BEST COVID-19 RESPONSE IN HOSPITALITY
Church House Westminster – Change Brings Opportunity
The dynamic and resilient venue team of multi-purpose Covid-secure events venue, Church House Westminster, approached the challenges of the pandemic as an opportunity to evolve the scope of the venue’s business profile and revenues by actively pursuing new unchartered markets, updating their product and service offerings, collaborating with industry partners, upskilling, developing strategic marketing communications and most importantly, establishing staff well-being at the top of the agenda. Determined to position the venue as flexible and innovative, a new business plan was created and driven by the team of nine who set out to install high-tech virtual studios and leverage creative and inspire production techniques to deliver bespoke virtual, hybrid and in-person event experiences. The success and performance of the new business plan is a result of creating a team culture that encouraged out-of-the-box thinking, total transparency and an inherent trust in each other. As a result the team was quick to respond to uncertainty and changes, supporting internal departments collaboratively, and develop new ways of working – ensuring that the venue has remained open and profitable since re-opening in July 2020.
ICC Belfast | Waterfront Hall | Ulster Hall – Pivoting in the Wake of a Pandemic
ICC Belfast | Waterfront Hall | Ulster Hall represent some of Belfast’s most iconic venues. In response to COVID-19, a program for business preparedness has been implemented to ensure the venues remained resilient in the face of adversity. The swift action taken focused on The People and Innovative Solutions to deliver impressive results. Employee engagement levels have increased by 16%, the venues’ technical infrastructure has expanded to become hybrid by-design and over 90% of all business and entertainment events were retained, not cancelled. Guided by the board and senior management, the team has been empowered to take bold decisions and innovation has been championed at every stage to ensure the long-term sustainability of the organisation so that when the time was right, ICC Belfast would be galvanized into kickstarting business again across Belfast and Northern Ireland. As final preparations are made in advance of reopening, visitor safety remains the top priority at the COVID-Secure venue that has achieved the ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry standard. A bright future lies ahead for this city that stands on the precipice of brilliance as the team at ICC Belfast | Waterfront Hall | Ulster Hall demonstrate their commitment to building back better.
Radisson Hotel Group
Radisson Hotel Group is one of the world’s largest hotel groups, extending over 1,500 hotels in operation and in development across 120 countries and a relevant portfolio of nine distinct brands ranging from budget to premium lifestyle. During the pandemic, the Group’s priority was the continued health, safety, and security of its guests, team members, and business partners, not only in the present but also looking ahead as a key component to the quick return to business. Prior to 2020, Radisson Hotel Group had a strong crisis management process and flexible cost model in place. Due to its global scale, the Group had a macro viewpoint of the pandemic and the necessary responses. In Spring 2020, Radisson Hotel Group swiftly launched its Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol, a comprehensive series of 20-Step and 10-step protocols for Meetings and Events in partnership with SGS, and earlier this year, Radisson Hotel Group was the first hotel company to launch a comprehensive COVID-19 testing program and rapid testing service for meeting and event attendees at properties across its EMEA portfolio. Recently, Radisson Hotel Group pledged $180,000 to supply its hotels in India with oxygen compressors to assist team members, their families, and local communities.
Royal College of Physicians (RCP London Events)
The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) is over 500 years old and currently in its fifth home since 1965. This iconic grade 1 listed modern building overlooking Regent’s Park houses an award-winning conference and events centre, RCP London Events. The venue offers highly versatile facilities, including tiered auditoriums, conference, meeting, exhibition and dining spaces as well as a medicinal garden ideal for summer entertaining and a museum. Prior to COVID, RCP London Events hosted over 600 physical events per year for associations, charities, medical organisations and the wider corporate community across several sectors. Since March 2020, RCP London Events has implemented and introduced virtual and hybrid services to be able to support the RCP’s work during the pandemic and allow clients to reach their audiences in an impactful way. The development and launch of their in-house virtual and hybrid events platform, combined with renowned industry standard accreditations and operational standards in line with government guidelines secured RCP London Events high-profile events at their venue.
Wyboston Lakes Resort
Wyboston Lakes Resort Senior Management Team (SMT) is lead by Managing Director Steve Jones supported by 11 Executive Directors and General Managers, covering all aspects and areas of the business. As soon as lockdown began and virtually all income ceased, all staff apart from the SMT and a skeleton team were furloughed. All staff was put on notice of redundancy and 25% departed in the summer. The SMT took over day-to-day hands-on responsibility for all aspects of their departments, the immediate business needs, preparation for reopening and recovery and the delivery of essential training events for NHS and other key clients during and soon after lockdown. Recently they have been focussing on employee engagement as staff return from furlough, re-employed or newly recruited. The team supported each other both physically in terms of offering support but also each other mental health. They have become a close, strong team. The senior operations team continued to support the essential services through lockdown, and in order to do so safely created the SafeEvents Policy. This was one of the first venue led Covid policies to be launched in April 2020 and was quickly adopted as best practice by IACC and other association bodies.