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  • Searcys Ideas Forum at 116 Pall Mall

    26 March 2024

    Last week, Searcys teams got together at the beautiful 116 Pall Mall for our first ideas forum to explore what’s new and what’s coming in the world of hospitality, events, food, drink and tech.

    We  kicked off the day with a thought-provoking panel of leaders and pioneers in the world of events, hospitality and tech and welcomed to the floor: Elena Rueda Carrasco, Founder of Dama Health, a pioneering health tech company focusing on personalised contraception solutions;  Isabel Lydall, hospitality and FMCG Consultant at Curiosity and Clarity, with a rich background in food and drink research, Mike Wagstaff, owner of Greyfriars Vineyard in Surrey, bringing innovation to the traditional wine industry, Will Swannell, Chief Technology Officer at Hire Space, revolutionising event planning and venue selection and Alice Marston, Head of Key Accounts and Concierge Services at, providing valuable insights into event management and hospitality.

    The panellists offered their perspectives on innovation, differentiating it from fleeting fads. They highlighted the importance of listening to consumers, and ensuring sustainability and social impact in driving meaningful change. Alice, Will, Mike and Isabel discussed the evolving needs of consumers and event organisers, emerging trends such as personalisation, healthy indulgence and purposeful events.

    Mike from Greyfriars spoke about innovating in the centuries-old wine industry, emphasising how England’s developing wine industry is in itself a disruptor in the market. We also learnt from fast-paced medical tech entrepreneur Elena, who shared the inspiration behind Dama Health’s groundbreaking work in precision medicine, as well as the challenges of starting something groundbreaking and building the foundations of a successful business.

    The panellists underscored the importance of ethical considerations in innovation, including sustainability and social impact. Will highlighted efforts to reduce carbon footprint and streamline processes, while advocating for compassionate policies in a changing economy.

    Looking at future hospitality trends, the panellists discussed advancements in event technology, digital experiences, and sustainable practices. Will from Hire Space predicted the rise of Artificial General Intelligence and its transformative effects on event organising, also stressing the enduring value of face-to-face interactions.

    How to develop a culture of innovation in your business? “Stay informed, adapt to rapid changes, and collaborate across disciplines to drive meaningful progress. By embracing creativity, ethics, and adaptability, we can navigate the complexities of our rapidly evolving world and create a brighter future for all.”

    Our Spring Forum delegates also spent time exploring new menus and drinks created with our partners, introduced this year.

    Our team of chefs from across the business prepared a variety of dishes thoughtfully curated and developed to feature prominently on our events menus. Our primary objectives are to maintain consistency and excellence in quality, all while remaining steadfast in our commitment to Searcys’ sustainability pledges. Searcys was founded in 1847 and has been at the heart of British Hospitality for over 175 years. Located in some of the most magnificent locations across the UK, our history remains a constant source of inspiration today. We are very proud to share our 2024 Searcys events hero dishes, prepared with the best seasonal ingredients, that marry our illustrious heritage and traditions. The team worked over 5 months to present the new range, with Dave Hands from One Moorgate Place leading on canapés selection, Piotr Ciszack from the Royal Institution creating plant-based dishes, Nick Seckington from The Royal College of Surgeons presenting bowl food, and Alessandro Negro from 30 Euston Square, presenting buffet menus. Philip Neil from Searcys at the Gherkin led lunch and dinner menu development, with the overall project overseen by Searcys Executive Chef Richard Oxley.

    Over at Searcys Champagne Bar, our delegates met our new drinks partners, introduced to the business at the start of the year:

    • Jukes: Non-alcoholic cordials created by Matthew Jukes, infused with natural flavours, fruits,
    • Wild Life Botanicals: a sparkling English bubbly with only 0.5% ABV and less than 35 calories per glass, promoting a ‘no limits’ lifestyle.
    • Wild Idol: Vibrant, naturally alcohol-free sparkling alternative to wine, crafted from a superior blend of grapes, vegan and gluten-free.
    • Albourne Estate: Family-owned vineyard and winery crafting award-winning still and sparkling English wine, certified sustainable by Sustainable Wines of Great Britain.
    • Pentire: Non-alcoholic spirits capturing unique botanical flavours from local plant life, celebrating the diverse range of flavours through careful distillation.
    • Bottega: With a four-centuries history in wine and grappa in Italy, known for Bottega prosecco appreciated worldwide.

    In the tech corner we have welcomed our partners:

    • Nutritics: a Searcys-wide platform measuring allergens, calories, and carbon footprint in recipes, presented its new features, including a recipe costing tool.
    • Chexology: all guests have experienced a new way of checking in your coats in a cloakroom – an automated cloakroom check-in using facial or mobile phone recognition, reducing queue times and environmental impact with customisable mobile messaging for event promotion or discounts.


    A huge thank you to all Searcys teams, as well as our wonderful guests and partners for bringing our inaugural Ideas Forum to life!

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