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Absolute Corporate Events is proud to report a target-busting increase in turnover and gross profit for 2016, with more growth expected for 2017.

Turnover has almost doubled from 2015 to 2016; to £6.3m, with gross profit increasing by more than 25% to £795k.

2017 is forecast to increase turnover by a further 10% and gross profit by 35%. Largest growth has been seen in event production and international incentives, where ACE offers a unique, personalised and creative service, under the watchful eye of MD and Exec Producer, Chris Parnham Largest sector growth has been seen in financial services, and most destination growth has been seen in Asia and South America, both for conference and incentive business.

2016 and 2017 have seen significant investment in people and systems, with four more new starters on-boarded this summer.

Jamie Hunter comes fresh from venue group sales as a new Business Development Manager for ACE, working for Sales Director, Jacquie Freer.

Georgina Williams joins as a new Venues Executive, coming from Ashfield World Events, and James Jackson joins as a new Production Assistant, bolstering ACE’s production service which includes inhouse design, video and content development.

Sarah Gibbs joins as a new Finance Executive, supporting ACE Financial Controller Charlotte Rowatt.

Chris Parnham, owner of ACE since 2013 said; “It’s absolutely terrific to see on-target growth for another year. The company now has 10 times the turnover it had when I took over 4 years ago, and more importantly we are lucky to have 10 times the experience and talent in a terrific team, now 20- strong. I believe we are crafting out a niche of tailored, focused and creative events that drive tangible change for their audiences. An event is a moment in time, after which something should change. If nothing changes, then it’s not an event, it’s just a gathering. The ACE teams deliver real events; events that change people.”

ACE is holding its annual Partner Awards event this Thursday, which is an intimate gathering at Chris’ home, to thank the company’s most loyal and productive supply partnerships.


Rockliffe Hall has appointed one of the best-known front-of-house names in the hospitality industry as its new Old Hall Food and Beverage Manager, where he’ll oversee the running of the five red star resort’s flagship restaurant, The Orangery, headed up by Executive Chef, Richard Allen.

Jatin Parmar, 37, has worked in the food and beverage industry for 13 years, at some of the country’s top restaurants. He was Manager at the two star Michelin Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham before joining Rockliffe Hall. Prior to that he was Restaurant Manager for three years at L’Enclume in Cartmel, Cumbria which also has two Michelin stars and was named Best Restaurant in Britain in The Good Food Guide, four years in a row.

Originally from Mumbai, India, Jatin studied at the Institute of Hotel Management in his home city and completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Management at the IHMES International Hotel School in the Isle of Man in 2003.

Jatin’s career has taken him all over the world from Australasia to East Asia, the UAE and Europe. He’s looked after royalty, Prime Ministers and celebrities. At his previous places of work he’s been instrumental in winning top accolades such as number three on the Sunday Times Best British Restaurant list and most recently Best Front of House in the Good Food Guide 2017, at Restaurant Sat Bains.

On his new appointment, Jatin says: “I’m absolutely delighted to be joining the team at Rockliffe Hall. After working in standalone restaurants for a while I could always see myself back in the hotel sector and where better than Rockliffe? The resort has an amazing setting and is on track to become one of the ultimate gastronomic destinations in the UK. I’m thrilled to be given the opportunity to be part of that.”

Eamonn Elliott, Chief Executive at Rockliffe Hall, says: “Jatin’s reputation within the industry precedes him. He has worked at some of the UK’s top restaurants and brings with him a wealth of first class experience. The Orangery is going from strength to strength and we are very pleased to welcome Jatin to the Rockliffe Hall team.”

To book contact Rockliffe Hall on 01325 729999 or visit

Following an incredibly successful first half of the 2017/18 financial year and with predictions for a record year in terms of bookings and delegate numbers, Center Parcs has restructured its Corporate Events Team to meet the increasing level of demand from new and existing corporate bookers.

With bookings currently 25% ahead of this time last year and the number of delegates attending events across the Center Parcs locations also up, the team has been reorganised to ensure it remains in the best position to effectively respond to the growing number of client enquiries and confirmed bookings, as well as evolving to support industry trends.

As part of the restructure, Dan Elliott (previously National Account Manager) has taken on the role of National Sales Manager reporting into the recently appointed Commercial Manager Liz Pilling. The newly-formed team also includes Nichola Jacklin who is now Agency Sales Manager, while Stuart Bonser and Hermione Gingell who were both previously Business Development Managers are now Regional Sales Managers for the North and South respectively.

The new Regional Sales Manager roles were introduced as a result of the increasing number of new and repeat clients who were enquiring for multiple locations. These newly-introduced roles will improve the customer’s journey as they will now have access to one contact, ensuring a more efficient enquiry process.

Two new Sales Office Assistant positions have also been introduced to help improve response times to clients.

Liz Pilling, Corporate Events Commercial Manager, says: “Center Parcs has built its success on its ability to understand and react to changing market trends, prioritising continual innovation and evolution across both the leisure and corporate events side of the business. Following the incredibly successful first six months of our 2017/18 financial year, we recognised a need to streamline the Corporate Events team to ensure we continue to provide a seamless customer experience.

“The restructure will significantly benefit new and existing clients as the team will be able to respond to the ever increasing number of enquiries in a timelier manner, while our National Sales Manager, Agency Sales Manager and Regional Sales Managers will be able to offer a more efficient, personalised service to clients.”

Central London conference and events venue, BMA House has been awarded a Gold Rating in the Green Tourism Business Scheme, the highest standard of sustainability.

Sarah Franczak, Head of Events at BMA House, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have achieved a Gold Rating in the Green Tourism Business Scheme. Here at BMA House, green is at the heart of everything we do.

“In the past year alone we have organised a variety of internal events to encourage everyone to be more green, and increased our efforts to reduce paper usage in our events. Sustainability and safe guarding the environment will continue to be a strong focus for us in 2018 and beyond.”

Stuart Park, Lead Assessor at Green Tourism said: “BMA House is a very deserving recipient of the Green Tourism Gold award.  A huge part of the award is down to the effort of the Green Team, helping to raise awareness while reducing energy, water and waste from a challenging, older building. 

“A Healthy Meeting package is offered to delegates which is a nice touch, linking in perfectly with the rich history of the organisation and of the building, but also looking forward, in giving delegates more sustainable and healthier meeting choices for the busy, working life.”

The Gold Green Tourism rating means that BMA House has achieved the highest standard of sustainability with a strong, inspirational environmental ethos and excellent practices throughout their business.

BMA House is effective in using the latest technologies, having efficient control of resources, working with local suppliers to source all ethical, fresh produce and bringing significant benefits to the business, community and supply chain.

Green Tourism is a not-for-profit organisation who are partners to over 2000 eco-friendly accommodation providers and attractions in the UK and abroad. Green Tourism’s mission is to be the natural leader in green trading by encouraging and enabling people to make sustainable choices that reduce their impact on the planet.

BMA House is a Grade II listed venue located in Bloomsbury offering a range of 29 spaces for up to 320 guests, for everything from top of the range video conferencing board rooms to Christmas parties. This includes two magnificent outdoor areas - the Courtyard and the Garden, all within easy walking distance of both Euston and Kings Cross stations.

For more information visit

More than 150 new buyers from corporates, agencies and associations gathered for an evening of entertainment and hospitality on the stage of the world-famous Barbican Hall last night.

The exclusive event started at the artists entrance with a red-carpet welcome before guests descended into backstage areas for drinks and canapés provided by the venue’s catering partner Searcys. Later on everyone was welcomed into the Barbican Hall where the best seats in the house provided unrivalled views of entertainment from the likes of renowned cellist Jay Jenkinson, Ember (courtesy of Sternberg Clarke) and Drum Works – a Barbican Artistic Associate who use drumming to inspire people creatively, give them confidence in their ideas and empower them to direct their own futures.. 

“Tonight was the perfect opportunity to celebrate everything the Barbican has to offer whilst highlighting the links between business events, arts and creative learning,” comments Oliver Hargreaves, head of sales at the Barbican.  “In particular, we were delighted to take our guests backstage to see a totally new view of the Barbican.  It really was a one-off opportunity to experience one of the City of London’s most impressive venues from a different perspective.”

Attendees commented:

"This space is fantastic, I have already recommended it to someone looking for a space capable of holding an event for 1,500. It is versatile and so well located in the heart of London.  I easily walked here from my earlier meetings and took the time to relax in the public spaces, benefit from the free WiFi and enjoy a drink in the Martini Bar."  Laura Hatton, Hats Off Events

"Tonight's showcase has been amazing, the food and drink have been fantastic, it is my first time seeing the venue from this perspective. The entertainment and talent have been great but most important is the high quality of service, which is the reason we are a returning customer."  Jason Melissos, Global PR and Events Manager Dr. Martens

"It is my first time here in the Barbican Hall and I love it. The whole venue has such a cross section of spaces that work superbly together for a host of events. Most importantly though the links to the arts make the Barbican a hub of creativity and an inspiring place to host any event." Amanda Head from Melon:

"Whilst I have been coming to the Barbican for years as an arts lover this is my first time truly seeing the venue as a conference professional.   It is a superb and creative space where you cannot be anything other than impressed.  Most importantly though was the attentiveness of the staff. They actively sought the attendees out, took the time to understand our needs and showed genuine interest in us as individuals rather than a room full of potential clients." Isabelle Ferner from The Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in GB & Ireland.

arrangeMY has successfully appointed Laura Dudley as National Account Manager, taking care of the expanding client portfolio.

Laura joins arrangeMY from Genting UK where she was the Business Development Manager at Resorts World Birmingham, located at the NEC.

With a considerable wealth of hotel and agency industry experience, Laura is delighted to be joining the established arrangeMY team and looks forward to bringing her knowledge to further enrich the high service levels already given to arrangeMY clients.

As well as building key relationships, Laura will be focused on negotiating the most competitive rates for business travel, ensuring savings are passed on to key clients.

Nick Scott, arrangeMY Managing Director commented: “We are thrilled to have Laura on board and we know that her personality and skill set will be a huge asset to the company, allowing the arrangeMY brand to further build on our success to date.”

Laura added: “My main objectives at arrangeMY over the next few months will be to introduce myself to key clients and build relationships with the decision makers and stakeholders for each account. 

“Strong key account relationships are very important to us and I am looking forward to continuing the great work the team has already done, and looking for ways to further improve the quality service we are able to provide.”

arrangeMY has been trading since 1990 and has grown to be one of the most respected independent business travel agents in the UK. The company, which employs in excess of 60 members of staff at its head office in Worcester, offers a range of services including Travel, Accommodation, Venue Finding and Event Management. 

PR and digital marketing agency Roland Dransfield has been appointed by Crowne Plaza and Staybridge Suites - Manchester Oxford Road, to market Manchester’s first dual-branded hotel.

The Manchester-based agency was selected following a competitive pitch process to support the launch of the 19-storey building, which is located on Corridor Manchester.

Containing 328-rooms, the dual-branded Crowne Plaza and Staybridge Suites - known as a ‘double pack’ concept - will be unveiled to the public in early 2018.

Both brands are part of the IHG portfolio.

Roland Dransfield’s associate director Caroline Aspinall said: “Manchester is following in the footsteps of great cities across the globe that have incorporated dual-branded hotels in their offer.

“Roland Dransfield is delighted to be involved in telling that unique story and in bringing a ‘first’ to Manchester.

“At the same time, we are thrilled to have secured such a high profile and coveted client when competition for the account was so high.

“Our campaign ideas really resonated with the client and clearly supported their objectives for a successful launch.”

The dual-branded hotel forms part of the University of Manchester’s Campus Masterplan, which includes the wider redevelopment of Alliance Manchester Business School. It will also adjoin its new two-storey Executive Education Centre, which will provide a new home for the business school’s corporate leadership and management programmes.

Both Crowne Plaza and Staybridge Suites sit within Corridor Manchester, which is home to 70,000 students and boasts a workforce of 60,000 people – with 14,000 new jobs planned.

Andrew Fletcher is General Manager. He said: “We really are thrilled to be working with Roland Dransfield to bring our dual-branded hotel concept to Manchester.

“There was an instant connection with the Roland Dransfield team. They demonstrated their expertise and that each of them have different skills and experience to bring to the account.

“They had researched well, responded properly to the brief and showed they fully understood our need to build links with the Manchester community and what is known as Corridor Manchester.

“Their pitch was highly engaging and focussed on deliverables – rather than proving who else they had worked with.

“They were definitely best in class and we are delighted to have them onboard.”

The appointment comes as Roland Dransfield marks its 21st birthday by launching a consumer division to service a growing number of consumer-facing accounts.

The division, led by Adam Moss, also manages accounts for Sale Sharks, Boodles Tennis, Playon Pro, The Offside Trust and The Range.

Adam Moss joined Roland Dransfield as head of consumer in July from Brazen, where he spent nine years as director of news and creative content.

Caroline added: “We’ve always has a great reputation for our B2B and are already carving out an enviable reputation for our B2C work too.

“Our aim is to be as successful with our consumer offering as the agency has been over the last 21 years with its B2B offering so we can ensure there isn’t a brief that we cannot respond to.”

Macdonald Windsor Hotel has unveiled its new meetings and events spaces following a £27,000 digital up-grade.

A total of seven meeting and event rooms underwent refurbishment as part of the project which was focused on installing innovative technology.

All meeting spaces, which can cater for between two and 120 people, now have access to state of the art Barco ClickShare devices which allow delegates to connect their phones, tablets and laptops to a presentation screen wirelessly at the click of a button. In addition to encouraging greater collaboration in meetings, as all delegates can participate more actively, the system increases meeting efficiency as less time is needed during the initial set up.  

Following the upgrade, delegates will also have their own private conference Wi-Fi line ensuring meetings will not be slowed down during times of high internet usage throughout the rest of the hotel. Macdonald Windsor Hotel has also fitted large 75-inch LCD screens in three of the main meeting rooms.

Located in the heart of the historic town, just 20 minutes from Heathrow Airport, the four-star hotel is a popular choice with business travellers. It has a total of six meeting rooms as well as a larger event space which can be used for corporate functions and conferences. 

Philip Lewis, general manager at Macdonald Windsor Hotel said; “Our digital makeover is intended to make meetings more efficient and engaging for our guests. By fitting the latest technology, we are ensuring delegates have access to the facilities which matter most in a modern meeting environment, including free fast Wi-Fi and top of the range audio-visual equipment.

“The ClickShare technology is simple to use and for those who are unfamiliar with the devices, our fully trained events team are on hand to assist.

“These improvements are just the first step in a wider strategy to drive our corporate offerings forward as we look to become one the leading meetings and events venue on the outskirts of London.”

For more information on the conference and events facilities at Macdonald Windsor Hotel visit



Organisers of World Afro Day will be attempting to reach a new world record at Church House Westminster later this month in what is set to be the RecordSetter “Largest Hair Education Lesson” involving hundreds of children. This inaugural event is taking place on Friday 15th September and was recently endorsed by the United Nations and is set to be an activity filled day that challenges the perceptions of afro hair and celebrates its beauty.

The World Afro Day team will be teaching the expected 500 children attendees about afro hair through the themes of science and self-esteem. Alongside the World Record Lesson, there will be musical performances, exhibitors and Q&A sessions.

The event has gained international support and will be attended by academics including Berkley Professor Angela Onwuachi-Willig, internationally acclaimed celebrity hair stylist, Vernon Francois and the 2016 winner Miss USA, Deshauna Barber.

Founder Michelle De Leon comments: “Our goal is to encourage people, particularly the younger generation, to understand the uniqueness of afro hair and help the world to appreciate the difference as a positive characteristic. We’ll be bringing together children from all backgrounds for our inaugural World Afro Day in an environment, where they can appreciate the wonder of hair. It is a very exciting event and it is generating interest from all over the world. We chose to host World Afro Day at Church House because of its association with prestige, power and history and it will give those attending a sense of occasion and value in who they are. Our hope is that they will go away feeling empowered by the knowledge they have gained during the day.”

Robin Parker, General Manager at Church House Westminster, commented: “We are delighted to be working with the organisers of World Afro Day on their first event. Not only will those attending be able to participate in what is expected to be a record breaking day, but through our state-of-the-art audio visual facilities we will be live streaming it around the world so a global audience can share in this momentous occasion.”

Tickets for the event are available to purchase on the World Afro Day official website-

Church House Westminster is one of London’s most versatile event venues. The AIM Gold accredited venue offers 19 flexible event spaces, which accommodate between 2 and 664 guests, and hosts a wide variety of events including meetings, conferences, awards ceremonies, gala dinners and receptions. For more information call 020 7390 1590 or visit


Lime Venue Portfolio is offering event organisers ‘smarter’ virtual tours within its portfolio of unique and unusual venues. The tours make it easier for bookers to ‘see inside’ the portfolio’s unique venues and understand and identify suitable spaces for their events.

Lime Venue Portfolio has partnered with Matterport Service Provider, Venue View, to create detailed 3D virtual views of a number of the portfolio’s unique spaces, including Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Churchill War Rooms and HMS Belfast.

Commenting on why the portfolio is investing in virtual tours Richard Kadri-Langford, Head of Marketing, Lime Venue Portfolio said: “This is a really useful tool for time poor event organisers, who want to understand and book our venues. We know these people are under increasing pressure to maximise their own time and budgets and believe this technology can help ease much of this burden.

He continued: “This platform provides an improved experience for bookers, as via the tours, organisers can use a 3D ‘Dolls House’ view of a venue to better appreciate how rooms connect to others, as well as get a feel for the access areas such as corridors, communal or plenary rooms and how the space could look.”

The technology also includes smart information tags which bring features to life within the venue, from downloadable menus, details about the AV options and embedded photographs and images of different room set-ups or previous events. Customers can even make enquiries directly within the tours.

Ellis Salsby, Managing Director of a leading event management and booking agency commented: “I think the tours are great. We will generally enquire with a venue before visiting as we are booking a lot of venues at any one time. These tours would therefore prove really useful to identify suitability, feel and layout of the venue before shortlisting suitable options to the client.”

Paul Ewing, Operations Manager, Calder Conferences & World of Travel also commented: “We love the new tours and found them very easy to manoeuvre around. Not only can our teams, who had not seen some of the venues, get a good idea of what they are like, we can also use them with our clients to give them a better idea of the character, flow and layout of a venue.”

Kadri-Langford concludes: “As tours become more ubiquitous, I believe they will dramatically change the way organisers discover and book venues to such an extent that they become a pre-requisite at enquiry stage.”


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