Behind the winning entry: Best Hotel of the Year

The Southampton Harbour Hotel took home the Best Hotel accolade in the suppliers category at the C&IT Awards.

The Southampton Harbour Hotel won Best Hotel at this year’s C&IT Awards. Included in its entry were two event case studies which we have explored below.

Case study: HSBC meeting

The brief

HSBC contacted Southampton Harbour Hotel to organise a departmental meeting for 40 employees last February. The brief included lunch on arrival before an afternoon meeting for 40, dinner and entertainment in the evening and overnight accommodation.

On the second day HSBC required meeting space for a morning meeting. A vital part of the brief was to have something different and out of the ordinary. The client had mentioned on a number of occasions that they were looking for a fun element to the meeting.

The event

The guests arrived in time for lunch before an afternoon meeting in The Needles, one of the hotel’s meeting rooms. As the event was held in the days following Chinese New Year, we transformed The Needles with Chinese decorations and organised a Chinese themed menu for dinner. Guests were all unaware of the theme and it was therefore a surprise on arrival to dinner.

Following dinner, the guests all made their way to our private 20-seater cinema for an evening of karaoke. All delegates then stayed overnight in the hotel in one of our luxury bedrooms with beautiful views of Ocean Village marina. All 85 bedrooms overlook the water – with the feeling of being on-board a luxury vessel.

The following morning, guests were treated to a private yoga session with instructor in our gym studio prior to their meeting.

Upon departure and during follow up calls, we received fantastic feedback on all elements of the event. Consequently, we have received repeat bookings from the client for future meetings.

The Southampton Harbour Hotel team collect their award, with host Sara Pascoe

Case study: Boehringer Ingelheim

The brief

The client contacted us to organise a team meeting in June. The company had recently appointed a new member of senior management and this event was to be the first held under his authority and also included a handover with his predecessor.

The event

On the first night, the guests enjoyed a private barbeque on The Bow terrace. This area is completely exclusive and with a wonderful view of the marina, giving a wow factor to attendees on their arrival to the hotel.

The following day, the meeting was held in The Bow using The Needles as a break out room. As a pharma company, the client expressed that confidentiality was paramount. For this reason, we were able to ensure that they had exclusive access to all meetings and event space in the hotel to ensure total privacy for the meeting.

Verdict

Following the event, we received the following feedback from the client;

"The planning before the event was straight forward with exactly the right amount of detail required to ensure things ran to plan on the day. We have in the past been bogged down with minutiae. We appreciate your time and recommendations which in no small way contributed to the success of the event."

Judges comments

One judge said: "Given the location of the venue, it has managed to incorporate many of the aspects London venues offer without needing to be in the capital. It’s five-star rating and the offer of beautiful views makes this a contender."

Another commented: "As the standout property in Southampton, the hotel appeals to some of the south's largest business and this is reflected in figures."

To read more about the winners at this year’s C&IT Awards, check out our Behind The Winning Entries hub.

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