23 August 2014

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Venue Vendor - Carol Anderson


Carol Anderson tells us about a decade working at the Mermaid Centre, and how she helped Prince get his name back

  • M640-001.jpgMy name is Carol Anderson.
  • I am the director of events at The Mermaid Conference & Events Centre.
  • I have worked here since May 1998.
  • They call me ‘boss’ on a good day. I hate to think what it would be on a bad day…
  • I’ve been in the events industry ever since I graduated from university – many moons ago.
  • My first event was a large Christmas party for several hundred oil industry people at Aberdeen University back in the 70s.
  • I’ll always remember The Mermaid playing host to an intimate (600-strong) audience for a gig by the artist formerly known as Prince, when he was relaunching himself as Prince again.
  • The most valuable lesson I’ve learnt so far is never to assume or presume.
  • My venue works because it has a rich history, a great location and a fantastic team of dedicated people.
  • I particularly like its stage and main auditorium, which have great flexibility and can be used in either a creative or very corporate way.
  • I’d use it for more live music performances and comedy gigs, especially at weekends when we have quieter times.
  • If I could change anything here, I’d extend the Blackfriars Room into the Studio and Miles Room so I had a function room for 450. I would also put a roof garden on top.
  • People always comment on the amazing river views our function rooms have.
  • You may be surprised to hear that we host the BBC Jazz Awards and Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night.
  • Recently, we have won the Gold MIMA award for best website.
  • My favourite lunch spot around here is Smiths of Smithfield. But I don’t go very often as lunch never seems to end and can often run into the evening!
  • The best pub nearby is Shaws Booksellers for a quick one after work.
  • After an event, you’ll find me at home with my feet up, enjoying a large glass of red wine.
  • When I need inspiration, I meditate.
  • Later this year, I’m looking forward to having a holiday in Madagascar.
  • In 10 years’ time I want to have retired,
  • and spend my summers in Scotland and winters in India.
  • I still want to travel around South America.
  • My famous last words will be one of my two favourite expressions – ‘live for the moment’ or ‘take the bull by the horns’.

The Mermaid Conference & Events Centre Puddle Dock, Blackfriars, EC4V 3DB, tel: 0870 780 9480, squaremeal.co.uk/mermaid
Function rooms: 12
Meeting Capacity: 600
Dinner Capacity: 220
Reception Capacity: 600

This article first appeared in Square Meal Venues & Events magazine, Summer 2008.

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