Be part of the pollution solution: Five alternatives to single-use plastics for your next event

Next year BeaconHouse Events will celebrate our 10th year in business and our vision has always been to drive positive, lasting impact with every event we do, whether that be a conference, exhibition, awards ceremony or festival; and with the prediction that by 2050 there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish, it’s time to tackle the issue head on. We recognise that the event industry has a major impact on our planet and we take our role in that seriously. We don’t want to make grand statements and big promises, but we are committed to working with our team, our suppliers and our clients to make consistent, considered changes as a carbon responsible business. This includes taking a close look at how we can significantly reduce, commit to reuse and make it easier to recycle any single-use plastics at our events.

From 1 October 2023 businesses must no longer supply, sell or offer certain single-use plastic items in England, this includes the sale of plastic cutlery, balloon sticks and polystyrene cups. So, what are the alternatives that will allow you to give your delegates a great experience?


Lanyards are usually the first thing you see when you enter an event, but traditional lanyards are made from plastic materials that will take hundreds of years to decompose. Not the kind of legacy you want your event to have! Luckily there are plenty of eco-friendly, affordable options on the market now, including lanyards made of bamboo or recycled fabrics, which achieve the same effect. Where possible to avoid date specific branding and you can use your lanyard again and again (it’s more cost effective too!) – and avoid the plastic wallet and print your badge info on recycled card.

Plastic bottles and cups

According to a 2022 study by Zero Waste Scotland, if reusable cups replaced single-use plastic cups, carbon emissions could fall by 69%. In UK terms, a switch from disposable cups to reusable cups could save 52,000 t CO2e each year! Most people have a cupboard full of reusable water bottles at home that they use for the gym, their commute or for the office. Communicate with your delegates in advance, explain your environmental commitments and encourage them to bring their own reusable water bottles or hot drink cups along on the day, avoiding the dreaded piles of single-use water bottles making their way to landfill when the event is over. You could even offer an incentive on the day for anyone who remembers to bring theirs along.


You want to put your own stamp on your venue and curate a space that your delegates enjoy being in and want to share. There can be the temptation to invest in photo-ops like balloon walls, but with a bit of creativity you can create something striking that your guests will really remember. Plants are great for mindfulness so in place of balloons (that can take around 450 years to decompose!), consider hiring something that can be reused, fresh foliage or a living wall to bring your space to life instead.

Cutlery and plates

People always remember which events have a good spread, and now they might also remember how it was served too. Knives, forks and spoons made from birchwood are a sustainable alternative for plastic cutlery, the tree grows fast and because it is naturally smooth there are no worries about splinters. There are even edible options on the market made from Jowar flour; they decompose very quickly, especially when you add water to them or the other, more fun option, is to eat them. Replace your plastic plates with more biodegradable options like bamboo or even corn starch; these alternatives are just as durable as plastic and can look a lot more aesthetically pleasing too.

Plastic bags

There is often a lot to carry at an event, festival or conference and giving out handy carrier bags can make a delegate’s life much easier; but did you know that less that 1% of the 5 trillion plastic bags we use worldwide each year are recycled? Tote bags on the other hand are washable, reusable and can be made from recycled materials (and who doesn’t love a practical tote bag when they are nipping to the shops). Should it be a single day event, perhaps a branded paper shopper could be the better fit, and easily recycled by attendees afterwards. If you are giving out merch at your event, why not avoid the usual plastic waste and opt for wooden USB sticks, postcard seed sticks or bamboo notepads instead.

Our ESG strategy is based around key United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, otherwise known as the Global Goals, which look to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. We particularly wanted to focus the strategy on areas where we could make meaningful change as a team, including Climate Action, Responsible Consumption and Production, Quality Education and Good Health and Wellbeing; all areas where we can strive to have an authentic and last impact both in the North East and across the events sector as a whole.

To find out more about how we can help you to work towards your sustainability goals or to understand more about how we are making changes as a business contact

Structure, sports, and snack drawers – Meet our Office Manager Ashley

With our client portfolio growing and more people than ever joining the BeaconHouse team, we knew it was time to bring in an expert to make sure our processes were robust and we had a strong foundation for our continued growth. With this being a completely new role for the business, we knew we had to find someone who could get stuff done but also be a great culture fit for the team. Enter, Ashley.

Ashley brings over five years of senior executive support experience to BeaconHouse and is supporting the leadership team with business operations and finance, freeing them up to deliver what they do best; creating connections, getting out onsite and driving the business forward.

We caught up with Ashley to find out how she’s finding being an adopted Geordie, why process is an important part of creativity and why the snack drawer should never be empty…

What does your career path look like before you joined BeaconHouse Events? 

After my AS Levels, I got a little bit bored of being in full-time education and as I’m a very practical person, I just felt that I needed to be out in the world doing something. I started working in admin and finance and then trained to be a personal trainer which is where my love of fitness started (you can still find me in the gym most mornings before I walk into the office).

My first ‘proper job’ was working in admin for a property developer and within two months I was promoted to executive assistant when they saw that was where my skills really lay. This was where I really started learning what it takes to make an office run smoothly, how to be an effective PA and the trick of creative problem solving. I realised that I enjoyed, and was good at, business operations and that’s what I’ve specialised in since. My last role before joining BeaconHouse was at a legal tech firm who were going through substantial growth and needed help to really get their processes and procedures in place to make the journey as smooth as possible for the team.

From your experience of working with a business as they grow, why do you think the background processes are important?

The events sector is so creative and it is my role to put best practice, procedures and shortcuts in place to free up the senior team and the delivery team, so they can spend more time with clients, coming up with creative ideas and researching the latest trends rather than being bogged down with all those tasks that suck up your time and don’t always hold much value when you’re busy delivering client-facing content. As we are growing and welcoming more people to the team, it’s important to have steps in place to help them feel confident and empowered to do their job well as well as the space to learn and grow into the role.

That was what really drew me to BeaconHouse; as soon as I started talking to Sarah and Catherine, they told me their plans to expand and bring in more talented people and I was so excited about the prospect of working with them to put purposeful and impacting structures in place to help them reach their goals.

What does an average day look like for you?

I start my day at the gym before walking into the office at Hoult’s Yard. I live in Heaton, so it is a really nice walk to get into work, especially in the sunny weather we’ve had recently.

First thing on a morning, I always reconcile the banking transactions! We obviously deal with a lot of suppliers and payments coming in and out so luckily, I really enjoy this side of the role. Getting that ticked off the list on a morning means I concentrate on other tasks during the day knowing the team have everything they need to deliver amazing events. After that, it’s onto building processes for things like ordering merchandise or logging holiday requests – we have a few new procedures being bedded in at the moment so I’m keen to get feedback on how they are working. I work a lot with the internal sustainability team so after any meeting with them or the senior team I general, I make sure everyone knows who is leading on which tasks, so everything run smoothly.

Working in such a busy sector, the events managers are often out and about so I make sure we always have their favourite snack on hand to give them little boost during the day. The office dogs don’t get forgotten either, I really miss spending time with my Labrador cross, Eddie, who is back in Worcestershire, so I always make sure to give them a cuddle and a snack during the day.

Where can we find you when you’re not in the office?

I love sport (watching and playing) and exercise, and I used to be part of rounders league back home, so I wish we had similar here in the North East, but there doesn’t seem to be one – we’ll have to get one started! Other than that, I make an effort to get to as many Newcastle games as possible, even when I wasn’t living here, I visited every month or so to go to games. Luckily, Lewis and Grace in the BeaconHouse team are fans of the club too so I’m in good company.

I’m such a foodie so living in Heaton is perfect too. All of the little independent restaurant and cafes are amazing, and my current favourite is Aidan’s Kitchen in Sandyford. Hoult’s Yard is such a hidden gem too. Because I’m so organised during the week, I try to be more relaxed and go with the flow on a weekend, so anything goes. I love walking, so being so close to the Northumberland coast is a real bonus, especially the lovely country pubs – I thought I knew the area well from visiting often but I keep finding new places to explore!

While you don’t work directly on events, who would be your dream client for BeaconHouse to work with? 

Anything in football! Being part of the organisation of the major events, like the overseas international camps in the summer for the England men’s and women’s team would be amazing – there is so much planning involved to making all the basics run smoothly before they even kick a ball. Things we often don’t think about, like getting their passports and travel arrangements ready, daily itineraries, kits and dietary requirements sorted, I would be in heaven organising something like that.

If you are interested in a career in events, we would love to hear from you. Visit to view our current vacancies.

What’s the Meta? How technology will impact the future of corporate events

During the pandemic we unlocked the possibilities of technology and used digital platforms to continue to allow our clients to connect and inspire their stake holders, even when they couldn’t be physically together. One of the main things we took away from TechNExt 2023 was the idea that technological advancements are the most impactful when they keep real people at the heart of the process, so we asked our team where they think tech could give our delegates even more…


With the advent of more established platforms for virtual world building, the sky is literally the limit when it comes to your virtual event venues! There is no reason to be limited by what is possible IRL, your event could be held anywhere in the world or you can surprise and delight your attendees with a completely new landscape, the only limit is your imagination. If you are running a hybrid event, why not build a digital replica of your event space and allow people to interact with your on-site teams in real time – something that might not always be possible to accommodate in the real world. Want to hold your event on the moon? Go for it!


At BeaconHouse we are always looking for ways to reduce our impact on the planet when it comes to our events, and this includes how we adopt technology to combat issues like our carbon footprint from unnecessary travel. Hosting some, or all, of your event in a virtual world could be the answer to costly plane tickets as well while addressing environmental concerns at the same time. Alongside exploring options for virtual worlds, you could also look at current mainstream technologies such as live streaming events – advances in internet speeds and 5G are making video and streaming easier than ever.


Not everyone is able to attend events in person, and if you are looking to have a truly inclusive experience it is important to represent every voice in the conversation. Giving your delates the option to experience an event through a VR headset, or similarly without, at home could be the answer to engaging with previously hard to reach audiences, while digital ways to participate in conversations could allow the quieter voices in the room to be heard and open the floor up to previously unheard ideas. In recent years there have been huge step forward when it comes to using tech to bring people from around the world together – but language barriers can sometimes cause a problem. Consider using a live translation solution to make sure everyone is welcomed and included.

Learning through data  

With every event we want to learn from the data collected on site to make the next experience even better for the people attending. Advances in wearable technologies are now allowing corporate events teams to collect and study delegate data including how they move around the venue, how long they spend in each session or even emotions during different parts of the experience. At the moment this tech could be built into a lanyard or wristband but with a bit of creative thinking the trusty feedback form could be a thing of the past.

World-Class Speakers

If ABBA can do holograms, why can’t we? We all want our delegates to come away inspired and motivated from our events, and often it is the key note speaker who does just that. But what if they didn’t have to be there in person? In the future holograms could be delivering the ideas at corporate events, allowing a people outside of major cities access to the biggest names and the newest ideas and their much more exciting than a video call!

Remember that just because the tech exists, it doesn’t always mean it is the right solution for your business – consider Jurassic Park, just because we can doesn’t mean that we should! It all come back to people. When adopting new technologies, it is important to consider if the digital space inclusive for all ages and work with an expert to make sure it is immersive, innovative and as engaging as the IRL event.

At BeaconHouse Events our team is always one step ahead of the latest trends and advancements in the sector. If you would like to talk to one of the team about your goals for 2023/24 or how events can form part of your strategy, give us a call on 0191 691 3456 or email

We’re growing our team in line with major new client wins.

The team has been hard at work already this year delivering work including the creation of two customer events and an annual general meeting in April for Newcastle Building Society and the ‘Good to Grow’ event in partnership with North of Tyne Combined Authority in May, with the latter attracting over 150 business leaders to discuss what doing good business really means. Future delivery will include a celebration for adults, children and young people who care for a loved one in partnership with Newcastle Carers, a two-day community conference with No Code North East for makers and platforms to showcase, learn, and play and a series of staff engagement events across 2023/24 with CF Fertilisers. We’ll also be working on a 3-day conference for a national oral and dental research society, taking place in autumn 2024.

We’re also working with teams at Dynamo and Sunderland Software City to bring to life TechNExt, a major new week-long festival created to champion and promote the North East’s blossoming tech sector.

Sustainability and ESG strategy will continue to form a key pillar of our 2023 work as we continue to support ambitious North East businesses across the emerging tech, education, innovation, architecture, healthcare and creative arts sectors.

Our co-founder and director Sarah Thackray said “We are an ambitious agency with a client portfolio which stretches across the whole of the UK. The beginning of 2023 has been incredibly busy as we work towards our ambition of a 25 percent increase in revenue this year and we are delighted to welcome new faces to the team as we continue to achieve our goal.

“Post-pandemic we have seen an increase in clients looking for innovative, modern event solutions to engage with their internal teams and stakeholders. Our rapid growth means that we have scaled our team, bringing in new talent to the agency to cope with the rise in demand. Since the beginning of 2023 we have welcomed two new project co-ordinators, as well as an office manager to support delivery of our busy portfolio.

“Earlier this year we were proud to be awarded the Good Work Pledge from North of Tyne Combined Authority. This award recognises our efforts to be a fair employer, our commitment to staff health and wellbeing and our demonstration of social responsibility in the region. We have some incredible projects in the pipeline this year and these ambitious plans will mean more opportunities for new talent to join the BeaconHouse team. The talent in our regional freelance community is fantastic and we are always looking to speak to resourceful and trusted people to partner with us.”

“The launch of our ESG strategy will form the backbone of our future growth. This action plan includes steps to reduce carbon emissions by 5 per cent year on year, with the aim to be a carbon neutral business by the end of 2027 alongside supply chain engagement, research into sustainably sourcing materials, digital solutions to limit single-use print and staff training to upskill the team on the future of events both in-person and online. The inclusion of financial resilience was important to us as a team, without a robust business model you simply don’t have the capacity, skills or resource to invest back into the wider community. 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, while supporting them to reach their own ESG goals too.”

To register your interest in forthcoming positions please email your CV and cover letter to

Major new festival celebrates the region’s tech sector

Organised by regional tech network Dynamo and its partner Sunderland Software City, TechNExt Festival will host events across the North East, with a ‘BIONIC woman’ and a ‘Chief Failure Officer’ among the speakers at the centrepiece conference, and over 40 fringe events taking place from Teesside to Tyneside.

On Wednesday June 21st the festival Main Stage will host a series of thought-provoking conference talks from leaders in technology and related industries at Sunderland City Hall. The day is being designed to include a range of speakers and disciplines centred on the theme; technology, the future and us. The programme line-up also covers three key sub themes – innovation and humans, technology and ethics, and business, society and people: Getting the balance right.

The world-class line-up for the Main Stage includes ‘Bionic’ Tilly Lockey; Dutch academic and author Paul Iske; computer scientist and founder of the Stemettes Anne-Marie Imafidon; ex-Microsoft executive Dave Coplin; emerging tech trailblazer Nell Watson and Mala Kumar, a global leader in tech for good.

Speaking about the event Dr David Dunn, CEO of both Dynamo and Sunderland Software City said, “Our aim is to bring at least 3,000 attendees together to showcase the vibrancy, excellence and ambition of the north east tech sector. Other areas of the UK already have tech festivals, so it’s about time we had a similar platform to show just how good we are!” he added.

Dynamo Director Sarah Thackray explained: “We’ve had a huge amount of interest in TechNExt since we announced that the festival was taking place and we are looking forward to bringing together people from a wide range of backgrounds to create conversations and discuss the world-class work that is being delivered in the region.

“Our industry dinner in Durham on Tuesday, June 20 has been designed to give attendees a chance to connect with peers, tech entrepreneurs and business leaders across the region. It’ll be a fantastic opportunity to mix and network with leading figures from the regional sector.

“Then on June 21 we will be at City Hall in Sunderland for the TechNExt Main Stage, bringing some brilliant international speakers together. The big social of the festival, the party, will also take place on June 22 also in Newcastle at Revolucion de Cuba, and tickets are available on the website for anyone who would like to come along to any of the events throughout the week.”

As well as the curated key events, TechNExt will feature a vibrant showcase programme of over 40 fringe events, many of which are free to attend. Tech companies and organisations have submitted ideas for the programme which will see them throw their doors open to engage the wider community, and shine a light on the amazing tech we have in this region.

Tech Talent Live, a free, drop in careers event is for anyone keen to learn more about tech careers and the employers in the North East will take place on Thursday 22 June. The aim of this event is to inspire, motivate and inform the next generation of tech and digital talent, as well as showcase our North East employers to anyone looking for a role in the sector. Tech Talent Live offers students, recent graduates, career changers or those new to the tech sector the chance to hear short talks on career options in the region and take part in CV workshops.

Headline sponsors for TechNExt are Digital Catapult, Newcastle Strategic Solutions, Opencast and Sage.

TechNExt is being planned as a Good Festival, with ‘for good’ being a core value of every element of the programme.

Sarah explained: “Delivering a Good Festival means we’re focusing on quality, inclusivity, diversity, accessibility and sustainability. It also means delivering a diverse programme and we aim to make our core events truly accessible, considering those with different protected characteristics and ensuring we meet their needs and make them as welcome as possible.

“We’ve had such a positive response to the Festival, and we’re looking forward to bringing the region’s tech sector together through a week of fantastic events.”

To book tickets, or for more information about TechNExt, go to

Learning at Work Week: Using events to stimulate learning and professional development with your team.

The events sector is fast-paced and continuous learning is a huge part of our culture here at BeaconHouse Events. Our monthly ‘HeadSheds’ are designed to give us an opportunity to step out of our comfort zone and learn from external experts, and each other, to make sure we stay ahead of the game for ourselves and our clients. Recently we’ve covered everything from Canva hacks to digital marketing and the future of sustainability; we all really value taking the time to focus on our personal growth through learning, even in the busiest weeks.

Real growth through learning comes when we have the capacity to act on the new information that we have learnt and derive our own ideas from it, rather than simply hearing something new and not adapting based on the new knowledge we have received. We caught up with our team to discover how events can stimulate learning and what they think the key is to creating an environment that cultivates absorbing information and adopting new ideas.

Events create strong cultures

Getting your team together offsite and outside of the day to day can give them a chance to bond, learn from each other and builds a culture of trust, something which is key when you are asking people to discuss new ideas or try different ways of doing things. A team who feel psychologically safe because they have a strong culture will be much more willing to take risks in order to innovate, be more creative and learn from each other to solve problems.

Access to world-class speakers

A conference gives you an opportunity to inspire your team through world-class speakers and ideas that they may not usually have access to or take the time to seek out. We can all get stuck in the echo-chamber of social media, our work places or social groups and choosing a speaker that challenges and inspires your team will have a huge impact on their learning and development. Technology like video dial-ins or hybrid events has shrunk the world when it comes to access to the best speakers from across the globe so think big!

Create space for conversations

Talking about ideas or things we have learnt is a great way to solidify information in our brains. By creating space to discuss an idea or dissect new information we can help to bring it to life and put it in context. When you are designing your event environment it’s important to think about how and where your delegates will interact with each other, and how you can give quieter or more reflective members a chance to be part of the conversation. Think about including discussion points in your event packs to help people learn from each other in a robust and meaningful way – this can be especially helpful if your delegates have never met before!

Remember not everyone learns the same way

Not every delegate will learn in the same way, so its important to take advice from your delegates in advance of the event to understand if a small seminar, lecture or online event would work best for their learning experience. Try and curate a mix of experiences that will allow people to take in and retain what is being discussed – this could be digital ways of interacting with proceedings, an illustrator visually bringing to life key ideas from the conference or an event take away with key learnings to read later.

Take time to reflect

Post-event take time to see if the learning on the day is being put into action back in the ‘real world’. Follow up with a post-event questionnaire, or even a ‘implementation seminar’ to find out what people can remember and what they found most valuable from the experience, this will help you to enhance the learning experience at your next event and increase your overall event value.

At BeaconHouse Events we work closely with our clients to understand the aims of your experience and the desired learning outcomes, so we can pick the speakers that best align with your vision and curate events that support delegates preferred format for learning. For more information and to speak to the team about building a learning based event email or call +44 (0)191 691 3456

Aint No Mountain High Enough…meet Project Coordinator Rebekah

Her keen eye for detail and ability to sniff out the next biggest trend means that she is always first with recommendations for the latest office must-trys and keen to come up with fresh, relevant ideas to keep our events ahead of the game.

A keen hiker, Rebekah finds peace and creativity in the great outdoors; so we grabbed a flask and pulled up a camping chair to find out how she scaled her career ladder, what most surprised her most about joining the industry and who her dream client would be (spoiler: we’re going to need our wellies for this one).

Our team has a varied career background – what did your career look like before you joined us?

I studied Surface Design for Fashion and Interiors at the University of Huddersfield and then went on to a Masters in Fashion Textile Practice. My Surface Design degree had a real focus on the whole process, from a creative idea to seeing a product in store, including everything from visual research, material exploration, business management and an understanding of final production – I loved the research and discovering what was shaping our collective consciousness, which led me to work as a Freelance Print Designer for Acorn Conceptual Textiles, a highly successful Textile Design Studio, and an internship with Joanna Feeley and the team at TrendBible. After my internship I stayed at TrendBible for almost 6 years, working my way up to Trend Consultant, where I predominately worked across Homes and Interiors and the Baby & Kids markets, working with clients across the globe. I love seeing a project come together from first concept to finished product and it came to the point in my career when I was ready for a new and exciting challenge, which is when I found my role at BeaconHouse Events.

What first drew you to a career in event management?

When I thought it was time for the next step I started to think about my skills and where I could apply them, and I kept coming back to 3 main things – detail orientated, super organised, and personable– three key skills I would say every event planner needs! Outside of work, I’m the planner in my friendship group, I love to plan trips, seek out the news hotspots for cafes, restaurants and design hubs and I love to see people having a good time. I thought that if I could be a part of creating experiences that make people feel happy, empowered, inspired, and catered for then that would be a good day at work for me.

I also thrive in busyness, thinking on your feet and meeting new people. The fast-paced nature of working in events really excited me, I love being hands on and getting stuck in so the onsite days are something I knew I would really enjoy. From my experience of attending events, whether that’s been a conference / tradeshow for work or a festival, I really felt the power they have to bring people together and a fun way to drive positive change. Events are a great way of getting people together to do some good and I wanted to be part of that.

What skills do you think you need to be a great project coordinator?

You have to be highly organised, have excellent attention to detail and the ability to time manage effectively and multi-task as there are always a lot of different project plates spinning and the odd curve-ball to content with. Events are often a time of high pressure for our clients and one of the key skills has to be strong communication along with the ability to shape and maintain robust relationships built on trust and transparency.

Tell me what a typical day looks like for you

At the moment I am still finding my feet in the business, but I’m so pleased to already be working across a wide range of events and clients. My day-to-day is mostly juggling lots of different tasks, which makes every day different! This could include communicating with vendors, booking travel, report writing, researching into venues or activities, website content, managing supplier and client relationships, client calls, site visits, or a really yummy one and my personal favourite, food tasting. I’m also very proud to be a part of the BeaconHouse marketing and sustainability teams so my internal role consists of supporting and contributing to our planning meetings, helping with strategies and tasks to grow and drive change from within the business.

BeaconHouse offers the opportunity to get involved in ‘Wellbeing Days’, where we can volunteer with causes we care about, and I’m looking forward to getting involved with giving back. The events sector has a reputation for being high-pressure and I’m passionate about starting positive conversations about mental health; I would love to volunteer and offer support to some of the local organisations doing fantastic work in this area and I have plans to become a mental-health first-aider in the future.

What surprised you most when you joined the events sector?

What surprised me the most was how much of the role is office based! A lot of what people associate event planning with is being present at parties or conferences or being out and about meeting venues, but actually that is just the end result of months of hard work behind the scenes.

Seeing months of hard work finally come to life in a really visual way is definitely one of the things that I find most rewarding about the job – and getting to be a part of that experience is even better.

Where can we find you outside of the office?

I love being outside so you can usually find me exploring the North East countryside with my cockapoo Olly. We are incredibly lucky to have so much natural beauty in the region and I love seeking out spaces that are untouched, have good views and where you can hear a pin drop. To me there’s no better feeling of climbing a mountain, no matter how tough it was and seeing the view at the top – just like planning an event really!

What would be a dream client to work with?

It would have to be the National Trust. It would be a dream to create an event that helps to protect our natural environments and to educate people of the benefits of nature for our physical and mental health would be very rewarding. It could include a sponsored walk, talks from organisations and charities such as Mind, Mind over Mountains, or Adventure Therapy and it would have to take place in a gorgeous, natural outdoor setting – though we would have to have a good think about how we got a good wifi connection…

How events can boost team morale in 2023

According to new research, 42% of businesses are feeling the impact of low employee morale* and according to analytics company Gallup, 57% of UK employees are ‘not engaged’ at work, with over a quarter saying that they are ‘actively disengaged’ with the organisation that they work for.

Team morale can have a huge impact on your productivity, efficiency, retention and workplace wellbeing and with remote working and hybrid teams, it can be hard to know how your team is feeling and what they need. ‘Morale’ isn’t just a buzzword in 2023, when times get tough, a highly engaged team will pull your business through, and in times of skills shortages and high staff turnover, your people are your most important champions.

According to Dynamic Signal, 63% of employees cite poor communication as a reason why they would leave a role and 53% don’t think their company communicates with them in a way that would lead them to become an advocate. Hosting events such as internal staff conferences, celebrations or annual meetings are a proven way to open up channels of communication, spark meaningful conversations and reconnect with team members who may be feeling out in the cold. Events like this are a way to demonstrate your values in action, and most importantly come together as a team in a fun, positive way outside of the day to day.

Remember that it’s important to go into your event with a clear purpose and vision of what you want to achieve, so every aspect of your event can be designed to help you engage and motivate your team in a meaningful way.

So, how can an event give that much needed boost to your team, and create a happy, healthy and high-performing team?


1 Communication

When teams are busy or spread across multiple locations, it can be tricky to keep everyone updated on success stories, growth and future plans. Emails or even video updates can get lost in to-do lists and busy diaries, but hosting a quarterly or annual update event means that you can really make your people feel part of something bigger and be on hand to answer any questions about what the information means in practice. In larger organisations this might be one of the few opportunities for all teams to have face-to-face time with senior leadership, opening up channels of communication across the organisation.


2 Real connection

The pandemic, the rise of digital meetings, social media and busy home lives all contribute to many craving some human interaction. No one here is arguing that there aren’t benefits to video calls, but for many it’s more difficult to be creative in a silo and far easier to be distracted by your inbox when you’re attending an online meeting. Meeting in person and enjoying shared experiences make it much more likely to build lasting relationships with colleagues which in turn will increase staff morale and reduce staff turnover (according to research by Gallup, when 60% of employees in a company have a work friend, safety incidents decreased by 36%, customer engagement increased by 7%, and profits increased by 12%)! Not only that, IRL conversations are proven to be more productive, with team members able to collaboratively brainstorm much more effectively in person than online, giving you a platform to tackle those big conversations together.


3 Recognition

Events and celebrations are a great way of saying thank you to your team and showing that you recognise all of their achievements. A simple ‘thank you’ is one of the best ways to increase staff engagement and boost morale and getting everyone away from their ‘day-to-day’ to enjoy an experience together is a meaningful way to show that you care. You could include awards (serious or silly categories!) as part of the day to give an extra thank you to the people who have really gone above and beyond. By recognising success you have a tangible way of celebrating your values in action, making it much easier for people to put them into practice when they are back in the work place, which in turn makes for a much happier atmosphere.


4 Create ambassadors

If people are proud of where they work, they want to share it with their friends and family. A morale boosting event – whether that is an awards dinner or a full team away day gives your people something to talk about with their community outside of the organisation. Creating moments that people want to share on their social media channels will not only boost morale but it increases the opportunity to attract new talent to your organisation when they see the additional benefits and learning opportunities that you offer your team.


5 Re-energise and inspire

Give your team space to step away from the day-to-day, learn new things, get inspired and have some fun. You will be increasing essential endorphins, boosting morale and giving team members something more than a transactional experience – you’re making them part of an experience. Find a cool venue, book an inspirational speaker or create an environment where teams that wouldn’t normally interact, learn from each other and most importantly, have fun together. A professional events team can work with you to hand pick the best speakers to re-energise your people, and they don’t just have to be talking about your sector, the best speakers allow you to look at things from a different perspective and give your team something to think about, and talk about, long after the event is over.

For more information on morale boosting events or to speak to the team about how to engage your team in 2023 email or call +44 (0)191 691 3456



2023 Growth Plans with a Focus on Sustainability

We were delighted to see a 32% increase in turnover in 2022 through a mix of in person, digital and hybrid events across our client portfolio. Our sustainability strategy will form a key pillar of the 2023 work within the team as we continue to support ambitious North East businesses across the emerging tech, education, innovation, architecture, healthcare and creative arts sectors.

We even got a bit of a press release together about our plans and here’s what came from that…

Catherine Duhaut, co-founder and director at BeaconHouse Events said, “Since forming in 2014 our vision has always been to drive positive, lasting impact with every event we do, whether that be a conference, exhibition, awards ceremony or festival. In 2022 we have had the opportunity to work with some incredible clients, both in the region and nationally, and over the next 12 months we are focussed on supporting more ambitious businesses to raise their profiles, engage their teams and put our region on the map.

“During and post-pandemic we have seen a rise in the need for innovative, modern event solutions for our clients, ranging from new ways of using digital experiences, ensuring sustainability is a key component of any event planning and addressing topics such as neurodiversity to ensure that everyone can have a valuable experience, whether that be in person or online.

“We’re working with suppliers to reduce the impact of our events over 2023 and we are proud to be early adopters of TRACE, a digital carbon measurement platform to help the event industry reach Net Zero. TRACE helps us to gather data on our carbon impact at each event, which in turn gives us the ability to work with clients to benchmark and track success alongside their ESG strategy. We focus on the detail so our clients don’t have to, looking at everything from how we can make transport to events carbon neutral, sustainably sourcing materials for our badges and responsible recycling. We create sponsorship packages to offer digital branding to avoid single-use print and we work hard as a team to repurpose event materials that could have another life following an event. We know that ESG strategy is a key priority for many of our clients in 2023 and by making simple adjustments we can create big change together.

“We have some incredible projects in the pipeline this year and these ambitious plans will mean more opportunities for new talent to join BeaconHouse to support our growth. The talent in our regional freelance community is fantastic and we are always looking to speak to resourceful and trusted people to partner with us. We continually invest in our people and our success is truly a testament to the team and the culture that BeaconHouse Events has today.

“We are proud to be based right here in the North East and both myself, co-founder Sarah and the whole team are incredibly excited about creating meaningful events with the world-class organisations that call our region home.”

…and following all that excitement! We then got shortlisted for not one, but TWO national industry wide awards for the CN Agency Awards, winners to be announced on 03 March – so if you’ve got this far in the blog, we’re counting on you as a BeaconHouse supporter and hope you can keep your fingers crossed for us!

How to put sustainability at the heart of your 2023 corporate events

The event industry still has a way to go when it comes to direct impact on the environment but by taking practical steps together UK businesses can create positive change for our clients, communities and the planet.

At BeaconHouse Events we take conscious steps to reduce the impact of our delivery at every step of the process, including putting sustainability clauses in all contracts, communicating with our clients and guests electronically, minimising travel during the planning stages and sharing best practice so we can continually learn how to do things more efficiently.

Small steps can create big change. Here are some practical tips to make sure your 2023 events make a real difference…

1 Leave real footprints, not carbon ones

Firstly, consider whether your event will have the same impact as an online experience, this will help you cut down on unnecessary travel right from the get-go. If you do decide that an in-person event is the way forward, make sure you communicate green travel choices to delegates well in advance so they can plan ahead. 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.


2 Track and TRACE

You don’t know how far you have come if you don’t know where you started! Work with an event team who use carbon tracking platforms like TRACE to gather data and report on the carbon footprint of your events, allowing you to benchmark your progress year on year. Clearly communicate what sustainability steps have been taken with your team and your guests and encourage 360 feedback on where there could be improvements next time. Not only will feedback give you valuable learnings, by raising awareness of your environmental commitments you are more likely to attract and retain skills to your business.


3 Don’t be trashy

Where possible give marketing materials and equipment a life outside of your event rather than throwing them away and use digital platforms to communicate key messages. Print materials like lanyards on recyclable stock, not just from sustainable materials, and incentivise guests to bring their own reusable bottles by offering free refills or prize draws. Everyone loves a challenge, gamifying recycling onsite can add a little healthy competition to proceedings, while putting your sustainability message front of mind.


4 Live life on the veg

Food is always a big draw at any event and providing vegetarian or plant-based catering is a tasty way to cut down your carbon footprint. According to the UN, meat and dairy accounts for 14.5% of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions, which is roughly the same as the exhaust from every car, train, ship and aircraft on the planet! Work with caterers to offer high-quality veggie alternatives and if you don’t want to go fully meat-free consider using produce that meets farm assurance standards such as LEAF, a standard that links farming and the environment. When it comes to serving up, a buffet or bulk-serve experience is a much greener option than individually packaged portions and double check your cutlery and plates aren’t single use too.


5 Go digital

There are plenty of tech solutions that can make your life easier and give you eco-friendly points in the process. Use digital signage to help your delegates navigate the venue and communicate electronically with guests and each other wherever possible. If there is information for guests to take home, send links to downloadable handouts and use digital screens to gather and share ideas rather than paper flip-charts.

If you do have to print make sure you arrange for it to be collected and recycled, reuse sheets for printing drafts and print on both sides of the page in black and white rather than colour. Consider vegetable oil based inks or work with suppliers that share your sustainability goals.


6 LED the way  

Use spaces that utilise LED lighting rather than fluorescent, the former uses much less power per unit of light emitted and there will be limited difference in the look and feel of the space. Equipment that uses LED lighting is usually a lot lighter and event spaces need less of it – that means that production companies need smaller vehicles and less trips to get the equipment on site too.


7 Give back

CSR and SDG are likely to be high on your agenda in 2023, offer delegates the opportunity to pay-it-forward and support an environmental or sustainably conscious charity through ticket donations. Alternately offer tips on how a business can offset their carbon emissions by getting involved in tree-planting or green energy initiatives.

If there are any event freebies left after the event give them back to the sponsor so they can be used at a future event, donate them to charity or advertise on an online marketplace like Facebook, freecycle or OLIO.

For more information on BeaconHouse Events or to speak to the team about your 2023 goals email or give us a call on 0191 691 3456.

Sustainability, why is it so hard?  

We’re doing our bit; we’re working as a team to develop solutions that make our events more sustainable. We’re working with suppliers to reduce the impact of our events. We explore how we can make transport to events carbon neutral, how the materials used in our badges can be sustainably sourced and responsibly recycled, we create sponsorship packages to offer digital branding to avoid single-use print and we work hard to repurpose event materials that could have another life following an event.

These are just a few examples of what we adopt as standard, but it’s tough. You just have to google ‘eco anything’ to be inundated with options on greener choices for anything you could ever need for an event, but hours and hours of research then have to go into finding out why it’s a greener choice, if it is in fact a more ecologically sound option and how the product can be recycled following its use. It’s no secret that words like eco, green, recycled, reduce, reuse are all buzzwords used to attract you and make you feel like you’re making the ‘right choice’ but where’s the resounding reassurance that it’s not just marketing and that there’s substance behind the wording?

‘Greenwashing’ is a term you might be familiar with; when information is provided about how a company’s products are more environmentally sound, but the information is an unsubstantiated claim to deceive consumers into believing that the products are environmentally friendly. It’s a minefield.

Sadly, if you’ve read this far hoping for some conclusion, I apologise – there isn’t one. This blog was fuelled by frustration and fatigue, why is it so hard to feel reassured that you’re actually making consciously sound decisions when it comes to purchasing and protecting the environment? We’re open to suggestions, we’re here to learn, we’re prepared to put in the time and effort to find the resolution and we pledge to make changes that don’t fall short – we just need the support from our network to help us on our quest.
It’s not all doom and gloom – there are many who are leading the way, there are free resources that exist to help you when you don’t want to contribute to landfill. Here’s a few that we use: is made up of more than 5,000 local town groups with over 9 million members across the globe. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Membership is free, and everything posted must be free, legal and appropriate for all ages.
Facebook marketplace – if you have a facebook account this is a great way to find, sell and repurpose items that have otherwise served their purpose.
OLIO connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away.
Magic Hat rescue surplus food destined for landfill. Their mission is to show you that this food should never have been wasted, and with a little love it can instead be transformed into fresh, colourful and delicious meals and drinks through their kitchen and market in Newcastle upon Tyne, an online shop and catering for events.
Shout out to the events industry – what can we do across our networks to make real, sustainable choices that make us feel good?

Wet noses welcome

People are preparing to return to the office, albeit with a more flexible attitude. But what of all those pandemic pups? With all the time spent WFH many chose to finally get that furry companion to enjoy quality time with, walking during lunch and curled up at their feet during those Zoom meetings. How will our four-legged friends manage now their human ‘work mates’ are returning to the office?

It’s a ‘new normal’ in lots of different ways, considering dog care is something that many businesses wouldn’t have previously been set up to manage. Do we now expect ergonomic desk chairs alongside plush dog beds? Should the coffee machine sit next to the treat tins? What if you mix your hobnobs with the woofles? And surely it’s a rare breed indeed but there are those who perhaps don’t get wobbly at the knees at the sight of a wet nose and waggy tail.

Here at BeaconHouse HQ, we’re dog lovers – it’s not a prerequisite to get a job here…but it helps! 50% of our team own dogs and that plays a big part in our office planning and staff wellbeing. There’s a certain vibe that comes over the team on a ‘dog day’, a kind of gentle excitement and overall sense of companionship that the occasional tail whip brings. A tough day can easily be improved by the sound of a soft snore from the fur ball in the corner and of course the cameos on a virtual event are excellent ice breakers.

We’re currently preparing a more structured return to an office, and our four-legged friends will be welcomed. This is just one of the things that we’ll be considering in our new workspace to adapt to the many changes we’ve faced over the past two years. Our team is our top priority, making sure the workplace fits the needs of the whole team (paws or not) is key. It’s a bit of an ethos of ours and one we always plan to stick to.

Side note; our office pooches have requested to feature more regularly on our social platforms. They reckon they do much for our wellbeing and don’t get enough air time. So if you feel like following the antics of Luna, Raven and Harry you know where to find them.