What our clients say about us…

Written By Joe Wigley
Systems Developer

 

At Conference Care we’re always thinking about how to improve on our services, and as experts in the events industry we want to make sure that our clients are always delighted with what we do for them. But we were truly amazed at the fantastic feedback we received from a recent feedback survey, and we wanted to share some of the great comments made about our team.

The team in the office deserve to be recognised for the hard work they do and what better way than hearing it from the clients we look after. WELL DONE!

Krina has been brilliant thank you and has worked hard to support us with the hotels we worked with, especially in Miami. The contract was a headache, so she helped alleviate the pain.”

“I believe every member of Conference Care I have dealt with have always gone the extra mile, this started with Lynne Mulgrew and carried on with Sarah Huckerby.”

Helen Birtles – Always quick to come back to us with quotes for venues.”

“The Nestle team provide excellent service, quick reaction and problem solving”

Jayne Turnor is my consultant. She is brilliant! Jayne always responds really quickly, not only to my initial enquiry but also to every question along the way to a successful event. Jayne inspires confidence and it is a pleasure to work with her.”

 Matt Harris – please reward him, he keeps up with our incredibly fast pace and never lets us down. He is a credit to Conference Care.”

Leanne Land – always helpful, friendly and whose knowledge helps me to book amazing venues.”

Louise Harwood – she really helped out with our event where we had some issues and she got them resolved. Julia Green has been fabulous too!”

 “Everyone is always so helpful but the team who deal with Nestle are great.”

Susie Ritchie always goes the extra mile to ensure that we as a company are happy and also up to date with the events that we need to plan. She is such a warm and friendly person that you immediately trust her with the things that need doing, she’s fab!”

Pauline and Franky have both been a tremendous credit to the Conference Care brand. Pauline really leads from the front in an exemplary way. Franky came on board mid-project and absolutely made it his own, regularly going above and beyond to come to our rescue.”

“I think all the staff that I have dealt with have been excellent. The one person that pops to mind is someone who has to deal with a lot of changes and varying demands of our company and she just took it in her stride even though we were probably pushing her to the limits, that person was Julie Dawkins.”

“I have dealt with Krina, Julie, Helen and Susie. They have all been absolutely fantastic, NOTHING is ever too much trouble. “

Emily Hill – efficient, quick and professional.”

Rebecca Hollis has really helped me out in the past couple of years. She negotiated with the venue to move my event several times without charge and even into a new year.”

Sarah Huckerby is a lovely friendly person, always bubbly and takes good care of me as a client, ensuring my needs are taken care of.”

Lindsey was great to have onsite and very quickly understood what our events were about and the standards expected.”

Krina is fantastic, she’s always cheery and helpful on the phone, understands our business and our particular requirements. She liaises with the venues in our behalf superbly.”

“I’ve been liaising with Leah Rushton and she’s been fantastic. Quick and efficient, couldn’t be more helpful.” 

Julia Green is amazing, always a friendly smile and can never do enough for me, I really look forward to our visits.”

Melissa Lackenby has been my point of contact for over 6 years and she is attentive, responsive, friendly, helpful and a breath of fresh air. Even in challenging situations she remains positive, calm and always has a smile.”

Joe Coe – professional knowledge of our business needs and dedicated to delivering best possible outcomes.”

Seckin was extremely helpful when helping me find an event for a leadership meeting.”

 “I think the clue is in your company name, you CARE! It’s the little details that count for me and the always being one step ahead of your clients with no request ever being too big or small.”

Karen Rogers is really good at her job and she is really thoughtful and friendly on a personal level too.”

Leanne land is absolutely awesome, I sometimes give her last minute and very difficult requests and no matter what, she never lets me down, and always delivers with a smile, thank you Leanne.” 

Helen Birtles who was my support for a long time and did a FANTASTIC job, no matter how hectic my work load was.”

 

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Why being “Golden” means so much to me…

Written By Sally McNamara
Business Development Manager

I joined Conference Care in 2015 and it was our first Gold M&IT win – an amazing time to join the company on such a high. However, I’ll start this blog by going back a few years, to the start of our M&IT Awards Journey.

In 2014, Conference Care had built up a strong portfolio of loyal clients, but we realised we hadn’t given them much opportunity to have their say on the support we provide them, especially to our industry peers. We already had a string of accolades under our belt, winning the HBAA ‘Meetings Agent of The Year’ Award, the C&IT ‘Agency of The Year’ Award, accreditations from Investors In People – as well as approaching our 20th Anniversary year, with our team growing to over 40 members of staff, the opportunity had arisen for us to qualify in a category of awards we had never considered before.

Enter the M&IT Award for Best Intermediary Agency (more than 40 employees). The M&IT Awards is the event industry’s biggest and most prestigious recognition programme, designed to reward excellence.

Joanne Coe, one of our Team Managers has attended several of the awards events and says “It is the event of the year for events people, the one to be seen at… you’re massively recognised within the industry if you’re a winner. The event itself has an amazing atmosphere”

Our clients took the opportunity to vote for us in their hoards – and to our delight, we managed to scoop Silver. This against our competitors who were five, ten or even twenty times larger than us! For our inaugural foray into the world of M&IT, this was an amazing achievement. We were hungry for more…

Spurred on by our success, entering again in 2015 was a no-brainer, and with the expansion of our team (me being one of the new recruits) and some new client wins, as well as strengthening our reputation with the 2014 award behind us, we defied expectations and managed to grab the Gold award. The team and I were completely overwhelmed by the support of all of our amazing clients, and it truly was testament to how much our support and expertise is valued by those that work with us. It was my first year with Conference Care and to win Gold was such a thrill, the whole office celebrated with a glass of fizz and a McDonald’s breakfast – on a Monday(!)- so it very much cemented that I’d made the right choice coming to work here!

We held the top spot into 2016, and as our reputation within the industry was reinforced, we moved into new offices to accommodate our ever-growing team, needed to support the number of new customers the award had generated. 2017 brought the triple whammy and we were so indebted to every single person that took the time to vote for us.

To go for the award for the fourth year wasn’t an easy decision – we could have rested on our laurels and continued to ride on the success of having such an accolade to our name – three years at the top did have a very nice ring to it after all… but we recognised that this was now part of our identity as first-class. We’re undoubtedly one of the smaller companies in our category, which to me, cements how much our clients recognise our value. We aren’t the biggest, we don’t have the largest client base, but year on year we’re acknowledged as the best in the industry. It was definitely a tense moment for those who were eagerly awaiting the announcement, spending Friday night furiously refreshing Twitter (I promise I wasn’t alone in doing this!) – to learn the amazing news that we’d gone and done it, 2018 was our year again! Our longest standing member of staff, Event Consultant Leanne Land feels “honoured that we have been recognised consistently within such a competitive and fast-moving industry”.

This award isn’t judged by a panel measuring our metrics. We’ve won it because our amazing clients vote for us; and I think this speaks volumes. It’s a testament to how we are creative, collaborative and caring.

So there you have it – not the reasons why to vote for Conference Care when we’re going for gold again – but why it means so much to us to be recognised again. I know that for me personally, it makes me so very proud of the whole team – and it shows that we aren’t process led, we’re people led.

If you’ve had a great experience with us and value our support, please vote for us in Category G: Best Intermediary Agency (more than 40 employees) here.

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Conference Care’s Clients’ Fantastic Favourite Venues

Ask anyone in Conference Care what their favourite venue is and you will get a myriad of different answers! What floats one person’s boat is a complete turn off for another, which is why we always treat every event individually.

 

In our recent survey we asked our clients what the most important things are for them when selecting a venue for either business or leisure. Interestingly, the top answer for selecting a venue for business was in fact not the style, location or even budget, it was the people at the venue that came out the highest; showing that it is ultimately the service you receive that can make or break a business event.

When it came to leisure choices however, priorities shifted slightly; becoming less about how venues delivered their services and more about what the venue could offer in terms of onsite amenities and spa facilities.

Of course, many of our clients won’t have just one venue that works for them, as every event brief tends to come with its own audience and objectives. We love the variety of venues we get to work with on a daily basis and know just how great it is when a venue really hits the spot so we also asked our clients to try and pinpoint favourites for them and explain why.

Sadly we cannot list every venue that is doing a great job, but we felt we should share at least some of them! In no particular order, a shout out goes to the following…

 

Ten Favourite Business Venues:

  • The Grove, Hertfordshire – ‘easy to get to, beautiful setting, good service and excellent facilities’
  • Cloth Hall Court, Leeds – ‘practical, modern, high tech and helpful’
  • Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel – ‘comfortable, friendly staff, good food and cleanliness’
  • Apex Waterloo Place Hotel, Edinburgh – ‘clean, modern, attractive, appealing and right in the centre of Edinburgh’
  • Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, London – ‘the operation is always really smooth but it doesn’t feel too corporate at the same time’
  • Macdonald Compleat Angler, Marlow – ‘Beautiful settings and good service’
  • Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester – ‘an affordable modern venue which really delivers professional service’
  • ACC Liverpool – ‘great space, professional staff and fantastic facilities – also has some fantastic hotels like the Pullman Liverpool Hotel which work really well together’
  • Coombe Abbey, Warwickshire – ‘a great atmosphere, history and ambience. I love to book guests in here and see their faces of amazement when they arrive’
  • Amari Watergate Hotel, Bangkok – ‘Great service, great food, luxurious bedrooms.’

Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester

Ten Favourite Leisure Venues:

  1. Hinckley Island Hotel, Leicestershire – ‘a great hotel for both business and leisure!’
  2. Prestonfield House, Edinburgh – ‘Beautiful venue, glamorous, opulent – complete luxury’
  3. Ham Yard Hotel, London – ‘I love this hotel, which contains my husband’s favourite past time a bowling alley!’
  4. Stapleford Park, Melton Mowbray – ‘the rooms are lovely, good spa and they are great at the little touches. There are lots of activities/ country pursuits that can be booked via the hotel too.’
  5. Merchant Square, Glasgow – ‘fantastic location, great atmosphere’
  6. Carden Park Hotel, Cheshire – ‘beautiful surroundings, lots of choice in activities and great service’
  7. King Street Townhouse, Manchester – ‘a grand hotel with personal relaxed service and atmosphere’
  8. Rudding Park, Harrogate – ‘the new spa is just WOW!’
  9. Ashdown Park, Sussex – ‘exceptional rooms with wonderful views of the grounds; a beautiful hotel’
  10. Grosvenor House Hotel, Dubai – ‘totally luxurious and service is exemplary’

Ham Yard Hotel

If any of these venues sound like they tick the box for your next event, or if you’d like a chat about what you need to really make your event a success, give our friendly team a call on 02476 369720 or email us sales@conferencecare.com.

 

 

 

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The Meetings Show; Great content or just good coffee?

This week The Meetings Show has been taking place at Olympia London, and promised over 50 hours of free content, 64 expert speakers and countless networking opportunities.

 

While in the current climate we have never had more opportunities to connect, it would seem as we are bombarded by advertising and brands the trust and knowledge of ‘real’ relationships are standing the test of time. An exhibition is a real opportunity to build and nurture these relationships, but only if you have a game plan!

Account Development Manager Julia Green and Team Manager Jayne Turnor attended day one of The Meetings Show, so we spoke to them about their experience…

 

What was your objective when going to the show?

JG: I went to the show with the purpose of introducing a client to new venues, we are currently working on her expanding events schedule for 2019 so it was an opportunity to meet with multiple venues at the same time. I wanted to use my knowledge of their brand, synergy and event requirements to work together on getting the best out of the day.

JT: My objective was to expand my venue knowledge and deepen relationships with suppliers and spending time face to face is always valuable. I wanted to really explore destinations on this occasion as opposed to particular groups or venues; our clients increasingly look to use not just one venue but also tie in surrounding activities, places of interest etc. In particular Belfast was on my list as it’s becoming a very popular destination for the clients I work with.

What was the itinerary for the day?

JG: Sit with coffee! We started with the obligatory cup of coffee and mapped out which were the key venues for us to see. We talked through how much time the client had to spend, what she wanted to gain and then we targeted each one accordingly.

JT: Before the show, I had already identified key appointments I wanted to make to ensure I had a plan, but also when I arrived, I picked out a few in-between that I felt would also be beneficial.

Who did you see and what did you learn about each one?

JG: We saw so many! However those that were particularly useful for the client were The Belfry, the QEII, Cliveden & Chewton Glen, Newbury Racecourse and St Ermins – I had no idea they did Bee keeping workshops! Mercedes Benz World has some great new team building packages and Farnborough International has amazing outdoor space overlooking the runway.

JT: The Visit Belfast team were really helpful to me. I also met with Hastings Hotels who are all based in Belfast too, we have worked with them before, but not yet met and within five minutes we already had a much greater understanding of each other’s business needs. Other meetings which were really helpful were The Barbican as I hadn’t fully appreciated the scope of the space they could offer, and the NEC who we would always contact for large events and exhibition in the Midlands, but also offer some great spaces for much smaller events. My meeting with Butlins also completely changed my perception – such fantastic and flexible space!

 

What was different/unusual/useful about the event? 

JG: The Chill & Charge area was perfect, I was busy snapping pictures and emailing details throughout the day so the charging station was very handy. It was good to see so many venues in short space of time although time flew and I still missed many who would have been good to see!

JT: I went as a hosted buyer with the HBAA, and the buyers lounge was a great place to stop and regroup to ensure I was keeping on track! The variety of supplier and venues was really good, and I found I walked round and around again spotting places I had missed!

 

What benefits were there for you?

JG: My client found the day really useful – it expanded her knowledge she said she found it far more productive going with us than it would have done if she had attended independently. From my perspective it really demonstrated to my client Conference Care’s great relationships with venues; the fact that she got so much out of it was hugely beneficial to me too!

JT: The day had a real energy and buzz about it. I was so proud to be there representing Conference Care; spending time among such a variety of venues gave me a renewed enthusiasm for the industry I work in and reminded me why I love my job!

 

For a chat about your next event, give our friendly team a call on 02476 369720 or email us sales@conferencecare.com

 

 

 

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Working in events; three best and worst things

Working in the events industry can be hard work; last minute changes, multiple suppliers, cancellations, and circumstances beyond your control (the #beastfromtheeast springs to mind) all contribute to a stressful working environment, however events do have a high energy, creative and fun atmosphere which can make it incredibly satisfying!

 

Conference Care recently conducted a client survey, asking questions on event catering, technology, WiFi, trends and favourite venues to name a few. We knew why we enjoy working in the industry, but were curious to see whether our clients agreed! We asked Event Planners, PA’s, Marketing Managers and HR Executives their opinions on the best and worst things about working in events…

 

Top three best bits…

 

1. Variety

The reason Conference Care’s service is so personal is because we understand no two events or clients are the same. We approach each event knowing that everyone’s requirements are particular to them, so there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Our clients agree, with 13% saying that the range of events, locations, venues and day to day tasks are what keeps them interested.

 

‘No two days are the same, in an ever changing fast moving world, companies want their events to be memorable, and keeping at the forefront of new concepts, venues and trends makes my job fascinating – and is why I come to you!’

 

 

2. The People

It’s unusual to meet someone in the events Industry who isn’t a people person; after all events are normally about bringing audiences together, and it’s often those people that make the job so interesting. 26% of our respondents said working with people from a diverse range of backgrounds, sectors and locations are what makes their job engaging. Networking opportunities provided by attending events are also something everyone enjoys.

‘Working with different people and being part of something special is a great feeling. It’s always good to see a happy face after the event.’

 

 

3. Job Satisfaction 

Some of our clients run events day in day out, some are required to find a venue for team meetings or product launches as part of their role and some are tasked with organising the office Christmas party. However everyone agrees that despite the challenges that you can sometimes face when working in events, the satisfaction you feel when everything runs smoothly is hard to beat; job satisfaction is top of the list with 41% of the respondents saying that it is the best thing about the job.

‘The best thing about my role is the challenges of putting together an event; I get a great deal of satisfaction seeing the end result after months of planning.’

 

 

The downsides…

 

1. Long hours

‘Everyone thinks it’s glamorous – it’s NOT :-)’ said one client! Prep before the event; follow up after the event, travel, unsociable hours and staying away from family are mentioned by 15% of respondents as downsides of the job.

 

2. Stress

19% of respondents said stress is the worst part of their job, with many saying the pressure to deliver a great event without support or understanding of what’s entailed being big contributors. Last minute changes and unforeseen circumstances (reasons four and five on the list of worst things) are also major contributing factors!

‘If something goes wrong on the day or you are relying on something that isn’t under your control you have to deal with it instantly. My motto is to make sure you have a back-up plan for as much as you can!’

 

 

3. Venue Issues

Having issues with venues is unfortunately the highest factor of dissatisfaction, with 42% of those surveyed saying that poor service and inflexibility contributes to venues not meeting expectations. Lack of technical support, organisation and communication are all cited as reasons why clients feel let down.

‘Nothing worse than when the venue turns out to be a disaster and my colleagues don’t enjoy their day’

 

 

Of course, not all venues should be tarred with the same brush; as part of the same survey we also asked about our client’s favourite venues and why, and we had a huge range of venues applauded for their fantastic spaces, exemplary staff, great facilities and professional attitude.

 

However, it does highlight that asking an expert is going to ensure that you get that number one feeling of satisfaction at each and every event! For a chat about your next event, give our friendly team a call on

02476 369720 or email us sales@conferencecare.com.

 

 

 

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