By Paul Bartlett, Director of Warwick Conferences
Every year, we publish our industry trends report and reflect on the learnings and expected focuses across the industry. And while last year was no normal year – and one we will not want repeating anytime soon – that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t buck the trend, despite it looking a lot different than usual. Let’s take some time to look ahead to the new year, as we start to plan for the future.
Reflecting on 2020
2020 was a year nobody could predict and like most businesses, we had to adapt. We launched virtual conferencing and hybrid meeting services, which received the seal of approval from British Mensa. These services helped ensure that planned events, board meetings and international conferences could still go ahead, bringing together communities isolated by the pandemic.
Another important step for us was to support our local community, particularly for the students who faced an extended period away from home. Our team delivered 8,500 boxed meals to bedrooms for students, while the Conference team has managed a number of events to support the University of Warwick’s students during this difficult period. From hosting a pumpkin carving competition, to our chefs hosting a student cook-a-long session, it’s been a heartening experience and one that we are proud to have played a part. And while we missed you over the Christmas period, we delivered 1,750 Christmas meals to students both on- and off-campus.
January is always a month of new beginnings and this year is no different. Lockdown restrictions have meant we have had to unfortunately close our doors for meetings and conference bookings. However, our commitment to supporting businesses is stronger than ever.
Behind the scenes, we have been working on a number of really exciting initiatives to ensure your experience exceeds your expectations when it is safe to return. This year, we have already achieved the prestigious ECOSmart Gold Status by Greengage Solutions. This award is a demonstration of excellent standards of environmental sustainability, achieved thanks to Warwick Conferences’ commitment to energy and water conservation, waste management and recycling, among others.
We have also been working on an industry-first tool designed to deliver support when creating certain business improvement programmes. We’re keeping tight-lipped at the moment, but it is a development we are very excited to share with you in 2021 and one we are sure you will love.
Preparing for the future
There have also been some changes to our services during this time. We have continued to adapt our facilities in Scarman and Radcliffe to ensure they are equipped to support virtual technology to allow for hybrid meetings and conferences.
The new executive boardroom is available, while our outdoor creative spaces are primed and ready for springtime meetings. Spending time outdoors is ideal for teams looking to brainstorm, offering a tranquil green space and access to our award-winning services and facilities.
Now is the time for businesses to start to plan a post-pandemic strategy, if this hasn’t already taken place. The Warwick Conferences team will continue to keep its lines open for a chat – whether about the new developments, advice on planning for the future or for a general catch-up over tea and cake.
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