In May 2017, London’s QEII Centre welcomed GraphConnect Europe – the premier conference for developers, architects and IT executives exploring graph databases, the fastest growing segment of NoSQL databases.
With a growing audience for its annual European conference GraphConnect, Neo4j needed a central London venue that would reflect and strengthen its position as a leader in the rapidly-growing field of graph technology.
Attended by hundreds of technology experts with high expectations, the venue’s AV and technology facilities had to be of the highest quality with exceptional service. The event’s audience are also renowned foodies, so original and exciting catering was also key to its success.
QEII event manager Charlotte Best worked closely with event management company Event Works as well as AV project manager Marian Sanders and QEII Taste manager Kimberley Powell to ensure all departments worked together seamlessly to deliver an outstanding event for Neo4j.
GraphConnect Europe 2017 took over four floors of the QEII Centre, including the combined Whittle and Fleming rooms which have capacity for more than 700 delegates for the keynote sessions.
The entire first floor Pickwick room was transformed into a dedicated developer zone. The QEII’s AV and design teams was more than capable of meeting the challenge of setting up the space with all facilities needed with just 10 days to go to the event.
With four floors being used for the event, the organisers had some concerns that it wouldn’t flow well and delegates would get stuck on one floor. QEII’s event managers and floor team were able to jump in on the day to help keep the delegate flow moving and optimise all of the event spaces.
Regular Swedish-style ‘Fika’ coffee breaks were held across three floors, with granola bars and home-made biscuits alongside Fairtrade tea and coffee. A bowl food lunch featured dishes like marinated cod with pak choy, black bean sauce and rice noodles and traditional English trifle for dessert.
In the evening, a ‘GraphParty’ was held in the Britten room with a drinks reception and hot and cold canapés provided by QEII Taste, including roulade of smoked salmon with pumpernickel bread, mini fish and chips cones with tartare sauce and fillet of beef with morel sauce.
Half of all attendees were flying in from abroad and enjoy being in London, so QEII’s central location and easy accessibility from both Heathrow and Gatwick airports made it perfectly suited for the event.
GraphConnect Europe 2017 was a great success, attracting 800 developers, architects, technical managers, directors and CTOs – almost seven times the audience of the first Graph Connect Europe event in 2013, which was attended by 120 delegates.
From start-ups to Global 2000 companies (including Neo4j, the world’s leading graph database), the tech-savvy audience were impressed with the slick execution of the event, particularly with how well the live streaming worked and the sound quality of the sound and vision relay in the Fleming and Whittle rooms for the key note talks.
Jayne Foster, director of event works, praised QEII for the high levels of customer service and catering – which the foodie organisers and attendees of the event loved.
Speaking after the event, Jayne said: “Just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for a fantastic event for Neo4j last week at Graph Connect 2017!
“We have had the debrief today and the team are extremely grateful for the fantastic food and service. Everything went really well and the food was delicious. Thank you to Neil for his super speedy execution of canapés from the Neo4j Marketing store room – again, fabulous food and excellent service.”
Claudia Remlinger, Marketing Director EMEA for Neo4j, added: “I would absolutely and wholeheartedly recommend the QEII Centre for any technology conference or event. It is an utmost pleasure to work with any of your team and we are holding dates for the event to return to QEII in 2019.”