Shocking truth

Shocking truth

Q: Can you suggest any unusual venues for a new product launch?

A: Journalists are swamped with invites to press events, so anything

that makes yours stand out will help.

Galleries and museums are increasingly popular as alternatives to a

hotel and you can also try cinemas and sports venues. Universal Event

Production chose Pinewood Studios for its launch of Nokia’s Communicator

phone, to tie in with its appearance in a film.

The company is currently planning an event at St Peter’s Church in

Kennington, south London, which helps make ends meet by hosting

corporate parties.

Call 01442 890024 for advice, or try TBA Events, 020 8870 7140; Lizard

Productions, 020 8772 9040.

For real atmosphere you could consider using the London Dungeon, a

popular choice for corporate parties.

Here you can entertain your guests with skeletons jumping out of coffins

or special effect recreations of Jack-the-Ripper and the Fire of


You can also hire the actors who staff the venue during the day.

The venue costs pounds 2500 to hire, pounds 3000 at Christmas and

Halloween. The menu starts at pounds 24 for a substantial buffet. You

need to give at least two weeks’ notice to make arrangements for a

drinks licence.

Call London Catering Services on 020 8874 4234. The company also takes

bookings for other venues, including the Commonwealth Institute and the

RAF Museum in Hendon.

Personal care

Q: We have been thinking of using personal grooming products for both

men and women as incentive gifts. Can you suggest any suppliers of high

quality products?

A: Brand Logistics offers a manicure kit with clippers, file and nail

pick in a brushed aluminium foldaway box, for around pounds 7-pounds


For men, it has a pocket shaving kit for around pounds 10, or can mix

and match items to fit your budget.

If you want real quality, you could go for the shaving kit the company

supplies to Bentley. This contains a traditional badger hair brush and a

set of razors in a luxury leather bag, and costs around pounds 100.

Call 01384 286000 or try Gold Leaf, 020 8517 6222.

Bed and Bath, which supply Harrods and other top stores, could also be a

good source of high quality towelling products.

It offers a white ’shawl-collar’ robe for pounds 11.95 and a series of

heavyweight white towels from pounds 1.70-pounds 5.50; other colours are

available at slightly higher prices.

Call 01949 844441 or, if you want to order in quantity, you could also

try Emerald Textiles, 01344 890600.

Up, up and away

Q: We have been looking for an interesting way to entertain some clients

and thought they might like a balloon trip. Who does this and how much

does it cost?

A: Horizon Ballooning offers rides from a total of 18 sites in

Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and Berkshire (01420 520505).

The balloons are of varying sizes, the biggest holding 14 passengers,

but you can accommodate a larger party in several balloons. The price is

pounds 105 per person for parties of six or more.

An excursion takes around four hours, with one hour in the air and the

rest taken up with getting started and returning to base. Champagne on

landing is a ballooning tradition, but guests are encouraged to remain

sober while airborne.

Balloons can only fly in the early mornings or evenings, because the

warmth of the sun makes them unstable during the day.

Evenings are more popular which means you have to book several weeks

ahead, but morning trips can also be viable if you use a nearby hotel as

a base.

An alternative is the British School of Ballooning based in Petworth,

West Sussex, which caters for corporate parties of up to 150 in nine

balloons, at similar prices (01428 707307).


E-mail enquiries should be sent to


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