We interviewed new EVCOM member Venues of Excellence about what they do, wow-factor venues and how to find something a bit different for your next event!
Introduce yourselves to us. What is that Venues of Excellence do, and what makes you unique?
Venues of Excellence (VOE) is the UK’s leading collection of exceptional venues delivering excellence in conference, training, and events. With over 50 venues, we cover a geographic footprint from the south coast of England to Scotland with collectively, over 6500 bedrooms and 1100 meeting rooms. Our speciality is representing unique, independent UK venues delivering outstanding quality and customer service.
The VOE key differentiator has always been its ‘promise of excellence’ to customers, backed up by the bespoke quality criteria and audit which ensured each member was reviewed and approved on their ‘quality and service’ as part of the membership onboarding and throughout a venues membership.
As we celebrate over 1,000 quality membership years the consortium has just launched its revitalised Quality Strategy, to take the consortium to its next business milestone. The quality pledge “We will always strive to be excellent in everything we do” measures excellence for members against four ‘Pillars of Quality’ namely: Customers Experience, Great Place to Work, Efficient Operations and Business Planning. These pillars will enable the assessment to focus on the impact of customer satisfaction.
You have over 50 venues in the UK. How do you go about recruiting new venues into the consortium?
The consortium is made up of a diverse collection of venues from specialist training centres to hotels, mansions to motor racing circuits, theatres to private clubs and all are committed to excellence in the meetings and events sector.
Venues of Excellence ensure we target and have the right fit for our consortium which includes passing or stringent quality audit process, plus we only work with independent venues or small group of venues who are looking to enhance their venue marketing and sales with the range of benefits we offer through membership. In addition, we receive recommendations from our members along with our team knowing venues that would be the perfect fit for the Venues of Excellence family.
A venue looking to join in membership undergoes a quality audit by the VOE Advisory Group Chairman plus a full induction by our team, when we can introduce them to the consortium, our aims, and objectives, whilst finding out more about what the venue is looking for from the membership.
Can you tell us about a few of your favourite venues for clients who want their events to have that wow-factor?
All our member venues have the wow-factor of course; however the diversity of our memberships enables us to recommend great venues to our clients based on their event brief to us. We have venues that offer a blank canvas such as Silverstone International Conference and Exhibition Centre or the Winter Gardens Blackpool Conference and Exhibition Centre, whilst Alton Towers Resort gives your event a unique twist. For city centre venues Edgbaston Stadium Birmingham is a unique setting, or the private members club Victory Services Club London are great options. Head to the country and enjoy Ashorne Hill or for an historic venue Horwood House is a great choice. Our range of academic venues including the award winning Image Venues at Loughborough and Warwick Conferences offer great space, and we also have lots of options for you when you need outdoor space.
Can you tell us about some of the venues you’d recommend to clients looking for something a bit different?
First, we would ask the client to share their brief with us and what they are looking for from a venue, location, and an indication of budget. We have a number of our venues who do filming, such as Keele Hall or the exclusive hire venue Weston Park, those with great history Oatlands Park Hotel or The HAC, whilst others may want contemporary space such as The Slate or MTC Events in Coventry. What we specialise in is the diversity of our products, which in turn means that whether you, as a client are looking for outdoor teambuilding space, a dedicated training venue, awards dinner, or bespoke event, we are confident we have the right venue for you within our Venues of Excellence family.
What services do you offer people booking a venue through your team?
Venues of Excellence offers a FREE venue finding service, managed by a team of experienced and passionate venue finding professionals with years of experience in hotels and venues.
Our team help you take the hassle out of venue finding, can assist when you have a national venue find requirement and will accompany you on site inspections, when required. With a personal and individual approach to our clients, we are confident that our venue finding service sets us apart from our competitors.
Working with our venue find team will help you find the right venue, within budget, in your chosen venue each and every time. This lets you concentrate on your event programme and delegates confident that you are working with a venue find team and venues that will deliver an outstanding customer experience.