Excel reflects on day in the spotlight
If you get the thumbs up from the US President you know you must have done something right.
Excel director James Mark had a lead role in the planning and delivery of the London Summit and said the pat on the back from the President was a welcome acknowledgement.
It came during a hectic few days for the staff at the Royal Docks centre.
Mr Mark, the services and 2012 Games director, said: "We've had really good feedback from the Commonwealth Office which said it was really happy with the facilities.
"And at the end of Barack Obama's speech he said thank you to Gordon Brown for arranging such brilliant facilities. That was a very nice moment for us all."
As well as government leaders from the world's richest nations, thousands of delegates and journalists headed to the Excel centre for last Thursday's meeting.
A major police and security presence was also on hand to make sure all went to plan while the politicians were thrashing out their deals.
All this logistical work was needed for just four hours of talks between the leaders.
This period, as well as the meal intervals for the visitors, meant a tense time for Excel's catering partners, Leith's.
Kitchen staff at the event worked in absolute silence for the event and the operations manager had to wear slippers in the main discussion room.
Mr Mark said it was a case of being "seen but not heard" for Leith's, a company founded by celebrity chef Pru Leith.
The event finished on Thursday evening and Excel staff worked throughout the night and all of Friday to make sure the centre was back in order for the weekend's events.
Mr Mark said: "We're all delighted with how well it went. It was a complex planning process, a lot to think about, but the logistics on the day came together."
Businesses around the Excel were also buoyed by the event.
Nearby Crowne Plaza Hotel hosted delegates and meetings during the week.
Director of sales Kees Hogetoorn, said: "By Friday it was back to normal, in fact it was back to normal as soon as they all left. It came and went with great success."
Mr Hogetoorn also praised the police organisation which left little to chance.
He said: "Our staff were a bit apprehensive at first as they had never had to handle an event like this before and didn't know what to expect.
"But good briefings from the police made sure everyone was confident of the jobs in hand."
About 5,000 police officers were involved in the G20 operation, including at the demonstrations and escorting the delegates.
Violence from protesters was heavily predicted, but apart from a few flash points in central London on the Wednesday, it was mostly contained by officers who made 122 arrests.
Newham Council had stated before the event it would not foot the bill for the removal of rubbish. But there was little to clear up and all rubbish was gone by the weekend.
Mr Mark concluded: "We hold a variety of conferences and real diverse events at Excel, but we've also showed we can pull off an event like the G20. For the centre, for Newham and east London it's a massive achievement all round.
"It clearly shows that this part of London is definitely on the map. We're delighted. And the profile on the world stage was fantastic."
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