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04/2021

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Wyboston Lakes Resort is giving all its team the opportunity to ‘go green’ at home by switching to renewable energy – with a financial incentive as well.

The offer is a result of Wyboston Lakes Resort’s partnership with The Energy Check, energy saving experts who, since June 2020, have been advising the Resort’s management team on energy usage, how to reduce it and become more sustainable.  The 380-acre site which includes a hotel, two conference and training venues, spa, golf course and business units operates 100% of the time on renewable energy. The Resort was recently presented with three major awards for the sustainability of its operations and has reduced its carbon footprint by 65% of its total emissions since 2019.

All members of the Wyboston Lakes Resort team who switch to the competitively priced renewable energy will also receive a £20 shopping voucher for completing a dual fuel switch and a £10 voucher for a single fuel switch.

Katherine White, Director of People said: “The team here are totally committed to finding every opportunity to help us make the site’s operations more sustainable. We thought that, in addition to the other employee benefits we offer, we would give them the chance to make their homes more sustainable as well. Many have already shown keen interest in it.”

www.wybostonlakes.co.uk

 

There has been an average reduction of 39 per cent in full time equivalent positions within agencies in the meeting, events and accommodation industry since February 2020, according to a new HBAA survey due to be published in April.

This figure has increased by 9% since June 2020 when a previous HBAA study revealed that 30% of employees working in the sector at the time were at risk of redundancy.

The HBAA’s Q1 2021 research, which surveyed close to 100 members, also revealed that 20% of venues and agencies have not received any grants or business rates relief.

Some 74% of agencies also said their business needed an extension to the government’s furlough scheme and 44% need the relief on business rates to be able to continue.

HBAA anticipates it will be easier for venues more than agency members to continue to benefit from business rates relief now confirmed for 2021-22. Agencies will be left in the precarious position of relying on grants from Local Authorities.

Julie Shorrock, HBAA Membership Director and Managing Director of Hotel and Travel Solutions, said: “This research shows the grave effect the pandemic has had on the meeting, events and accommodation industry. Bearing in mind this survey has been conducted during the furlough period, it is likely there will be more redundancies when the scheme ends unless there is a dramatic upturn in business. It is of great concern that the furlough scheme is hiding the true impact of Covid-19 on our industry.

“HBAA has continued to strive to support members throughout the pandemic with a voice into government via the BVEP and directly, and by providing timely advice and education on pertinent issues. It has also been important for us to bring together our community to share ideas, experiences and best practices around our four pillars of resilience, innovation, ethics and quality. Our immediate priorities going forward are to continue campaigning for recognition and sector specific support, to provide our members with the toolkits they need to revive their businesses, and to build customer confidence to spend again.”

In recognition of Warwick Conferences’ remarkable commitment to operating sustainably, the venue provider has been awarded the esteemed IACC Green Star for its eco-friendly efforts.

Achieving the prestigious Gold Tier status, Warwick Conferences has demonstrated its dedication to implementing green initiatives. The Green Star is a highly recognised accreditation awarded to venues which adhere to IACC’s Code of Sustainability to continually strive to act in a more economical way. There are 60 tenets within the code which venues must adopt to reduce their carbon footprint and environmental impact, such as waste management, recycling and energy management.

In its bid to continually improve its sustainable offering, Warwick Conferences has introduced a number of steps to minimise waste. It works with local food suppliers, for example, to reduce the distance travelled when ingredients are being delivered, minimising its carbon footprint. 

Additionally, Warwick Conferences works alongside the University of Warwick to recycle 58% of all waste, with only 3% going to landfill due to the reduced usage of plastic and paper packaging within the venues. The company also invests in packaging that is environmentally friendly and completely compostable, with paper coffee cups no longer an option in the lounge areas.

Commenting on achieving the Green Star, Warwick Conferences’ Director Paul Bartlett, commented: “At Warwick Conferences we pride ourselves on our continual development of key sustainability initiatives that are not only beneficial to us as a business and our customers, but to wider society too. Achieving IACC’s Green Star at Gold Tier level is testament to the team’s hard work in ensuring we are environmentally responsible as a business.”

 

For more information, please visit www.warwickconferences.com.

Wyboston Lakes Resort in Bedfordshire has launched a recruitment drive to take on up to 25 new team members. As a priority, it is starting by ‘re-recruiting’, offering the opportunity to re-apply for roles within the business to former team members who were made redundant when the resort was forced to close during the pandemic.

The roles will be across all departments including the site’s four-star hotel, restaurant, bar, spa and conference and training facilities. The positions vary from food and beverage manager to event venue hosts and guest services.

The opportunities have been created following a surge in forward bookings in all areas from the hotel and restaurant to the Y Spa, and event enquiries worth almost £3m over just the last 3 weeks – the highest amount in the last 12 months. The resort’s hotel and its two conference, events and training centres are due to reopen on 17 May and the Y Spa from 20 May.

Steve Jones, Managing Director of Wyboston Lakes Resort, said: “Since the government’s roadmap announcement, we have received a huge increase in bookings and enquiries across all parts of the resort. After a challenging year, we are pleased to finally be growing our team again and hope we can re-employ and welcome back many members of the team whom we were sad to lose last year as a result of the pandemic.”

Lime Venue Portfolio Launches Chapter V of Beyond Food

Lime Venue Portfolio has shared some early insights of the effects of Covid-19, on the UK meetings and events market, as it launches Chapter V of Beyond Food.  The report includes contributions from both within and outside of the industry, including leading brands and commentators, as well as a survey that looks at changes in the buying behaviours of meeting planners.

The survey, which covered the opinions of over 60 meeting and event planners, showed that hygiene and operations around Covid-19 had risen up the priority list ahead of content and price, as event planners look to organise live experiences in a post-pandemic world. However, it also showed that sustainability had been one of the main casualties of the pandemic, with the subject falling down the pecking order.

“It’s predictable that sustainability has had to take a back seat in the face of the pandemic, and safety and health needs to take priority,” commented Jo Austin, Sales Director, Lime Venue Portfolio. “However, we do think the industry needs to continue to make progress in terms of its commitments to the planet. Our customers, and their delegates, won’t forgive us if we don’t and we, as an industry, need to meet the challenge.”

The Beyond Food Report series launched with the aim of taking a detailed look at the evolution of events and specifically, the role food will play in experiences. Previous Chapters have covered the importance of food waste, the creation of the hashtag #FORO (Fear of Running Out), Food & Mental Health and The Plant Menu. The latest Chapter seeks to understand the effect of the pandemic on the event industry, through the prism of food.

As well as empirical data, the chapter also has opinion, and includes an insightful blog from experience creative Robert Dunsmore on how event planners can re-boot, re-energise and re-store events, and their delegates, following such a long period without face-to-face events. Part of the theme for recovery throughout the report is the need to return to home comforts, safe environments and familiar experiences; an area where food can play a specific role.

“Clearly food isn’t the top of the agenda right now, when it comes to bringing the events industry back into recovery,” continues Jo. “What we are saying though is that it can play a small part in the experience of every delegate as they navigate through what will, at first, be a new and disconcerting world of events. We can be the comforting Chicken Soup if you like.”

Beyond Food Chapter V is out now and available for download here. To access the previous three chapters, visit www.limevenueportfolio.com/content-hub/beyond-food-reports/.

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