Q&A with Rebecca Harris, business development director at Londons Kings Place
In our latest Q&A feature we talk to Rebecca Harris, the business development director at Kings Place , an arts and events centre, and one of Londons most sustainable venues, just next to Kings Cross St Pancras.
Hi Rebecca, tell us about your role at Kings Place and how long you’ve been there
I’m the business development director at Kings Place and have overall responsibility for delivery of the event sales budget through team management, sales strategy and proactive sales. I’ve been here for two years.
We know Kings Place as a great venue, what’s the best thing about working there?
It’s very satisfying when clients are prepared to restructure their event in order to use the full potential of the venue. It’s not uncommon to hear clients on site visits discussing how to use spaces they may not have originally considered, simply because the spaces work so well together.
How did you get into the hospitality industry in the first place?
I started working as a silver-service waitress at a 3* hotel in Brighton when I was at college and quickly progressed to be a restaurant supervisor. At the same time I was close to finalising my application to study French and media studies at university, but decided at the very last minute that I was more into hospitality than I thought. I had a complete change of plan and decided to stay in my hometown to study hospitality management – my decision paid off as an event co-ordinator role became immediately available at the same hotel I was working for part time.
What’s the story behind the creation of Kings Place?
The building was designed by architects Dixon Jones and was one of the first significant developments in the King’s Cross regeneration project. The venue was created as a creative hub providing excellent facilities for both conferences and performances, a waterfront restaurant and an office complex. In addition to being an iconic, multi-purpose building, Kings Place was planned and designed from the very beginning as an environmentally sustainable development. We’re also turning 10 year this year, and have a lot in store to mark the occasion.
Tell us something we wouldn’t know about Kings Place
Prince once performed a secret gig here at 24 hours’ notice!
What's the best event you’ve worked on in your time at Kings Place?
Our client C21 decided to move their large, annual conference Content London from the West End to Kings Place in November last year. They fully embraced all that the venue had to offer and their event impacted every department within the venue. We worked very closely with the C21 team to ensure that the venue met every requirement they had; the whole venue was transformed with branding, production and furniture. It was an absolute joy to work with such open-minded and creative clients.
And what events work best at the venue?
Our main spaces come with performance quality technology included so any client relying on high quality production for their event will be very satisfied. Large events requiring breakouts work well too, as we have various sizes of venues that work well as breakouts, office spaces and reception venues.
Why should our clients choose Kings Place to host their events?
Every space is different and we can accommodate a range of event sizes and types. It’s easy for larger events to take the venue exclusively and maximise every space, including our restaurant and terrace. Kings Place is a modern venue, and while there is a certain quirkiness with the art and sculptures around the building, it’s also very easy for a client to make their own mark on the venue, especially due to the impressive amount of branding we allow.
What are the top 3 USPs that separate Kings Place from other venues?
1. We have our own farm in Northumberland that supplies all the beef and lamb featured in our menus 2. We’re one of the best connected venues for London, the rest of the UK and Europe; not only do the majority of the London Underground lines stop at King’s Cross St Pancras, there are 3 major railway stations within a 10 minute walk as well as the Eurostar terminal 3. In 2017 Kings Place achieved the highest BREEAM operational sustainability rating for property management ever accomplished in the UK, one of only two buildings to achieve an outstanding rating for management in the country, and one of only 56 globally
So, what's coming up in 2018 at Kings Place that has you excited?
We’re very excited to be celebrating our ten year anniversary this year and have planned refurbishments over the summer in our bar and restaurant Rotunda and our waterside event space the Battlebridge Room – watch this space!
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