13 Jul WE SPEAK TO THE HOXTON ABOUT ALL THINGS VENUES, EVENTS & RE-OPENING PLANS!
The Hoxton is a series of open-house hotels inspired by the streets and scenes that surround us. Their motto is ‘Just like our doors, our minds are open too.’
As many hotels, restaurants and bars have started to re-open, its only a matter of time before our wonderful venues and events spaces in London, the UK and worldwide start to follow suit.
We caught up with the fabulous Lena Wantjer, Global Account Director at Hoxton Hotels to talk about all things events, life during lockdown and re-opening plans.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your role with The Hoxton and how long you have worked for the group?
My name is Lena and I am originally from Germany. Having lived and worked throughout Europe, the Middle East and the US, I have recently moved to London. I have been with the Hoxton Group for over 2 years and originally joined as a Director of Sales for our Hotel in Amsterdam and recently moved into a global role looking after our 9 operating hotels for our MICE and Consortia partners
2. What do you love most about your role?
I enjoy mostly the connection with people. Meeting so many people from various background, travelling, attending tradeshows and building strong local relationships with key partners. Currently all this has moved more virtual hence missing the real face to face interaction, entertainment and networking.
3. How many venues are currently in your collection?
We are currently operating 9 hotels in EU (Paris & Amsterdam), UK and the US (New York, LA, Chicago and Portland) and have a few more in the pipeline, next is Rome in Spring 2021.
4. Do you have a favourite venue and why?
I don’t have a specific venue in the portfolio which I would call my favourite as they all have a similar concept and design but vary within the setting they are in. Our property in Shoreditch reflects East London and our Holborn location has more of a business look and feel being in central London. If I had to name one, it would be Summerly, our rooftop terrace overlooking Manhattan at our Hoxton in Williamsburg.
5. Tell us about the types of events that you host at your venues?
We do all sorts of events, from day to day boardroom meetings, to product launches or private dinner parties. We have done a fair few weddings as well.
6. Is there a stand out event that you have organised and are really proud of?
Its difficult to pick one specific event but I really enjoyed the events we created/ hosted around ADE, a popular music conference/ event in Amsterdam all surrounding product labels and music, so lots of up-coming music artists and celebrities 😊
7. How have you been spending your time in lockdown?
I only recently moved into my place in East London, so I have spent my free time biking around Victoria Park and running along Regents Canal.
8. Your venues are currently closed like the rest of the country and events are on hold, how have you stayed connected to your community, guests and bookers?
We have stayed in touch with our community through our social media channels and various activities we run via them. For me personally i have been taking part in lots of phone and video chats. Any one zoomed out yet? 😊
9. Do you have a date you are planning to re-open at this stage?
We re-opened Paris and Amsterdam in June and The Hoxton Southwark last week. The Hoxton Holborn and Shoreditch, as well as our US hotels will open within the next week. Although our meeting and event space in Paris and Amsterdam is already holding events/meetings we are still holding fire on opening the Apartment, our event space in London as we are waiting on further updates from the government.
10. What plans and safety measures are you putting in place when your doors re-open and you welcome guests and event bookings back to your venues?
Yes we have made some amendments and issued (like other venues) a guide which we have shared with our clients and which is also on our website. We have tried to adapt to what is required in the current situation but still keep our brand identity. After all that’s why people love the Hoxton Hotels and the unique concept they offer.
11. Are you currently still receiving enquires for late 2020?
12. Are you venues fully equipped to host virtual and Hybrid events?
13. Do you think event bookers will always prefer live events to virtual events or do you think virtual and Hybrid events will become the new norm?
I think it depends on the type of event, sometimes its just easier to jump on a call and do a virtual version for a small meeting but for anything creative, teambuilding or launch related, especially any larger scale events will continue to be live events to make an impact and get people really engaged. Who wants to have a dinner party on the screen and make their own meal and cocktails? 😊
14. What positive have you taken from lockdown and what advise would you give to other people to stay positive during this time?
We have always been quite flexible in working from home or remotely from one of our spaces rather then from the office itself. Hence working from home wasn’t such a big transition but weeks after weeks it does become a little lonely and I miss having the coffee chats in the office. However, what I have learned is that if you have a strong team you can keep this connection, team spirit and communication flow also active during lock down. In terms of client meetings, I realized as much as I miss the face to face interaction with my clients, it is quite time effective to do a few quick meetings virtually as well and avoid travelling around London 😊 Having said this I cannot wait to have everyone back in for drinks on the roof top at the Hoxton Southwark!
Thank you Lena for this wonderful interview. It is so great to hear that The Hoxton Hotels are starting to re-open and also the positives that Lena has experienced during lockdown both personally and professionally. I think this new way of working might be something we all take on board to work smarter and more efficiently.
We will see you really soon for a cocktail on that fabulous rooftop 😊
Fancy a staycation in London? You can now book a room at The Hoxton from £199 and you will also receive a £100 F&B credit to spend! Click below to book today.
For more information on hosting an event at The Hoxton, please get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org
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