With so many companies embracing ‘working from home’ it was hard to know if we would see a return to the level of conferencing bookings we have had in the past. After lockdown we saw a few companies dip their toe in the water with smaller meetings and events and after a quiet start to the year we are happy to see a big demand for use of our conference space! Not only from some of our previous regular clients, but we also have lots of new clients, many from recommendations. We are hosting large events from conferences, training days and corporate summer parties that include BBQs in our Riverside Gardens.
As there seems to be a shift towards hybrid meetings (a meeting which combines a ‘live’ in-person event with others joining remotely, enabled by audio and video conferencing technology), we have been working with our AV partners and utilising our high-speed leased line internet, to successfully host a number of conferences in recent months.
EasyJet have been a long standing client for us over the years and recently held a conference here. We were keen to get the CEO of EasyJet Holidays thoughts on the conference business going forward, here’s what he had to say.
What are the keys aspects / features you consider most important when selecting a venue?
"After the last few years of not being together face to face and a new hybrid working environment, it’s essential that when we spend time together as a team it is productive, engaging and fun - when selecting a venue clearly the basics need to be there - size of rooms, sound and light, breakout areas etc. but also it’s important that the space allows for engaging conversations and interactions and can sustain the teams enthusiasm throughout the period of the event."
What are the key deliverables you believe are essential in order to achieve a successful conference?
"Excellent audio visual and comfort but also features, whether they be architectural or setting or layout that allows teams to feel enthusiastic and engaged."
There is a definite shift towards ‘in-person’ conferences / team building again, do you think this is sustainable or will companies move towards on-line events?
"I think more than ever they are really important in bringing teams together now and in the future and the importance of in person events cannot be underestimated."
Garry Wilson – CEO Easyjet Holidays