From Friday 11 to Monday 14 October 2019, London’s QEII Centre hosted the 65th annual session of NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly, where representatives from 60 countries came together to discuss matters of human rights and international security.
NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly required a space that would allow it to host five separate streams for its committees – Civil Dimension of Security, Defence and Security, Economics and Security, Science and Technology, and Political.
Space would also be needed to host a special photography exhibition to mark NATO’s 70th anniversary and with the event attracting political figures from around the globe, organisers would also need a venue with expertise in high-profile and high-security events, making QEII the ideal choice.
NATO utilised all 32 of QEII’s flexible event spaces for the four-day event, from its flagship conference space the Churchill and its fifth-floor events space the Mountbatten, to its smaller break-out rooms and catering areas.
Space was configured to accommodate dedicated streams for the Assembly’s five committees – Civil Dimension of Security, Defence and Security, Economics and Security, Science and Technology, and Political – including a presentation by Dominic Raab MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom.
The 70 Years of NATO photo exhibition, held in QEII’s third floor Britten room, was opened on Saturday 12 October by Richard Benyon MP, leader of the UK delegation.
With the high profile of the event and the number of political and military leaders from around the world in attendance, QEII increased its security to the highest level. The centre’s flexible security arrangements mean that airport-style baggage scanners and walk-through metal detectors can be brought out for events such as these but put away for other events to soften the welcome.
Over the four days of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, QEII welcomed hundreds of international delegates with the conference running smoothly from start to finish.
Helen Cadwallender, head of conference service at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with the QEII Centre on the organisation of the Assembly’s Annual Session. The expertise and efficiency of the entire staff has been exemplary throughout and it has been a real pleasure to work in a truly professional environment.”
The venue’s multiple dedicated event spaces allowed the five streams of the programme to run simultaneously, while QEII’s digital wayfinding system ensured delegates were able to navigate easily to the correct sessions as well as exploring the 70th anniversary photo exhibition and enjoying the catering during lunch and breaks.
Lukas Audickas, session coordinator from the UK Parliament, said: “It was a pleasure to host the session in the QEII centre. It is a very functional and dynamic conference venue. The centre’s staff provided an excelllent service during preparation and the key days of the event. Their professionalism and dedication made it easy to overcome any challenges.