These losses have however been more than made up for by expansion in the corporate meetings and event sectors.
Church House Conference Centre has seen a huge reversal of fortunes since the general election in May 2010 with more than a 40% increase in corporate sector business. These gains have largely been due to space freed up following the cancellation of various public sector events in light of government cuts.
Church House Conference Centre, general manager, Robin Parker said: “The last year has been incredibly exciting for Church House; we have seen huge shifts in our business. From May 2010 to May 2011 the percentage of our total room hire revenue coming from the public sector has been 30%. A figure we would historically expect to be around 60%. With a greater focus on marketing to the corporate and association markets, we have drawn in a host of new clients and events. We are of course disappointed that cuts have so heavily impacted public sector events, particularly given our proximity to the Houses of Parliament and Westminster. However, by planning and executing a variety of measures we have covered the shortfall and look forward to further success through the growth in our corporate and association business, particularly evening events including dinners, receptions, award ceremonies and parties.”
One particular area that has seen growth for Church House has been non-conference related use of their event space for award dinners and other types of hospitality as Robin explains: “Our venue is ideally laid out for creative and unusually themed dinners and receptions, particularly when supported by our catering partner Kudos and our in house audio visual team. In fact, hospitality business has grown by 10 -12% over the last few months.”
New business in the last year has included events for The Spectator Magazine, The Media Trust and The Capita Group.