Excellence Squared Announces New Chief Operating Officer to Lead Expansion into the Americas

Excellence Squared announced the appointment of Vicki Hawarden CMP, as its new Chief Operating Officer with the primary function of developing the North American market for the company.

“We are excited to have someone with Vicki’s leadership experience and extensive knowledge of meetings, professional education and associations join our team,” said Paul Bridle, CEO of Excellence Squared, an international company headquartered in the United Kingdom.  “She is the right person to help us expand our international business and head up our North American operation.  In addition to the tremendous knowledge she brings to the table, she shares our values and our passion for helping businesses improve their performance.”

Ms. Hawarden’s most recent role was as managing partner for Association Resource Consultants (ARC), a company focused on advising and assisting associations with leadership and governance, as well as revenue generation.  Before joining ARC, Ms. Hawarden served as President and CEO of the International Association of Venue Managers and the IAVM Foundation.  In that role, she was instrumental in nearly doubling the membership and turning the association around from significant deficits to stable contributions to reserves.  New initiatives launched under her leadership included the Certified Venue Professional designation and Coherent GovernanceTM.  Her past experience also includes senior executive roles for the International Association of Exhibitions and Events and Meeting Professionals International.  At MPI, as VP of Events she was instrumental in creating the first meetings and events standards for North America, for which she received a Chair’s Citation.

“I have spent my entire 30-year career in the meetings, exhibition and association communities and I deeply believe they deliver tremendous value to their members, attendees and society as a whole,” said Hawarden.  “The work done by Excellence Squared creates a partnership with those we assess, to help them truly understand and improve their business performance.  In particular, I am thrilled we will be able to partner with associations on the Leadership and Management Standard, to help CEOs and boards better understand how to work together to deliver value to members, and to partner with venues to ensure they are able to exceed client and guest expectations, every time.”

Excellence Squared has over 20 years of experience as an accredited assessment service, as well as an advisory and consultancy provider.  The company holds some prestigious contracts to deliver assessment and advisory services on behalf of government and has been leading the way in developing new approaches that ensure value for the customer.

Excellence Squared offers assessments in Leadership and Management, Venue Standard, Customer Service, Governance, Supply Chain Management, Care Homes and more.  Its newest addition is the Quality Venue and Safe Venue Standards which enable venues to undertake an assessment of all aspects of it management, operations and physical attributes, to determine areas of strength and opportunity.

For more information, contact Ms. Hawarden at vicki.hawarden@excellencesquared.com or 972.369.5966.

The Barbican awarded 4 star rating by the Venue Standard

DSC_0096The Barbican has been awarded with a 4 star certificate from the Venue Standard following a rigorous assessment process put in place by the industry standard.


The certificate acknowledges high standards in both operational processes and procedures throughout the Barbican. The assessment also recognises a dedication to ensuring memorable experiences for delegates and clients whilst delivering excellence as a quality venue.


“The 4 star rating given to us by the Venue Standard is recognition of the standard of venue, facilities and service that we offer to our clients,” comments Lee Dobson, Head of Event Management at the Barbican. “Not only does it highlight what we have done well but it also gives us a solid platform on which we can build. With many venue improvements to come in the summer of 2016, we are confident that we can continue to exceed client expectations.”


DSC_0099The Venue Standard is designed to help organisers and planners identify what standard of venue they are dealing with. Similar to hotels and restaurants, the Venue Standard is a rating based on specific criteria that has been checked and verified by Excellence Squared, a UKAS accredited body.


“Congratulations to the Barbican on being recognised with a 4 star rating for the Venue Standard,” comments Gary Swarbrooke, from the Excellence Squared. “Achieving this level of Venue Standard is a real accolade to the way the Barbican develops and delivers its services with the customer in mind.  The Standard does a quality assessment against customer feedback, physical appearance, service delivery and administration.  The Barbican has every reason to be proud of their recognition as a quality venue in London”


Further information about utilising event space at the Barbican can be acquired by contacting the Business Events Team: +44 (0)20 7382 7043 | businessevents@barbican.org.uk.