Carol Anderson tells us about a decade working at the Mermaid Centre, and how she helped Prince get his name back
My 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’.
CONTACTS & CAPACITIES
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.