The Conference People - Conference & Venue Blog
Working with Penguin Random House
Posted on April 29th, 2014 by Jacqui, in General | 1 Comment
PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE COMPANY CONFERENCE 2014
Monday 24 – Friday 28 February 2014
Key hotels; Hilton Brighton Metropole and the De Vere Grand Hotel Brighton. And eight other hotels and 20 restaurants and special event venues.
Organised and managed by:
The Conference People
Number of delegates:
This was the first all company conference for the newly merged Penguin Random House company. It needed to incorporate a combination of business sessions highlighting past performance, future plans and product as well as various networking opportunities and a conference dinner.
The Conference People have worked with Penguin for the past 20 years and in recent years also with Random House. When the two companies merged last year, we were briefed to carry out a comprehensive venue search. Key requirements were: maximum 1.5 hours travel by train from London, two high quality conference rooms for 500 – 600 delegates in each, 1,200 bedrooms, gala dinner venue for 1,200, potential dine-around venues – and all of this within walking distance to each other!
Budget was key and the negotiating process involved reviewing every element of the proposal. All the required space and venues had to be available for the selected dates, a concern was the weather at a time when conditions can be notoriously variable (most years this event has seen snow!)
Brighton has been used the year previously for the Penguin Group Conference for 500 delegates and it was quickly identified as the most appropriate location for Penguin Random House. Key reasons for the decision were:
- Close to London and Gatwick - excellent rail fare negotiated with Southern Rail
- The De Vere Grand Hotel Brighton and the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotels each hosted a conference for 500 and the Gala Dinner was at the Hilton
- Plenty of other accommodation close by. We used eight hotels altogether, including authors at the Hotel du Vin
- Great opportunities for a dine around - we used 20 different locations. All suppliers were really positive and keen for the business
- Brighton is well versed in events of this size
- Overall good value for money and fitted within the set budget
The feedback from delegates and organisers has been almost exclusively 100% positive. There was a great atmosphere during the event and everyone loved the city of Brighton, they all arrived with special trains from London and were transferred to their respective hotels. The Penguin team presented their conference at the De Vere Grand Hotel and Random House presented their conference at the Hilton Brighton Metropole; the teams then gathered together for a Gala Dinner at the Hilton. The complicated programme ran like clockwork and each part worked perfectly.
Quote from Mike Symons, Groups Sales Director Penguin Random House:
“The Penguin Random House Sales Conference is one of our show piece events. We welcome delegates from across our UK companies as well as delegates from our overseas companies. This was the first time that the new Penguin Random House group had come together for conference and I am thrilled how successful it was. Our collaboration with The Conference People in the organisation and execution of the event was paramount to its overall success. Moving over 1,000 delegates across Brighton is no mean feat, however the whole event was delivered without a hitch.”
Quote from Robert Enefer, Managing Director The Conference People:
“The event was really successful and Brighton came up trumps all round. Delegates were very happy with the hotels (we used eight, and the conference sessions worked perfectly in the De Vere Grand Brighton and the Hilton Brighton Metropole). We also had a dine-around in 20 locations in the city ranging from The Sea Life Centre to Jamie’s Italian. And the weather was perfect too!”
The Conference People was established in 1986 and provides a free venue finding service as well as comprehensive event management.
An Evening with QHotels…
Posted on October 29th, 2013 by Becki, in General | 1 Comment
Last week our venue finding team had the pleasure of spending an evening with Steve Schwartz from QHotels, Paul Priest from The Queens – Leeds and Vikki Beardsley from Forest Pines Hotel & Golf Course and Tankersley Manor.
We had an amazing dinner at The Beach Deck, Eastbourne - it was great to catch up and hear about the exciting changes taking place at the hotels and the talk of possible new hotels joining the QHotel group.
For more information on any of the hotels within the group, get in touch with our team of expert venue finders!
We look forward to hearing from you…
A Weekend Away…
Posted on October 10th, 2013 by Becki, in General | 1 Comment
By Stef Mansell
I have been extremely lucky to have just returned from an amazing trip to the Algarve with Hilton Hotels. Over the three day trip we stayed at the Conrad Algarve & Hilton Vilamoura. Both properties are unique in their own ways and ideal for a European destination.
Conrad Algarve - This contemporary luxury hotel is the most modern in the Algarve and has a wonderful setting in the exclusive, yet naturally beautiful Quinta do Lago.
With 154 guest rooms, five restaurant/bars & seven meeting rooms, this hotel has everything to make your event the best yet!
Hilton Vilamoura - This hotel has a delightful Resort feel and is situated in five acres of glorious manicures gardens.
There is also a private beach club located at Falesia Beach and can host evening drinks receptions or dinners, perfect for the start or finish to your event!
The hotel has a mixture of guest rooms and apartments along with seven meeting rooms that have a very private feel.
Both hotels have incredible spa’s, bars & restaurants and only located a short distance from Faro Airport.
For more information on either of these hotels or on the Algarve as a conference destination, please get in touch with our venue finding team on 01323 644 644 - we would love to hear from you!
The Conference People Proud to Support Team Run 12
Posted on September 11th, 2013 by Becki, in General | 1 Comment
Team Run 12 take on TWELVE marathons in 2014 in a bid to raise £25,000 for Cancer Research UK and Breast Cancer Care.
The Conference People are proud to be supporting Team Run 12 in the work their mammoth 2014 marathon challenge as the Official Accommodation Sponsor.
Rebecca Beard of Software of Excellence, a Client of The Conference People is planning to complete twelve marathons to raise £25,000 for charity.
The money Team Run 12 raise will go towards Cancer Care and Cancer Research UK.
Becky was bitten by the fundraising bug after raising over £10,000 in just 88 days for Breast Cancer Care by running the London Marathon in April 2013. Looking for a new challenge, Becky created ‘Team Run 12’ – twelve marathons in twelve months. Becky will be supported by a team of guest runners – as well as a large support team.
The Conference People are part of that support team, and will be responsible for all the accommodation at each of the marathons for Becky and her running team. As well as the accommodation, The Conference People have been helping Becky source venues for her various fund raising events.
Robert Enefer, Managing Director of The Conference People says “this is such a worthwhile cause, we were delighted and honoured to be asked to be involved – we’re all behind Becky 110%”
Sarah Osborne from Breast Cancer Care, added: “Every year in the UK, 55,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer. We want to be there for each and every one of them.
“This is why we’re so grateful to Becky and the rest of Team Run 12 for all the hard work they are putting in to organising this event. Every penny raised will make a huge difference to the lives of people affected by breast cancer and allow us to be there for more and more people.”
Avni Thakrar from Cancer Research UK said “1 in 3 people are affected by cancer, and whilst cancer survival rates have doubled in the past 40 years there is still so much work to do. We need your help to continue our research”.
If you wish to sponsor Team Run 12 visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/teamrun12
You can also follow them on twitter: www.twitter.com/team_run12 or Like them on Facebook www.facebook.com/teamrun12.
For more information contact Robert Enefer 01323 644644 / Robert@confpeople.co.uk
New team member announced!
Posted on August 29th, 2013 by Becki, in General | 2 Comments
We are delighted to announce the newest member of our sales team - Laura Padbury! Laura joins us from working previously as a Sales Agent for an insurance company and after already going through strict TCP training, Laura is getting stuck in and putting her sales skills to use.
Three facts about Laura:
- I love walks in the countryside
- I’m an absolute film buff and would love to go to a film festival
- If I won the lottery I would buy a first class ticket to Brazil for the football World Cup 2014!
Remember, The Conference People are International venue finders and event organisers. We offer a FREE venue finding service which includes thorough research of all venues that match the specific brief of your event. This means that we will always present the most suitable venues at the best prices.
Please do bear us in mind when you are planning your next event.
Your next conference is on the cards…
Posted on May 28th, 2013 by Becki, in General | 1 Comment
With every enquiry you place with us before the end of June, we’ll send you a National Lottery scratch card with the chance to win up to £100,000.00!!
Free venue finding - any event, anywhere!
Really looking forward to hearing from you - GOOD LUCK!
This promotion will apply to enquiries that have been discussed and agreed with our team. Each scratch card has a value of £1 and cannot be exchanged for monetary value. Promotion ends Friday 28 June 2013.
Day out in the Big City
Posted on April 18th, 2013 by Becki, in General | 2 Comments
By Karen Belasco – Venue Finding Manager
Had a fantastic day out in London with Sian Balsdon our newest Venue Finding Co-ordinator.
It all started off at the Holiday Inn Kensington Forum where we had a fantastic show round with Stephanie, the hotel has excellent conference facilities, part of the Academy, a well known brand throughout the Holiday Inn brand.
Our next stop was at the newly refurbished Kensington Close Hotel, which has undergone an extensive refurbishment of all public areas including the Bar, Restaurant and Meeting rooms – we are all very excited as just behind the largest meeting room the hotel have created a small exhibition room which will include plenty of natural daylight. The next phase of the refurbishment will include a number of bedrooms, although some have already been refurbished as they have added over 100 more rooms.
Following on from this we went to the Multi-purpose Millennium Gloucester Hotel which has its own separate Conference Centre. This venue is perfect for any type of conference as the Cromwell Suite can be split down into 9 different sections, with the Orchard Suite holding up to 500 delegates. All bedrooms are well equipped with every amenity that a leisure or business traveller would require.
Our Accor Fam Trip then kicked off in the afternoon with our Wonderful Account Manager Jane Clements.
We saw a range of venues in the Accor brand from Large to Small from one brand to another – Two of the Newest Properties are the Novotel Blackfriars and the Novotel Paddington both very much new regeneration with slick lines and lots of glass with imaginative bursts of colours, both hotels come with hi-tech facilities including self service check in desk’s in the reception area, interactive info system and a Microsoft Surface table, an iPad dining table, Smartboards in 2 meeting rooms and an indoor swimming pool with digital art, what more could you want!!
The Sofitel London St James was next on our list and this is probably one of my favourite hotels in London, with 5 star qualities including The Rose Lounge a must for Afternoon Tea, The Balcon Restaurant with the unmistakably Parisian Twist. All bedrooms come with sophistication and state of the art technology and all with their own distinctive character. The meeting space is very versatile and will excel all of your meeting requirements; it also includes a fantastic 12 seating private dining room.
The Pullman St Pancras is another fantastic property in the Accor brand, not only is it conveniently located with just a short walk from both King’s Cross/St Pancras and Euston Station it includes over 300 bedrooms with 17 meeting rooms to include a 446 seater auditorium with its very own foyer area for all catering.
We finished off at the Novotel London West which is the Flagship of the Accor Group – we dined in their award winning Artisan Grill which has a fantastic Chef’s Table a wonderful addition to your dining experience – food is second to none and well worthy of the AA Rosette that it has achieved through the expertise of Head Chef Roy Thompson.
After a good night sleep in one of the 630 contemporary bedrooms we were shown the excellent conference facilities – The hotel has 32 meeting rooms and they can take anything from a small board meeting up to 1700 delegates theatre style for a full conference with a purpose built exhibition hall – Truly this hotel has everything that you would want.
For more information on any of the above venues or to enquire about our FREE venue finding service, please contact us on 01323 644 644 - we would love to hear from you!
News from Robert Enefer, Managing Director - October 2012
Posted on December 6th, 2012 by Becki, in General | 2 Comments
The Conference People was created in 1986 and what an exciting time that was with so many new opportunities. We quickly established the business offering exceptional service in both the specialist venue finding and event support arenas. Our aspiration to be the ‘best in the business’ was regularly affirmed by our clients.
Over the past 26 years we have developed, expanded and constantly reviewed our service offering to react to both economic constraints and market opportunities as well as maintaining maximum sustainability. TCP became market leaders in many areas and, for example, were amongst the first to offer on-line delegate registration. I care passionately about the ethics of our business and was a founder member of The Meetings Industry Association. We have been very successful, most of all with a wonderfully low staff turnover, great customer feedback and the experiences of looking after thousands of varied events both in the UK and all over the world.
Times are no less exciting now – but different of course. In order to ensure the best development of our Event Management service I have taken the decision to form a partnership with Activate Event Management. So now, our complete Event Management team together with our systems have moved to Activate’s offices in Horsham and will be supporting our clients in exactly the same way.
The Conference People will continue to go from strength to strength concentrating on our award winning free venue finding service and the Social Marketing programme of conferences. We will also still be managing the conference programmes for our publishing clients. Do call me personally to discuss anything – particularly how we can make your next event the best ever!
TCP Recommends – Bubbledogs
Posted on November 12th, 2012 by Stef, in Conference Speakers, Conference Talk, Conference Venues, Conferences, Event Management, General, The Conference People, Venue Finding | 1 Comment
We were very excited to stumble across this creative Restaurant located on Charlotte Street in London. There unusual mix of Gourmet Hot Dogs and Grower Champagnes makes our mouth water at the thought!!
There is also a kitchen table that can accommodate up to 19 guests, where you can have an up close & personal experience with Chef James Knappett.
If you are looking for an unusual venue for an event, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01323 644644
Posted on November 8th, 2012 by Stef, in Conference Speakers, Conference Talk, Conference Venues, Conferences, Event Management, General, Green Events, The Conference People, Venue Finding | 2 Comments
We love Berlin in the office!
This wonderful city is full of culture, art treasures, trendy shops & conference venues/hotels and because the German capital sits in the heart of Europe, it’s an easy city to access via all modes of transport!
While in Berlin I stayed at the Hotel Concorde Berlin – this stylish hotel is located on the Kurfürstendamm Boulevard and has 267 bedrooms, two restaurants and a bar that offers amazing cocktails!!
If you are interested in holding an event in Berlin or any other European/International city, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01323 644644
DESTINATION SNAPSHOT - “OSLO – The blue, the green and the capital in between!”
Posted on November 1st, 2012 by Becki, in General | 1 Comment
Olso, the capital of Norway, is situated in the heart of Scandinavia and is surrounded by magnificent scenery. It has excellent green credentials with an unspoilt environment, fresh air and clean water.
Located at the head of Olso Fjord, the capital is a city of contrasts and is surrounded by forested ridges, lakes, skiing tracks and hiking trails all within the city limits. Its natural beauty, in combination with all the facilities of a modern metropolis adds to the charm of a city often called the “world’s biggest village”.
Olso is approximately two hours flight from the UK, there are 12 flights daily departing from London and a further 38 other major European destinations. From the airport the express train takes you directly to the trendy downtown area in around 20 minutes, where the majority of hotels, restaurants, shops and bars are located. This area is best explored on foot and whilst there don’t forget to call in at the National Gallery to see Munchs’ “Screem”.
The city has over 50 hotels offering more than 10,000 bedrooms. Although there is no official star rating system in Norway, hotels are of a general four star standard, making this destination perfect for pharmaceutical events. The Olso Congress Centre, located six minutes walk from Oslo Central Station, is the largest convention facility in Olso and can accommodate 1,400 delegates theatre style and has ample exhibition space available.
Tjuvholmen, the picturesque harbour area is home to the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, which is perfect for a welcome drinks reception. You can also set sail from here for an afternoons teambuilding by charting a traditional sail boat.
The region also has many exciting off-site dinner venues available, including the Dyna Fyr Lighthouse, the Mini Bottle Gallery and the Viking Ship Museum. For an unforgettable evening, how about holding your gala dinner in the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize Centre HQ.
The ski resorts are a 20 minute drive away and have runs suitable for all abilities. Arrange an offsite dinner on the Holmenkollen Ski Jump and you may even catch a glimpse of the incredible Northern Lights!
Does this tempt you? For more information on holding your event in Olso, please do not hesitate to contact us 01323 644644 – we would love to work with you.
A huge thank you to Amy Manton, Dan Miller from Guoman & Thistle Hotels…
Posted on October 26th, 2012 by Becki, in General | 1 Comment
Amy and Dan took time out of there busy schedule to show us round some of the popular Guoman & Thistle Hotels in London, here is just a quick snippet of what we saw…
To start off our fabulous trip we arrived at the Royal Horseguards Hotel on Friday afternoon and checked in to our Executive bedrooms. The bedrooms are beautifully decorated – you can even relax in the bath watching your favourite soap on the built in television!
We then had a show round at One Whitehall Place which is adjoining to the Royal Horseguards Hotel, it is perfect if you need overnight accommodation after a conference. Originally built in 1884 it has beautiful features in every room, The Gladstone Library can seat up to 350 delegates theatre style and enjoys high ceilings, chandeliers and natural daylight. This room is also interconnected with the Reading and Writing Room which can hold up to 450 guests and is perfect for a drinks reception or a private dinner.
Charing Cross Hotel, conveniently located next to Charing Cross Station, overlooking the Strand and just yards away from Trafalgar Square. The largest meeting room is the Betjeman Suite which can hold up to 350 guests with its high sculptured ceiling, marble pillars and glittering chandeliers, suitable for all types of events. With a further 239 bedrooms including suites plus 8 meeting rooms – it really is the place to be.
We then moved on to the Guoman Tower Hotel, located on the River Thames in the heart of London this hotel has magnificent views of Tower Bridge, The River Thames and St Katharine Docks, this hotel is perfect for both business and leisure. The largest room is the Tower Suite which can seat up to 550 theatre style but can be divided into smaller sections. The Tower suite also has its own foyer area with magnificent views, it would certainly be a talking point amongst your guests.
We also had the privilege of having dinner in The Brasserie Restaurant – with a huge variety it was difficult to narrow it down to three courses! I would recommend the Passionfruit Crème Brulèe, it was delicious!
On Saturday we visited three more of the Thistle branded hotels – I won’t go into details, you will have to carry on reading my blog over the next few weeks to get all the gossip!!!!
For more information on any of the above hotels , please do not hesitate to contact our Venue Finding department on 01323 644644 – we would love to work with you.