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Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) has recently welcomed visitors from across the globe as part of the venue’s objective to actively showcase the city of Aberdeen as an events destination.  This weekend AECC, along with VisitAberdeenshire, hosted the group, giving a unique taste of some of the gems found in the region.

AECC are active in promoting Aberdeen, encouraging event organisers to consider Aberdeen as the destination of choice for their next event.  As part of an on-going series of familiarisation trips, AECC have welcomed two groups to the city over the past three weeks, bringing visitors from both the UK and Europe to the city to enjoy a whistle-stop tour of key venues and activities for possible inclusion in event programmes when holding a conference in Aberdeen. 

With a guest list including visitors from France, Holland, Sweden and Ireland the latest trip saw the team visiting venues across the region including The Chester Hotel, the Beach Ballroom, Meldrum House Hotel and Crathes Castle.  Visitors were taken on a dolphin adventure cruise in the North Sea, as well as visiting The Silver Darling Restaurant to sample some of the very best local seafood the region is famed for.  No visit to Scotland is complete without a competition; in the form of a mini highland games, which boasted activities such as haggis hurling and tossing of the caber!

AECC’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Louise Lonie commented: “Familiarisation trips are incredibly important to AECC and play a large role in the sales and marketing strategy.  By allowing our teams to share their passion for the region with our clients and prospective clients, thus giving the benefit of seeing the city from a local perspective; uncovering all the hidden treasures of Aberdeen, as well as giving an insight into the teamwork that is so prevalent here in Aberdeen.”

It’s their biggest event of the year, and Leicester Racecourse certainly didn’t disappoint at Ladies Day 2016, exceeding all expectations, with record breaking results, which have just been released.

Last year saw nearly 9,000 in attendance, and this year, the bar was raised even higher. 11,055 race-goers swarmed through the gates, with a staggering 10,000 in by midday. This is the biggest crowd the Racecourse has seen for more than 60 years.

It comes as no surprise that drinks were being sold in excess. 1,500 bottles of Prosecco, 1,000 jugs of Pimms, and 40,000 pints of lager were quaffed throughout the day, significantly more than ast year’s Ladies Day.

With astounding figures, the Racecourse are already busy planning next year’s event. So, put Saturday July 8th in your diaries for Ladies Day 2017. With lots of enquiries for next year, it’s already set to be a huge occasion. Tickets for next year will go on sale at the end of November.

General Manager at Leicester Racecourse, Rob Bracken, was thrilled by the outcome of the day. “Our expectations were set high, but we really couldn’t have asked for a better turn out. Everyone had a fantastic day and we always aim to make Ladies Day a spectacular experience for everyone involved, which is what we intend to do for 2017.”

In the two weeks running up the event, orders were exceeding 100 tickets per day. Hospitality sales went through the roof with 1,800 attendees reserving their spaces, causing an early sell-out by May.

To cater for these phenomenal figures, 14 local food vendors were on hand to serve exotic and traditional food, with local company Steamin’ Billy serving real ales, a cocktail bar and an octagonal champagne bar, reducing queuing times, and accommodating for all tastes.

With success booming from this year, Leicester Racecourse are already pulling out all the stops to prepare for another spectacular Ladies Day in 2017.


Ashfield Meetings & Events are running their annual supplier networking and education event - The Lab - on Thursday 11 August at Holywell Park, an Imago venue, in Loughborough.

The Lab, now in its fourth year, is an interactive event for UK staff dedicated to delivering continued professional development and building supplier partnerships. It is designed to complement the agency’s comprehensive learning and development programme that recently collected the gold award at the UK Employee Experience Awards.

This year the event will have over 250 attendees and will run all day, giving staff the opportunity to learn through a combination of sharing best practice, facilitated workshops, campfire sessions, external speakers and exhibit environments.

Luke Flett (Global Head of Marketing, Ashfield Meetings & Events) commented: “This year the theme is ‘Blueprint For Success’ and all the content and activities are underpinned by the company’s values. It will showcase the processes that exist within our organisation which ensure quality, service levels and creativity remain at the heart of everything we deliver. At the same time it will highlight the fact that each of our employees can shape their own opportunities for development and personalise their own blueprint for success. They will also be learning about new engagement technologies to gain ideas for future events and help them to best navigate the ever-changing event marketplace for their clients.”

Nicola Burns (Global Managing Director, Ashfield Meetings & Events) added: “The Lab has outgrown its usual home at the Ashfield headquarters in Ashby De La Zouch. The change of venue to Holywell Park means we have been able to add fresh elements to the event and invite over 40 suppliers and partners. The Lab acts as an opportunity for us to recognise the importance of these relationships, share insight and understanding, and develop more collaborative relationships and strategic partnerships. With the additional space available we have also invited some of our colleagues from our US and Asia hub offices to share best practice techniques and internal expertise. In addition, colleagues from Ashfield Healthcare Communications and Ashfield Insight & Performance will also be attending as we continue to connect our excellence across our Science Of Meetings approach, benefitting our healthcare clients.”

The day will culminate in a team-building activity followed by food, drinks and entertainment.


As part of its wider investment strategy, The Barbican is spending £644,000 refurbishing its Frobisher rooms and Level 4 of the centre as part of a £2.2m development taking place throughout the Centre this summer

The focus of the Frobisher refurbishment is designed to create an even stronger connection between the Centre’s main conference and meeting facilities and its arts spaces.

“We want to make the facilities on Level 4, including the Frobisher rooms, feel closer to the venue as a whole and strengthen the connection to the arts, for which the Barbican is world famous,” explained Lee Dobson, Head of Event Management at The Barbican.  “We undertook research which echoed our own desire to extend the Barbican’s ethos, brand, and design language into the wider building, including the Level 4 and Frobisher spaces. This will be reflected in this work, which highlights the importance of these spaces both for the Barbican, and as a desirable destination for city based clients.”

The Frobisher investment strategy includes:

·       Relocating the Frobisher reception desk

·       Introduction of art and performance related décor into to Level 4 public areas

·       Developing key spaces such as Auditorium 1 Foyer into a lounge space

·       The creation of a central hub area in the middle of the Crescent that can be flexible depending on the type and style of events being held in the vicinity.

·       Replacing conference and lounge furniture

·       General refurbishment of the Frobisher Rooms, including décor, flooring and AV upgrades

·       Replacing the house and production lighting in Auditorium 1 & 2

Lee continued: “By redefining the spaces, we will continue to deliver a location that is fit for purpose and capable of hosting the meetings of today.  These spaces, which are flexible for both formal and informal use, will cater for a wider audience whilst offering an inspiring event space in the heart of the City that will bring art and business together as one.”

The Frobisher Rooms refurbishment is set to be completed in early September 2016.

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

Ashfield Meetings & Events have been appointed by LEO Pharma A/S to provide an exhibition booth at the 25th European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology congress (EADV). The congress will take place from the 28 September to the 2 October 2016 in Vienna, Austria.

LEO Pharma are specialists in dermatology and thromboembolic medicine treating skin and blood clotting conditions in over 100 markets globally. The Danish based leading pharmaceutical company has not exhibited at EADV for four years. The strategic decision to exhibit at EADV follows recent high profile acquisitions, existing product and treatment updates and the need to communicate new biologic treatments to leading dermatology physicians.

Ashfield Meetings & Events will be designing, building and project managing a 63sqm booth for the congress. The exhibit space will be transformed into an immersive learning environment using a number of innovative engagements designed to have multi-channel capabilities to extend beyond the life cycle of the exhibit.

Gerry Montgomery, Business Director at Ashfield Meetings & Events commented on the appointment: “Following a competitive pitch we are delighted to collaborate with LEO Pharma at EADV. It is a new client for our exhibits team and we proposed some ingenuous concepts utilising the latest technologies. We are confident the environment will truly represent the brand and products and facilitate meaningful conversations. We hope to build a strong and lasting relationship with LEO Pharma who have added to our already extensive client base in Denmark.”

Gritt Rasmussen, Global Patient Solutions Manager of Bio Dermatology at LEO Pharma, said: “Ashfield Meetings & Events demonstrated a deep understanding of our brand and values, their creative concepts and ideas work perfectly for the EADV congress in September and we cannot wait to see the designs come to life.”

Montgomery added: “This will be the twelfth year in row we have project managed exhibits for clients at EADV. In addition our logistical teams have long standing history of managing client and healthcare professional attendance at the congress and delivering client symposiums.”

Please click here for an update from the CSSC. 

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) has announced the appointment of Ben Dell as their new Market Gardener for the Edible Garden. This newly created, position is funded by Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events, the venue’s hospitality and catering partner.

Ben, who has worked at RBGE for close to ten years and helped set up the Edible Garden project, will oversee the development of its vegetable patches with the aim of creating a sustainable supply of home-grown produce for Sodexo’s chefs to use in the John Hope Gateway Restaurant, Terrace Café and the staff canteen.

Supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, The Edible Gardening Project is also an educational initiative holding regular ‘grow your own’ workshops to teach people the skills and knowledge they need to cultivate their own produce.

The south-facing plot, which is nearly an acre in size, is home to an array of herbs and vegetables from staples like, leeks and lettuce to horticulture showstoppers such as beetroot, Brussel sprouts and kale.

Assisted by three volunteers, Ben’s duties will include working closely with Sodexo head chef Ben Harrison to ensure a steady stream of fresh ingredients is available for use on seasonal menus across the Garden’s food offering.

Paul Mitchell, Catering Services Director, Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events, said: “We’re delighted to support the Edible Garden and champion sustainably grown produce. People today care more than ever about the origins of their food with access to fresh, seasonal produce front of mind for many foodies and consumers.

“The added benefit of the project is that it allows us to integrate more closely with the Garden and ensure that dishes our head chef, Ben Harrison develops, complement the Edible Garden programme to deliver fresh, seasonal produce to visitors and staff all year round.”

Jenny Foulkes, Edible Garden Project Manager, RBGE said: “Sodexo’s commitment and belief in the project has allowed us to deliver the next stage of the initiative. Ben brings a wealth of horticultural knowledge and experience to this role and with his help, we will be able to boost production and offer visitors the chance to enjoy fresh, organic seasonal food grown from just a few hundred yards away.”

To find out about events happening in the Edible Garden, please visit

The Museum of Science & Industry joined forces with catering partners Levy Restaurants UK, to host a food sustainability event as part of Manchester’s European City of Science programme. The event brought together individuals and policy makers concerned with the sustainable food agenda across Greater Manchester.

Representatives at the event included key public, private and third sector organisations with the focus on promoting healthy, sustainable food, and building knowledge and skills within the community.

The Museum of Science & Industry, a Lime Venue Portfolio member, is based in the city of Manchester, and has worked collaboratively with the European City of Science Programme organisers to support the wider objectives of the event by creating a menu that celebrates the region’s food. Delegates at the event dined on local favourites from Mini Bury Black Pudding Sausage Rolls, Lancashire Cheese Scones with Homemade Chutney, Fleetwood Haddock and Leak Croquette, and Mini Manchester tart.

“The event is part of a wider celebration of Manchester and surrounding region so we wanted the food and drink on offer to play its part,” commented Michelle Jackson, General Manager, Museum of Science & Industry. “As a city we’re delighted to be the European City of Science and it’s a great privilege to host one of the key events in the programme.”

“This is a really important event and one we we’re delighted to host. People who come to our venues care that the food they eat reflects the community nature of the attraction they are in,” continued Michelle. “We host over thousands of events every year, and for each of them we design menus that celebrate local produce and reflect the character of the venue. Food is a big part of an event, it’s a talking point and it spurs conversation. We hope that it played this role in the European City of Science event.”


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