Why every event planner should revisit Wembley Park
A stroll down Olympic Way – the pedestrian walkway that connects Wembley Park station to the iconic stadium – will leave you in no doubt: Wembley Park has arrived. On your left you’ll see the Novotel (235 guestrooms; 2 purpose-designed meeting rooms), while up ahead you’ll catch a glimpse of BOXPARK (7 venue spaces and a capacity for 2,000 people). You might grab a croissant and a coffee at local cult bakery Bread Ahead before crossing into Arena Square to watch the world go by. Glance back and you’ll see The Drum – London’s greenest public building. Look up and you’ll see the majestic Wembley Arc framing the sky.
The difference a decade makes
Rewind ten years and the view was altogether different. Speaking to event planners about their memories back then, the consensus was that Wembley Park was, at best a bit of a building site; at worst, let’s say, ‘less than vibrant’. Despite lifelong memories made at Wembley’s stadium and arena, concerns about access and safety put the idea of hosting events in the area firmly out of people’s minds. But, I’m delighted to say, things are changing, along with dated perceptions of the area.
In fact, the word ‘Change’ doesn’t do justice to what you’ll see around you as you enjoy that coffee, walking through Wembley Park. £3bn in investment by developers Quintain has rendered Wembley Park a mini metropolis. ‘In the 20 years since we started developing at Wembley Park, we have completely transformed this area,’ says James Saunders, Quintain’s Chief Executive. ‘We’ve built 5,000 homes, a shopping district, offices and a fantastic public realm. Nowhere else has this mix.’ It’s no wonder tourism in the area is exploding.
A destination in its own right
Everything tourists love about Wembley Park, delegates will appreciate, too. Stephen Daniels, Quintain’s Director of Estate Operations says that, ‘Wembley attracts people because it’s becoming a hub and a destination in its own right. You can come to an event here but have plenty of other things to do.’ There are 24 F&B outlets in BOXPARK alone; 70 retailers in the London Designer Outlet. To event planners worried about losing delegates to Central London, I’ll wager you’ll find them soaking up the atmosphere outside a coffee shop or in one of the area’s seven parks and green spaces.
While your delegates might not want to leave, they do appreciate an easy arrival. Every time I visit I can barely believe I’m only nine minutes from Central London. Wembley Park is just two stops from Baker Street on the Metropolitan Line, while Wembley Central is served by both the underground and overground. The area boasts 3,000 parking spaces and is easily accessible from London’s major airports. Once on the ground, pedestrian walkways zigzag between all the major venues, hotel and community areas. I struggle to think of anywhere more accessible, walkable and – frankly – enjoyable.
A space for every event
All this makes Wembley Park ideal for international events of all sizes – from symposiums and exhibitions to brand activations or award ceremonies – especially at a time when prices are exceptionally high in Central London. The area has 26,000sqm of events space, 1,400 hotel rooms and a delegate capacity of 20,500. Digital media offers unparalleled branding opportunities while the area’s expertise in events management means that safety is paramount (for instance, public drinking is not allowed during major events).
AbleMaxx invited 75 event planners to Wembley Park for a showcase in December 2022 and subsequently Destination Wembley has been inviting event planners to Wembley Park on a series of site visits – all are overwhelmed at how the area has developed. If you haven’t been for a while, I invite you to see it for yourself – and not just for the event spaces. Take a walk around, notice how people use the area. Then grab a coffee and enjoy the vibe.
Destination Wembley is here to support the placement of your events and connect you to venues in Wembley Park including Wembley Stadium connected by EE, The Drum at Wembley, OVO Arena Wembley, Wembley Park, Hilton London Wembley, Novotel Wembley, BOXPARK Wembley and London Designer Outlet.
Destination Wembley website