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06/2020

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etc.venues, the award winning conference, training and event venue specialists, has converted a room in each of its venues into a ‘cycle park’ to support safe travel to meetings and courses for planners, trainers and delegates post-lockdown.

Delegates will be able to store their bikes and luggage safely and free of charge. In addition, equipment such as puncture repair kits, Allen keys and inner tubes will be available for cyclists if needed.

The move follows the launch of TFL’s Streetspace Plan that creates safer walking and cycling corridors across London, making it quick and easy to get to etc.venues’ 14 locations in the capital.

For its staff, etc.venues has also launched a Bike2Work employee benefit scheme which aims to reduce pollution, promote healthier lifestyles and make cycling to work cost-effective by offering tax savings on bikes and cycling equipment.

Nick Hoare, Chief Operating Officer of etc.venues, said: “We are rolling out these initiatives across all our venues as we recognise that safe travel is a concern for event organisers, delegates and employees. We want to offer them peace of mind and encourage people towards a more sustainable solution than cars or taxis”.

Last month, etc.venues revealed ‘A Breath of Fresh Care,’ a comprehensive 18-point plan featuring a new hospital grade cleaning programme, new room plans and new food and beverage options along with a hybrid meetings partnership to help clients to book with confidence.

Warwick Conferences has unveiled its strategy to keep event organisers, delegates and staff safe while hosting events and conferences, as it continues its preparations ahead of re-opening on Monday 6 July.

Detailed in its brochure – Keeping You Safe – the venue has set out plans to reinforce its already-exceptional standards, while explaining new guidelines when running events at its facilities.

Social distancing will be made easier thanks to clear signage and floor markings throughout each building, while its large, spacious venues and outdoor spaces will allow for a comfortable experience for all guests. The capacities of  its rooms have been altered to ensure work stations are two metres apart, while a comprehensive cleaning approach, which includes stringent protocols, are also set out in the guest guidelines.

Paul Bartlett, Director of Warwick Conferences, commented: “We have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure no stone has been left unturned as we prepare for reopening our facilities to events and conferences. Our guests can be assured that the high standards that were experienced prior to the lockdown will be enhanced.

“Our award-winning catering services now include a pre-packed grab-and-go offering, which will be served on sustainably sourced disposable items. We will also be offering room service, where possible, as well as using our vast outdoor spaces for BBQs and picnic lunches, continuing our promise of tailoring bespoke event experiences to our customers.”

Among the services available to guests will be Warwick Conferences’ outdoor spaces, including the Woodland Retreat, which was launched last year. The team has also invested in plug-and-play 360 camera technology to support smaller events. This new service will allow board meetings to take place in a hybrid environment, with the camera automatically detecting who is speaking in the room, which can then be broadcast to those unable to attend physically via an online platform.

Another change at Warwick Conferences will see the launch of its virtual conference solution. Utilising the skills and expertise of its Event Production team, Warwick Conferences can offer a live-streaming service with its broadcasting studio. Additionally, hybrid solutions are available, meaning a live event can be streamed to remote delegates, and keynote speakers can be streamed into the conversation, if they are unable to attend.

Paul added: “Creating experiences within events, meetings and conferences remains one of our top priorities. Our new guidelines and robust reopening strategy mean positive experiences will continue, as we look forward to opening our doors once again to customers.”

Prospective visitors can take a virtual tour of Warwick Conferences’ facilities. For more information on its reopening procedures, please visit https://warwick.ac.uk/services/conferences/news/covid-19.

BVEP warns of catastrophic and irreversible consequences for the UK events industry without immediate practical opening guidelines being provided by the UK Government

Further delay could cost over £53 billion of GDP and the loss of over 500,000 jobs

The Business Visits & Events Partnership, the advocacy group for the UK’s £70 billion events industry, has today warned of ‘a catastrophic and irreversible’ impact to the industry if the government further delay publishing clear and practical guidelines on the opening of the UK’s vital events sector and relax the current two metre physical distancing rule.

The warning comes as the UK events industry continues to face further uncertainty over the release date of the long awaited guidance for the events industry. Also, and in light of the huge debate taking place over the current two metre physical distancing measure, the BVEP has decided to share the outcome of evidence that it has gathered, and shared with government, from its partner organisations on the business impacts of social distancing measures and the current lack of guidance, with a clear threat to over £53 billion of GDP and the loss of over 500,000 jobs.

Simon Hughes, Chair of the BVEP, said “We have been providing advice and information to government for almost 4 months now, responding to requests for information and data and working with many of our partners to produce really fast responses and feedback on many of the measures that have been put in place to support businesses.  Yet we are now expected to continue waiting for decisions to be made over the release of guidance for the entire visitor economy, and a start date for the event industry to begin rebuilding our significant contribution to that economy, which we now consider to be unacceptable.

“There are only three countries in the world currently operating on the two metre social distancing model – Canada, Spain and the UK.  This is a risk based assessment, not a rule founded on the best available guidance.  It is also putting the UK under a massive competitive disadvantage, as other competitive markets open up ahead of us with different protocols and regimes to help manage the risks in a variety of ways that don’t rely exclusively on social distancing measures.

“If clear guidance that allows the event industry to open up safely is not received by the end of June at the very latest, our world class industry, which has taken decades to build, will be decimated.  Based on the evidence that we’ve seen from across the whole industry the overall loss of GDP, if we have to operate with the current two metres of physical distancing will be £53 billion, while at 1 metre it will be £42.5bn.  Based on achieving only 25% of potential business in the two metre scenario, this puts over 500,000 jobs at risk.”

Sentiment within the events industry has shifted in recent days, with many of our partners finding the current situation intolerable, given the potential calamitous consequences. There is now a clear view from within the BVEP that if government cannot give us a clear date for reopening, supported by practical guidance that  provides us with really effective ways of managing risk and creating confidence amongst all our clients, guests and visitors, then we call for the government to get out of the way and leave it to the experts in the event industry.  We’ve heard people promising world class solutions during this crisis – but everyone in the event industry knows that as a sector we actually deliver organised events around the globe that are world class, brilliantly organised, safe, secure and which deliver economic and cultural benefits, drive our industrial strategy, secure jobs and cement our international reputation, so now is the time to allow us to do that. 

Wyboston Lakes Resort has won three gold awards from prestigious organisations for its commitment to sustainability.

The 380-acre conference, training and leisure complex secured Gold Status in the prestigious Green Tourism Awards, granted by the Green Tourism Business Scheme, which is a national sustainable tourism certification scheme for the UK & Ireland.

Wyboston Lakes Resort was assessed by a qualified grading advisor against a rigorous set of 145 criteria, covering a range of areas including energy and water efficiency, waste management, purchasing, travel, biodiversity and more.

The Bedfordshire business also received Gold Ecosmart status by Greengage, which is an industry standard accreditation, awarded to hotels and meeting venues that can demonstrate an eco-friendly service approach in five key areas, including energy and water conservation, waste management and recycling, and CSR.

The third accolade is Gold Status in the International Association of Conference Centres’s (IACC) Green Star certification programme, which requires businesses to adhere to a strict Code of Sustainability and is measured every two years.

Managing Director Steve Jones says “Being more sustainable is very important to us and we have been working extremely hard to drive forward our ambitious sustainability policy. To achieve these high standards and to be recognised for our commitment and success with not one, but three gold awards from three highly regarded industry bodies is a superb testament to the great efforts of the team.”

Earlier this month Wyboston Lakes Resort announced that it has partnered with The Energy Check, specialists in minimising energy usage costs and CO2.

From 15 June, hotel bookers and event planners will be able to use venuedirectory.com ‘s new Safe Meetings database enhancement to choose confidently from thousands of hotels and venues worldwide that have already uploaded their Safe Meetings policies.

To make it easy for meeting planners to source venues that are suitable and ready to receive meeting delegates, there will be an icon on search results and within a venue profile to demonstrate that the venue has a policy in place.

Determined to contribute to the recovery of the market by acting as a catalyst, venuedirectory.com is to allow access to this data free of charge through its existing distribution channels to all its current clients and to all industry partners who require this information.

All venues globally are welcome to upload the details about what their venue is doing to restore attendee confidence and to demonstrate what the venue has put into place the steps to ensure staff and delegates are safe to meet at their venue. To give access to the most up to date information, they can also add a URL to the policy detail which venuedirectory.com recommends should be located on their website.

As the industry leader providing the largest data centre of venue information to the UK MICE industry, venuedirectory.com is also helping to increase awareness of venues that have gained accreditation to the Quality in Tourism’s Safe, Clean and Legal programme, which is supported by HBAA and several leading hotel groups and authorities. It will also work with other organisations in the UK and globally to carry these essential accreditations as part of its data on meeting and event venues.

Michael Begley, managing director, venuedirectory.com. said “It's vital that everything possible is done to restore attendee confidence as quickly as possible and get the events industry back up and running. Our Safe Meetings database should help everyone greatly.

“We also believe that a venue’s Safe Meeting initiative should not become a competitive initiative for a venue or for the market overall and that’s why we think making the data free to everyone including competing websites is the right thing to do. People will be able to access the data via the venuedirectory.com website and via its data API. In addition, venuedirectory.com will be providing a unique URL to the venues which have a policy uploaded or the details stored with them.

“Many venues are going well ‘above and beyond’ in what they are doing within their Safe Meetings policies which is why we felt the need to allow venues to highlight what they are doing within the area. Venues that haven’t provided information yet should do so ASAP.”

venuedirectory.com’s initiative has already been acclaimed by many leading organisations right across the industry. Dawn Jaynes, Director of Sales Meetings, Events and Support Services at Accor Hotels said “With over 200 hotels in the UK and 5000 globally, offering customer confidence is key and is the reason why at Accor we have launched our ALLSAFE policy which we will be uploading to venuedirectory.com for all hotels. Having the conduit of venuedirectory.com to get our message out to the professional meeting planners is a key distribution partner for us and we welcome its support.”

Andrew Deakin, co-owner of Conference Care commented “Restoring delegate and meeting planner confidence will be essential to get the events sector restored to volumes prior to March 2020. Having this valuable resource integrated as part of our proposal to our clients will be vital.” venuedirectory.com licenses its venue sourcing software to Conference Care and the tool will incorporate the Safe Meeting details throughout the search and select process and will provide a link on all client communications to the venues’ policy.

Douglas O’Neill, CEO of Inntel said “We have been working with venuedirectory.com for many years and this is just what the industry needs. We already use its API and will be incorporating the Safe Meeting data and Accreditation information into our customer communications.”

venuedirectory.com specialises in meetings and events data and venue sourcing software and is a member of the Business Travel Association, Meetings Industry Association and Hotel Booking Agents Association. The company will be working closely with its association partners to distribute Safe Meeting data and working with global partners to ensure that accreditations for safety in the meetings area are recognised and provided to everyone who needs it.

Jane Longhurst, Chief Executive of MIA commented ‘As an association we have worked with venuedirectory.com for many years and rely on its data as the custodian of meeting and event venue information. The addition of the Safe Meeting information will be welcomed by our members and we will work with them to ensure as many people have access to this data as possible”

Michael Begley concludes: “Covid-19 arrived with very little warning to the world of events and has decimated the industry overnight. The landscape of events going forward has got to change and it’s clear that venues everywhere have introduced many changes to make their facilities safe and ready for business.

“We believe our Safe Meetings Policy area in our database will be a key pillar of restoring people's faith in meeting up again. Sharing the Safe Meeting information with everyone in the industry for free is very important for us as thousands of jobs and lives rely on our industry and we need to do whatever it takes to get the industry back on its feet.”

venuedirectory.com is a UK based business established in 1993 and has a database of over 400,000 meeting and event spaces globally. It provides venue data, websites and venue sourcing software to the meetings and events industry and in 2019 over £300m of business was confirmed through its platforms and distribution channels.

To help the serviced apartment sector respond effectively in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, SilverDoor has formally endorsed an updated set of guidelines for serviced apartment operators, and is asking all its partners to run full COVID-19 risk assessments.

Prior to the pandemic, SilverDoor was working closely with two leading health and safety accreditation bodies – Quality in Tourism and Common Sense Compliance – to better inform health and safety policies in the serviced accommodation sector. In light of the COVID-19 threat, both have formulated modified safety policies specifically designed to minimise the risk COVID-19 presents to guests within serviced accommodation.

As global lockdown measures gradually ease, and travellers begin to book again, serviced accommodation can offer safety, hygiene and privacy; priorities that business travellers are more mindful of than ever before. While the accommodation sector is already taking steps to address these concerns, ensuring that demonstrable hygiene and safety measures are in place will continue to be vital in ensuring serviced apartments remain the most viable accommodation option for business travellers.

Alex Neale, Group Head of Partner Relationships gave more detail on the updated advice:

“Driving consistently rigorous standards of safety across our entire global portfolio has always been a priority for SilverDoor and, in light of the pandemic, this push for clear and demonstrable safety and hygiene practices is all the more pressing.

“We believe QiT and CSC offer the most comprehensive indicators that properties are in full compliance with the latest safety measures, improving safety, consumer confidence and booking prospects.”

The updated guidelines could not be timelier, with SilverDoor reporting a steady increase in serviced apartment bookings and hopeful of an upward trajectory of business travel throughout the summer months. More details are available to view in full online here.

By endorsing and sharing this safety and risk assessment review process to all its partners, and through its ongoing partnership with Quality in Tourism and Common Sense Compliance, SilverDoor will help bring clarity for any operator who may be seeking industry-specific guidance and best practice as they begin to reopen.

SilverDoor Group CEO, Stuart Winstone, said of the initiative:

"Traveller safety has always been at the core of our business, but now more than ever, it's vital that we proactively continue to build client and guest confidence. By championing an enhanced level of hygiene and cleanliness protocols, we believe it will further position the serviced apartment sector as best possible choice of accommodation in the COVID-19 recovery period.

“Serviced apartments are undoubtedly the safest accommodation option for business travellers at this time, and by continuing to clearly demonstrate that we offer living environments that adhere to the most rigorous standards of safety and hygiene, we can reassure clients that when they need to travel, they can do so as safely as possible.”

Both Quality in Tourism and Common Sense Compliance are regularly reviewing and updating their guidelines and also offering SilverDoor’s partners a substantial discount on their accreditation services.

Further enhancing their technology offering to clients, SilverDoor Apartments has successfully integrated their Orbi technology with leading expense management system SAP Concur.

Noting that many of their largest clients utilised SAP Concur for their travel expense management, SilverDoor integrated their Orbi technology with the service via a new app developed in collaboration with SAP Concur. Orbi is SilverDoor’s revolutionary booking technology, which offers a seamless booking experience to clients and digitises all aspects of their account – from traveller tracking to billing – in a single, easy-to-use software package.

The application enables SilverDoor clients to link their Orbi account with SAP Concur; meaning all client booking invoices are automatically uploaded to the Concur system for dedicated expense management. This addition to Orbi technology has been enthusiastically welcomed by clients as the collaborative application considerably improves the efficiency of billing and expense management. As a result, SilverDoor is able to offer a very attractive all-round service package – making Orbi technology the best of its kind in the sector.

SilverDoor’s Group Head of Client Relationships, Martin Klima, said of the integration “Ensuring we offer the best level of digitisation to our clients has always been a priority for SilverDoor, and this additional offering further benefits our clients’ needs. Streamlining the service we provide to clients and integrating with business technology leaders such as SAP Concur promotes not only our agency but also the serviced apartment sector as a whole. This integration is recognition of our relevance in the market; something we aim to continue demonstrating through further integrations in the future.”

 

To increase energy efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint as part of the strong commitment to its sustainability strategy, Wyboston Lakes Resort has partnered with The Energy Check, specialists in minimising energy usage costs and CO2 in a variety of businesses including stadia and leisure venues.

The Energy Check will conduct an extensive review of energy usage across the 380-acre conference, training and leisure complex to reduce energy consumption and emissions and introduce alternative energy sources and renewable technologies. This will support Wyboston Lakes ‘2020 Green Objectives’ initiative, which includes substantially reducing its carbon footprint by 50 per cent by 2025 and continuing its ‘Zero waste to landfill’ promise.

Louisa Watson, Director of Marketing at Wyboston Lakes Resort, said: “We have been working extremely hard on our sustainability strategy and this new partnership with The Energy Check will help to further strengthen our mission. It will support us in implementing meaningful change to enhance our energy efficiency and cut our carbon footprint.”

This move follows Wyboston Lakes Resort’s Gold Status accolade in last year’s Green Tourism Awards, which is a national sustainable tourism certification scheme for the UK & Ireland.

Millwall FC, Blackburn Rovers FC and QPR FC, alongside Newbury racecourse, Oxford Playhouse and Poole Arts Trust are amongst The Energy Check’s many large sports and leisure venue clients.

David Winton, CEO of The Energy Check said: “We are delighted to have entered a long-term partnership with Wyboston Lakes Resort. Wyboston Lakes Resort is the type of customer that we love to work with, with sustainability and energy efficiency high on their agenda. Over the coming years we can demonstrate our extensive skills in energy project management and consultancy, working towards our shared goals of reducing energy costs, consumption and emissions with a number energy technology projects.”  

For more information, please visit https://www.wybostonlakes.co.uk

and https://theenergycheck.co.uk/

Park Regis Birmingham is delighted to announce that their Sales Director, Ryan Doyle is one of this year’s Acorn Award winners which acknowledges 30 of the industry’s most talented stars under the age of 30.

Acorn award winners are nominated by their peers for outstanding ability and successes in their field.

John Angus, Managing Director said “We were all delighted to learn that Ryan had won the Acorn Award.  There are lots of awards out there, but the Acorn Award is right up there in the Top 10 of aspirational awards in our Industry.

When our Director of Sales left Park Regis Birmingham we had no hesitation to offer Ryan the job.  Ryan typifies the fantastic team that we have and exudes professionalism, passion and desire.  The Acorn Award just re-emphasises the fact that we have the best Director of Sales in the business”.

From the 1st June 2020 venuedirectory.com has enhanced its database to capture and include venues Safe Meeting policies. It will use its existing distribution channels to allow access to this data to all its current clients and to all industry partners who require this information free of charge.

All venues globally will have the facility to upload the details about what their venue is doing to restore attendee confidence and to demonstrate, following the Covid-19 outbreak, that the venue has put into place the steps to ensure staff and delegates are safe to meet at their event space to hire and meeting rooms. There will be an icon on search results and within a venue profile to demonstrate the venue has a policy in place and this will make it easy for meeting planners to source venues that are suitable and ready to receive meeting delegates. Venues will be able to upload the details of their policy and a URL to the policy detail that should be located on their website, which is recommended to give access to the most up to date information. Please login to our venue portal called myeventschannel.co.uk and update your venues details with you ‘Safe Meeting Policy’ details.

Andrew Deakin co-owner of Conference Care commented ‘Restoring delegate and meeting planner confidence will be key to get the events sector restored to volumes prior to March 2020 and having this valuable resource integrated as part of our proposal to our clients will be vital.’ venuedirectory.com license their venue sourcing software to Conference Care and the tool will incorporate the Safe Meeting details throughout the search and select process and will provide a link on all client communications to the venues Safe Meeting policy. venuedirectory.com is supporting distributing the accreditation to the Quality in Tourisms Safe, Clean and Legal programme and will also work with other organisations in the UK and globally to carry these essential accreditations as part of its data on meeting and event venues. Many venues are going above and beyond this which is why venuedirectory.com felt the need to allow venues to highlight what they are doing within the Safe Meetings policy area.

awn Jaynes - Director of Sales Meetings, Events and Support Services - Accor Hotels outlined ‘With over 200 hotels in the UK and 5,000 globally offering customer confidence is key and hence why at Accor we have launched our ALLSAFE policy which we will be uploading to venuedirectory.com for all hotels. Having the conduit of venuedirectory.com to get our message out to the professional meeting planners is a key distribution partner for us and we welcome their support’.

It's important for venuedirectory.com that a venues Safe Meeting initiative does not become a competitive initiative for a venue or for the market overall and hence why making the data free to everyone including competing websites is the right thing to do. People will be able access the data via the venuedirectory.com website and via its data API. In addition venudirectory.com will be providing a unique URL to the venues which have a policy uploaded or the details stored with them. Douglas O’Neill CEO of Inntel said ‘We have been working with venuedirectory.com for many years and this is just what the industry needs, we already use their API and will be incorporating the Safe Meeting data and accreditation information into our customer communications’.

Michael Begley - Managing Director - venuedirectory.com said ‘Covid-19 arrived with very little warning to the world of events and has decimated the industry overnight. The landscape of events going forward has got to change and we have all had to think very quickly as people review their Strategic Meetings Management Programme and update it as a result of the virus. It's important that we restore attendee confidence as quickly as possible and get the events industry back up and running and we believe our Safe Meetings policy area in our database will be a key pillar of restoring people's faith in meeting up again. Sharing the Safe Meeting information with everyone in the industry for free is very important for us, thousands of peoples jobs and lives rely on our industry and we need to do whatever it takes to get the industry back on its feet’.

venuedirectory.com specialises in Meetings and Events data and venue sourcing software and is a member of the Business Travel Association, Meetings Industry Association and Hotel Booking Agents Association. We will be working closely with our association partners to distribute Safe Meeting data and working with global partners to ensure that accreditations for safety in the meetings area is recognised and provided to all the people that need it. Jane Longhurst - Chief Executive of MIA commented ‘“As an association we have worked with venuedirectory.com for many years to help buyers source quality-assured AIM accredited venues. We have recently updated the UK’s only nationally recognised standard to embed a range of protocols to provide the additional vital reassurance that AIM venues are COVID-Secure, The Safe Meetings Database will mean that buyers will be able to easily identify those venues that have achieved the AIM standard and absolutely know that they are COVID-Secure.”

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