How do you select the right charity partner for your next event?

By being strategic about your chosen charity, you can forge a partnership that is both beneficial to the charity and your business rather than being a transactional experience that lacks value on either side.

More and more people want to work for and do business with organisations that have a clear sense of purpose, and who are using their platform for good. There are lots of ways that you can leverage your event to raise funds or awareness for your chosen charity partner – that could be anything from allocating a percentage of ticket sales to their cause, holding auctions or raffles on the day, giving free sponsorship space with donation links or inviting a representative to tell their story as part of the proceedings, it just takes a little creative thinking so that any activities fit naturally into the proceedings and don’t seem shoe-horned in or out of place.

With so many non-profits delivering amazing work, how do you manage the process of finding who is the best fit for you?


1. Define your values and goals

Understanding your business’s purpose and values, the goals of the event, and what you aim to achieve through your CSR efforts makes it much easier to find a charity or cause that aligns perfectly. Consider what causes resonate with your attendees and the theme of the event, or where you can have a positive impact on the future of your sector or workforce. Whether it is environmental, conservation, social justice, mental health, or education there will be issues that disproportionally affect the people who live in your area, or work within your sector. By establishing what you care about as a business, you can use your events programme to make long-lasting and meaningful changes.


2. Ask your team for input 

CSR activities are a fantastic way of engaging your people and giving them pride in the place where they work. Ask for ideas for local initiatives that they care about, or to submit ways that you can get attendees excited about supporting your chosen charity. Involving your team in the decision-making process helps you to embed your values across the organisation, gives them a way to get meaningfully involved, and creates excitement for what’s possible. If there is an authentic connection between your team and chosen charity it will be much easier to communicate how and why you have chosen to partner together, rather than it coming across like a PR stunt.


3. Build a partnership 

Choosing a charity or cause to partner with shouldn’t be a one-hit wonder. Striving for a longer-term relationship that outlives the event allows you to consistently communicate what matters to you and have a golden CSR thread that runs through everything that you do. By consistently communicating how and why you have chosen to support a specific cause, you can have a much more authentic conversation with your delegates than you could if you simply hand over a cheque.


4. Do your due diligence

When you are looking to work with a particular charity, make sure you take some time to do your research and seek transparency about how funds are allocated, the governance structure, and the impact of their programmes. Most charities will have annual reports and financial statements that are available online for you to browse and independent reports evaluations are a great way to assess credibility. By making sure that your chosen charity is reputable you can be confident that your efforts are directed towards trustworthy and effective organisations.


5. Ask the charity what matters to them 

Speak to charitable organisations in advance of your event and ask them what would be most beneficial for them. It could be that they need funding for a specific project that aligns with your business values, or maybe they would like the opportunity to engage with your cohort of delegates to raise awareness for their mission or would really value being part of the event’s digital presence. Have conversations about where you can add the most value before, during, and after the event and you can build a relationship that makes sense for both parties.

At BeaconHouse Events we love to create ‘good’ experiences for our clients. To speak to our team about bringing your next event to life email or call 0191 691 3456


What being a ‘good’ place to work means to us

The Good Work Pledge recognises businesses’ efforts to be a fair employer, their commitment to staff health and wellbeing, and their demonstration of social and environmental responsibility in the region. Since we were founded in 2014, our vision has always been to drive positive, lasting impact both in our sector and across the North East, and we are always looking at how we can build a thriving culture built on a robust business model and financial resilience. 

Everything that we have planned works in tandem with our growth plans for the coming years and allows us to support our clients to achieve both their business ambitions and to allow our talented team to grow and develop with the business, in a supportive environment in which they are proud to be a part. 

Alongside offering a living wage and working with our team to communicate our vision and build a thriving culture, we have been working hard to show what being a Good Work Pledge employer is. Here are just some of the things we have been up to recently… 

  • Supporting The Children’s Foundation to carry out their vital work with children and young people in the region. To give the next generation the best start possible, we funded a school to take part in the Fuzzy Subjects mental health session, which encourages children to talk about tricky subjects with colourful puppets. 
  • We donated the carbon credit equivalent from twelve months of business operations to local environmental charities, including Groundwork North East and Cumbria. The donation will go towards supporting the charity to deliver its nature-based Solutions portfolio of environmental community initiatives, including the continuation of Revitalising our Estuaries, (RoE), a pioneering programme of river estuary restoration across the North East.
  • Working in events can be a stressful career, and we take that seriously. In early 2024, we took the full team offsite to Ouseburn Farm to learn more about mental health in the workplace, with the full team now mental health first aid trained. 
  • We continue to deliver against our four-year ESG strategy that aims to deliver considered, achievable actions, help us reach responsible carbon neutrality, and drive sector-wide change from inside our organisation.
  • We know that having time to do something you are passionate about is important, so every member of the team has 2 days per year to volunteer or learn about a cause that is important to them. Our co-founder Sarah sits on several non-profit boards, and Katie M and Sophie completed an afternoon of tree planting at the Children’s Foundation community allotment.
  • We have signed the Net Zero Carbon Pledge for the event industry. Engaging now means being a part of a global collaboration for action and is part of our commitment to lead the way in making our sector more sustainable. 
  • We developed and launched the first in a series of Sustainability Supply Chain round tables. In January 2024, we welcomed 10 local suppliers to the conversation, a mix of experts working in AV, venues, catering, and print, to discuss the issues they are facing in creating a sustainable supply chain and start positive conversations to make real change in the industry.

We have big plans for the rest of 2024 to continue, and expand our commitment to promote health and wellbeing, valuing and rewarding our current and future workforce, stepping up our social responsibility, and ensuring we are giving back to the local region that we love. 

To find out more about working with BeaconHouse Events and to speak to the team about engaging your workforce in 2024, email 

Setting the tone: How to choose the right music for your next event

Choosing the right music sets the vibe for your event, and more and more we are seeing clients embrace the power of the playlist to get people energised and ready to engage. Over the last year, we have seen some brilliant examples of clients using music in innovative ways, from speakers at Atomicon entering the stage to an empowering song to get the crowd going to a full delegate sing-a-long with Big Ian Douherty to launch the Good Work Place Pledge in 2023. The team at Opencast put energy centre stage, with every conference speaker walking onstage to their own choice of uplifting music, which can sometimes be themed specifically to the topic in discussion.  

Our team at BeaconHouse Events loves to get creative when it comes to event details, and music isn’t just nice to have; it can create those moments of surprise and connection that can elevate your delegate’s experience with you. 

Forget the dodgy DJ; we asked the team for their top tips on choosing the music for your next event…

Get creative 

Just because you’re planning a corporate event doesn’t mean you can’t be creative when it comes to incorporating music into the day. Consider the points in your event when delegates might need a little pick-me-up, or if there are breaks in the schedule when you could surprise and delight with a pop-up live performance. Think about whether your delegates know each other already or if they will be meeting for the first time. Could a musical start to the event act as an icebreaker to get people feeling at ease, or an interactive musical teambuilding to end the formalities of the conference ? If people want to let their hair down, why not consider live band karaoke as an alternative to the original dancefloor? 

Playlists with purpose

Music has the power to connect people and really set the tone of your event, so think about the environment you are trying to create and plan your playlist accordingly. Consider whether you are asking your delegates to be reflective, to stimulate new ideas, or to be excited about the year ahead and spend time planning your music around your purpose. More clients than ever are working with us to create staff engagement experiences and bring their teams together in a meaningful way. Think about the last festival or gig you attended; music is a fantastic way of giving people a feeling of togetherness if deployed thoughtfully. While music isn’t always conducive to a learning environment, it is perfect for creating structure and signaling the end of one segment and the beginning of another, which can break up learning and make it easier for people to stay focused and retain messaging. 

Make it memorable 

Pairing key ideas with music can make them more memorable, so think about the messages that you want people to take away from the day and plan your music accordingly. Research shows that people’s memory for faces is vastly improved when they listen to emotionally touching background music, while other studies show that music is intrinsically linked to our mood. Why not share a QR or link to an online playlist from the day to help people reflect or feel inspired when they are back in the office? 

Consider Accessibility 

Remember that loud noise can be overstimulating for some delegates, so make sure to create quiet spaces where people can get away from the hustle and bustle and turn off for a while. Events can be overwhelming, so these spaces could incorporate quiet, calming sounds to help people take a moment to themselves. A silent disco is an accessible way for people to share in an experience together, choose their music through headsets, or just enjoy the peace and quiet. 

Work with professionals 

Finding an audio-visual partner that you trust will take away a lot of stress on the day! A professional team will make sure that everything from the speaker mics to the band sounds amazing. You may have chosen the perfect audio accompaniment for your event, but if the sound quality is bad, that is what people will remember. Ask your chosen venue about their sound systems and talk them through the brief for the event. If you’re enlisting the help of an external team, make sure you talk them through the number of attendees, the floorplan, and the layout in advance so they can provide the best experience possible. 

A client giving us the scope to get creative is music to our ears. To discuss bringing your next event to life, email or call 0191 691 3456

How to choose the perfect venue for your next corporate event

What is your purpose? 

Before you get into the full details of event planning, it’s important to have a clear vision of why your event exists. Put some time into considering the purpose of the event and consider what you would like the atmosphere to be like for delegates—is it a formal occasion, a celebration, or maybe a way to engage your staff and help them connect? Taking this into consideration will help you choose a venue that matches your goals for the event and will help you play to your venue’s strengths to create the best experience possible.

Understand your audience. 

Understanding who will be on-site is crucial when you start to narrow down your short list of potential spaces. As well as the number of delegates that will be attending, research the demographics of the people who will be involved and what they will be doing as part of the experience. If your event is a family-fun day, for example, you should consider whether the space is child-friendly. Other things to think about are break-out areas for delegates who may need quiet zones or places to pray and discuss how they will be interacting—is there space for tables to take notes during the speakers? Do you need smaller break-out rooms for seminars, or is there room for a dance floor?

Sustainable travel options 

You might have found the perfect venue, but if it is tricky to get to using sustainable transport, your delegates might be put off before they even arrive. Make sure you communicate green travel choices to delegates well in advance so they can plan. Include information on safe walking routes to the venue, e-transport options like e-bikes or scooters, and the closest bus and rail connections so people don’t have to rely on cars or taxis to reach you. If you know you have delegates arriving from the same location, offer a ride-share service or encourage car-pooling by putting delegates in touch with each other ahead of the event.

Location, location, location 

Consider where your delegates are travelling from when you’re scouting out the perfect location. If it is a new city, they might want to be pretty central so they can enjoy exploring in their downtime or have the option of a range of nearby accommodations if they will be staying over.

Choose a space where everyone is welcome. 

93% of disabled people are not wheelchair users, and 1 in 4 people that come to an event will have some form of disability, most of which won’t be visible. Ensure that the venue you choose will give everyone the same opportunities to join in and have the same great experience. Research your chosen venue and consider what accessibility barriers there might be for a wheelchair user—someone who is D/deaf or has hearing loss, someone with visual impairment, or someone who is neurodivergent, autistic, or has dementia. Speak to the staff on-site to understand their processes and training, so every delegate gets a warm welcome and an equitable experience.

Layout and capacity 

Assess the capacity and layout of the venue to make sure that it can comfortably accommodate the number of attendees and the type of event activities planned. No one wants to be crammed in like sardines or feel like there is lots of dead space. Consider the flexibility of the venue’s layout to accommodate different event setups, such as presentations, workshops, networking sessions, and dining areas. Chat with the venue staff about how spaces can be manipulated with screens, folding walls, or other furniture so you can make the most of each area you have available.

Signals and services 

Picture this: You’ve found the perfect rural venue—it’s gorgeous and set in miles of countryside. but the WiFi drops out during the live stream of the keynote speaker. It may seem obvious, but double-check the services that are offered by the venue in detail and consider where you will have to bring in outside support to make the venue suitable for your requirements. This could include audiovisual equipment, Wi-Fi accessibility, technical support, catering services, and event staff on-site. Make sure you factor in any external support costs into your event budget so you don’t get any nasty surprises further down the line.

‘Tis the season. 

Event planning can take months, and it’s important to think about the time of year that your event will take place when you are making your booking. There are lots of things to consider if you are booking ahead of time: what will the temperature in the room be like, will the lighting be okay if the sun is rising or setting at a different time, and is there an in-door option if your outdoor summer event suddenly becomes a washout? Consider other factors, like local events that might cause traffic and public holidays, that may affect the availability and pricing of the venue too.

Brand Alignment 

Last but not least, does your chosen venue match your organisation’s brand? Look for a venue where the ambiance matches your brand values and aesthetic. Whether it’s a modern, sleek space for a tech product launch or a sophisticated, formal setting for a gala dinner, the venue’s look and feel should be chosen to reflect your theme and how people think about your brand. Consider the interior design, lighting, and overall decor to ensure that they enhance the event’s atmosphere and don’t jar with your messaging and tone.

We know that event planning can seem like a daunting process, and the team at BeaconHouse Events is here every step of the way, from strategy to styling, to make sure your event programme goes without a hitch. Get in touch with the team to discuss your ideas at or give us a call on 0191 691 3456.

First sustainability roundtable challenges event management supply chain to hit net zero by 2030

The event, hosted by The Glasshouse International Centre for Music in Gateshead, brought together some of our fantastic North East supply chain to discuss how we can achieve more together. Rather than move away from those suppliers who haven’t quite nailed their sustainability strategies yet (who has?) we want to work with our community to support them, to learn from each other, and to inspire others working in the event space to do the same. The energy, ideas, and discussion in the room were fantastic; we talked about everything from energy, transport, eco-scoring supplier databases, menu carbon labeling, food waste, materials second use, navigating red tape, data collection, and carbon reporting and certification.

BeaconHouse is on a mission to drive sustainable change in the events industry, starting in the North East and with our own organisation. We are motivated to collaborate and encourage our team, clients, suppliers – and our audiences – to make positive changes. Attendees came from a host of different organisations across the region, including venues, audio visual partners, and print solutions and the discussion centered around the fact that global carbon emissions are at a critical point globally, with the events industry being responsible for up to 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions.

Where are we now

Between November 2023 and January 2024, we surveyed businesses within our supply chain to discover what they believed to be their biggest challenges when it comes to sustainability. Energy was found to be the biggest concern for those surveyed with Transport and Mindset & Habits both identified of secondary importance when it came to the organisations’ event challenges. Together the group discussed areas in which they can influence delegate choices with many of the venues sharing tips for nudging behavioural change such as carbon calculating menus and management systems that award points to delegates for greener travel. Ingram AV, a trusted partner offering Audio Visual Solutions, also shared their movement towards greener energy via their solar-powered NRG innovation which has already resulted in a huge reduction of carbon at large-scale events.

What’s next?

This isn’t a quick fix or big promise, we all know that there is a lot of work to do. This roundtable event marked the start of our five-step plan to reach Net Zero by 2030. Over the rest of 2024, we aim to share our vision with as many of our suppliers as possible and engage with them to understand how we can make progress together. By the end of the year, we will share a draft code of conduct for input, and ask our supply chain to commit to making considered and consistent change together. From here we aim to improve our data collection processes to make it as easy as possible for our suppliers to share accurate data with us. We will be moving towards collecting evidence of sustainable practices from the fantastic supplier teams that we work alongside.

Between now and 2030 we will continue to track our events’ carbon footprint using the TRACE tool and explore an eco-scoring system, both so our suppliers can monitor their performance and as a method of creating a preferred supplier list to take into consideration their sustainable credentials. But we know that environmental focus around sustainability is only one part of ESG, so as well as adjusting processes to make sure that as a supply chain we are ethically lowering carbon across our events, we will also be looking beyond carbon at how we can add social value too. That means looking at how we, and our suppliers treat people within our businesses and support people in our local communities to thrive.

This first discussion was an exciting first step towards creating a sustainable and future-focused event supply chain in the North East, that can have impact more widely across the UK. The next meeting will take place in May where participants can update on the success in tackling these challenges and discuss further measures that can be taken to reach our goals.

If you are interested in hearing more or taking part in the next roundtable event email




The importance of networking in 2024

We are social creatures and we live in a world that thrives on connection. Opportunities for like-minded professionals to get together in the same room are getting rarer and rarer, but strategic networking gives us a space where we can discuss big ideas, create new opportunities and have conversations that help us expand our world. In 2024, networking is about so much more than collecting business cards or LinkedIn QR codes, it is about community building, innovation and strategic professional growth. The trick is to choose where you spend your time carefully, as without proper attention you may end up with a calendar full of networking sessions that offer little or no value to your personal growth or business ambitions. Take time to establish what you hope to gain from the process and set yourself a set of clear goals or actions for each networking event that you attend, that way you can easily measure where you are getting the most value.

With teams feeling more pressure than ever and diaries bursting at the seams, why should you make time to attend networking this year?

Expanding your world

In an increasingly online world, it can be easy to get stuck in an echo chamber of your immediate network. Making the time to attend networking sessions, even if they are digital or hybrid events, is an effective way of opening the doors to new people and ideas that can inspire you and help you expand your worldview. Innovation happens when new conversations happen, and that can be difficult if you stick to your immediate colleagues or network.

Exchanging ideas and having big conversations

Being part of a collection of diverse viewpoints and experiences gives you access to a wealth of new knowledge and a wealth of creativity and innovation. By speaking to people who have different skills and life experiences, you can exchange and challenge ideas and find the right people and skills to help you solve complex problems. Networking events give you access to people from different sectors, in different stages of their careers, or with different lived experiences who might help you to approach things from a different angle.

Career advancement

A study by LinkedIn revealed that 79% of professionals consider networking an essential part of their career success. Making meaningful connections with other people in your field can lead to mentoring opportunities, peer support and new conversations that can drive professional development. By speaking to people who have forged the path before you, you can get important insight to help you achieve your career goals, and you could support others along the way too.

Professional visibility

Investing time in regular networking keeps you relevant in your space and ensures that you stay visible and part of important conversations or advancements in your field. By attending conferences, seminars, trade shows, or social get-togethers, you can build a reputation as a thought leader within your core field and you’ll be front of mind when someone is looking for your specialist skills.

Growth through learning

Burnout can creep in when we get stuck doing the same thing day in, and day out, but making time to learn and develop is the key to thriving. A lot of industries will have to change and adapt to new landscapes over the next year, and networking can help you stay abreast of the latest trends or technologies in your sector. Talking to peers gives you access to a consistent stream of information and keeps you at the forefront of your sector’s developing landscape as you navigate 2024 together.

Building confidence (for you and others)

Walking into a room full of strangers can be nerve-racking and it often gets pushed to the bottom of the pile if you find it uncomfortable. Being a confident networker doesn’t happen overnight, it takes practice and as more and more organisations move to a permanent working from home structure, the next generation of talent is losing the chance to practice those interpersonal skills that make our workforce vibrant and creative. Networking can increase your confidence in group situations, which can help you be more assertive in the workplace, but it also helps to future-proof our workforce by providing opportunities for the next generation to get out of their comfort zone and flourish.

Finding your support systems

Whatever stage you are at in your career, there will be times when things don’t go to plan, and if the last few years have taught us anything, it is importance to know who you can turn to when the unexpected happens. Consistent networking will help you cultivate a community of people who will have your back when you are facing a time of crisis or change. By making the time to network with a diverse range of people, chances are that someone has tackled your problem before, or can offer advice on how to traverse the issue – likewise, you could offer support to others drawn from your own experience. Finding the right mentor to offer guidance and learning opportunities will be invaluable in your career journey, and future mentors can often be at networking events, or via relationships that you build there.

In 2024, networking isn’t a selfish endeavour engineered to push sales targets and gather leads. Networking is a holistic endeavour that will elevate you as a leader in your field while building a supportive network of diverse minds who will help you reach your goals and be a reassuring community when times get tough.

It’s a dog’s life (at Hoult’s Yard)

Hoult’s Yard is full of furry colleagues, so we thought we would head out with office pups Luna and Raven sniff out the best local places for office pups (and their humans) to enjoy when they need some time away from the office… 

Our event manager, Katie often brings her lab Luna to the office. Talking about what it means for her work-life balance she said, “It’s amazing. I had always wanted a dog, but I didn’t think that there would be enough flexibility working in events to do it. About a year into the role I decided that I would like to get one so I spoke to Sarah and Cat and asked if I could change my working hours to have longer lunch breaks so I could cycle home and walk her, and I asked if she would be able to come into the office sometimes and they said yes. When she was just a pup she would just come in on a Friday so she wasn’t too disruptive, but now that she is older she comes in all the time. Bringing Luna into the office gives me a real incentive to step away from my desk over lunch and get some fresh air; I value that hour to be able to think, come up with new ideas, and re-focus, especially during busy periods.” 

Hoult’s Yard is full of furry colleagues so we thought we would head out with office pups Luna and Raven sniff out the best local places for office pups (and their humans) to enjoy when they need some time away from the office… 

Cake Stories 

Based in the heart of Hoult’s Yard, Cake Stories is a lunchtime favourite for the BeaconHouse team. Dogs are welcome inside the café or you can choose to enjoy a delicious lunch or tasty coffee in the outside seating space during the summer months too. 

Lunchtime walkies 

We always encourage our team to step away from their desks at lunchtime and stretch their legs. With Hoult’s Yard just a stone’s throw from Newcastle’s iconic Quayside, there are plenty of opportunities to get some fresh air and regroup. The office is perfectly located to take a lunchtime walk by the river or along the Hadrian’s Wall cycle path which is easily accessible nearby. 

Full Circle Brew Co.

Our Hoult’s Yard neighbours at Full Circle Brew have an amazing dog-friendly beer garden at their Newcastle Tap Room. With an ever-evolving range of great beers, this venue is a great option for relaxing after work – they even have a bespoke pizza oven so you can grab a Naples-inspired pizza if you’re feeling peckish too (we’re sure there will be a four-legged friend who can help you with the crusts…). 

Discount Pet Superstore 

Just behind Hoult’s Yard on Brinkburn Street you’ll find a treasure trove of natural dog treats, food, and pet supplies that your pooch will love. Discount Pet Superstore sells all of the essentials to keep your dog calm and happy while they are spending time in the office with you, and the staff are always on hand with some pats and a biscuit if you pop in with your dog too! 


Just a ten-minute stroll from Hoult’s Yard and you’ll find yourself in the Ouseburn Valley. There are tonnes of dog-friendly pubs and eateries in the area, but one of our team’s favourites is Kiln. You can choose from amazing brunch and lunch dishes, and their Mediterranean and Middle Eastern-inspired evening menu is served from 5pm too, making it a great choice for an early tea after work. Dogs are welcome both inside and outside, so it’s the perfect venue all year round. 

Do you enjoy having your four-legged friend in the office with you? Let us know your favourite places to visit together and find out more about life at BeaconHouse Events over on our social channels! 

Trend predictions: What will events look like in 2024?

Every year, the team at BeaconHouse delivers over one hundred events across the whole of the UK and over the last year we’ve seen a real shift in what our clients are looking to achieve and what delegates enjoy, so we’ve put our heads together and created our own top trend predictions for 2024 and beyond…

  1. Make it personal  

In 2024 we’re going to see much more of a ‘choose your own adventure’ approach to events, which could be as simple as having the ability to build your itinerary by choosing content that is interesting and relevant to you, or speaking to delegates in advance to find out what the most important thing is for them to take away from the day. Bespoke experiences are key post-pandemic as people are unwilling to sit through unappealing content, especially if they have to take time out of their busy diaries. Remember that people are individuals and trying to create a ‘one size fits all’ approach will leave everyone feeling a little underwhelmed.

  1. Sustainable and socially conscious experiences 

Sustainability is front of mind for a lot of businesses, and while there have been moves in the right direction, the event industry still has a long way to go when it comes to being truly environmentally friendly. In 2024 we’ll see agencies, suppliers, and clients putting more emphasis on tracking carbon emissions, making more conscious choices when it comes to ‘use once’ marketing materials, and a better understanding of the impact of our sector on the planet. It won’t all be focused on environmental goals though, there will be a shift towards more socially conscious events that give back to charitable causes rather than splashing out on yet another plastic giveaway in the goodie bag.

  1. Inclusivity 

Taking steps to include people from a wide range of backgrounds in your event means that there is space for everyone to contribute, leading to more meaningful interactions, better conversations, and the ability to tackle problems from different perspectives. In-person events by nature aren’t always accessible for everyone, but by being mindful of different needs from the outset, your experience can be as open as possible. In 2024 we will see more events including diverse stages and speakers, inclusive spaces like quiet areas or prayer rooms, and more thought going into what’s on the menu so no one feels like the odd one out when it comes to dinner time.

  1. Annual programmes of events 

Where in the past businesses might have organised a one-off Annual General Meeting, we’re seeing more organisations opting to curate a programme of events throughout the year instead. These days it’s about engaging employees and stakeholders with a diverse programme of events, keeping the momentum going with things like round-tables, dinners, awards ceremonies, or building community networking. Utilising a mix of in-person, virtual, and hybrid event formats to engage audiences and allow as wide a range of people to attend as possible.

  1. Insight led planning 

Data will be at the heart of event planning even more than usual. Event planners will be using data collected before, during, and after events to reduce the carbon footprint of experiences and also to gain insight into attendees’ preferences, behaviours, and patterns. By studying statistics like registration vs attendance, time spent watching speakers, or time spent consuming pre or post-event online content, we can make small changes to enhance our attendee experience and increase engagement with each event.

  1. Opting-in 

Opting in for things like name badges, merchandise, or meat-based meals (as opposed to opting out which has been the norm) allows people to make small, more considered choices when they are on site. Taking this approach puts the power back in the hands of the people so they can make their own choices about whether they want to consume certain things. Making sustainable decisions isn’t about big bold statements, it is about empowering people to make meaningful changes in the way that they take part in our experiences.

  1. Watch-back opportunities 

There can often be a lot of things to take part in at an event and there might not be time to take everything in. Over the next twelve months, we’re going to see more opportunities to revisit content after the event or catch up with anything that you might have missed on the day. This could be a recording of the event that is uploaded online or even additional content in the form of a podcast or webinar.

  1. Clever seating 

Making sure that your delegates are comfortable is a given, but there is more to think about than whether or not you can see the main stage. We’ll see a shift towards more multipurpose seating that makes it easier for people to connect with those around them, power banks so delegates can make notes or take part in multi-platform learning, and arrangements that make it easier to break out into groups for more intimate problem solving and ideas sessions. Different seating arrangements can significantly influence the learning experience and have the power to alter or enhance the whole atmosphere, so we’ll see fewer rows and rows of delegates and more dynamic seating options that work in tandem with how you want guests to move around the space.

  1. Net-walking: Wellbeing focused activities 

Gone are the days of all networking taking place in the bar. In 2024 we think there will be more creative thinking around extracurricular activities that promote health and wellbeing. During a multi-day event, this could include lunchtime jogs, morning yoga sessions, or meditation during downtime. If you have delegates travelling to be part of the event, a walking tour of the local area is a great way to see the city and enjoy an outdoor learning experience at the same time.

To speak to the team at BeaconHouse Events about bringing your next event to life in 2024, contact

Putting creativity at the heart of events: Meet Project Co-ordinator Alice

After studying and practicing architecture, Alice discovered that she enjoyed working on collaborative and cross-disciplinary creative projects and decided to veer from the path to becoming an architect. After spending several years working in creative and community arts-based settings, whilst studying for a Creative Industries Management MA at Northumbria University, Alice went on to become part of the Membership Experience team at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), where she supported North East members and delivered a variety of regional and national events and initiatives, before joining the team here at BeaconHouse in November 2023.

An advocate of the power of creativity to connect people and spark joy, we caught up with Alice to find out why she decided a career in events was for her, how she gets creative in her free time, and how playing in a steel band has allowed her to travel the world.

Hi Alice! You joined the team back in November, what have you been working on so far?

I’ve joined the team at a really busy time of year, and as a project co-ordinator my role so far has been to support the event teams to deliver their busy programme as we come up to the end of the year – I’ve been involved with everything from awards dinners to Christmas parties and it’s been really eye-opening to see the level of detail that goes into each one. One of the first major projects that I supported was the Dynamites Awards back in November and next year I’m looking forward to being part of the team delivering TechNExt24 when it takes over the region again in June. The tech sector is completely new to me and already I’m enjoying the complexity of the types of businesses that are involved and how the planning for the festival is developing.

Tell me about your career before you joined BeaconHouse Events. 

I studied architecture at Glasgow School of Art in Glasgow and came back to Newcastle to work in a practice in the Ouseburn Valley. Glasgow School of Art is Mackintosh’s most celebrated building and has international significance, so getting the chance to study there was fantastic and I met some amazing people.

I enjoyed working in the practice, but to be honest my heart wasn’t really in it and during that time I went to deliver an architecture ambassador programme in schools where we led workshops and I loved it. After that revelation, I started to focus on what I was passionate about and pivoted my career into community arts, including working with a community events space in Newcastle City Centre. I really valued the opportunity to be more creative, and ultimately I combined everything that I enjoyed about working with people and organising opportunities for them to connect and share ideas with my understanding of the architecture space and joined the team at the Royal Institute of British Architects.

I think architecture and events are quite similar, to be honest. With both sectors, you see the finished, shiny product and don’t always appreciate the months of planning, skills, and detail that go into making it robust and fit for purpose.

What made you decide to join the team here at BeaconHouse? 

I enjoyed my role at RIBA, it was a really wide-ranging job where I looked after everything from running member events, supporting member communications and relationships, recording podcasts, and organizing student mentoring  but I felt like it was time for a change, and wanted a new opportunity to work with colleagues in a collaborative space every day I saw the role at BeaconHouse advertised and did some research on the culture of the business and it was exactly what it said on the tin! The team has been so supportive while I’ve been settling in and the culture is exactly what I was hoping for. It is fascinating to listen to the conversations going on in the office and see how everyone’s range of expertise and experience all fit together and how everyone supports each other, I’ve never felt like I was asking a silly question or didn’t have something valuable to add.

You are very creative both in and out of work – do you think that is important in the events sector? 

Creativity is really important to me. Coming from an architecture background I was used to drawing a lot and having a creative outlet. In lockdown, I started a small arts business called Cards of Kindness where I make North East themed cards and paper gifts that I hope will make people smile. All of my designs are hand drawn and then digitally coloured, and it gives me a chance to switch off and do something just because I enjoy it.

I think space for creativity and innovation is incredibly important in the events sector, it isn’t just the “nice to haves” or the stuff that looks pretty, creativity in the planning process is how to avoid stagnating and creates those moments of surprise or ease that brings an experience together. Recently I saw some of the signage for an upcoming event arriving in the office and the level of creativity and thought that had gone into a relatively small detail was amazing, that attention to detail and creativity is the difference between a delegate having a meaningful, positive experience or not.

What do you think is surprising about the event industry? 

I know other people have mentioned this, but I hadn’t appreciated the length of time or the percentage of research and desk work that goes into making any event happen. It is the skill and hard work of the team that makes it look easy!

I think it is important to remember that it isn’t all about big ideas too, there are lots of things to consider with the creative elements, like the client brief, the budget, the space available, and the delegates, it is much easier to have lots of great creative ideas but it takes a skilled team to achieve them, that takes a lot of strategic thinking and attention to detail.

You play in a steel band outside of the office, tell us about that! 

I’ve played in North Tyneside Steel Band for almost 20 years and it is a huge part of my life. I play steel pan and I came up through the youth band and now I sit on the board of trustees for the charity. I have been lucky enough to travel around the world performing, including a number of trips to Trinidad to play with the Panorama Champions Renegades Steel Orchestra which was the most indescribable & amazing experience.

I started playing in middle school – they had a set of pans and at lunchtime, I’d stand and watch the school band rehearse through the window! I hadn’t ever even seen a steelpan before and I still feel really lucky that my school even had a set of pans. I started playing shortly after that. At first, it was just a weekly session on a Friday evening after school but then my tutor recommended that I join North Tyneside Steelband who were/are the local community band. I’ve been playing ever since and got involved with tutoring in schools as a younger leader from being 13 with ‘Steelbands North.’ It’s the best thing I’ve ever been involved with and it’s influenced so many aspects of my life.

Who would your dream client be? 

That’s a hard question! Like I say, I love music and I would love to create a festival-type experience which celebrates lots of cultures and different types of music here in Newcastle! I do think that there is an opportunity to bring inspiration from these vibrant events to the kind of experiences we create at BeaconHouse and I’m a big advocate for the power of music to create something really special.

To find out more about how BeaconHouse Events can support your business to deliver events with purpose in 2024 and beyond, email

Our twelve local businesses of the year


  1.  For the Love of the North 

Based in Spanish City, For the Love of the North has an incredible selection of cards and gifts celebrating the people and places that make the North East so brilliant. The team has supplied cards and gifts so our delegates can go home with a little piece of the North East post-event and we have a particular fondness for their St Mary’s Lighthouse Christmas tree decoration….

  1.  Suzie Winsor Studio 

Step into Suzie Winsor’s colorful world and you’ll be delighted by brightly designed cards, prints, and the much-coveted worm draft excluder. Susie creates perfect gifts for bookworms, “soil” mates, and anyone that wants to add a little colour to their life. We’ve used Susie’s cute card designs this year as the perfect, environmentally-friendly keepsake.

  1.  Cards of Kindness 

Alice, the creator behind Cards of Kindness, is a talented illustrator inspired by North East life for her paper-based acts of kindness. Cards and prints are available, all featuring scenes from across the North East which are perfect for proud Geordies on any occasion. Oh, did we also mention Alice is a project co-ordinator right here at BeaconHouse Events? #proud.

  1.  Big River Bakery 

We’re obsessed with these ‘Make Your Own’ Stottie kits from Big River Bakery – perfect for left-over sarnies on Boxing Day. The bakery is based in Sheildfield in Newcastle and is aiming to change the world, one loaf at a time. They have a whole range of baking-themed gifts on the website and we’ve loafed (sorry) working with the team on some brilliant corporate prezzie ideas this year.

  1.  Lines Behind 

Lines Behind’s tea towel collection takes the pain out of washing up at this time of year. Our delegates loved these kitchen accessories with Geordie twist – a practical and useful item to remember an event here in the region. Come on pet, ye wash and al dry.

  1.  North Chocolates 

We have a serious sweet tooth in the BeaconHouse office and we can’t get enough of the North Chocolates luxury bars. We love to surprise and delight our delegates with something a bit different, and North’s seasonal and unusual flavors do exactly that. We always partner with businesses who share our commitment to the environment and all of North’s wrappers and foils are made from recyclable material – even sweeter!

  1. Bels Flowers  

Bels Flowers has created unique and eye-catching displays that bring a touch of glamour (and the perfect Instagram photo op) to the venues we work with across the North East. The styling of a space can have a huge impact on how people feel when they are moving around the event, and Bels Flowers pulls out all the stops when it comes to bringing our brief to life.

  1. Belly of the Beast

Just thinking about Belly of the Beast has our tummies rumbling. The team’s motto is ‘Say No to Bad Sandwiches’ – and as an office of foodies that is a vision we can get on board with. We have worked with Belly of the Beast to deliver their selection of delicious, fresh-baked Italian-style subs to client meetings, break-out events, and round-tables. After all, no one solves big problems on an empty stomach.

  1. Fenwick

To mark Carers Week 2023, we worked with Newcastle Carers to bring together 50 carers for a luxury event to say thank you for their vital, often unrecognised service to the North East community. Hosted in Arthur’s in Fenwick, the team kindly gifted each carer with an exclusive, hand-picked goodie bag with gifts from the store, adding to the true VIP experience!

  1. Full Circle Brewery  

You can’t get any more local than Full Circle Brewery – they are our neighbours right here in Hoult’s Yard. We have partnered with the team to make sure that guests stayed refreshed at parties and awards-dos this year. Not only do they craft delicious beers, but Full Circle Brewery infuses sustainability into every facet of its decision-making process. They are aiming to set new industry standards and inspire positive change, leaving a lasting mark on the sustainable future of brewing. Cheers to that!

  1. Souvenirs Upon Tyne 

Souvenirs Upon Tyne is tucked at the bottom of Dog Leap Stairs in Newcastle, just under the railway arches on Dean Street, and is a treasure trove of present ideas from a range of talented creators from the North East and beyond. We just had to include their North East inspired magnets in some of our delegate goodie bags this year and if you pop into the store you’ll be bound to find some quirky gifts and cool designs that you’ll have to take home. Make sure you give shop dog Oscar some scratches from the BeaconHouse team too!

  1. Marlish Water

If you’ve attended one of our events this year, chances are you will have spotted products by Northumberland-based drinks company Marlish Water on-site. We want to make sure that our delegates stay healthy and hydrated for the whole event, and as we stay away from using single-use plastics, Marlish canned water is the perfect partner. We want to make sure that our food and drink options don’t travel too far to reach our events and Marlish water is canned at source in Northumberland, locking in the unique taste of Northumberland.

We’d love to hear from you about bringing your team together in a meaningful and fun

way next year. To speak to our team contact or call 0191 6913456.



Unwrapped: What does the corporate Christmas party look like in 2023?

Over the last few weeks, we’ve loved bringing festive celebrations to life for our clients Opencast, CF Fertilisers, and Groundworks, partnering with their teams to bring on the Christmas cheer, celebrate their hard work in 2023, and say thank you to their talented people. The Christmas party has changed a lot and, in recent years, there has been a noticeable shift in the festive trends as people look to end the year with more unique and diverse experiences beyond the traditional boozy night out. Companies are increasingly focusing on creating more inclusive, mindful, and memorable experiences for their employees during the holiday season. Here are just some of the trends that are shaping the work Christmas “does” this year…


  1. Alcohol-free Fun

Over the last year, there has been a surge in demand for spaces and experiences that aren’t centered on booze, and the corporate Christmas party is no different. Whether it is for health reasons, driving, recovery, or simply because they don’t fancy the hangover, there are lots of reasons why some colleagues might not be drinking. This year we’ve seen more companies shift the focus away from alcohol by offering delicious mocktails that are just as fun as the real thing, having food as the focus of the event, and hosting the event in an unusual venue where alcohol wouldn’t be expected (think art galleries, museums, and even ice rinks!).

  1. Sustainable Secret Santa

The Christmas party is a hotbed of single-use plastics and Secret Santa presents which will probably end up in the office bin come January. With more companies taking their ESG commitments seriously, there has been a rise in investment in sustainable decorations that can be used year after year, carbon-neutral activities, and gifts that don’t cost the Earth. Our favourites recently have been sets of beautifully boxed up, locally sourced sweets that guests could take up and enjoy with their families.

  1. Ditch the dodgy playlists

As much as we love him in the BeaconHouse office, do we need to hear another Michael Buble song? Businesses are upping the entertainment value at Christmas parties with everything from live bands to professional DJs for the night owls and even midnight karaoke booths. At the Opencast party this year we enlisted the help of the Guacamaya Latin Band to get people up on the dance floor while a 360 photo booth captured the best poses of the night, just like on the red carpet.

  1. Unique experiential activities

Christmas only comes around once a year, and more businesses are exploring unique experiential activities that offer employees the opportunity to create lasting memories over the festive season, rather than the same old, same old. This could be anything from cooking classes, craft workshops, escape room challenges, or outdoor adventures that encourage team bonding and creativity!

  1. Ban the beige buffet

We’re on a mission to banish the soggy turkey sandwich and cold quiche and give employees a real treat. Street food is a great option for people can enjoy while they mingle, and there are some fantastic options to choose from in 2023. Think artisan pizza vans, midnight fish and chips, or waffle stalls, we’re spoilt for choice here in the North East.

  1. Reflection

This year has been tough for businesses, and their people. With the cost of living crisis, supply chain issues, and rise in energy prices, there have been some real challenges to navigate over the last twelve months. Rather than the office awards that would make David Brent blush, this year businesses have been opting to reflect on the year past and say meaningful thank you’s to their teams for their hard work and perseverance. This could be through a video round-up of the year’s highlights to remind everyone of what they have achieved or a surprise for the team to say a real heartfelt thank you.

  1. Giving back

Businesses are at the heart of local communities, and the Christmas party has become an opportunity to focus on corporate social responsibility during the holiday season. Alongside traditional get-togethers, organisations are opting to organise volunteer activities or engage in charitable giving as a way to celebrate the festive season. This might involve initiatives such as organising a company-wide volunteering day at a local charity, conducting a donation drive, or supporting a community cause, creating a sense of purpose, and giving people that warm fuzzy feeling that we want at this time of year.

  1. Inclusive and diverse experiences

Our workplaces are becoming more diverse, and we have to take into consideration the wide range of people who want to have a good time with their colleagues at Christmas, without feeling like the odd one out. This could mean starting the celebrations in the afternoon so working parents can still join in before bedtime, recognising other multicultural holidays as well as Christmas and incorporating traditions from other cultures, or letting people customise their experience around their preferences instead of making the whole event mandatory from start to finish.

In short, we’re seeing that alongside the opportunity to let their hair down and celebrate a busy year, clients are opting for festive celebrations that reflect a broader shift towards more inclusive, mindful, and diverse experiences that prioritise employee well-being, social responsibility, and individual preferences. By embracing these trends, we can create meaningful and engaging events that resonate with everyone in the business and contribute to a positive and inclusive workplace culture across the whole year.

We’d love to hear from you about bringing your team together in a meaningful and fun way next year. To speak to our team contact or call 0191 6913456.

Case study: Dynamo North East – Flying the flag for the North East tech economy

Dynamo is a membership organisation made up of tech companies, large North East employers, consultants, technology hubs, education providers, local government, and suppliers. Their mission is to achieve regional tech growth, promote the North East externally, develop skills and education, and support regional research and development and team at Dynamo believes that there is no limit to the North East’s tech potential. That’s where we come in. Ten years after BeaconHouse Events delivered the first-ever Dynamo conference, in 2023 we now curate and deliver a number of flagship events every year and have become a trusted partner of the Dynamo board and directors.

How it started

Dynamo was our very first BeaconHouse client back in 2014 and we have worked with the team ever since to deliver world-class events designed to grow and connect the North East tech scene, with a focus on collaboration, innovation, and skills. Back in 2014, the Dynamo founder approached us to develop and deliver their first annual conference.  ‘Dynamo 14’, was expected to attract 200 delegates, but a combination of vision, teamwork, persistence, and determination resulted in over 350 attendees coming together to discuss the future of the North East tech economy. Not only that, the BeaconHouse team delivered a programme of 80 speakers, doubled the sponsorship target, and created a complex and well-received programme that we have continued to build on year after year.

Flash forward and we have gone on to bring to life an increasingly busy events programme across the year, including the highly-anticipated Dynamites Awards, held right here in the North East each November.

What we deliver 

Across the year the Dynamo account team researches, develops, and delivers a wide range of events to excite, celebrate, and shout about the achievements of tech and IT businesses operating across the North East. This includes:

The Dynamites Awards     

Now in its 10th year, the annual Dynamites awards are a staple in the North East tech calendar. It’s a chance to celebrate the top talent in the North East’s IT and technology and regularly attracts over 500 guests, filling the Banqueting Hall at Newcastle Civic Centre. The team at BeaconHouse Events provides event marketing, guest booking and management, sponsorship generation and relationship management, budget management and cost control. Together with the management of the judging process, script writing, and production, production of staging and AV, venue management and liaison, and venue dressing. Months of planning go into making this a night to remember. In 2017 we introduced the ‘People’s Choice’ Award to the evening, putting the power in the hands of the regional community to choose their winner. The hugely popular online vote received almost 1300 votes in just 4 days, but it was host Daymon Britton who stole the show, stepping on-stage in a pair of orange speedos after a creative piece of theatrics thought-up by the BeaconHouse team left him ‘racing’ towards the event…

Year after year we challenge ourselves to outperform the previous event and ensure that the Dynamites have a lasting effect on the North East tech landscape.

Annual Dinner 

2023 heralded the 7th (two missed due to Covid) Dynamo Dinner, and every year it has been the go-to networking event of the spring season in the tech community. With over 120 guests attending each year, the Dynamo Dinner is a true celebration of the North East’s thriving tech sector and a chance for guests to network and connect with others in the industry. Over the years we have taken over some of the most iconic venues in the North East, including The Mansion House, Wylam Brewery and Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art – creatively using each space to inspire people to share ideas, collaborate, and build new relationships. BeaconHouse is responsible for the execution of the event from start to finish, including finding the perfect venue, creating a vibrant menu, and curating experiences to surprise and delight guests throughout the evening.

Dynamo Conference

From 2014-2022 we worked with Dynamo to research, set up, launch, manage, and deliver the hefty annual conference in the Northeast. The event attracts hundreds of delegates each year from the region’s leading and growing IT and software companies, local councils, specialist professional services, universities/colleges, and other related industries to help shape the IT and tech sector in the region. Traditionally held in person, the conference shifted to a fully virtual approach in 2020 to allow for maximum engagement from Dynamo members across the region. Speakers and attendees were able to connect in the comments and during breaks take time to view the Expo booths and speed network. The content was recorded and made available shortly after the conference for delegates and members to experience all of the content from the day. Overall the team at BeaconHouse managed over 915 minutes of content, 77 speakers and over 200 attendees, and 10k impressions online it was a fantastic showcase for tech in the region! In 2021 we went for a hybrid format allowing people to come back together in smaller numbers, or join virtually to allow for maximum comfort and flexibility.

The evolution of TechNExt

In 2023, after 9 successful years of bringing the Dynamo community together, BeaconHouse led the strategy and vision to create a more impactful, more purposeful and more engaging festival for the north east tech sector. By creating the value proposition and pitching this to Dynamo directors the team secured headline sponsorship and curated and project managed a programme of events delivered across the north east region, over a week.


Alongside the delivery of the events, the team leads sponsorship generation for the larger events in the annual Dynamo programme, namely the Board Dinner, Conference, and Awards. The commercially successful nature of the key events that we deliver ensures the longevity of our relationship and gives the potential for further growth in the future, including expanding the cluster events programme to give even more people access to inspiration and ideas.

Due to the nature of the client’s work in the North East, most events are delivered here in the region. However, the impact of Dynamo on the tech landscape of the North East has meant that we have created events that have been hosted in London, including a Cluster Launch at The House of Lords!

Working together

As well as planning and delivering the Dynamo events portfolio, the BeaconHouse Events team supports on a strategic level and works alongside the Dynamo North East board to identify the vision and aims for each year, curating and evolving the event programming to fulfill the required achievements. The Dynamo team takes the lead from our experts and is incredibly receptive to new technology and innovations being incorporated into events, allowing us to push the boundaries of what is possible and deliver new and exceptional delegate experiences, even after a decade of working together. From evaluating events live using technology to adding a Peoples Choice selection to the Dynamites Awards, the Dynamo confidently trusts BeaconHouse’s expertise and we can’t wait to see what the future has in store for our partnership.

What the client says 

“Tech has historically been thought of as a sector in and around London and Dynamo is here to change that assumption. There are such great companies and great success stories here in the North East and BeaconHouse Events play a key role in making sure that the region, the UK, and the rest of the world are paying attention.

“Over the past ten years, BeaconHouse Events has been integral in making Dynamo the success that it is today. They have established themselves as an indispensable extension of our team and continue to work closely with the board to craft a full programme of self-sustainable member networking events for 10 years. Two of the stand-out events BeaconHouse have taken from concept to delivery are the hugely anticipated Dynamo Dinner, and always sold out Dynamites Awards. Working closely with the Board, BeaconHouse has been instrumental in gaining additional funding for Dynamo, allowing the expansion of the core Dynamo team, and evolution of the North East tech calendar, including our major annual celebration – TechNExt.  .

Dynamo’s future includes an enhanced number of events to encourage networking and collaboration; more perks and benefits for members, and new attempts to get more people to celebrate the successes of the region’s tech sector we are excited to work with Sarah, Sophie and the whole BeaconHouse team as we continue that journey.”

David Dunn, CEO of Dynamo and Sunderland Software City