Tokyo’s bid to become the host city of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games was boosted by Japan’s total medal haul of 38 during London 2012, surpassing their previous high of 37 from Athens, 2004.
IOC members will choose the 2020 host city in September next year. So it was important for the Japanese to showcase their bid effectively this summer and be within easy reach of important IOC members staying at the Park Lane hotels.
To achieve this, the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) chose nearby No 4. Hamilton Place as its London Olympic base.
Home to the Royal Aeronautical Society, the listed building with an air of old luxury, was exclusively hired for 17 days. It provided meeting rooms, a press briefing theatre, offices, a roof terrace garden and dining area.
Not only is the building itself listed, the bow windows and the baroque staircase are too. It was a perfect setting for the JOC to entertain guests and lobby IOC members in Edwardian rooms, complete with Louis XVI gilt cornicing and chandeliers.
The venue’s 250-capacity Bill Boeing Room was transformed into a sponsors’ area and press conference theatre. Whilst the Argyll room, which leads out onto a west facing terrace overlooking Hyde Park, was used for demonstrations of the ancient Japanese art of origami. It was also used for Sake tasting evenings and Japanese tea ceremonies.
No 4. Hamilton Place has ten rooms in total available for hire to event planners. The JOC used them all for maximum effect.
“Building a warm relationship with Takeda San, JOC President, Ichihara San, JOC Secretary General and all of JOC and the Japanese delegation ensured we fully understood their expectations and needs and were able to demonstrate how the location, facilities and service providers made No 4. Hamilton Place an ideal choice for Japan House,” says the venue’s Chief Operating Officer, Jonathan Byrne. “It was an enlightening and throughly enjoyable exercise in cultural understanding.”