Events industry, Croydon is ready for you


By - Tuesday 13th December, 2016

Tech hubs, new employers, trendy pop-ups, and much more: it all adds up to a growing events economy for the borough


Photo author’s own.

Don’t underestimate what is happening here. You’ve almost certainly read about and experienced some of the new venues opening up in Croydon this year. But it’s had an impact you may not have realised: after years of waiting for a viable alternative to events in central London, the Croydon venue scene has exploded in the last twelve months.

We have trendy venues popping up left right and centre, and young, ambitious, entrepreneurial event planners (self-plug) popping up on the scene.

Croydon Tech City has seen the opening of a number of great spaces available for hire for both private and corporate use. Take TMRW, primarily a co-working space, it shouldn’t be underestimated for its flexible and reasonably priced event spaces. Granted, we’d have to cover the ‘Yo Croydon’ graffiti on the main wall in order to host a fully immersive brand experience, but outside of that there really are no complaints to be made. TMRW is also a huge advocate of local resource and suppliers, which gives it a big green tick from us in both the events and the sustainability boxes.

We could easily fill our calendars with networking events five nights a week

Want some events industry insight? It won’t be a surprise to most of you that Matthews Yard, The Exchange and Project B also offer options for music and entertainment event venues. But behind the scenes, the ambitious Jade Green, founder of Jade Green Events, is the charity and music event go-to for the area. Unicorn Events, who I work for, continue to position themselves as the corporate partner. An events economy isn’t just growing in Croydon – it’s been growing, and it isn’t showing any sign of stopping.

Regular tech city and social events are now difficult to keep up with, as we could easily fill our calendars with networking events five nights a week. The networking events could still do with a little oomph behind them to make sure we are showcasing to the world just what we have on offer here, but for now, they do the job.

Even without the highly-regarded Boxpark, it is a town (time to make us a city, dearest readers who work at the council) that is quickly earning its industry stripes. Online venue business, Headbox, is also making moves south of the river, which suggests we are being heard by the London event tech scene. A hallelujah all round if you please.

It is particularly important that the companies headquartered here book their staff and local events in Croydon venues

We have always had traditional and average wedding venues on our outskirts but now the young and funky (dare I say it, ‘Shoreditch’) venue vibe is showing London that we can be creative too.

Now let’s be honest, I am not about to suggest to international clients that they should be looking at Croydon just yet. But we are making great progress in that direction. It is particularly important however that the companies headquartered here (EDF and Body Shop, I’m looking at you) book their staff and local events in Croydon venues.

If the stars align the way they promise, then in just 12 months’ time industry-wide events press will be covering our creative, tech-friendly venues and working hubs.

Hannah Luffman

Hannah Luffman

Hannah runs Unicorn Events Ltd, an event management agency in South London and has lived and worked in Croydon her whole life. She has 10 years corporate event experience and is also a published writer. Her weekends are spent with her puppy, a bag of pink foam shrimps and her notebook. She misses Reflex Croydon terribly.

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