UK and US Meeting and Event Venues Business Was Bought by Convene Earlier This Month

Etc.venues, a provider of urban event venues in the UK and New York City, is investing £4.3 million in doubling the size of its venue at 155 Bishopsgate in London.

It is adding 20,000 square feet of conference space on the second floor with escalator access from the existing event space on the first floor, to create a 40,000-square-foot venue, one of the largest in the City of London. The main room on the new floor will house up to 475 theatre-style seats and is supported by a galleria and lounge that can accommodate up to 51 exhibition stands.

Earlier this month, Convene, a hospitality company that designs and manages premium meeting, event, and flexible office spaces, bought Etc.venues, in a move that added 16 new venues to the Convene portfolio, making it the largest single provider of dedicated premium meeting and event venues in the US and UK.

Etc.venues said it has seen a consistently strong demand for space in the last 12 months, with the return to in-person events. In addition, it says there has been a new demand for space for company collaboration and meetings created by the trend for working from home and what it calls “working from office” where organisations no longer have suitable meeting spaces in-house.

Nick Hoare, managing director of Etc.venues, said in a statement: “Following the news of our acquisition by Convene, we start the partnership as we mean to go on – by expanding rapidly. Our UK and New York City businesses have thrived since the end of the pandemic and bookings for 2023 are strong so we are keen to bring more space to this buoyant market.

“In the past, we have successfully extended 133 Houndsditch in 2020 and County Hall in 2017. The addition of the second floor at 155 Bishopsgate is another timely extension. In New York we open the doors to our third venue at 810 Seventh Avenue this month and by joining forces with Convene we have created an unprecedented global offering with a joint portfolio of nearly 40 world-class venues.”

He added: “Convene and Etc.venues has an extensive pipeline for London and the US. However, the newly combined UK businesses offer a platform for European expansion via M&A, organically and working with forward thinking landlords on providing building amenities.”

155 Bishopsgate recently underwent a full refurbishment, including a new double level reception designed by Fletcher Priest Architects alongside a new lounge and an upgrade of the workspace.

Mike Wiseman, head of office leasing at British Land, said: “[The] decision to expand within the building is a testament to the appeal of our London campuses, which provides flexibility for businesses to expand as their requirements evolve while continuing to benefit from the excellent amenities, proximity to key transport links and other innovative businesses.”