From 17 – 19 November 2018, London’s QEII Centre hosted the 11th European Registrars Conference, organised by MCI UK on behalf of the UK Registrars Committee (UKRG). The event saw more than 800 attendees from across the world coming together to meet, network and exchange ideas and knowledge.
The 2018 conference would be celebrating 20 years since the first European Registrars Conference (ERC) took place in London in 1998. The UKRG wanted to reenergise the programme, demonstrate the conference’s evolution and nurture their growing community of registrars and collection and exhibition managers.
MCI UK were briefed with full conference management and to develop a dynamic and vibrant brand identity. The organisers needed a central London venue that could meet these aims as well as providing flexible event space, agile AV solutions and bespoke catering options.
MCI UK created a brand identity for the conference which combined the city skyline and the event themes of Evolve, Refresh and Collaborate.
An optimised website and digital marketing campaign led to the event selling out two months before delivery, and the ERC’s community was nurtured through the event app (downloaded by 100% of delegates) and social media. The hashtag #ERC18LDN reached 225,000 users and the activity stream was in regular use throughout the day, recording 1,294 interactions in two days.
The plenary sessions of the conference took place in QEII’s Fleming room, featuring keynote speakers Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England, and Dr Susanna Pettersson, Director General at Nationalmuseum Sweden, while parallel sessions were held in the Mountbatten and Windsor rooms. An exhibition took place in the Whittle and the Britten, and catering was also provided in the Britten during breaks.
Catering for the event came in the form of bespoke bowl food menus, with gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free options including a particularly popular vegan coconut panna cotta, 730 portions of which were served.
A bespoke AV solution was offered with theming to reflect the brand identity. Delegates were welcomed by QEII’s 4k video wall inviting them to register, with a custom design displaying overhead at every registration desk. The 64ft-stage was washed with blue and purple lighting and tooled conference gobos which ERC were able to take away and reuse with any Source 4 lamp. A D&B Y Series sound system ensured audio was electronically delayed to ensure all delegates would be hearing it at the same time with no echo or distortion, with a hearing loop covering the whole room for delegates with hearing aids.
The 11th European Registrars Conference attracted 854 attendees from the registrar and collection and exhibition management community coming together at the QEII Centre.
QEII’s central London location provided the event with excellent accessibility by public transport for the guests arriving from all over the world, with the event not only held in close proximity to the political heart of the UK, but also against the backdrop of some of its most recognisable icons including Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the London Eye.
QEII Taste met the catering brief with its bespoke bowl food menus, serving 800 people each day and providing options for all dietary requirements, and AV was delivered flawlessly.
Alyson Rolington, registration manager from the UKRG said: “Returning to London, 20 years since the last ERC conference held in the city, was a happy alignment of both wanting to return in an auspicious year and also knowing that London was a world hub, easily accessible and welcoming for our guests.
“We looked at a number of professional conference organisers to deliver the conference, but MCI was the only one that gave us the full confidence that they understood our parameters and would deliver our event on time and in budget. They absolutely succeeded in this and were instrumental in making the event the success it was.
“QEII was also crucial to our success – the location, layout and facilities were fantastic. The catering was really great, we had some excellent feedback from delegates on the quality of the food and facilities, and the QEII team were very welcoming to all our guests – and patient with our questions! Without hesitation I would use the venue again, it was an excellent experience.”