The Furniture Re-Use Network (which aims to alleviate material poverty and tackle climate change through effective furniture re-use) required a venue to hold a two-day annual conference, with exhibition space, a gala dinner and overnight accommodation. The network also wanted a venue with the option for attendees to use the spa and health club facilities.
The aim of the event was to share knowledge and expertise between speakers and attendees, as well as between attendees themselves, enabling each member to tackle new challenges and celebrate their achievements.
Stakeholders and members listened to inspiring speakers from organisations such as John Lewis, DHL Enviro Solutions and IKEA. Topics covered included politics and economics, philosophy, public communications and campaigns, and engaging with the commercial and public sectors, as well as numerous chances to discuss issues such as volunteering, retailing and operational best practice.
The event format included a mixture of plenary sessions, panel discussions and interactive networking ‘converstations’, using the Prospero Suite and Director’s Suite at the hotel. Breaks were taken in the new Conference Café, overlooking the landscaped gardens and included an invitation to visit exhibitors and network.
"The team at Chesford Grange were fantastic," said Lesley Prescott, head of operations at Furniture Re-Use Network. "They offered a personal service with a bespoke solution to our different needs. Nothing was too much trouble and every member of the Furniture Re-Use Network that worked with them commented on this. We got a lot of positive feedback from our attendees who noted the outstanding food and the brilliant customer service provided by the reception team.
"The face-to-face networking that takes place at events is essential as it gives members and experts a chance to exchange information and to build relationships across the network, which is what really makes a difference to how well we work together.
"At the end of the conference, feedback surveys are filled out by all members. This year the feedback was extremely positive, with 95% of respondents stating that they would attend the conference in the future, and with 64% of attendees selecting ‘very satisfied’ when asked about the venue.
Who: Furniture Re-Use Network
What: Adapting Through Change (annual conference)
When: May 2017
Where: QHotels Chesford Grange, near Coventry
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