The private members club scene has evolved somewhat over the years and now has a much wider appeal. There is a private members club to suit all tastes.
When I started out in the event industry 17 years or so ago my perception of Private Members clubs was that they were stuffy, out of touch and closed for non-member events. Upon reflection that might have been unfair on some but for the majority that I visited or was aware of it was a fact.
When I think to back to that and someone suggested a private members club I had visions of wood panelled rooms with fires and Chesterfield seating full of whiskey or red wine drinking, cigar smoking, pin-stripe suit-wearing men.
Today the landscape is very different, and London is bursting with Private Members Clubs. You still have the classic old boys clubs but in addition, you can find a vast array of clubs that suit all styles. You have the super hip Shoreditch house with roof-top terrace and pool or the classic IOD or the media-friendly Century Club. The sector has evolved even further than that and we can now find amazing private business clubs such as The Ministry and 12 Hay Hill which offer all the luxury of a standard private members club but with a focus on business complete with meeting spaces, co-working and office areas that appeal to not only the elite but entrepreneurs and self-made people from all industry sectors.
So what are the benefits of using one for your events?
Having the name of a private members’ club on your invitation can lend that extra “Je ne se quoi” to your event. Private members clubs often have a history behind them or a story to tell, they are interesting and exciting.
I see private members clubs as places of excellence and exclusivity. They offer fantastically personal experiences. The level of service is second to none and in my experience, you are looked after extremely attentively from the moment you are welcomed at reception to the time you collect your coat to leave. Nothing ever seems like too much trouble.
The meeting and events space on offer is beautifully designed and really functional with an array of equipment to make your life easy. Although the private member’s clubs I have experienced have not had the biggest event spaces they have all been perfectly formed and really added to the events I have run.
I am a huge fan of private members clubs as event venues. They offer something luxurious, exclusive and different.
What they offer in terms of events is a glimpse into a world otherwise frustratingly off-limits (or at least the illusion of one, as many clubs separate their events spaces and members’ spaces ruthlessly) but there are great benefits to using a private members club.