Our original research identified that conferences and meetings were worth £316 million to Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent. One of the initiatives we have undertaken since then in order to increase this figure is an awareness and training day with Staffordshire venues.

We kicked off with a quiz testing participants on how well they  understood their clients’ views of Staffordshire, how likely they were to book their venues and what the real advantages of the area are from the clients’ point of view. The results included some surprises and challenged all complacencies of where and how to win conference business. The winning team were generous in sharing their prize of a box of chocolates.

Venue representatives from all kinds of venues included local hotels, Trentham Monkey Forest, Lichfield Cathedral, Burton Town Hall and Advance outdoor events, so the next session  practised empathy by everyone taking turns to be both buyer and seller for different types of events, looking out for key buying clues that encouraged venues to ask more questions and listen carefully to responses.

After lunch we focused again on listening skills, having fun with the Witches of Glum listening exercise -how easily we all make assumptions and forget to listen to each individual’s needs!

We completed the valuable day brainstorming incentive ideas for the region with some really great suggestions such as:

  • Brewery tours and brewing your own beer
  • Seeing Stoke City FC and meeting footballer(s)
  • Chauffeur driven arrival at a fabulous spa day at Hoar Cross Hall
  • Chocolate making with Louis Barnet chocolatier
  • Adventures on JCB’s underground lake
  • Shooting, archery, quad bikes and ‘Lord of the manor’ experience at Weston Park
  • Cover yourself in clay, making pottery!

More details on all these ideas and venues will be available on stand 88 at International Confex 12-13 March, Olympia, London.





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