With Zoom and Teams calls having lost their appeal and the desire to meet with colleagues for face-to-face conversations increasing, London’s working arts centre Somerset House is bringing a sense of community back to the world by launching an antidote to the lack of human business interaction.
Deputy head of commercial events Kara Clark said: “With so many offices still closed, people are keenly missing the benefits of being part of a physical team and are looking for new ways to safely regroup, which is still possible for business purposes. As humans we thrive on social interaction and stimulation. We convene to inspire one another and create solutions to today’s problems. Somerset House artists, designers and creators are still safely collaborating in person to bring their ideas to life and businesses can now come and be a part of our creative hub too.”
The Portico Rooms, with enviable views of the Thames from the south balcony coupled with views of the Edmond J. Safra courtyard from the opposing balcony, can host up to 25 people for a business meeting. A variety of layouts with 2m distancing have been created to appeal to all types of meeting, formal and informal. To increase event reach, specialist supplier Broadsword has devised several hybrid options including conferencing and streaming, with packages starting from £1,445 + VAT.
Somerset House’s historic courtyard and its series of exhibitions – including the recently opened show ‘Rite of Passage’ featuring the works of celebrated French-Moroccan photographer Leila Alaoui – offers an original cultural interlude for all attendees. New café The Watchhouse can also be explored during downtime.
Clark continued: “Delegates can immerse themselves in the creative buzz of Somerset House and indulge in many different things from art to history, popular culture and gourmet delights; there’s something for everyone to enjoy as part of their visit.”
On top of the cafés and exhibitions, plus the views along the Thames and the fountains, delegates can experience an historical tour of the building, learning about its naval past and understand how its purpose has changed over the years. The film tour shows where scenes from Harlots, Downton Abbey, The Royals and Jack Ryan were filmed amongst many, many others.
The on-site caterer has specially created a number of dishes around seasonal fruits and vegetables, starting from £24.95 + VAT.
Clark concluded: “We are currently working on festive themed catering options to bring some cheer to the end of this extraordinary year, which will be perfect for tagging on to an AGM or similar meeting.”