More than 100 delegates gathered in Leicester last week for the annual Venues of Excellence Conference. The event provided an opportunity for the delegates to network, share best practice and plan for 2018.
Entitled “A Brave New World”, the conference challenged attendees to focus on Quality Above All – a message that is reflected throughout Venues of Excellence and the rigorous assessments undertaken before a member can join the consortium. Guest speakers throughout the event delivered content focused on the setting of brave objectives, stretching targets and the need to work together as a team to achieve excellence.
Speakers at the conference included:
• Dr Suzie Imber – astrophysicist at the University of Leicester and winner of the BBC Astronaut TV Series. Suzie discussed the need to stay focused, prepare and above all to be consistently good over a broad range of skills. • Alan Chambers MBE – polar adventurer and former Royal Marine talked about concentrating on the aims of a project. Using his years of experience and many trips to the North Pole as examples he delivered in-depth and insightful content on the dedication, years of research and planning needed to achieve the most challenging goals. • Dr Rob Davidson – high profile event industry academic used his in-depth industry research and data to reveal how venues and organisers can make the most of all five senses to enhance conferences and inspire the delegates. • Mandy Hickson – former Royal Air Force fast jet pilot challenged the audience to remain calm under pressure, whilst working in a team to stride confidently towards purposeful goals.
“The conference was an incredible success,” commented David Vaughton, Chairman of Venues of Excellence. “Venues of Excellence has been on a very successful journey since our rebrand in 2016, with increased membership and significant financial benefits for our members. This conference was the culmination of a great year and an opportunity to focus on the future and deliver even more value to the consortium. The speakers challenged us whilst creating robust debate and discussion, which is vital to effective learning. Thank you to all our partners for the event, particularly our hosts, Leicester Conferences and their supporting venues Stamford Court and College Court.”
In line with current trends, Stamford Court served an entirely vegan menu for lunch during the conference, whilst College Court hosted the gala dinner including entertainment from X-Factor winner, Andy Abrahams.
During the event two members were recognised with awards by their colleagues: • Venues of Excellence Referral Award – for passing leads to their colleague venues went to Matthew Hancock from Cumberland Lodge. • Venues of Excellence Ambassador Award – for the colleague who has gone above and beyond to work on behalf of the consortium went to Charlotte Sanders, Leicester Conferences.
Feedback from attendees included:
“The speakers were incredible, exhibitors were on point and very interesting, the workshops were inspirational and motivating and all members of my team have commented on how much they took from attending.” Charlotte Sanders, Leicester Conferences
“Loved the motivational speakers – really inspirational and thought provoking. Thought the Vegan lunch was brilliant.” Helen Davenport, Lancaster Conferences
“Alan Chambers was so inspirational. He showed the raw determination to get to the final goal, which can get scary on the way. His story showed that there is no victory without pain and hard work, but so worth it once the goal is achieved.” Eva Neupauer-Jones, Missenden Abbey
“All speakers were brilliant, inspirational & inspiring. There was a great workshop session on Maintaining a Competitive Advantage from Jim Cockell, plus lots of ideas to take back to the workplace… continue what you have provided in the last two years, one of the best industry events.” Justine Meek, Warwick Conferences