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08/2020

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Wyboston Lakes Resort continues to expand its sustainability initiative by installing more electric car charger points

As Wyboston Lakes Resort continues to search for opportunities and to introduce initiatives to be more sustainable, it has installed ten more electric car supercharger points for guests to encourage electric car usage. There is now a total of 24 charger points on the site.

This latest development supports Wyboston Lakes Resort ‘2020 Green Objectives’ initiative, which includes reducing its carbon footprint by 50 per cent by 2025.  The resort recently partnered with The Energy Check, specialists in minimising energy usage costs and CO2 to increase energy efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint as part of the strong commitment to its sustainability strategy.

Some of the initiatives already in place include the reduction of energy consumption throughout the venue by upgrading the lighting across site to the latest energy efficient LEDs which are turned off by movement sensors when a room is not in use, and ensuring energy ratings are considered as part of the purchasing decision for all new heavy equipment. The resort recycled over 20,000kg of cardboard waste in the last year, is continuing to fulfil its ‘Zero waste to landfill’ promise for the fifth consecutive year and actively supports the mia’s #20percentless campaign to cut back on single-use plastics each year.

This commitment to sustainability has recently been recognised and accredited by three leading organisations. Wyboston Lakes Resort has now achieved Gold Standard with the Green Tourism Awards, Greengage and the International Association of Conference Centres Green Star certification programme.

Wyboston Lakes Resort now has 10 Tesla Superchargers, 8 Tesla Destination Chargers, 4 Rolec Charge Points and 2 Chargemasters on site to provide a wide-ranging facility for electric car drivers and to help to reduce petrol and diesel emissions. The resort has the latest V3 Tesla Superchargers, which deliver energy rapidly in around 30 minutes and can reach a peak charge rate of up to 1000 miles per hour. 

The team at Wyboston Lakes Resort is continually scrutinising a wide range of its operational areas and delving to greater depths and detail in search of potential sustainability improvements.

The forces driving the sustainability project come from several sides. The team is primarily self- motivated, focused on environmentally friendly initiatives, because they want to benefit employees, the community and ultimately the planet.

Steve Jones, Managing Director at Wyboston Lakes Resort, said: “We are committed to continuing the expansion of our sustainability initiatives. Installing Tesla Supercharger Points is the latest step for the project. Electric cars are the future for working towards a cleaner planet and installing more charger points aligns with the objectives of our sustainability project.” 

For more information about Wyboston Lakes Resort, please visit https://www.wybostonlakes.co.uk

Nick de Bois, Chair of the VisitEngland Advisory Board is confirmed to join the panel of UK events industry leaders taking part in the high-level discussion at UKickstart, the nationwide live and virtual gathering of event professionals taking place on Tuesday 8 September.

Formerly the Chair of the UK Government’s Events Industry Board (EIB), Nick will be joining Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston MP, Tracy Halliwell MBE (Director of Tourism, Conventions and Major Events at London and Partners) and Simon Hughes (Chairman of BVEP) to discuss the safe return of the UK events industry as it works towards reopening.

Nick de Bois said: “The UK events industry has shown incredible resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, working extremely hard to ensure it is ready to welcome back visitors safely as soon as possible to the outstanding destinations, venues and experiences that make the UK a leading destination for events.

“UKickstart is an important catalyst in inspiring the UK events industry’s return to business as it works towards its October reopening date, uniting with one voice to safely restart this valuable industry and supporting the thousands of jobs that depend on it.”

The UK-wide event will include discussions, broadcast live from etc.venues County Hall, on government guidance ahead of the business events industry’s restart, the ongoing impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the industry and what the future holds for the sector.

To bring the industry together, for the first time since lockdown, attendees will be able to join the event in person in one of a number of venue hubs located across the UK. In accordance with current government guidance, each venue will allow a maximum of 30 socially distanced delegates to attend the event. UKickstart will also be streamed online to create a virtual experience for event professionals who cannot attend in person.

The free to attend event is supported by UK industry associations, spearheaded by etc.venues and supported by industry bodies including BVEP, HBAA, MIA, VisitBritain, ILEA, MPI, ABPCO, EMA, AEO, ESSA, EVCOM, AEV and the London Convention Bureau.

Adam Simpson, Director of Marketing of etc.venues, and leader of UKickstart said:

“We’re delighted that Nick is able to join the panel. Confidence levels for events and meetings are on an upward climb. We want to continue to inspire confidence and this was why we felt it was important to be the driving force for a united industry-wide effort by creating UKickstart Event 2020. We hope this event will demonstrate the power of face-to-face events and act as a catalyst to kick-start the events industry.”

UKickstart Event 2020 will take place on 8 September.

To register: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ukickstart-event-2020-registration-114245310800

Following ‘Sunak’s suppers’ it’s now time for ‘Sunak’s seminars’!

“Let’s Meet out to Help Out” says Michael Begley, managing director of venuedirectory.com 

The success of the Government-backed dining sector promotion scheme needs to be replicated with a promotional campaign to boost the business events industry, argues Michael Begley, managing director of venuedirectory.com:  “All sides of the industry - corporates, agencies and venues – need to unite to drive it, because the Government is unlikely to back it.” 

“Just as British high streets have received a major boost from the launch of the government-backed discount dining scheme the business events sector now needs a sales incentive scheme to generate momentum and confidence in the industry,” he continues. “Many of us have enjoyed gathering together in restaurants and cafes as part of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. These lunch, afternoon tea and dinner guests are tomorrows delegates - and if they are confident enough to eat out, they should be happy to ‘meet out’.” 

Inspiring conference confidence 

“We want all parties to work together – corporates, agents and venues – to drive activity and confidence in the sector. Between next month and the end of the year, I would suggest corporates need to commit to booking their next meeting or event and put down a deposit with the venue to demonstrate their commitment. If they can do this, then the venue can pass on 50% of the commission to the booking agent immediately after the booking is confirmed and the deposit paid.  

“This will not only generate momentum to keep the sector moving in what is an incredibly tough trading period, it will also boost the cash flow of agencies, many of which are vulnerable at this time. To further boost confidence and minimise risk, the corporates should be able to receive a refund up to 14 days prior to arrival if they choose not to hold their event. Many businesses in the travel and hotel sector are already doing this to encourage bookings. 

“With schools returning in September, now's the time for corporates to drive forward their businesses and we know that the best way to do that is to meet in person.  I am confident that the venues are ready - we have over 20,000 on our database who have uploaded their safety protocols. What we now need is the confidence and liquidity and that can only come from the incubator of most events - the corporate client. 

‘Meet out to help out’ 

“I call upon the business events sector to work together to introduce such a scheme and kickstart our sector. Why not call it ‘Meet out to help out’, inspired by the Chancellor’s own dining scheme?!” concludes Michael. 

Nick Hartland, director of the National Conference Centre based at National Motorcycle Museum, supports Michael’s proposal: “In these extremely bleak times facing the business events sector, it's imperative that we think outside the box and regain confidence from corporates that face to face events can be held safely and provide a tangible ROI. Michael’s idea of venues, agents and corporates all working together is going to be the only way our beloved industry can rebound, we are fully supportive of this very meaningful initiative.”   

 

www.venuedirectory.com  

Event First Steps (EFS) have released a sector wide survey on Racial Diversity in the Events Industry. EFS is an initiative for industry newcomers founded by Caitlin Kobrak, Elena Clowes and Priya Narain.

They initiated the diversity research project which will provide the insights needed to make meaningful change within the industry, in collaboration with C&IT, and supported by Dr. Caroline Jackson of BVEP, and data analyst Nigel Williams.

Dr. Caroline Jackson comments: ‘I was pleased to be invited to contribute to the creation of the survey in support of Events First Steps. Diversity and inclusion is an important aspect of event management and any company working within the industry. #BlackLivesMatter really brought the issue of racial diversity and racism to the fore’.

Over the years, EFS have hosted events on the topic of diversity with some of the most open and real conversations with EventProfs. However, with the renewed attention on #BlackLivesMatter in recent months, they realised tangible data on racial diversity is needed to inspire real change across the industry.

Kobrak says: ‘We have always been very vocal about pushing for wider diversity and inclusion in events, but as there is limited data on this topic it is difficult to provide benchmarks for improvement’.

‘For years we have patiently waited for the industry to do more than just ‘talk’ about the subject. However, we need data to hold the industry accountable’ - adds Narain.

The survey will be open until mid September, and the EFS team are urging everyone to take part, and to share as widely as possible. Once the results are in, they will work with C&IT to share key takeaways and actions.

Clowes states: ‘We need to see change, not just for those already in our industry, but for the benefit of the next generation waiting to come up’.

For any more information about the survey, get in touch with the EFS team at eventfirststeps@gmail.com.

 

Agency members react after HBAA hosts first face-to-face meeting for agencies since lockdown

“There are so many new, more time-consuming considerations that event planners will have to face in arranging meetings under the new guidelines, though this shouldn’t be a deterrent from organising live meetings and events. It’s been a great insight,” said Amy Bewley of HTS as one of the Agent Engagement Committee members and organisers of the recent HBAA Agency Engagement meeting at the Holiday Inn London - Kensington Forum.

This was the first live meeting that most of the agents had arranged or attended since the guidelines were agreed and it drew an enthusiastic response from the 25 agency members and HBAA Board present and 45 who took part virtually.

Beckie Towle of The Events Raccoon supported Amy Bewley’s view adding “This is a ‘Train the Trainers’ event and is really valuable” while Jennifer Houlihan of Dotted Lines Events also learnt a lot from the experience of one of those organising the meeting.

Nick Scott of arrangeMY said; “It feels so much better to talk to people in person, particularly people I speak to quite often. Even while abiding by social distancing, there is a warmth that an online conversation can’t match.” Douglas O’Neill of Inntel commented; “There is an energy level in this room which is much higher than is ever created during an online meeting.”

Callum McLean of Capita Travel and Events echoed this, “There is nothing better than being face-to-face with people at a meeting” before summing up saying “the experience is boosting our confidence about the reality of attending a live meeting so we can convey this confidently to our clients.”

The event also gave agency members a perspective on the worldwide landscape of the industry, Speakers included Hamish Reid representing the Dubai Convention Centre, Florian Gerdes of Hamburg Convention Bureau, Lindsey Thorpe of Conventions Malta and Cathy Joyce for Melia Hotels.

Julie Shorrock of HTS, chair of HBAA agency engagement committee, said: “In challenging times it is more important than ever for our agency members to get together to share their experiences, stimulate ideas and discuss the best way forward for business. We have continued to champion engagement throughout this testing time and this meeting clearly inspired the confidence of everyone taking part live, with some having the flexibility to join virtually.”

Simon McLaughlin, General Manager of Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum, said: “We have made many changes to our operation in the hotel, which will be evident at the HBAA event. Along with the precautions and guidance we have in place, myself and the team at the Forum have had to change habits, introduce some new ones, which will all make us safer.”

Juliet Price, HBAA executive director, added: “It is vital for the HBAA to lead by example with face-to-face meetings and events to boost confidence and to showcase what is possible. Recovery can only begin if the industry goes out, meets in person and showcases our creative thinking and adaptations. This will help to spark corporate customer confidence in the sector and drive our industry forward.” 

The event was part of a new series of face-to-face events that HBAA announced last month to demonstrate its commitment to encouraging the restart of live events and venue visits.

Alongside this, the HBAA has launched an initiative to encourage its agency members to begin venue visits and site inspections and to share their experiences and pictures on social media as part of its #HBAAFuturefit #businessready campaign.

The association’s next event – HBAA FutureFit Live – will be held in Birmingham on 6 October, soon after large events are permitted by the government, and it’s anticipated that many of its 300 members will attend in person.

The Delegate Wranglers reach 20,000 members milestone

This weekend, event industry community, The Delegate Wranglers, reached the membership milestone of 20,000 event professionals.

Since launching in 2014, the group has gone from strength to strength to become the powerhouse that it is today. Providing hundreds of business leads every week and millions of pounds of business opportunities (pre-lockdown), the group is highly engaged, with over 80% of members using the group each month.

The Delegate Wranglers founder and MD, Neil Thompson said, “To say we are delighted is the understatement of the year - to keep growing during lockdown at the same pace, really humbles us. We are really grateful to have such a positive and business minded community”

“Running this amazing community gives us the opportunity to play our part in assisting as many of our members and the wider event industry during these troubled times with lots of free features such as Good News Alerts, DW Live shows, Free job / event calendar listings, Free supplier / freelancer listings, DW  Showtime, Special Agent interviews, Supplier Focus features, and much more. We’ve done this since mid-March and will continue to do so, until the industry begins to move forward once again. Our number 1 goal is to get the event industry back on it’s feet and thriving once again.”

To celebrate reaching this milestone, DW have made a video which shows the timeline of the group since starting in 2014, containing a few of the major developments along the way. You can view the video here: https://youtu.be/UtfW-2NBK_Q

“We would like to thank every single member for all their support, time, effort, energy and everything that you do for your fellow members on the group” Thompson continues, “And that goes for all the original DW members from 2014 right through to all the new members who've joined recently. Now let’s head for 25,000 members!”

To find out more or to apply to join this free community, head over to: www.facebook.com/groups/TheDelegateWranglers/

Contact details:
Email: info@thedelegatewranglers.com
Website: https://www.thedelegatewranglers.com/

This evening (11 August) many event spaces in the UK will be lit in red to highlight the challenge the events industry is currently facing, as part of the #WeMakeEvents campaign. 

As the leading UK distributor of venue information for the meetings and events industry their Michael Begley, Managing Director of venuedirectory, felt compelled to do his part.  

‘Freelancers have been forgotten’ 

Michael explains: “Venues throughout the UK are suffering following the lockdown and we need to highlight the challenges faced by everyone who works in the business events sector.  

“In just one venue there’s a whole team of technicians, transportation specialists, event organisers, AV specialists - many of whom are freelancers who have fallen under the radar of the government’s support schemes and they need our help. These freelancers have been forgotten. Live events are key to people on a personal level and a business level, with the UK seen as the epicentre of many world-class events.” 

venuedirectory.com has over 60,000 meetings and event venues in the UK from small spaces right up to stadia that are part of the world stage. Their distribution channel is one of the biggest networks in the UK and they are supporting the industry with a safe meeting policy database for all venues globally, which is free to any event planner looking to book their next event in a safe and secure environment. 

The #WeMakeEvents campaign, which has the involvement of numerous industry organisations, aims to highlight the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the sector with a series of events to call for government support. 

www.venuedirectory.com  

On 8 September, the first nationwide major face-to-face gatherings of meeting professionals since lockdown

In a united effort to kick-start the events market, many UK industry associations and prominent leaders in the sector have teamed up to create and support UKickstart Event 2020 taking place on Tuesday 8 September at 1400hours.

This free-to-attend nationwide multi-hub live and virtual event will bring together meeting and event leaders and professionals who want to drive the UK to have the confidence to start meeting again.

The event aims to bring the industry together for the first time since lockdown at several UK-wide LIVE in-room venue hubs to demonstrate the power of events and showcase the industry’s role in the economy and its plans for the future.

The initiative is being spearheaded by etc.venues and supported by industry bodies such as BVEP, HBAA, MIA, Visit Britain, ILEA, MPI, ABPCO, EMA, AEO, ESSA, EVCOM, AEV and the London Convention Bureau.

A discussion panel of influential leaders will include a minister from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), Tracy Halliwell MBE (Director of Tourism, Conventions and Major Events at London and Partners), and Simon Hughes (Chairman of BVEP). Topics will feature ‘Government Guidance for 1st October’, ‘How we got here as an industry’ and ‘What the future holds for business events’. Additional sessions and guests will be announced in due course.

Attendees can register to attend the event in-person at their nearest Live Hub, which will be located in major cities across the UK, such as London, Birmingham, Manchester, Farnborough, Liverpool and Belfast, with more locations to be announced soon. Up to 30 people will be able to attend in person at each venue.

Adam Simpson, Director of Marketing of etc.venues, said: “Confidence levels for events and meetings are on an upward climb. We want to continue to inspire confidence and this was why we felt it was important to be the driving force for a united industry-wide effort by creating UKickstart Event 2020. We hope this event will demonstrate the power of face-to-face events and act as a catalyst to kick-start the events industry.”

UKickstart Event 2020 will take place on 8 September from 2pm-4pm.

 

Royal London Group has appointed Conference Care as preferred supplier for Venue Finding Services. The scope of contract includes all Royal London Group businesses and has been awarded for an initial period of three years; launching 1st September 2020.

Royal London went to market issuing a detailed RFP to source a preferred supplier for venue finding services prior to lockdown. Following a robust selection process Conference Care was taken to the final stage of presentations which were hosted virtually. The Royal London presentation panels included Clair Dennis - Communications Channels Manager, Lynda Horsburgh - Events Manager, Jenni Fulton - Events Manager, Adele Gray – Interim Events Manager, Hazel Ritchie – Interim Events Manager, Nicola Reynolds - Marketing Co-ordinator and Ben Miller - Strategic Procurement Manager.

Ben Miller - Strategic Procurement Manager, Royal London –
“We are delighted to announce that Conference Care have been appointed as our partner for Venue Finding Services following an RFP process. The team from Conference Care were extremely professional during a difficult time for the industry and demonstrated a very strong offering that aligns to Royal London’s purpose and strategy. By partnering with Conference Care, we are well positioned to respond to the changes that are taking place within the industry and we are already benefiting from their expertise as we move through the implementation process for this contract.”

Lynda Horsburgh & Jenni Fulton - Events Manager, Royal London –
“We’re delighted to be announcing our partnership with Conference Care. In these challenging times, it gives us great confidence to know we’re working with an award-winning business who aligns themselves with our values to support both large company-wide events and smaller local events.”

Pauline Beattie - Sales Director Scotland, Conference Care added –
“We are truly delighted to be working with the Royal London team. It’s our first virtual implementation of a contract win and has been a great opportunity to think differently. With a strong understanding of the financial services sector, Conference Care is well positioned to align with Royal London’s expectations of a consultative and expert venue finding service, combined with a structured approach to venue contracting and invoicing. We look forward to bringing brilliant people together with amazing venues and building a strong partnership with the Royal London Team.”

For further information please contact Chris Peacock, Director on 02476 369720 or chrisp@conferencecare.com

95 per cent of event planners’ may run a hybrid event in 2020 according to a survey on 29 July by etc.venues. This figure reflects the growing commitment to hybrid events as, at the beginning of July, 73 per cent said they expected to hold a hybrid event this year.

Many are already putting this into action, with 34 per cent of respondents already in the process of organising a hybrid or multi-hub event, while 61 per cent are in the decision-making phase for their event.

The data was collected from 1,215 event planners globally who attended the second in a series of Hybrid Events Masterclasses, organised by global events, training and conference venue provider etc.venues.

The hybrid event, run in partnership with Glisser, was held in two locations, with one live panel in etc.venues County Hall in London and a second across the Atlantic in etc.venues 360 Madison, New York. Online delegates tuned in from across the UK, the US, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Topics discussed ranged from how to best engage virtual and in-person attendees, bringing audiences across locations together via hybrid hubs and networking at hybrid events. etc.venues and its partners have created a helpful Q&A guide that answers the key questions raised across the two hybrid events.

The expert panel in London included Nick Hoare, COO of etc.venues, Mike Piddock, CEO of Glisser, Ralph Cochrane, Co-Founder of Event.Video and was moderated by Samme Allen. The New York-based panellists featured Meghan Carey, Chief Revenue Officer of Glisser and Fiona Macpherson, VP Business Development of etc.venues. The panel members were questioned in-person by Judy Elvey, President of MPI UK&I.  

The panel’s views proved to be persuasive. Pre and post-event polls indicated that during the 60-minute session, delegate confidence in running a successful hybrid event had increased from 5.9 out of 10 to 6.5 out of 10.

Nick Hoare, COO of etc.venues, said: “It is really interesting and encouraging to learn that planners’ confidence levels in hybrid events have grown significantly – and rapidly – over a relatively short time-frame. It is also a good sign that planners want to get back into meeting rooms and see the hybrid as a route offering greater flexibility.

“We all know the power of live events and it is clear that planners, despite recent restrictions, are focused on keeping that crucial face-to-face and live element in virtual events, which is fundamental to their success.”

www.etcvenues.co.uk

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