On the 4th and 5th of July, Congress Centre was lucky enough to host the Trade Union Congress’ 22nd annual LGBT+ conference.
The event provided a valuable opportunity for members to come together and discuss the biggest issues currently facing the LGBT+ community in the workplace. Attendees come from several different TUC-affiliated organisations and the conference offers them a platform to debate and pass motions working to tackle these issues. The topics and solutions discussed influence the TUC’s future affiliate policy as well as their campaigning and lobbying work.
For two days, our London conference venue welcomed more than 230 delegates and representatives working across several of our meeting spaces including the largest one, Congress Hall. Over the event, discussions were held on tough issues like the sharp rise in hate crimes being reported (prompted by the recent attack of two women on a London bus), the right to marry still being denied for LGBT+ people living in Northern Ireland, the need for a legal duty of employers to prevent all forms of sexual harassment, a requirement for greater LGBT+ inclusive education in schools and more.
Being able to facilitate such an important event successfully took a lot of planning and coordination between ourselves and the TUC. There was plenty to think about with special arrangements required from delegate privacy to the lighting but our team was more than up to the challenge.
The conference was spread across all 16 of our rooms, many of which were used as breakout spaces to host fringe meetings for unions. This included dedicated caucuses for:
LGBT Women delegates
Each meeting had its own individual set of requirements so it wasn’t straightforward to put all the necessary arrangements in place, however Congress Centre’s events team is an old hand at supporting several different events at once so they were able to handle it hassle-free.
From an AV perspective, the conference had a number of special requests to ensure it was both highly accessible as well as memorable for delegates. In the main Congress Hall, LEDs rigged along the ceiling were lit up in pride colours, creating a stunning rainbow effect for an instant impact on attendees as they entered. As well as that, a rise and fall lectern was used to ensure all speakers were able to be clearly seen by all delegates and traffic lights were in place to inform speakers when to wrap up their slot. In the Foyer, our large built-in screen was used to brand the space with the TUC’s logo and event name while charging stations were placed underneath our spiral staircase and at the registration desk.
A variety of catering was enjoyed over the two-day event. During the daytime, tea and coffee was made available at every session while water stations with compostable plastic cups were placed in the Foyer and throughout Congress Hall. The TUC opted for a working lunch menu where delegates were served a delicious selection of freshly made sandwiches, an accompanying salad and a variety of fresh fruit. Alongside that was a cash café bar set up in the Congress Suite to give delegates the option if they wanted any additional drinks or snacks.
Day 1 was concluded with a drinks reception for delegates in our stunning Marble Hall. Guests enjoyed a selection of beer and wine alongside nibbles like tortilla chips and salsa, and grilled pitta with tzatziki and hummus. Later on, this was followed by a delicious finger buffet which went down a storm with delegates. Dishes offered included king prawn satay skewers, leek and onion tartlets, falafel with a hummus dip as well as fresh fruit and continental pastries.
We were proud to be able to host such an important event with the TUC and even more so for it to have been a success. If you’re interested in what we do here at Congress Centre, get in touch to discuss how our central London event spaces could work for you. Call us 020 7467 1318 or feel free to contact us online.