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02/2016

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Research into the value of face to face communication showed that employees value offsite meetings compared to those held in-house.

The research - Does the future have room for face-to-face communication - was conductedamongst a sample of more than 750 event organisers, delegates, graduate and undergraduate students.

The research revealed that delegates felt getting to know colleagues outside the office was the most valuable element of an offsite meeting, followed by increasing learning ability away from office distractions and meeting new people that encouraged new thinking.

Respondents who took part in the focus group sessions agreed that a neutral environment encouraged a fresh approach to thinking, with interactive sessions and good food showed investment in employees to make them feel rewarded.

Emma Boynton, Head of Sales and Marketing at imago, commented: “All too often meetings are arranged in-house. Whilst this is convenient it often doesn’t lead to productive outcomes for those attending or the organisers. Holding a meeting offsite should not just be seen as a day away from the office. As our research revealed that employees get more out of going to meetings that are not held in familiar surroundings – it encourages them to get to know their colleagues, increases their learning ability and by meeting new people it encourages a different way of thinking. All of these elements are beneficial to those attending and the businesses they work for as it provides a greater return on investment.”

The research was undertaken by Loughborough University and imago.  The Right Solution provided methodology, analysis and validation of the research which was conducted amongst 779 respondents using a mixture of focus groups, online and face to face questionnaires.  The final research paper is available from http://go.welcometoimago.com/meet-the-future. Follow the debate and share thoughts about the research on Twitter via #futureF2F.

Such has been the success of imago’s research, the organisation is planning a follow-up research project, which will be launched later this year. Emma adds: “The feedback from the research and its findings have been extremely positive. As an organisation it is helping us shape successful meetings for our clients and improve the services we offer. The purpose of the next research project is to look into individual areas in more detail and we look forward to seeing the results.”

imago unifies Loughborough University’s conference and events venues under one brand offering high quality meeting spaces, venues and accommodation along with excellent sports and leisure facilities. imago manages the AIM Gold accredited Burleigh Court and Holywell Park as well as Loughborough University’s conference and events facilities and The Link Hotel. 

Warwick Conferences new £5.3m dedicated meeting venue on the University of Warwick campus in Coventry and Warwickshire is progressing on schedule with the first concrete pour of around 270 cubic metres (almost two double decker buses) taking place earlier this month.

Demand is looking strong for the new standalone facility, which sits adjacent to two of Warwick Conferences’ existing training and conference venues, with business leads reported as far ahead as December 2017.

Along with the new opening, Warwick Conferences has reviewed its strategy and the experience it delivers to ensure it continues to meet the needs of the industry. Conference, training and meeting needs are constantly evolving and it is not just about delivering four walls, a flip chart and some food, it is about delivering an experience. This involves providing the space to debate, engage, resolve, share, challenge and learn in a way which is individually tailored to the customer and their objectives.

Rachael Bartlett, head of sales and marketing at Warwick Conferences, says: “We recently reviewed our strategy and how we deliver it to ensure that we continue to respond to the needs of the changing world. As part of this process, we are updating the way we look and our communications to better reflect who we are and what we can deliver to our customers.  Ultimately, it is business as usual, but better. The improvements across our brand and communications reinforce the ethos that at Warwick Conferences we take the time to understand our customer’s needs and objectives and respond by giving them a completely unique experience that is tailored to them.

“This year is set to be an extremely exciting one for Warwick Conferences with our new venue opening in the autumn. Work is progressing on schedule and we are already in a strong position in terms of enquiries for the new space. We look forward to continuing to break new ground with our training and conference solutions by delivering an experience where anything is possible.”

30 Euston Square, home of the Royal College of General Practitioners, is looking to inspire guests and delegates to lead healthier lives with its Good For You range at the in-house Café Caritas.

Café Caritas’Good For You range provides healthy alternatives throughout a busy working day for business professionals attending meetings or events at 30 Euston Square as well as for those just passing by.

The Good For You benefits include:

-          Always homemade and the freshest ingredients

-          Skimmed milk only

-          The use of olive or canola oil only when oil is necessary

-          Visible fats and skin trimmed from meats

-          Only low sodium salt and brown sugar used

-          Pulses, oats and grains utilised where possible to encourage a high fibre diet

“We obviously see business delegates and guests pass through on their working day all the time, but it’s so important to not forget to maintain a healthy diet even during the busiest of days,” comments Stuart Gavin, Sales & Marketing Manager at 30 Euston Square. “Our Good For You range of food and drinks are designed to not only nourish but to revitalise professionals during a day of meetings, conferences and events. It’s something that has already been met with huge positivity from those working hard within the venue.”

Café Caritas is also running a loyalty card scheme in which delegates or guests buying any of the Good For You products receive a stamp on their personal card. After purchasing ten items they get the eleventh for free.

New items will regularly be added to the Good for You range, but currently available choices include:

-          Detox smoothie containing cucumber, ginger, spinach and apple juice

-          Overnight soaked muesli pots with low fat yoghurt, crushed cashews, linseed and blueberries

-          Avocado spirulina protein pots with egg, sweet potato and kidney beans

Café Caritas is situated by the main reception of 30 Euston Square and can be accessed through the building’s main historical entrance, providing the perfect place for a coffee in the Euston area.  The café is a friendly stop-off point featuring fresh quality food prepared onsite and served in relaxed and comfortable surroundings with plenty of quiet breakout space.

30 Euston Square is a conference, meetings and events venue based in the heart of London. For more information on holding an event please call 020 8453 4600 or email 30eustonsquare@searcys.co.uk.

 

The Link Hotel, part of imago’s portfolio of venues, has launched a new campaign to capitalise on its popularity as a meeting destination.

The Link Hotel has proven popular with business travellers due to its central location and affordable facilities which make it the ideal location for meetings on a budget. imago is seeking to capitalise on this through it’s ‘meetings that stick with you campaign’ which highlights how simple it is to organise a meeting, with prices starting from as little as £30 per person.

Located on the outskirts of Loughborough - situated half a mile from the M1 on the outskirts of Loughborough, making it easy to reach by road, rail and air, The Link Hotel’s meetings facilities include six training and meeting rooms and break out areas – all of which have free high speed Wi-Fi access - with a capacity of 200 people as well as 94 en-suite bedrooms, lounge, bar and dining facilities.

Emma Boynton, Head of Sales and Marketing at imago, comments: “The Link Hotel offers all the facilities required for meetings at an affordable price. And as a result, we have seen more organisations choosing it as a venue to meet with colleagues and business associates. It’s also an ideal place for business travellers to stop of and catch up with work while they are out on the road. The ‘meetings that stick with you’ campaign is designed to capitalise on everything The Link Hotel offers and highlight the flexibility and ease with which a meeting can be organised. This will help us build on its success and continue to achieve year on year growth.”

imago unifies Loughborough University’s conference and events venues under one brand, offering high quality meeting spaces, venues and accommodation along with excellent sports and leisure facilities. For more information visit www.welcometoimago.com or call 01509 633030.

Lime Venue Portfolio (LVP) will partner with The Meetings Show to deliver the Hosted Buyer Welcome Reception for the third year running. The exclusive agreement will see buyers welcomed with a unique and memorable experience at KidZania London, part of the LVP group of venues, on Monday 13 June, 2016,

The event attracts approximately 400 buyers from the agency, corporate and association sectors, and kicks off The Meetings Show’s official networking calendar.

“Lime Venue Portfolio will again set its event in a fun and unique venue to engage and excite our buyers,” comments Steve Knight, Event Director of The Meetings Show. “KidZania London is new and very different to anything our buyers will have seen in the past. This will be one of the first major corporate events the venue hosts and once again demonstrates The Meetings Show’s ability to showcase the latest and freshest venues and deliver something ground breaking - not an easy thing to achieve in the heart of London.”  

“This is an important partnership for us. It allows us to directly engage a fantastic group of senior planners and to encourage them to look to the unique and unusual venue market for their next event,” comments Richard Kadri-Langford, Head of Marketing, Lime Venue Portfolio. “We’re keen to see our brand partnered with the best brands in the industry, and in the areas that add value to our venue clients and their customers.”

Knight concludes: “Networking is a cornerstone of The Meetings Show’s success and this event in particular is one attendees remember and talk about long after it has concluded.  Lime Venue Portfolio’s partners and catering expertise will ensure the evening is another huge success and we look forward to seeing how they continue to spark the imaginations of those in attendance as they showcase such an unusual venue.”

Organised by Centaur Live (a division of Centaur Media Plc), The Meetings Show is the premier event for the UK inbound and outbound meetings industry, taking place 14-16 June, 2016 at Olympia, London. Organised by meeting professionals for meeting professionals it is focused around a large exhibition, networking opportunities and professional education.

Hosted buyers can apply to be part of The Meetings Show via www.themeetingsshow.com

The Clubhouse Suite, set to open in March 2016 will add a touch of iconic design to the East Midlands venue and indeed the City itself.  It will offer clients an additional dimension to their meeting needs.

The Clubhouse Suite, forms part of an £8million investment in the redevelopment of the west side of the Leicester stadium. With seating for 180 delegates, fantastic pitch views, a generous terrace overlooking the pitch and exceptional service.

Check out the virtual tour here; http://www.leicestertigers.com/club/stadium/stand-redevelopment/virtual-reality-tour.php

Already, the largest conference venue in the East Midlands, delegates will now be able to enjoy the new facilities adding to the huge existing space and flexibility, award winning catering,  36 separate meeting suites and the capacity for 1,000 delegates, as well as easy access from anywhere in the UK, and complementary car parking for up to 200 cars.

Book your meeting on our fantastic special offer in the brand new Clubhouse now - Call us on 0116 2171280

Visitor registration for The Meetings Show has opened at www.themeetingsshow.com

Building on the success of the last three years, visitors to the show will benefit from an entirely new experience when they arrive at The Meetings Show’s new home - Olympia Grand from 14-16 June.

With a growing exhibitor list, 30% bigger year on year than 2015, visitors will be able to meet more than 600 exhibiting companies, many of which are using The Meetings Show as their exclusive face to face marketing activity in the UK.  Exhibitors making up the UK’s largest gathering of meetings industry professionals include major domestic and international destinations, venues, hotel groups, DMCs, trade associations and suppliers.

Once again the education programme will address issues faced by agencies, corporates, associations, PCOs, AMCs, PAs and key sectors such as healthcare and technology.  In addition to the dedicated Association Meetings Conference on 13 June, education across the three days of the show will include keynote sessions, seminars, destination showcases and Meet the Expert round tables.

Exhibitor highlights include Dubai Convention & Events Bureau, Croatia National Tourist Board, London & Partners, VisitScotland, Hilton Worldwide, Kempinski Hotels, Hyatt Hotels and hotel republic. 

The Meetings Show’s Event Director Steve Knight says: “Our show is the perfect place for meetings professionals to gather, network, learn and conduct business.  We have the widest range of meeting industry focused exhibitors, including many that simply cannot be seen elsewhere in the UK.  For buyers looking to meet both domestic and international exhibitors it is by far the most effective way to establish contacts and develop new business.”

Applications for The Meetings Show’s hosted buyer programme opened in January and are available to those buyers looking for a host of flexible benefits to enhance their on-site experience.  A semi-hosted option is also available for London and South East buyers looking to minimise time out of the office.

Organised by Centaur Live (a division of Centaur Media Plc), The Meetings Show is the premier event for the UK inbound and outbound meetings industry, taking place 14-16 June, 2016 at Olympia, London. Organised by meeting professionals for meeting professionals it is focused around a large exhibition, networking opportunities and professional education.

 

2016 is an incredibly exciting year for the Alton Towers Resort with a breadth of new products announced in conjunction with its conference and events offering.

A twist on corporate dining with the UK’s first Rollercoaster Restaurant

The new Rollercoaster Restaurant will bring a new meaning to ‘fast food’.  Set beneath a vast rollercoaster track, the new restaurant will allow diners to watch their food tackle two gravity defying loop-the-loops before dropping 26ft - the equivalent of two double decker buses - down a tornado spiral track to their table.  Whether it’s breaking the ice at a teambuilding dinner or adding something extra to a corporate away day, the new restaurant will most certainly put a twist on any corporate event. The restaurant will be available to hire exclusively for between 50 and 150 dining delegates from mid-June 2016.

The world’s first Rollercoaster fully dedicated to Virtual Reality

Using cutting edge technology, the new ride will offer each delegate a personal virtual reality experience, launching riders into a different world, complete with virtual space suits, stunning visuals and an exciting space adventure. The visuals have been perfectly synchronised to the thrilling twists, turns and loops of the rollercoaster to recreate the sensation of hurtling through space.

The sensational attraction will be available for exclusive corporate hire from May 2016, either on its own or as part of the new ‘Ride before you Dine’ package which will include exclusive hire of the new attraction, before dining at the new Rollercoaster Restaurant.

Enchanted Village Lodges now available for Corporate Hire

Alton Towers Resort is expanding its corporate offering by introducing 120 woodland lodges and 5 luxury treehouses to their portfolio of corporate accommodation, with the added option to exclusively hire the entire village, accommodating up to 520 delegates.  The village is now available for conferences, events, incentives and team building, and can be exclusively hired when booking over 100 single occupancy woodland lodges.

Ellie Jones, Business Development Manager, Alton Towers Resort said, ‘Here at Alton Towers Resort we strive to put a twist on things, to take something normal, and make it unique and exciting.  We are delighted to be able to offer companies holding a corporate event at the Resort a truly memorable time which cannot be found anywhere else.”

For more information visit www2.altontowers.com/conferences-and-events  

Call 01538 704030 or email events@alton-towers.com

 

HBAA, the events and hospitality association, has appointed Membership Support Services (MSS), a newly-formed subsidiary company of the Meetings Industry Association (MIA), to manage its administrative and back office functions, in a three-year contract that begins with immediate effect.

The HBAA Board of Directors and MSS have worked together to agree the contract, which will see MSS manage the day-to-day operation of the HBAA account, including membership services, finance and bookkeeping, plus provision of marketing support. It’s a new phase in the relationship between the HBAA and the MIA, building on a historically collaborative approach.

Jane Longhurst, chief executive of the MIA, said: “The MIA board and I are pleased to announce the launch of subsidiary company MSS and our first contract, the HBAA. It’s a pivotal step forward in the MIA’s plans for investing in the growth and development of the MIA and its nationally recognised quality standard for accredited venues and service providers in the meetings, conferences and events industry, AIM.”
Speaking of the deal, Juliet Price, consultant executive director of the HBAA, said: “Both HBAA and MSS are excited about working together to continue raising the level of professionalism of HBAA. We are jointly committed to delivering high standards of customer service, greater benefits to HBAA members and ongoing cost savings.”

The HBAA’s membership encompasses agencies and venues that specialise in the procurement and supply of accommodation, meetings and event facilities and services, both in the UK and internationally, on behalf of corporate clients.

Since 1997 the HBAA has been supporting businesses and individuals to develop professional standards with a united voice and, underpinned by its industry-recognised Code of Practice, the association sets the standard for the events and hospitality sector.

PREM Group, one of Europe’s leading hotel management companies, is giving its growing serviced apartment collection a brand refresh with the launch of two sub-brands, PREMIER SUITES and PREMIER SUITES PLUS.  It is also expanding its collection to Scotland for the first time with the opening of PREMIER SUITES PLUS Glasgow, which brings its total number of suites  to 600 across 13 locations. Further developments are planned for the UK, as well as Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen and Rotterdam over the next 18 months.

With locations in seven cities across the UK  as well as Brussels and Dublin, PREMIER SUITES offer extended stay guests a spacious alternative to a traditional hotel room.  Guests of PREMIER SUITES PLUS properties, meanwhile, will enjoy all the features of PREMIER SUITES together with additional services and facilities including a concierge service and complimentary high speed Wi-Fi, all within a stylish and luxurious setting. There are four PREMIER SUITES PLUS properties currently – at Bristol Cabot Circus and Glasgow as well as two locations in Dublin.

Introducing the new brand, Jim Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, PREM Group said: “The growing popularity of the serviced apartment / apart-hotel sector in the UK shows that business travellers are opting in increasing numbers for a more flexible alternative to traditional hotel accommodation.  PREMIER SUITES and PREMIER SUITES PLUS offer a “home away from home” experience to extended stay and independent-minded business and leisure guests with a choice of accommodation offerings and facilities in popular locations.”

 PREM Group is launching its new brand and expanding its collection as the serviced apartment / apart-hotel sector is tipped to become the fastest growing segment of the UK hospitality market. Currently the sector accounts for just over 3% of the total hospitality accommodation supply in the UK. It is expected to grow by an average of 8.4% annually to 2017 with Scotland and the Midlands identified as growth ‘hot spots’.¹

Jim Murphy adds: “We are aiming to have 20 properties under the PREMIER SUITES brand by the end of 2017 and are looking at a pipeline of locations in major cities across Europe, including Belgium and the Netherlands.”

To celebrate the launch, PREM Group is offering a special discount of 10% on booking rates to guests who book with PREMIER SUITES or PREMIER SUITES PLUS before 30th March 2016 as well as a complimentary bottle of Prosecco on arrival³. Guests wishing to avail of the offer can simply enter SAVE10 in the promo code box when making their booking.

PREM Group’s current accommodation portfolio spans Ireland, Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands and the UK, with more than 3,500 guest rooms and 1,500 employees. It owns, manages or leases 43 hotels and serviced apartments including city-centre budget hotels, 4 star business hotels and luxurious resort properties.   The highly diversified company also includes Trinity Hospitality Services, a provider of bespoke centralised purchasing, sales, marketing, IT services to over 500 hotel clients across Europe. 

 

¹ PREMIER SUITES replaces the Premier Apartments brand

² Savills World Research 2015

³ This offer is subject to availability and terms and conditions apply. Full details are available on www.premiersuites.eu

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