If you are looking for an impartial professional view as to which conference and meeting venues in the UK offer the best customer service look no further. The good people at the conference awards have collected 32 judges, all industry professionals, all regular users of venues see HERE . After much discussion here are the winners:
The ICC hosts 400+ events and 350,000 delegates a year for a wide and diverse portfolio of clients, with delegate numbers ranging from 3 to 3000.
In 2019, a four-year £13million refurbishment of all our spaces was completed, transforming the ICC into a world-class, future-proof conferencing and meetings destination.
We are a venue which is constantly evolving to meet the ever-changing needs and aspirations of the conferencing and meetings world – and our success is built on delivering outstanding customer service and support always individual, innovative, fresh and creative, from a team that’s 100% customer-focused.
That’s why so many clients come and stay, some for 20+ years. We work in close partnership with them at every stage, from planning and design through to post-event research and analysis, to answer their specific aims and requirements. We are uniquely committed to their satisfaction – for instance with our Advisory Board, where clients meet up to exchange ideas and network, and where we have face-to-face opportunities to explore their ‘wants’ and priorities – part of our in-depth feedback programmes, which shape our customer services and industry-leading initiatives.
Above all, we’re passionate about delivering brilliant ICC experiences to everyone who walks through our doors.
Ashorne Hill is a dedicated conference centre set in 200 acres of stunning grounds in the Heart of England. A long-standing member of Venues of Excellence, the distraction free environment, well-balanced facilities, professional staff and truly amazing food all contributes to the ‘Ashorne Hill Experience’. Ashorne Hill’s business is built on a strong foundation of people and relationships. ‘Creating growth through people’ succinctly describes what the team at Ashorne Hill achieve on a daily basis; whether that be through the supportive approach given to enquirers, organisers, trainers, delegates and visitors, or the internal focus that drives a team that is well cared for and developed to achieve the highest levels of job satisfaction and customer care.
The management team at Ashorne are constantly fine tuning the customer-first approach which centres around providing a very personal relationship right through from the talented sales team through to the hardworking operations departments. It is clear from feedback from key clients that the team’s ‘make it personal’ ethos and collaborative style is positively received as going above and beyond and is a clear reason why client retention and new business rates are consistently high. Ashorne Hill’s team are fantastic ambassadors for the hospitality industry.
At Hallam Conference Centre we believe we can offer some of the best customer service offered anywhere in any sector. We have fantastic people who have been with us for far far longer than the industry average. On both a personal and a business level they are committed to delivering excellence in customer service. This excellence is evidenced through levels of client retention we are exceedingly proud of, this in turn feeds through to rising revenues. Above all we are grateful to our clients in these difficult times for continuing to support us.
DE VERE – DE VERE WOKEFIELD ESTATE
De Vere Wokefield Estate completed a £20m refurbishment in 2018, transforming the property into a stylish, contemporary hotel and meeting venue. The estate covers 250 acres, has 376 bedrooms and 34 meeting spaces to accommodate up to 500 guests.
The estate has an 18-hole golf course designed to US PGA Standards, plus Europe’s largest ‘rope course’ and a range of team building activities run by the on-site team building company. The scope and scale of the venue means it attracts and retains organisations large and small, local and from further afield, including Lindt, Deloitte, HSBC, Alcon, Accenture and Microchip.
Colleagues are recognised and rewarded for their achievements and participate in regular training and development activities. The team is enthusiastic, motivated and well-nurtured, taking a proactive approach to delivering exemplary customer service, putting the customer at the heart of everything they do. While a high-quality baseline service level is firmly adhered to, each customer is treated as an individual and the approach tailored to their requirements.
glh HOTELS – AMBA HOTEL CHARING CROSS
Built in 1865, the Grade II* listed Amba Hotel Charing Cross is a stunning four-star station hotel in central London. Originally designed in Franco-Italianate style by E M Barry, son of the House of Commons’ architect, this iconic building has been transformed for the modern age with the Amba brand, while retaining the original features which made it one of the most prestigious hotels in Victorian London. The events and sales office organise each stage of the event, from a friendly greeting, to serving food, and always delivering service with a smile and undivided attention. Building relationships with clients is an important focus, this is demonstrated with the special, long-standing relationship with the Southern Railway Association, who are the contractors that built the hotel, that have hosted 70 Annual Anniversaries at the hotel. Excellent service is the focus of every customer interaction, and event organised, this has not gone unnoticed within the industry. For the first time, Amba Hotel Charing Cross is an AIM accredited venue from MIA (Meetings Industry Association) and achieving a pass mark of 98.1% and also received a Venue Verdict BDRC Gold accreditation.
King’s Venues is the conference and events department for King’s College London, a university with over 30,000 students and a turnover of nearly one billion pounds per annum. King’s Venues offers an exciting choice of over 200 unique spaces across five locations in London and suitable for all types of events, coupled with up-to-date facilities and outstanding service.
Ministry Venues has built a reputation for delivering consistently high-quality events for a hugely diverse range of clients. The four cutting edge venues in central London have grown from their flagship 103 Gaunt Street address to now encompass five unique event spaces that provide a backdrop for exhibitions, award ceremonies, conferences, parties and experiential events.
Ministry Venues’ team has grown from three to nine in the last twelve months, to help to manage its busiest year to date, with a 43% growth in occupancy and revenue. Client retention has been a key part of this success, alongside the growing reputation of the team to produce world class events with a high production value. The team has hosted conferences for some of the world’s biggest brands including L’Oreal, Talk Talk, Overbury, SEGA, Manning Gottlieb, PWC and ballet production house Sisters Grimm.
ONE GREAT GEORGE STREET
Headquarters for Institution of Civil Engineers, One Great George Street was designed by Scottish architect James Miller. It has been a Grade II listed building since 1984 and became a conference venue in 1989. The venue offers 21 flexible spaces including the spectacular Great Hall, State Rooms and two theatres. The magnificent glass-domed Edwardian building with its neo-Palladian and Baroque interior, is today a popular choice for conferences. Please see below some recent testimonials from our clients: Halpern Studio – October 2019 “Very beautiful and unique venue. The One Great George team were so easy to work with both before and during our event and provided excellent service”. In 2019 we hosted one of London Fashion week’s premier fashion shows, Halpern Studio chose the Great Hall to showcase their 2020 ready to wear collection. One of the team’s greatest successes was working on the Global Engineering Congress. This is a week-long event that also encompasses several related events simultaneously. The events included the main conference, lectures, Gala & private dinners & receptions. There were 450 individual attendees to cater to on every day of the congress. Collectively the team at OGGS have built up over 200 years of service!
The QEII Centre is central London’s leading large events venue, hosting more than 400 events every year for up to 2,500 delegates.
The variety of events held at QEII ranges from conferences, exhibitions to fashion shows, product launches, dinners and awards ceremonies. Customer service is at the heart of QEII’s offering, whether it’s the digital team creating bespoke apps, the award-winning caterers creating sustainable menus that excite guests, or every member of the team going above and beyond to make each event a resounding success.
Team success is celebrated at QEII – internal awards are given to those who go above and beyond, positive client feedback is shared through an internal quarterly magazine, and both teams and individuals are put forward to external awards to celebrate their achievements. The team are also able to showcase their creativity and flair for events at an annual showcase, which is a proud moment for everyone as they get to hear the glowing feedback from attendees.
Our success as a venue is underlined by the fact that the year 2018/19 was our most successful to date. Turnover for the year 2018/19 showed an 11% increase on the previous year.
At Tobacco Dock, exceptional customer service lies at the core of our offering. We know that while we may have an outstanding array of spaces, great supplier relationships, and convenient location, it wouldn’t amount to anything without the high standard of service we strive to provide to our clients.
We deal with new enquiries swiftly, gaining a careful understanding of the brief and responding with full proposals within eight hours. Both prospective and repeat clients benefit from comprehensive site visits with our team to help acquaint them with the venue.
Each event receives dedicated account and operations managers who will be on hand to lend their experience of working with the space, liaise with suppliers and advise on branding and logistics. These same team members will be allocated should the event make a return visit to Tobacco Dock.
We pride ourselves on our flexible approach and are accustomed to navigating changing or evolving briefs, working hard to meet clients’ requests so the end event surpasses their vision. A relatively small team means that communication between departments is constant and clear. Our thorough debrief process means that any issues are dealt with and returning events are increasingly straightforward.
Conferences can be challenging events to organise and finding the right host venue is an important factor in any conference’s success. We have access to an extensive network of high quality venues in London and nationwide which can cater for conferences large and small. Get in touch today and tell us about your upcoming conference, exhibition or AGM. Our free venue finder service can save you time and money.
If you are looking for a venue, whatever your requirements, we can help save you time and money. Simply send us your brief and our experienced team of venue finders will do the rest.
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