattoo artist for a while). If I still had my sewing machine with me in London, I’d be repurposing all those old clothes that don’t get worn and turning them into something new. Cooking is also a big one. Having lived in Korea and being exposed to the plethora of Asian food available, it tends to be the flavours I gravitate towards, even when making food at home.

3.   What do you like most about working in Events?

It sounds rather cliché, but every day is different; you never know which event you’re going to get through or what a client might want, and therefore what content you’re going to get to capture. It’s amazing to see the spaces really transformed from the blank-canvas spaces that they are into all sorts, from an 80s prom to a full jungle, to a circus tent. Plus, with all the effort that goes into each event, you’re always going to meet someone new. It opens up a world of connections.

4.   If you could swap lives with anyone for a day, who would it be?

To be honest, I can’t actually think of anyone specific that I would swap with. More generally, it would have to be someone that just has a lot of free time or freedom. I think it’s something that we all want really, just time to do the things we really want to do.

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An Interview with Off To Work

Off to Work is the UK’s leading hospitality recruitment, staffing, training and consultancy company. Here, at Ministry Venues, we worked continuously with them to support our events at numerous events. We sat down with the team to ask them all about the business.

What is the history of Off To Work, how did it all start?

Our story began when our founder Philip Atkins recognised a gap in the hospitality industry. After working at exceptional venues including Madame Tussauds & The Natural History Museum, he saw that something better could be done to enhance the quality of staff being brought into the industry and the way they are treated.

In 1999, he founded Off To Work with a mission to challenge perceptions and raise the bar in service standards. We’ve since grown into the UK’s premier hospitality staffing solutions company supporting clients across all regions of the United Kingdom and internationally. We are committed to enabling amazing experiences for our clients and helping our staff flourish in their careers. At the heart of our business is the desire to continually promote the exceptional career opportunities the industry has to offer.

Off To Work is also the founder of the Event Photography Awards. Going into its 10th year in 2023, the awards champion images which capture the emotive power of events and showcase the exceptional creativity and attention to detail in the industry.

What are your strengths as a company?

As many of our office team originally come from hospitality roles, we have a unique understanding of the needs of our clients and aim to support them with the highest calibre of staff and customer service. To ensure that team members meet the highest standards, our recruitment process begins with a telephone interview where we look for an outgoing and friendly personality, a “can-do” attitude, and the ability to communicate clearly.

All candidates then attend an in-person interview and assessment day at our training academies where they are assessed on key hospitality skills and customer service. At this stage, our trainers introduce candidates to the Level 2 Food Safety and Level 2 Health & Safety eLearning modules which are mandatory for all team members.

Our classroom courses focus on practical elements, with bartenders assessed on their ability to master skills such as pouring the perfect pint, and baristas trained on a 6-Porta Filter Barista Machine. We regularly create client-specific training courses based on the unique requirements of our clients. To ensure that these standards are met in the field, our office management team regularly visits the site to assist with the sign-in process for larger events. In fact, you’ll sometimes see us working as part of the team on-site to build a fantastic team spirit and true first-hand knowledge of our client’s operation.

Within our team are talented individuals with specific specialisms within the industry, including our Platinum division of event hosts, which means we’re able to offer support coverage for all skill levels.

Our aim is for our team members to become an integral part of our client’s operations and our bespoke, multifaceted, user-friendly website allows managers to create their own list of “hero” team members which are then prioritised for shifts at the venue.

Our clients can manage all aspects of their bookings via bespoke, multifaceted, user-friendly website and app. As well as being able to add bookings, and view timesheets and invoices, there is the ability to create your own list of “hero” team members which are then prioritised for shifts at your venue.

What are trends you’re seeing at the moment, what types of services are more needed?

We are seeing an increase in awareness around issues regarding sustainability. We’ve long held the belief that you can run events in an efficient and non-wasteful manner, and launched our Sustainability in Catering eLearning course to help those in the industry plan their events in an ethical manner.

Post-pandemic there is a real trend towards roles which can enhance experiential events. Customers want an exceptional experience that they just can’t replicate at home. Due to this we’re seeing an increase in requests for premium event hosts and specialisms like flair cocktail bartenders.

What is the most popular type of event for you?

The thing I love about working in this industry is that you get an opportunity to work across such a wide range of events. Speaking to team members in our casual pool of event staff, they also love the variety in work opportunities.

One day you might be doing silver service at a banquet, and the next you could be slinging burgers from a street food truck or running a corporate event in a boardroom!

What are the challenges you face in this industry?

There is still a lot of work to be done around the perception of hospitality. Many people see it as just a “stepping stone” to other things or write it off as not a proper job.

In reality, this could not be further from the truth! Hospitality requires incredible communication skills, attention to detail, and the ability to prioritise multiple tasks. Through our training programmes, campaigns with industry colleagues, and work with the Event Photography Awards, we’re constantly trying to shift the narrative around hospitality and showcase the wonderful and varied career options it can provide.

What does the future hold for you?

We have many exciting events already booked for later in the year, and we have also started preparing for B Corp certification in 2024.

As a company, we’ve long understood the importance of Environmental, Social and Governance policies to ensure that businesses are operating in the right way. In making a commitment to consistently operate in the right way we’re aligning ourselves clearly with the values of our clients and team members and sending a clear message on our business ethos.

Any other comments you’d like to leave?

We’re passionate about helping people fulfil their potential within the hospitality industry. If you’re interested in learning more about support staff within the events industry, take a look at Off To Work.

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SEGA Christmas Party – Client Story

SEGA Europe, one of the largest multinational video game and entertainment companies in the world held their postponed Christmas party with us last week, their 3rd event with Ministry Venues. We sat down and spoke to Lindsey to find out what it was that kept them coming back.

Let’s learn a little more about the event itself, what was the vision for this year?

This was SEGA’s first ‘big bash’ since the pandemic. Not only had Covid caused the postponement, but the rail strikes that had occurred in December had left us having to push the event back until February.

“A massive thanks to Ministry Venues for being so accommodating, flexible and patient whilst we jumped around the calendar trying to find the perfect Plan B date!”

For each of the events we hold, we like to pick a theme and then attempt to create an immersive experience from this that brings everything together. For this one, we chose ‘Blast to the Past’; we took inspiration from the iconic ‘Back to the Future’ film and put our own spin and adaptation on it for a one-of-a-kind event.

Ministry Venues – Elephant & Castle really allowed us to be creative with this theme and bring our ideas to life. As a wonderful blank canvas space, we were able to make the most of the space and transform it. Our staff love the fancy dress as well, so we leaned into the theme and had all sorts of fun and creative 50s and 80s-inspired outfits to match the décor. It was a fun night from start to finish.

Why did you choose Ministry Venues?

I love the venue, it’s unlike any other venue I’ve used before. It’s an amazingly flexible space to work with, but at the same time, it’s quite quirky and unique. My favourite room is The Box, which is where we held the event this time; partly because it has tunnel access into it, which gives us the opportunity to transport our guests from the ‘real world’ into the immersive, ‘make-believe’ world we created within the space. For this event, we used lighting to create a vortex-type feel when walking through. Winding through the tunnel through this set-up and round the corner into the big reveal for the space, the atmosphere was electric and was worth seeing everyone’s reaction upon entering. This was the third event that we’ve held in the venue, and each time it’s felt completely different.

So how did you find working with the Ministry Venues team?

Aside from the space itself, the biggest draw is the Events team themselves, they are exceptional. The team are always full of such wonderful ideas and I tend to think that they are more excited for the event than we are. From the initial meeting to assess the venue, right through to the end when we are dismantling the set, there is no doubt at all that we are in the best hands. They are completely hands-on and have such a positive approach to everything.

“No problem cannot be resolved, that’s the attitude”

I am always left feeling like not only are the Ministry Venues team a part of the SEGA family, but that we

have become part of the Ministry Venues family too.

I mean who wouldn’t want to keep going back to that?

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The White Space – Event Space of the Future?

As the world of events and meetings continues to transform, many are looking for new, innovative ways to bring the future of event spaces into the present.

Enter The White Space – an interactive, immersive event space that brings together technology, art and entertainment to create a unique experience that is sure to wow your guests. We explore what The White Space has to offer and how it can be tailored to fit any type of event from corporate meetings to parties.

Read on to discover what makes The White Space different from traditional event space and how it can help bring your next gathering to life!

What is the White Space?

The White Space is a unique venue located in the heart of Borough. It is housed within a former Letts Diary Factory that is over 150 years old, and the building’s history is reflected in the markings on the wall, and ceilings. 

The venue has undergone several transformations to become the modern conference space it is today, but it still retains its historical character including its duel aspect windows which flood the space with natural daylight. The space is equipped with premium audio-visual equipment and is ideal for corporate events with capacities up to 200 standing and 100 theatre style. The in-house events team provides expert support and the venue also has smaller spaces for breakout sessions including a dedicated outdoor courtyard. 

What type of events are best suited for the White Space?

The White Space is an event space that can be used for a variety of events. It is best suited for events that are:

– Creative and innovative

– forward thinking and progressive

– open to new ideas and ways of doing things

– able to take advantage of the latest technology

– willing to experiment and try new things

Operated by Ministry Venues, with a rich history in events for the past 32 years, the space has already hosted major product launches, creative conferences, innovative networking events and long-term rentals. The exclusivity of the space, and the wealth of knowledge from the company and team, blend together to create a truly unique experience for clients. 

What makes the space unique and futuristic?

The in-house sales and event management team love to think outside the box and you will not have a typical iPad-swiper arranging your site visit. We don’t like to create the same event twice, and we work with you to create something that is bespoke and realises your vision. This element really sets us aside from the competition and you know when you host an event with us that your socials will be innovative and unique. 

How to book the White Space?

Booking The White Space could not be simpler, and we have a dedicated team on hand to put together your bespoke proposal and show you the space. The only limit is your imagination (and date availability) so contact the Ministry Venues team now. 

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In The Booth: David Hill, Events Manager

We sat down to talk to David Hill, our new Events Manager, to tell us a little about himself and how he came into the role:

1. So, Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into the events industry?

It was all a bit of a coincidence really, I basically fell into the industry. Many moons ago, I was studying construction management at Oxford Brookes and unfortunately, due to ill health, I had to take extended time out from my studies. I was encouraged to miss the rest of the study year to recover and ensure that I wouldn’t be struggling to keep up with work upon my return. Therefore, in order to keep myself busy, I connected with a friend and ended up spending the summertime working at various music festivals and came to the conclusion that I would much rather prefer to be working in the events industry than in construction as previously planned. And now look, nearly 15 years later, here I am!

2.  What do you like to do outside of work?

I’ve got fair-few hobbies that I spend my time on. Truly, I’m a geek at heart, movies, books, board games, all of that, that’s what I truly enjoy. I also spend a lot of my free time going on adventures in the outdoors and am not afraid of getting my hands dirty.

Hikes, building, gardening (when I get the chance), outdoor activities in general, as well as painting and cooking – with my partner being vegetarian, it can get quite hands-on to cook both a meat and veggie option for every meal we have. It does mean I get to experiment a bit in the kitchen though.

3. What do you like most about working in Events?

For me, it’s the unscripted nature of the job; every day brings a new challenge, but this keeps things fresh. Not to mention that on the odd occasion, you get to work on a truly spectacular event which, even after all these years and events, really makes you go ‘wow’!

4.  If you could swap lives with anyone for a day, who would it be?

Now, this is a truly hard one to answer, someone famous? Rich? With an easy life? I genuinely hate this question and really struggle to come up with an answer…

5.  What have been the stand-out moments in your career?

I’ve been lucky enough that my career has allowed me to travel to all parts of the world. I’ve worked on all sorts from music festivals, to car shows, to both domestic and international sports, but the memory that sticks in my mind the most has to be when I was working at Leeds Festival c.2012. 

We were waiting for Bullet for My Valentine to come on stage and trying to keep the crowd entertained. Over the speaker, they started playing ‘We Are the Champions’ by Queen, so I was singing along while working in the pit.

The security manager noticed me doing so and proceeded to then pull me up onto the pit wall in front of a 30,000-strong crowd, pointed and says, ‘There is your audience’.

Suffice it to say, I became a bit of a performing monkey for a good 2 minutes, belting out very badly to a classic Queen song.

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