The last two years have presented many challenges for hospitality businesses, not least for conference venues and team-building destinations. With 2022 starting on a more positive note, with growing confidence that there will be fewer restrictions this year, what will be the key trends we’ll see emerging as the MICE schedule builds up to pre-pandemic levels?
Carden Park Estate is one of the UK’s leading luxury business resorts, providing a unique one-stop-shop venue for unforgettable meetings, conferences, team building and events. It has seen record investment in the facilities, including a £10 million new spa opened in January 2020, and offers unparalleled resources for those looking for the ultimate luxury business retreat.
Dan Gibson, Carden Park’s Director of Sales believes we will see 5 key MICE trends for 2022:
- A return to customer confidence – Carden Park is currently seeing a return in business customer confidence and are proud to state that over 80% of the companies who had to cancel due to restrictions in 2021, are now rebooking for 2022.
- A return to in-person team building – After the restrictions lifted, Carden Park saw a huge demand for team building enquiries, with companies wanting to re-engage team members and with multiple options at the Estate being outside (including two championship golf courses and Vertigo, an aerial assault course) gave customers much more confidence to book.
- A drive towards more sustainable practises – Sustainability is going to be key in building long term business for everyone and the conference and event arena are no different, with many clients now requiring sustainability practises with the RFP. The Carden Park current initiatives include the below, with more to be announced in 2022:
- Extensive recycling programmes for paper, glass and food waste
- Water recycling (water from the spa is used on the golf courses)
- PV (solar) panels on the roof of the new Spa and Lounge
- Electric Golf Buggy fleet of 60 karts
- Food is sourced from local farms and producers
- Using recycled collateral throughout the hotel where possible
- One-stop-shop venues – Carden Park believe there is a growing demand for venues where everything is on site, meaning customers can avoid any additional expense on travel and additional services are not required, ensuring that attendees don’t miss out on any experiences.
- Flexibility – Most importantly, to ensure confidence remains there is going to need to be more flexibility around terms & conditions relating to covid-19, ensuring client confidence when booking but also enabling businesses to remain operational.
Dan Gibson, Carden Park’s Director of Sales states: “After a challenging (we’ve heard that word a few times!) 22 months, we find ourselves upbeat and positive about the return of MICE business.
We are still seeing some short-term cancellations but the excitement around live events returning and the overall demand far outweighs any doubt about cancelled events. It was highlighted during the pandemic just how our customers valued our industry and desired face to face meetings – as much as the virtual platforms are a handy tool, there really is nothing like face-to-face engagement. During the lifting of restrictions last year, outdoor team building and our new business strategy to deliver leadership courses, saw clients eager to book.
Fortunately for us, during the lockdowns, we were able to use the time wisely by investing in our facilities, including but not limited to, new meeting rooms, private dining rooms, refurbishment of our leisure club, a new fine dining restaurant and investment in our golf courses. We want to continue to lead the way in the industry by enhancing our luxury business resort over the coming years. As we begin 2022, we are excited about our future and confident the sector will bloom again over the next few years.”
Carden Park Estate offers a unique setting for corporate events, the 1,000 acre estate is in the heart of the Cheshire countryside and contains everything companies need to motivate and inspire their teams. It is ideal for everyone from large companies and societies to boutique agencies; whether it is for the annual conference, fun teaming building days complete with themed after-party, or informal brainstorming meetings, the meeting rooms and packages can be tailored to all requirements.
Customers benefit from one point of contact who will handle all details with precision, and with everything ‘under one roof’ there is no need to go off-site or for additional time-consuming organisation.
- Experienced events coordinators who a trained to deliver exceptional standards
- 18 meeting & event spaces with capacities from 2 to 400. These include; The Carden Suite (capacity 400), The Shooting Suite (150 Theatre style/ 120 Banquet style) and The Ascot, Cheltenham, Epsom & Newbury (each up to 70).
- AV team on-site – Carden Park are partnered with Prestige Group Events to give ultimate peace of mind when hosting an event with IT requirements
- On-site dining from award-winning Executive Head Chef Graham Tinsley, MBE
- Luxury Spa at Carden and Elements restaurant, available for exclusive use or for individual treats
- 2 championship golf courses – corporate golf days and bespoke packages with VIP experiences available
- Vertigo aerial assault course for team building exercises
- Virtual event facilities, the new Carden Studio is ideal for those who cannot attend in-person events