Welcome to the very first Delegate Wranglers Destination Spotlight. We are VERY pleased to be bring you a whole bunch of information and facts that you perhaps didn't know about the wonderful county of Staffordshire and the amazing business venues they have, right in the heart of the country.
From stunning historical buildings like Keele University & Swinfen Hall right through to quirky venues like Trentham Monkey Forest and the World of Wedgewood, Staffordshire has a world of amazing opportunities right on your doorstep.
In this report, we visited 8 stunning and totally different venues in the county to showcase what they have to offer. We'll also bring you a crib sheet giving you all the information you might need to know and a case study from a recent event that was held there, to give you a real flavour of this glorious destination.
Find the perfect conference and meeting venue in Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent
Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent has a fantastic range of unique and quirky venues perfect for incentive experiences and partner programmes and
Staffordshire Conference Bureau are here to help!
All venues here are unique in their own way, from pottery museums to theme parks, we really have it all, not to mention the fantastic range of free services we offer; including our free venue finding service (with 5 hour turnaround for full proposal) and accommodation booking, as well as help and advice with suggestions for partner programmes.
Find out why Staffordshire really is just your cup of tea...
What’s new for Staffordshire...
Construction has started on the Courtyard by Marriott hotel at Keele University’s Science and Innovation Park in Staffordshire, set to create 60 jobs.
The 150-bedroom hotel, due to open in Autumn 2020, will provide much needed accommodation to support the growing conference and events business of the university, as well as provide accommodation for users of the Keele University Science and Innovation Park.
Developed by Keele Hotel Developments, a joint venture between Marick Real Estate Ltd and Mill Lane Estates Ltd, the high-profile site will be operated by Tower Hotel Management under a franchise agreement with Marriott International. The university has been advised by Ros Roche of PRD Partners Ltd.
Speaking on the build, Glenn Mills, Director of Mill Lane Estates said: “We’re delighted to be working as part of a joint venture on this exciting development at Keele University’s Science and Innovation Park, it will be a fantastic addition at the campus.”
Peter de la Perrelle, Managing Director of Tower Hotel Management said: “We are thrilled to announce Tower Hotel Management will be operating our first Courtyard by Marriott hotel and we look forward to seeing the progress over the next 12 months.”
The first ever Hilton-branded hotel in Stoke is scheduled to open in 2020 as part of the landmark Smithfield development.
Managed by RBH, the UK’s leading hotel management company, and owned by Genr8 – which is bringing Smithfield to Stoke in partnership with the local council – Hilton Garden Inn Stoke-on-Trent will boast some fantastic facilities.
The £20 million hotel will offer 140 bedrooms, state-of-the-art meeting and conference facilities for up to 25 delegates and a fully equipped gym. A stylish bar and full service restaurant will also feature, offering locally sourced produce where possible.
The 50-strong team at the hotel will be on-hand from opening to ensure first class service to any visitors and guests.
The Moat House Hotel, located on the Festival Park Stoke on Trent, which is currently a Best Western Plus property will become a DoubleTree by Hilton in 2020.
The hotel will undergo a £6.5m refurbishment, starting January 2020.
The site includes Etruria Hall, a dedicated conference centre which was built in 1769 and was the former home of Josiah Wedgwood along with 147 bedrooms and 12 meeting rooms, catering from 2 – 600 delegates.
The team at the hotel are extremely excited to be part of the refurbishment and rebrand to DoubleTree by Hilton and look forward to working with Hilton and seeing the finished results. The next 9 months are very exciting times for the hotel, Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire. The refurbishment programme will not affect day to day trading at the hotel during this exciting refurbishment programme.
Centrally located, Staffordshire is easily accessible and is less than one hour’s drive time from Manchester, Birmingham International and East Midlands Airports.
Flanked either side by the M6 and M1 Motorways with the M54 and M42 to the South and with a direct rail link from London Euston to Stoke-on-Trent taking just over an hour and a half
90 minutes by train from London Euston
20 minutes by train from Birmingham
58 minutes by train from Liverpool
40 by train from Manchester
40 by train from Nottingham
Largest venue in the region:
How many bedrooms in the region:
The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery in the Cultural Quarter of the City Centre is the proud home to the Staffordshire Hoard, the largest ever ‘find’ of Anglo Saxon gold treasure in the UK worth over £3million
National Memorial Arboretum - business event for 70–100 guests (Spring 2019)
In Spring 2019, we received an enquiry from Staffordshire Conference Bureau who we work with closely to promote Staffordshire as a conference destination. The Bureau are not only proactive and enthusiastic about promoting the multitude of gems hidden in this expansive region but also have a brilliant knowledge of their member venues which absolutely benefits their clients.
The enquiry was to host a business event for 70 – 100 guests and was to take the format of a business breakfast with a main plenary session.
Having responded to the enquiry, the Bureau team organised a show round for the client to come and see the facilities. When we meet a new client here at the Arboretum we are interested to know what the client wants their guests to think and feel and this is essential to us when creating and delivering their event. For this event, we understood that the informal breakfast networking element was of equal importance to the main plenary itself and that the management and production of AV was key. From here we were able to best make suggestions for their event; using Oak Room 2 & 3 for their main plenary session, while using the beautiful corner room Oak 1 and the Aspects Lounge; with panoramic views of the Armed Forces Memorial and The Beat as a networking and breakfast space; conducive to feeling relaxed and inspired by their surroundings
The client was curious to know more about the Arboretum and we explained further about the memorials that can be seen from Aspects; from the iconic Armed Forces Memorial which bears the names of 16,000 men and women who have died in service and on duty since the end of the Second World War through to the striking Polar Bear Memorial who pays tribute to the 49th Infantry, West Riding Division who were often nicknamed the Polar Bears. Many of the memorials on site are symbolic in design or significant in stories and can offer a positive inspiration, an opportunity to shift perspective, make space to think differently, spark creativity and foster feelings of inspiration, awe and gratitude.
From the client’s site visit, we ascertained their needs and went forward planning their event. Our in-house events team plan and deliver all of our on-site events both inside and outside of Aspects. This over-arching view, allows us to carefully brief teams working across all areas of the site from the grounds team who mow the grass through to our visitor services supervisors who welcome the guests at the front door.
The client chose to set up the afternoon before the main event. This is something we highly recommend as it ensures our clients walk into a space on the morning of their event prepared and knowing that their venue is ready, presentations are loaded and everything is as they expect.
On the day guests were greeted at reception within our impressive Remembrance Centre and guided down to Aspects by our visitor services team. They were registered in the Aspects Lounge before enjoying a hearty breakfast which included Staffordshire Oatcakes and our unique Arboretum sausage made from free range Packington Pork, Nottingham Bramley Apples and secret spices.
Delegates moved through into Oak 2 & 3 and seated cabaret where they heard presentations from speakers using our state-of-the-art AV facilities and after closing remarks they were encouraged to stay for further refreshments and networking. The event was a huge success and feedback from delegates was good, with the organiser commenting that they felt really well looked after.
Following all events we contact the client for feedback and take the opportunity to say thank you to our clients as all of the revenue they spend in Aspects goes towards supporting the Arboretum, a registered charity. It helps to keep this unique site free to enter, beautifully maintained and most importantly here for families, friends and comrades to commemorate and remember.
* To read a full detailed venue show case report for the National Memorial Arboretum click HERE