Bianca Huang, Event Organiser at global financial services firm, INTL FCStone, chats to us about her experience with Hire Space and our Venue Experts in booking her company Christmas party at Salters' Hall – one of our exclusive venues.
Stream the audio of the interview here, or check out the highlights below.
So, Bianca, can you tell us a little bit about what your company does?
So we are a financial brokerage company. We broker deals between the exchange and customers. Mainly we focus in commodities and energy markets, agriculture, as well as FX and precious metals…. This is the UK branch of a US company called INTL, FC Stone Group. So we are listed in NASDAQ. We are the biggest branch in Europe…. We work 24 hours [a day] to cover the financial market.
How did you hear about Hire Space?
I heard from Glenn...he contacted me in May…. I think I was looking for some venues for a summer party, and had probably left my contact information. So he got in touch.
[Glenn] was part of our Business Development team…. So what’s the event you booked?
It’s a Christmas party on 9th December – it’s still coming up. So I got help from Hire Space to find the venue. Elise brought many choices, and we finally narrowed it down to this one.
And what venue is it?
It’s Salters’ Hall.
Oh, right, so that’s one of our exclusive venues. So, this is a bit embarrassing because Elise [one of our Venue Experts] is in the room [laughs], but what were your experiences with Elise?
I think she was really helpful. She had done the most difficult part, which is searching…What I did was tell her what I needed – what dates and what kind of party, or what kind of venue we were looking for – and she shortlisted the options, and then arranged a few viewings for me. And after the viewings we could take the selection even further and in more detail.
That’s great. Glad to hear you had a good experience. So can you talk to us a little bit about what you want to achieve at your event? And how many people – is it quite a big event?
So what I’m looking after is my company’s internal event for our own employees. So every year we have at least two parties for the employees – one summer party and one Christmas party. We are constantly expanding: at the moment we have 230 people, and we already have two offices – the one we are in now, and the other one is next to The Gherkin. And we’re looking for a third office. So I think the number of guests will continue to increase.
The purpose of these events is to bring people together, to mingle. You normally only stay within your department...but actually the company is quite big, and we want to get people to know each other, and build up a personal relationship outside of work.
So what do you look for in a venue, and why were you attracted to Salters’ Hall?
I’d like to have a venue [that’s] ideally one space with another space connected. That’s what I learned from past parties…some venues provide several rooms for you, but it’s not easy to shift people from A to B, B to C. So what we prefer is a big space like Salters’ – two big rooms, but they’re very well connected.
Right – and Salters’ Hall is a livery hall, so it’s quite traditional, but also it’s been refurbished.
Yes. Another very important part is that we want to have the venue within walking distance, just for everyone to be able to get there easily…. Salters’ is just two minutes away.
Anything else about the event that you’re excited about? Will there be catering?
Yeah, it’s always catered. We always have a standing, reception style, because we don’t want to sit down and assign people to the tables, and you’re stuck with your own people!
Well that’s really exciting. Thanks so much for talking to us, Bianca. I know you’re busy so we’ll let you go. But hope the event goes really well, and maybe we’ll get a chance to chat after the event, to see how it goes.
If your company has had a memorable experience booking with Hire Space and dealing with our Venue Experts, we'd love to hear from you! Get in touch with Talib at firstname.lastname@example.org to chat about featuring in our next case study piece.