With renewed energy and prosperity, business in Ireland is looking bright resulting in a proliferation of product launches and corporate meetings. Growing in line with this reinvigorated economy is the demand for a dynamic, fresh and exciting events offering.
Keeping up to date with the latest trends impacting meeting design strategy is The Westbury Hotel, integrating education, entertainment and the latest technology, drawing from their surroundings by working with local businesses to enrich meetings with authentic experiences, and making meeting breaks the highlight of your working week with enhanced food and drinks menus.
A meeting design strategy that is engaging attendees in new ways and attracting to the five-star boutique hotel not only the elite of business in Dublin, but fashion designers, movie directors and even concert pianists.
Speaking to Sophie Governey, Marketing Manager, and Katie Farrell, Director of Sales in the lush, newly refurbished surrounds of The Gallery, they tell me it’s currently peak ‘leisure season’ and that their events schedule will be in full stride from September onwards.
However I soon learn that all eight spaces available for meetings and events in the hotel are fully booked out for the next seven days, and given the hotel’s iconic status, central location, superb faciliteis and innovative events strategy its little wonder all eight are in demand.
From the grand Grafton Suite, with its marble columns and Waterford crystal chandeliers, fit host a banquet for up to 160 people, to the glamorous Trinity Room, perfectly posed for a more intimate dining experience or meeting for twenty.
Sophie tells me that fashion shows are one of their specialties, and can range from private occasions whereby guests are given exclusive access to the designs and then treated to dinner afterwards, or more elaborate affairs like the NCAD final year fashion show which The Westbury has hosted for the past two years.
Sophie explains that as co-sponsors of the show, along with neighbours Brown Thomas, the hotel’s objective is to a create a unique, eye-catching platform for the young designers to showcase their designs and impress the top-tier fashion media in attendance.
Last year the show to the form of a stylish salon soiree in the Grafton Suite, while the year before they made use of another of the hotel’s facilities, the car park.
“The industrial space was really like what you would see at London Fashion Week, which is exactly what we wanted to get across.”
Other striking examples of how the hotel can be adapted for a wide variety of events include the launch of the most recent beautifully hand-embellished collection from Needle and Thread, a beauty masterclass with visionary makeup artist Trish McEvoy, which was “all over Instagram,” and the Dublin International Piano Competition.
“We brought a Steinway grand piano into the Grafton Suite and six of the country’s top young virtuoso pianists played with acclaimed Irish concert pianist John O’Conor. It was a stunning experience.”
Incorporating the growing interest in craft cocktails, other occasions have seen mixologist Michael Lis wheel a martini trolley from The Sidecar, the hotel’s stylish, modern take on a 30’s cocktail bar, into the Grafton Suite crafting cocktails on the spot.
Mixing things up even further, working with their neighbour in the Westbury Mall Parfumarija they have served cocktails based on her fragrances, followed by a private dinner with Creative Director Marija Aslimoska herself talking guests through the base notes of her rare and special scents.
“We are always trying to think of our neighbours in the Creative Quarter and looking for ways to collaborate with them,” Katie says.
“It shows the diversity of The Westbury and how we are challenging what people would traditionally perceive an events space to be.”
“We host a lot of movie launches and press junkets happen here too.”
But it’s not all film stars and fashion designers they assure me, from conferences to confidential meetings for two, The Westbury Hotel is of the Dublin’s leading business event spaces.
“We work with everyone from big multinationals to small local businesses and start-ups. Because of our location, our clientele is really diverse and we have a lot of returning local business.”
Along with the five-star service and luxury surrounds, with each room finished with fine contemporary artworks from The Doyle family’s extensive collection, their food and beverage offering is another feature that keeps clients coming back.
As well as fine dining options and private afternoon tea, The Westbury have tapped into the growing health and wellness movement and are working harder than ever to meet attendees’ dietary needs.
The selection of juices and smoothies on The Juicery menu, each created by a leading nutritionist, are complemented by other new health conscious menu options include high protein energy balls, a superfood salad and a chocolate avocado cake, which Sophie tells me is as delicious as it is nutritious.
“Just because people are having a business meeting doesn’t mean they must have the standard format of tea, coffee and pastries.”
“Attention to detail is key. People are always looking for something to make their event different, especially now with social media and the shareability of their event. The food and beverage offering is really important as it’s going to be shared across so many platforms it has to stand out and be as tailored to that event as possible.
Digitisation has completely reshaped every industry, and technology is now an established pillar in the events area too. Keeping to the forefront of this trend, The Westbury was the first hotel in Ireland to house a three by two metre plasma video wall, which Sophie says brings an interactive element to their offering.
“It enables the use of video in particular in really high-definition and that has been really important to our clients. It’s not just your regular PowerPoint slides anymore, people are utilising different ways of making presentations and video content makes such an impact.”
“With the likes of Google and Facebook on our doorsteps we want to make sure we are in line with the best of the best.”
On how they continually strive to stay on trend, Sophie says: “We have to recognise that we are such an iconic location, there are things that we won’t change and that’s why people keep coming back. But it’s equally important that we continue to innovate and keeping people engaged.”
“It’s not just about staying up with the trends but anticipating the future needs of our guests.”
For more information or to book your bespoke meeting or event at The Westbury call +353 1 679 1122 or email email@example.com.
Erica grew up with a baker and confectioner for a father and a mother with an instinct and love for good food. It is little wonder then that, after completing a law degree, she went on to do a Masters in Food Business at UCC. With a consuming passion for all things food, nutrition and wellness, working with TheTaste is a perfect fit for Erica; allowing her to learn and experience every aspect of the food world meeting its characters and influencers along the way.