Will's Week

The (Hackney) Empire Strikes Back - (as do our new site stats)!

The (Hackney) Empire Strikes Back - (as do our new site stats)!

Hackney _empire _london _venue

Is this Hollywood, or Hackney? The sun is beating down, the palm trees are swaying and a giant sign overlooks the scene, emblazoned across the skyline, creating the illusion of a gigantic movie title suspended in mid air. Welcome to London's most multi-faceted, versatile and, frankly, bloody big theatre space! And, if you're not convinced on the glamour front, there's even a new Foxtons opposite - an undeniable sign of Geographical superiority! Hackney (thanks to the ever spreading salubrious-ness of expanding London, the proximity of the City, excellent transport links (the overland is so spacious and air conditioned!, I just can't get enough of it!), a smattering of Olympic fairy dust and, perhaps, the cultural mecca that is the Empire itself), is now officially posh.

So, following a multi-million dollar (sorry, I'm getting carried away, pound) restoration (a few years ago, admittedly), this place is classically beautiful yet hi-tech and versatile. The best of both worlds perhaps? Certainly for conference and presentation based events. And the infrastructure is already there. Add to this the fact that, unlike nearly all other London theatres, with enough advance notice your booking will get equal billing to an acclaimed play, a high profile stand-up comedy performance or even a rock concert - yes, a theatre which takes a corporate booking just as seriously as a production of Othello! Lavish, decadent, beautiful and, in some areas, charmingly chic,  the famous stage at the iconic Hackney Empire is the perfect 'picture frame' for cool brands.You'll be able to check it out on Londonlaunch shortly if you haven't been before (or for a while, as I hadn't).

Following another fabulous VIP luncheon at Boisdale Canary Wharf (the second in the series) on Wednesday, I raced off to the Naval and Military Club in St.James' Square where I broke the seven minute rule for meeting with military Officers. That is, you're (strictly) meant to arrive seven minutes early to a meeting. I, of course, shamefully turned up nearly an hour late but had a highly productive meeting all about next year's Chinese Dream Ball which is shaping up to be a phenomenal event in next year's social calendar. Phew.

The Naval and Military Club is a fascinating place though, not least because it's laden with hidden treasures, tucked away in a quiet corner of fashionable St James' Square - a peaceful courtyard, majestic state rooms, restaurants, a bar, cafe, a health and fitness centre (with a pool and wave machine!) and, wait for it, a first floor squash court...! I suspect they might eventually (and reluctantly) relent on their policy of no tablets or phones on display though (or is that quite refreshing these days?). I had to have my bag removed to resist temptation. Hmmm, that sounds wrong on so many levels, but you know what I mean!

And finally (in an old school News at Ten sort of way), we have some HUGE news! Since launching the all new londonlaunch.com six months ago we've noticed a shift change. A dramatic one. Truth be known, we took a huge risk and, whilst the rest of the world was hiding behind the sofa, licking their (still raw) wounds following a tough couple of 'survival' years, we invested a massive amount in a brand new, state of the art, mobile-optimised, socially integrated Giant Sequoia of a site, and it's worked in sensational style!

Here's an exclusive first snapshot of our year-on-year statistics. We were already popular but check this out:

  • Visitor numbers are up 44.7% and rising (August alone is up 100%)
  • Enquiries are up 651% and rising. Yes, that's six hundred and fifty one percent!
  • Visitor dwell time is up 37% (3.38 minutes)
  • Page views are up 23.3% to (4.2 pages)
  • Mobile visits are up by 112.5% (because we are the only site in the UK events industry fully optimised for mobile (incredibly)).

We are clearly the place to be and the place to be seen for cool stuff in events!

The disproportionate nature of the dramatic increase in enquiries is even more exciting. This proves that, whilst the site is sailing past the 'half-as-much-again' increase in popularity, the enquiries are approaching a seven-fold hike. That means that the user experience is seven times as good as it used to be, and getting richer!

But the most incredible thing of all is that it's all trending upwards, week on week, and it's gathering momentum at an incredible pace. This August was almost exactly twice as busy as last August and we're expecting a monster September!  We're not resting on our laurels either. We have huge plans between now and Christmas which will further enhance the londonlaunch.com experience for everyone.

We've simply blown the bloody doors off!

WB