This year the company needed a venue that could stage a daytime conference for 100 central function staff, including marketing, finance, legal and human resources, before transforming into an awards ceremony venue for 300 people working in its hospitals, schools and adult care homes.
Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire was chosen, with 277 bedrooms and two different areas with a distinct look and feel for the two elements of the event; the elegance of an awards ceremony in the Heythrop Park Hotel and the modern conference facilities in the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
The daytime conference was an opportunity for Priory Group’s central function teams to get to know the new divisions following a recent merger and to reflect on the importance of delivering to the internal customer.
Guests for the awards arrived at 6.30pm for a drinks reception in the Heythrop Park Hotel. In total, 27 awards were handed out in the ballroom from 80 shortlisted candidates. Each award reflected the Priory Group’s values of ‘putting people first’, ‘striving for excellence’, ‘being a family,’ ‘acting with integrity’ and ‘being positive’. There were also awards for Site of the Year, Outstanding Performance and Long Service.
Dinner was served at 7.30pm, with the awards handed out between courses. Fun good luck video messages were played to the shortlisted candidates. At 10.45pm, guests enjoyed a 90- minute performance by The Simon Faulkner band.
Gemma Davies, project manager, Priory Group said: "Our aim is to reward front-line staff with a different awards ceremony experience each year through our choice of venue. Our agency, Venues and Events International is instrumental in achieving this.
"They were incredibly supportive when our dates and budget changed and helped us to arrange food tastings and site visits, as well as checking and chasing contracts and making helpful suggestions to make the event unique and fun. They even supplied a photo booth for guests to enjoy on the night. We are already working with them for our next conference in February and will start reviewing venues for our 2018 Awards shortly."
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