Jurys Inn relaunches as a meetings specialist

C&IT catches up with Marc Webster, head of sales for Jurys Inn, to discuss the hotel chain's relaunch as a meetings and conference specialist.

Marc Webster, head of sales, Jurys Inn
Marc Webster, head of sales, Jurys Inn

What was behind the decision to reposition Jurys Inn as a leading player in the meetings industry?

The addition of nine new hotels to our portfolio increased our conference and meeting capacity significantly. Jurys Inn Hinckley Island offers an event capacity of up to 650 delegates and 25 meeting rooms and Jurys Inn Oxford has also just re-launched their meeting space which accommodates 350 people. Both hotels have a fresh new look, so the time was right to seriously engage with the industry.

What’s your MICE strategy over the coming months and years?

To grow and develop this business, in particular targeting large scale conference and events for Jurys Inn Hinckley Island and Jurys Inn Oxford. We'd like to introduce the sector to our renovated hotels, for event planners to see themselves the investment that has taken place. The changes in decor are fairly dramatic!

What additional resource has the business brought in to deliver the increased number of meetings and events?

We have recruited for a number of positions recently, Richard Money has joined the team as Director of Sales - MICE, Jamie Taylor has joined Jurys Inn Hinckley Island as Director of Business Development and earlier this month Seamus McGowan joined as Deputy Managing Director - MICE Hotels.

What sort of events and companies have you hosted since your expansion? What sort of events and clients are you hoping to attract?

We are hoping to attract pharmaceutical and financial companies as well as association business. We have hosted many prestigious events to date this year including the annual HBAA conference at Jurys Inn Hinckley Island which was a great success and the opportunity to engage with the agency sector.

Are there any upcoming hires, refurbishments or new properties on the horizon in relation to your MICE strategy?

The extensive refurbishment of Jurys Inn Oxford is almost complete and we'll be hosting an official launch for event planners in January, we also have the completion of our refurbishment programme in Middlesbrough, Inverness, Aberdeen Airport, East Midlands, Cheltenham and in 2017 Brighton Waterfront will officially re-launch. We understand some event planners may have a view of the group from pre renovations and we hope they will engage with us to see what's been happening in person.

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