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Aubrey Park Hotel, the 4 star and rosette-awarded independent hotel has opened the doors to ‘The Oak Suite’ their brand new conference and events venue.

Tara Brady, Sales Manager at Aubrey Park Hotel is happy to see the new venue complete, as she explains, ‘We’re so excited to be opening ‘The Oak Suite’, which can host up to 200 delegates, this is a great development for our hotel. Its multi-purpose design is flexible enough to host all manner of events such as seminars, large business meetings and staff training days to name just a few’, Tara Brady continues, ‘…it contains state of the art facilities that rival any venue out there!’

The range of facilities include a built-in PA system, wireless LCD projector, skyline views, feature lighting, 3m built-in screen, private bar plus loads more features. ‘The Oak Suite’ also features a brand new, fully landscaped outdoor terrace for a spot of alfresco dining and plenty of seating: perfect for those warmer seasons. The design of the new venue has drawn on the history of the hotel’s original architecture dating back over 150 years, when the house was owned by the Dunn family: founders of the renowned hat-makers.

As they say ‘out with the old, and in with the new’ Aubrey Park Hotel have said goodbye to their beloved marquee that has been the location for 100s of weddings, parties and events for 13 years. As David Timmis, the Managing Director explains that ‘…The marquee holds memories for so many people within the local and wider community and it is very sad to see it leave us after being with us all these years: yet we’re thrilled to see the positive impact ‘The Oak Suite’ has made on the hotel already.’

The new development will enhance the hotel’s facilities and complement the hotel’s existing 137 bedrooms, Brasserie restaurant and Bar & Lounge as well as its existing meeting rooms. These include the recently refurbished ‘Garden Room’ with its own external terrace which has long been a popular facility.

‘The Oak Suite’ will increase the hotel’s ability to serve its local community with better facilities for weddings and other celebrations. It also offers improved employment prospects for local residents and trading prospects for local suppliers of goods and services.

As well as preserving and securing the beautiful Grade II listed original building, Aubrey Park will open up the once hidden Iron Age Fort to the public, highlighting a historic monument and conserving Redbourn’s heritage.

‘We are very happy to see the project delivered on time ’, David Timmis continues, ‘…as the timescale was especially tight. We had two weddings and an important international conference in the first week of the new venue opening. I truly appreciate the continual hard work from all of my team, making sure that the opening of our new venue has been successful’.

Aubrey Park Hotel is holding an Open Day on Sunday 13th November from 11am to 4pm. Take a look at their new venue and existing venue spaces too. There will be music, food and plenty of festivities: Free entry for all.


The Dutch Ministry of Defence will hold the international Future Force Conference (FFC) at the World Forum in The Hague on 9 and 10 February 2017. The theme of this conference is ‘From partnerships to ecosystems: combining our efforts for a more secure world. The Dutch Ministry of Defence will at this conference enter into dialogue with partners from various sectors regarding  future challenges in the field of security and stability.

The Future Force Conference is an international and forward-looking conference aimed at realising closer collaboration with various partners. The FFC will focus on different ‘ecosystems’ that contribute to a safer world. This means that, in addition to the Ministry’s traditional partners, experts and organisations will be involved with whom it currently either does not work with or works with to a lesser degree.

The FFC is an investment in the future that will enable the Dutch Ministry of Defence to meet complex security challenges in the future in a timely fashion and in collaboration with a range of partners. The conference will furthermore provide it with insights that can be applied for the further development of the armed forces.

‘World Forum has in recent years specialised in conferences in the field of safety and security through, for example, the Nuclear Security Summit and the Global Conference on Cyberspace. We are consequently proud to be able to add another outstanding conference in this field to this list,’ says Kirsten Vosmer, Commercial Manager of World Forum.

For more information about this conference, please visit

Warwick Conferences, the collection of meeting venues based on the University of Warwick campus, has invested in a new, full serviced catering van, which will allow the team to deliver its award-winning food offering while travelling up and down the length and breadth of the country.

The catering van will allow Warwick Conferences to offer a completely new experience when visiting clients, attending an exhibition or providing a unique element to an event that is happening at Warwick Conferences itself. Offering an array of food selections, whether light and healthy, or wholesome with a twist of indulgence, the van will be a real flavour of the new approach to food now on offer as part of Warwick Conferences refreshed and improved experience.

Warwick Conferences recognise the importance of high-quality catering at an event and all food on offer across the venues is deigned to both satisfy and keep delegates alert. The award winning catering team use locally sourced ingredients with a clear provenance, supporting the best local producers. 

Rachael Bartlett, Head of Sales and Marketing at Warwick Conferences, says: “We are very excited to reveal our new catering van, which we have purchased to allow us to bring the Warwick Conferences experience to more people around the country. We place considerable importance on the quality of our food and our chefs are dedicated to providing the highest standard of catering, highlighting produce that is in season and showcasing its provenance. We have a number of plans in the pipeline surrounding the catering van and we cannot wait to get out on the road to share our fabulous food with everyone!”

Warwick Conferences focus on providing a high standard of catering was recently recognised when they were awarded the Bronze level accreditation with the Soil Association’s Food For Life Catering Mark in recognition of its commitment to ethical, sustainable and fresh food. The Soil Association has exacting standards which the venues’ lunch and dinner menus have met. 

British Transport Police officers are continuing to work at the scene of a major incident in Croydon.

Emergency services were called to a tram derailment near Sandilands tram stop at 6.13am on Wednesday 9 November.

At least seven people are now confirmed as having died as a result of the incident.

Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock said: “This is a tragic incident and our hearts and thoughts go out to all those affected.

“When officers arrived on scene shortly after 6am, they were met with a complex and challenging situation.

“Together with our partners from the other emergency services and with support from London resilience agencies, they have worked through the day and night, at the scene.

“After liaison with the Coroner, we can confirm that at least seven people have lost their lives as a result of this incident.

“Our officers continue to work tirelessly to formally identify them and provide care and support for their families.

“Identifying those who have died can be a complex and lengthy process and we want to ensure we get this right.

“We expect to be at the scene for at least the next 12 hours, continuing searches and carrying out forensic examinations in support of the investigation into the circumstances, and in order to provide a report for the Coroner.

“Today (Thursday 10 November), we are assessing how and when it is appropriate to recover the tram and remove it from the tracks.

“I want to thank everyone who assisted at the scene, and behind the scenes, in Croydon.

“In the coming days, we will continue to work alongside the Rail Accident Investigation Branch to establish the circumstances of how this happened.

“At this stage it is too early to speculate on a single factor being the cause of this incident.”

A 42-year-old man arrested in connection with the incident has been released on police bail.

For further updates on this incident, please visit our website or follow @BTP on Twitter.

Travel Advice

Please check TfL’s travel advice page for the most up-to-date information, including a road diversions map:

Follow TfL on Twitter @TfLTravelAlerts, @TramsLondon@TfLTrafficNews and @TfLBusAlerts

The Meetings Show has announced it is welcoming Lesley Williams, Head of Business Tourism, Edinburgh; Laurie Scott, Director of Business Development, Visit Belfast; Dana Lewis, Director of MICE & Leisure, Accor Hotels; and Heike Mahmoud, Director Conventions, visitBerlin to its Advisory Board for 2017.  

“Our Advisory Board exists to ensure we continue to deliver a show organised for meetings professionals, by meetings professionals,” comments Steve Knight, Event Director of The Meetings Show. “The board represents an eminent cross section of both the domestic and international meetings industry, each of whom brings highly informed insight to what is happening in the market place.  Most importantly they challenge, critique and ensure we are focused on the needs of the industry as a whole, throughout the planning and delivery of the event.”

Paul Kennedy MBE will continue in his role as Chairman of the Advisory Board, Executive Chairman and Strategic Advisor to The Meetings Show.

The board meet regularly to discuss the industry and its relation to The Meetings Show and is comprised of:

  •          Paul Kennedy MBE, Executive Chairman & Strategic Advisor to The Meetings Show and Director of Kennedy Integrated Solutions
  •          Patrick Delaney, Managing Partner, SoolNua
  •          Christian Mutschlechner, Director, Vienna Convention Bureau
  •          Alexandra Davies, Vice President, Relations & Event Manager, Barclays
  •          Louise Goalen, Vice Chair of The HBAA
  •          Carlotta Ferrari, President, Italia Convention Bureau and Director of the Firenze Convention Bureau
  •          Tracy Halliwell MBE, Director of Business Tourism & Major Events, London & Partners
  •          Linda Pereira, CEO, L&I Communications and Executive Director, CPL Meetings and Events
  •          Caroline Mackenzie, Director of Association Services, Zibrant
  •          Douglas O’Neill, Managing Director, Inntel
  •          Sally Greenhill, Managing Director, The Right Solution Limited
  •          Neil Brownlee, Head of Business Events, VisitScotland
  •          Juliet Price, Executive Director, HBAA
  •          Kerrin MacPhie, Director of Sales, ACC Liverpool
  •          Lesley Williams, Head of Business Tourism, Edinburgh
  •          Laurie Scott, Director of Business Development, Visit Belfast
  •          Heike Mahmoud, Director Conventions, visitBerlin
  •          Dana Lewis, Director of MICE and Leisure, Accor Hotels

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 13-15 June, 2017 at Olympia, London.  Organised by meeting professionals, for meeting professionals it is focused around a large exhibition, networking opportunities and professional education.

Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre’s (AECC’s) Northern Lights Tower will be glowing poppy red from the evening of Friday 11th November until Sunday 13th November to raise awareness of the Poppy Scotland Appeal.

The Poppy Scotland Appeal raises over £2 million each year and believes that the Armed Forces community in Scotland deserve special support in recognition of the sacrifices they made through their service. Poppy Scotland provides life-changing support to the Armed Forces community, reaching out to those who have served, still serving and their families, offering vital advice, assistance and funding.

Graeme Cumming, Interim Managing Director, Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, said: “AECC is a great supporter of Poppy Scotland and the life-changing support that they offer to the UK’s Armed Forces community. This will be the third year that will see the venue's Northern Lights Tower glow poppy red which we hope will encourage passers-by to show their support for this year’s powerful #Extramile campaign and that the reasoning and history behind such an iconic cause will be remembered.”

Lime Venue Portfolio has introduced virtual venue tours using Skype and Facetime. The new service allows event planners to gain an authentic closer ‘first look’ at the portfolio’s venues without the need to leave their offices.

The brand expects a rise in more qualified and informed second appointments as a result of the service as the Skype and FaceTime tours pave the way for a more personal show round ahead of any final booking.

“One of the biggest factors for event organisers searching for interesting venues is their lack of time to research and find them,” comments Jo Austin, Sales Director, Lime Venue Portfolio. “We recognise that people’s time is really precious and neither venues or planners like wasteful venue visits, so a digital show round means both parties can get a real look at new venues and establish easily and efficiently if it will meet their requirements.”

Early response to the tours has already proved positive with a number of customers, Jess Collis, Senior Consultant at Zibrant, commented, ‘Everyone found the Skype session really interactive and it was nice to see a venue taking a step into the future.”

“We’ve listened to event professionals and, based on their feedback, have introduced an on line ‘chat’ facility on our website, three-hour guaranteed turn around on RFPs and all enquiries, and now a more interactive digital venue tour,” continues Jo. “Our job is to make sure our customers make the best venue choice for their event by getting as much information as early as possible. On top of that we want them to enjoy working with Lime Venue Portfolio and our venues, because we make their lives that little bit easier.”

Lime Venue Portfolio has also introduced a handbook guide for in house venue managers that allow them to create the best experience possible for planners using Skype and FaceTime. “Just because it’s a digital experience, it doesn’t mean it should be amateur or unprofessional. We want to bring our venues’ unique characters to life and can do so incredibly well on these platforms.” concludes Jo.

Imago has completed the first phase of its refurbishment project at its specialist conference and exhibition venue – Holywell Park.

Holywell Park already offers a large exhibition area, nine versatile meeting rooms and a well-equipped lecture theatre which can seat up to 200 delegates. The venue also benefits from spacious break out areas, one of the fastest free Wi-Fi networks of any conference centre in the UK at 400mbps, state-of-the-art AV equipment and ample free parking.

The first stage of the project at the AIM Gold accredited venue concentrated on the first floor with improvements to all eight meeting rooms and breakout spaces. The second phase, which will concentrate on the ground floor exhibition spaces, is planned for 2017.

Keith Barber, Operations Manager at Holywell Park, comments: “Both phases of the refurbishment at Holywell Park have been designed to create the optimum working environment, whether it is a meeting, exhibition or networking event, and will ensure we continue to offer the highest standard facilities to our clients. Holywell Park offers space and flexibility and has been increasingly popular with event organisers looking for an exclusive hire venue.”

Emma Boynton, Head of Sales and Marketing at Imago, continued: “We are committed to investing in our facilities and this project means that Holywell Park will maintain its reputation as a first-class venue which is fit-for-purpose and means we can build on the growth it has experienced as a result of event organisers taking advantage of our exclusive use hire.”

Events regularly held at the Loughborough venue include gala dinners, product launches, small trade shows and conferences. The venue has the added benefit of allowing event organisers to take advantage of preferential rate accommodation at its sister venues Burleigh Court and the Link Hotel (subject to availability). 

World Forum will be the venue for the United Nations Public Service Day 2017 to be held in The Hague on 22 and 23 June 2017. During this two-day international conference, the participating countries will explore ways for achieving better public services based on the theme ‘The Future is Now’. The key question will be how the public sector can improve the services it provides to citizens by renewing its approach. Some 500 participants, including ministers and senior civil servants, are expected to attend the conference.

The Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations will in its role as host offer delegates an opportunity to become acquainted with innovations in the public sector in practice. Delegates will be able to exchange knowledge and make new contacts during working visits and the conference. The overall objective will be to achieve better services for citizens worldwide.

The United Nations organises the Public Service Day annually. Previous editions have been held in South Korea, Bahrain, Spain and Austria. Dutch Minister Blok (Housing and the Central Government Sector) announced at the UN Public Service Day in New York last summer that the Netherlands would host the conference in 2017. He is convinced this conference provides an excellent platform for underscoring the importance of public services for the entire international community.

‘Hosting this UN conference means we have once again succeeded in attracting an outstanding and high-level conference. The Hague has been selected in part due to the experience we have gained as a venue and city with conferences of this size and nature. Through this conference we are helping to achieve the mission to make The Hague the Netherlands’ second conference city,’ says Kirsten Vosmer, Commercial Manager at World Forum.

Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa has held its first ever class-a-thon to raise money for Niamh Henry’s Fairy Wish Fund, the charitable organisation the hotel is supporting for the coming year.

Members of the Hotel’s fitness club, The Edge, were able to bring a guest on the day to take part in one, or more classes and everyone who took part offered their class fee as a donation. The Hotel hopes the event will raise around £300.

Sonia Jameson, Manager of The Edge Health & Fitness Club, took part in all 11 classes on the day including two spin classes, two pilates classes, Zumba and boxercise.

When asked about the day, Sonia commented: “It was fantastic to see our members and their guests come together, attempting classes they wouldn’t normally go to; we had more men in Zumba than ever before!”

Niamh Henry’s Fairy Wish Fund raises money for C2, the children’s cancer unit at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, the children’s Rainbow Ward at the West Suffolk Hospital, the paediatric counselling services at Addenbrooke’s, and Stars, which is a community based counselling service in Cambridge for bereaved children.

Sonia continued: “It is really important for businesses to get behind local organisations like Niamh Henry’s Fairy Wish Fund. The amazing work they undertake, to make the lives easier for poorly children and their families, is inspirational, and we are all looking forward to the next fundraising event!”


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