Wilkins Kennedy at Leeds Castle, Maidstone

Chartered accountants and business advisers Wilkins Kennedy held the Kent Charities Convention at Leeds Castle in Maidstone, Kent on 14 March.

Wilkins Kennedy at Leeds Castle, Maidstone
Wilkins Kennedy at Leeds Castle, Maidstone

The one-day event, attracting 70 delegates, was aimed at helping organisations in the not-for-profit sector share innovative ideas and business toolkits for the future, learn how to be more competitive, maximise opportunities and increase income, particularly under the current economic climate.

The company opted for Leeds Castle due to its central, accessible location and its proximity to major highways in the Kent region, and because of the standard of catering and facilities available.

Following an introduction to the day, chief executives and trustees took part in a roundtable discussion and guests attended two 30-minute workshop sessions on how to use annual reports as a marketing tool, and on fresh approaches to fundraising.

Leeds Castle chief executive Victoria Wallace also gave an insight into the strategy behind operations at Leeds Castle, including how it has successfully increased income while maintaining its heritage.

The conference ended with an expert panel discussion and a group question-and-answer session, followed by a buffet lunch and a behind-the-scenes tour of the castle.

The agenda meant that Wilkins Kennedy needed to occupy three separate rooms simultaneously - a need the venue's Maiden's Tower met particularly well.

"This beautiful setting was perfect for the convention and we received excellent feedback," said Claire Peers, director of marketing at Wilkins Kennedy.

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