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Simon Hughes, Vice Chair of the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) said: “Regardless of the Election, the agenda for the events industry will be the same as we set out in our recent policy document “Opportunities for Global Growth in Britain’s Events Sector”. But we will be watching carefully the commitment each party makes during the Election on the opportunities that will benefit the events industry – namely trade, talent and tariffs - which remain critical to future success. Assurances that the work of the Events Industry Board and VisitBritain will both continue and be reinforced will be welcome too”.

Rockliffe Hall has been named as a finalist in the Best Independent Venue category of the CHS Awards.

These awards provide hotels and venues with a unique opportunity to showcase their facilities to the industry at large. Judged in two key stages by leading industry professionals and then by agency decision makers, the CHS Awards are designed for all types of hotels and venues, allowing even the smallest independent venue to be recognised for an aspect, service or feature of their property.

The Best Independent Venue category identifies venues that have been prolific with their marketing, significantly raising their service levels and which have seen their business increase as a result of new initiatives and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) offerings.

The winners will be announced at a glittering black-tie awards ceremony at The Royal Armouries in Leeds on 11th May.

Katie Scott, Sales and Marketing Manager at Rockliffe Hall, says: “We were excited to find out we’d been shortlisted for this CHS Award. The judges are all well recognised in the industry so being selected for the finals is a credit to Rockliffe Hall. We have been shortlisted and have won many awards in recent years and it’s always fabulous for helping raise the profile of our wonderful hotel, not only in the industry, but in the public domain as well.”

Contact Rockliffe Hall on 01325 729999 or visit

Warwick Conferences, a collection of meeting venues on the University of Warwick campus, last week hosted The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) Competitions 2017 (10-11 April) for the second consecutive year.

The annual skills competition organised by TUCO saw over 50 members and 150 delegates from universities across the UK compete against each other in a wide range of activities in a bid to showcase their culinary talents within Higher and Further Education.

The event made use of both the Rootes Building and Warwick Arts Centre, with the former venue hosting the Bar Skills competition, Speed Cook, Cook & Serve and the Chefs’ Challenge. Butterworth Hall in Warwick Arts Centre hosted the Salon Culinaire and Barista Skills competition, while social dinners took place in both venues, as well as Scarman.  

The University of Warwick achieved five Gold Awards during the competition with Dana-Maria Danut, one of the baristas in the Café Bar, winning Gold in the TUCO 2017 Barista Skills Competition. Dana had to compete in a live ten minute competition producing two espressos, two cappuccinos and two espresso-based, non-alcoholic speciality drinks. The University of Warwick was also represented in this competition by Mirko DeLorenzis from Café Oculus.

Additional Gold winners from the University of Warwick included Phil Thorpe, Zoran Zivkovic and Samantha Chick (Cook & Serve Challenge); Hayley Fry (Cookie Challenge – Best in Class); Mary Fry (Decorative Exhibit – Best in Class); and Peter Fry (Plated Main Course – Best in Class). David Webb took home Silver in the Campus Speed Cook Challenge, while Hayley Fry received a merit in the Cup Cake Challenge.

Clive Singleton, General Manager, Conference Park & Events, said: “We were delighted to once again host the annual TUCO Competitions at the University of Warwick. The competition utilised both the Rootes Building and Warwick Arts Centre meaning we were more than able to accommodate the number of competitors, as well as the different competitions and setups.

“It was also fantastic to see so many of the University of Warwick team announced as Gold winners at the Gala Awards dinner, which took place in the Butterworth Hall on the final day. All in all it was a very successful event.”

A full list of winners from the 2017 TUCO Skills Competitions can be found here

A key U.K. tourism destination - The Cotswolds - today welcomes one of Hilton's (NYSE: HLT) 14 market-leading brands, DoubleTree by Hilton, into its prospering area. Located just two miles from Cheltenham, a town famed for its Regency buildings and historical importance as a spa town, DoubleTree by Hilton Cheltenham opens its doors as the 43rd DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in the U.K.

The newly-refurbished hotel is three miles away from the world-renowned Cheltenham Racecourse for racing enthusiasts or those looking for a fun day out, while also being on the doorstep of some of the U.K's most picturesque countrysides. DoubleTree by Hilton Cheltenham also provides centrally-located accommodation for the area's popular cultural festivals hosted year-round.

"DoubleTree by Hilton Cheltenham is conveniently located near many notable attractions, providing the perfect base for guests to explore the country's best nature spots or to head into the bustling city centre of Cheltenham," said Dianna Vaughan, senior vice president and global head, DoubleTree by Hilton. "We are proud to open the latest addition to our ever-expanding DoubleTree by Hilton portfolio and to welcome each guest with our signature, warm DoubleTree Cookie upon arrival."

The thoughtfully-designed Lakeside restaurant presents Cheltenham with a relaxed and unique setting to dine, offering modern English cuisine. After indulging in the restaurant's inviting menu, guests can choose from the Manor Bar or Lilley Brook Bar.

DoubleTree by Hilton Cheltenham boasts an impressive ten flexible meeting rooms, all with natural daylight. Ideal for business travellers, the largest group meeting room fits 320 guests, while the main meeting room has floor-to-ceiling windows with scenic views over the gardens.

For those looking for a relaxing stay, the hotel offers a swimming pool and gym, including spa treatments available at the hotel's health club.

"We look forward to welcoming guests to this beautifully-restored hotel and proving the brand's well-known caring service," said Syed Zaidi, general manager, DoubleTree by Hilton Cheltenham. "From those wanting to escape into the nearby Cotswolds for country walks, to those wishing to host conferences in our inspiring meeting room spaces, we cater for all types of travellers."  

Beyond the iconic, warm DoubleTree Cookie welcome, the hotel provides guests with a full complement of services and DoubleTree by Hilton brand amenities, including the Wake Up DoubleTree Breakfast.

DoubleTree by Hilton Cheltenham is part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton's 14 distinct hotel brands. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can't be found anywhere else and free standard Wi-Fi.

DoubleTree by Hilton London Cheltenham is located at Cirencester Road, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. For more information or to make a reservation, travellers may visit the hotel's website or call +44 (0)1242 229280. For more news on DoubleTree by Hilton openings, visit

Invesco Perpetual has appointed leading venue finding and event management agency Conference Care as their sole supplier.

Invesco Perpetual is one of the largest and best regarded investments managers in the UK and is part of the global Invesco organisation with a headcount of 6,500 employees, reaching clients in 120 countries worldwide.

The invitation to tender for the supplier of Venue Finding services for external meeting requirements (including on site event management services) took place in October 2016. The company have a strong reputation for their commitment to investment excellence and Conference Care were awarded the contract after demonstrating how their creative venue finding, advanced technology, wealth of experience and award winning service would assist Invesco in achieving their long term objectives.

Hanna Thomas, Events and Sponsorship Manager at Invesco, said: ‘We sought to appoint an agency who could not only engage with Invesco Event Planners to support our UK events programme, but have the capability to grow in line with our objectives - we’re enjoying introducing a fresh approach.’

Head of Sales – Scotland, Pauline Beattie said ‘Conference Care hold very similar core values to Invesco; we form trusting partnerships with clients for the long term, we are committed to delivering best in class service and we tailor our approach to fit their specific needs. We are delighted to have been appointed - it’s a perfect partnership.’

- Unique & Unusual Venue Sector to Show More Leadership in the Events industry -                                                                    

The Unique & Unusual Venue Market is now widely considered by event professionals as a mature and established part of the vibrant UK venue scene and one ‘that must take on more leadership’ within the wider events industry, according to the first ever market report of its kind, launched today.

‘Unique & Unusual: A Market Overview’, was produced in partnership with Tony Rogers, events industry research expert and joint creator of the UK Conference & Meetings Survey. It also shows the steady growth of the sector, as well as its continued support of creative event professionals. The report, which opens with a foreword from Nick de Bois, Chair of the Events Industry Board, also includes contributions from Unique Venues of London, Event Concept, Calder and Capita, and indicates a need for the sector to present a more prominent voice in the UK venue market.

“Everything from the research to the expert commentary within the report nods towards us as a high performing part of the venue market, and one that plays a crucial role in the events industry,” commented Jo Austin, Sales Director, Lime Venue Portfolio, the brand behind the report. “As an established sector of the industry, we have the responsibility to provide more leadership, and a bigger voice in front of creative event professionals looking to do more expansive events.”

The report shows a continued contribution from unique venues, with 20% of all events falling into the sector, and with a heavier weighting as venues of choice amongst both corporate and third party agency organisers.

“The research indicates that unique venues are more popular with brands and businesses and the third parties that represent them,” continues Jo. “This is hugely encouraging for us, it shows that we are a big part of the future of the events industry, and a major contributor to its growth and sustainability. It’s now up to us to take on more leadership within the industry.”

The report will be freely available to event professionals at, from today. 

ASAP – the not-for-profit trade body for the serviced apartment sector - is delighted to announce that Stuart Winstone, Commercial Director of SilverDoor, has been appointed as the new Deputy Chairman of the Association.

The appointment was announced at ASAP’s networking meeting in Manchester on 6 April and James Foice, ASAP CEO comments:

‘I am absolutely delighted that Stuart has been appointed to the role of Deputy Chairman of the ASAP. He has played a key part on our ASAP Steering Committee over the last 2 years and as Commercial Director of one of the leading global serviced apartment agents, his in-depth experience and knowledge of the sector will be a tremendous asset to the Association. Stuart is a terrific advocate for the serviced apartment industry and our Chairman Richard Whittaker and I very much look forward to working closely with him in the coming months as we plan the next phase of our development.’

Stuart Winstone comments:

‘I am delighted to accept the role of Deputy Chairman of the ASAP. I have been a very keen supporter of the Association for many years and am very pleased to have the opportunity to take on a leading role as we continue to grow and develop the sector on behalf of ASAP members.’

Stuart will take up the role of Deputy Chairman of the ASAP with immediate effect.

Ellis Salsby Ltd has acquired Maverick Solutions UK Ltd as part of the strategic plan to grow the company and offer a greater range of services to its clients.

Ellis Salsby, Managing Director said ‘We are looking forward to integrating the two companies and building on the great service Maverick have delivered over the years and maybe adding a few extra elements along the way, there is great synergy between us. Additionally, as the employees will transfer to ESL, this will ensure continuity of service’

The acquisition sees two well established Midland’s conference and event management firms joining forces.  Ellis Salsby Ltd was founded by Angela and Ellis Salsby in 1989, and the business delivers Venue Finding, Event Management, Event Accommodation, Travel Solutions and Training Administration for a range of valued clients. The acquisition will give Ellis Salsby Ltd an extensive client portfolio, varying from large blue chip organisations to associations, charities and small-to-medium size businesses.

Lesley Lucas set up Maverick in 2001 from her base in Tamworth and built a strong and loyal client base. Lesley Lucas, has commented ‘my personal circumstances have taken me in a new direction and having known Ellis for many years, I know that our clients will continue to be well looked after, ESL offer a great service with a similar ethos.’

Warwick Conferences, the collection of meeting venues on the University of Warwick campus, has been awarded three prestigious awards at the Transform Europe Awards, which recognise the best in branding from organisations and companies across Europe.

The 2017 awards reflected flair, creativity and innovative brand strategies across a plethora of industries. The team, in collaboration with brand agency Frank, Bright and Abel, won:

  • Gold for best strategic/creative development of new brand
  • Silver for best use of a visual property
  • Bronze for best use of typography

The team also won commendations for best implementation of a brand project and best visual identity for travel, leisure and tourism.  The awards – which are global and extremely competitive, demonstrate the effectiveness and quality of the work undertaken as part of the Warwick Conferences brand development strategy.

As part of the brand development strategy, Warwick Conferences has undergone a re-brand and repositioning over the last 12 months to better reflect who they are and what they deliver to customers. The brand is now more flexible and able to react to market demand – a survey conducted by the organisation found that 75% of responding meeting planners said  their current role involves more ‘experience creation’ compared to two years ago. With this in mind, the new distinctive brand effectively communicates to customers that ‘anything is possible’ at Warwick Conferences when it comes to delivering a bespoke meeting experience. 

Stuart Croft, Vice Chancellor and President of the University of Warwick, said: “I'm delighted for the Warwick Conferences team. These awards are testament to the creativity and expertise that go into making the Warwick Conferences brand so successful, and to ensuring such a significant contribution to our overall sustainability and global reputation.”

Warwick Conferences offers over 300 flexible meeting spaces across its five top-quality venues – The Slate, Scarman, Radcliffe, Arden and Conference Park, all of which provide an ideal environment to learn, inspire and achieve. The venues welcome over 177,000 delegates per year and 100% of the profit is reinvested into the university to continue to provide world class teaching and research.

The organisation was recently announced as a finalist in the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence in the Business Tourism Provider of the Year category. 


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