Thinking of holding your next conference by the sea? Catherine recently visited Butlins Bognor Regis to find out what conference facilities they have to offer and to experience the facilities the venue has to offer for corporate events. Here is her blog….
Recently I have had an opportunity to spend a weekend at the Butlins Resort in Bognor Regis. The familiarisation trip was organised by Cheryl Russell, Head of Conference & Events at Bourne Leisure and Amanda Ellis the National Sales Manager.
The weekend started on Friday afternoon with a short car journey down to the coast, approximately an hour door-door from Farnham to Bognor.
We were checked-in easily and settled nicely into our bedroom suite before 6pm. We had been allocated one of the upgraded bedrooms within the Wave Hotel with 2 bedrooms and a balcony. This hotel has 215 bedrooms (with 2 – 4 sleeping rooms in each) and 29 apartments. The hotel has an aquatic theme and is aimed at the family market with older children for their leisure breaks. However equally for corporate events these rooms would work extremely well.
Other hotels on site include the Shoreline & the Ocean Hotel which combined offer up to an additional 666 bedrooms and apartments. There has been over £70 million pounds invested into the accommodation offerings to provide high quality facilities and service to suit all corporate needs.
With a further 700 rooms and apartments available on site they can cater for large scale conferences
During the first evening, I attended a dinner at the The Pub & Kitchen, where we met our host for the weekend. The food offering here was pub grub, really tasty and lots of choice.
My family ate at one of the Premium Dining buffet style restaurants which was included throughout our stay for breakfasts & dinners.
The food offerings are of a great standard, plenty of it and service quick and professional. The Butlins team are used to catering on mass scale so can keep up with demand without compromising on quality.
They can offer lots of different dining options on site for corporate events from exclusive hire of one of their many restaurants (either informal or more formal dining), to large gala dinners in one of their event spaces.
After our first evening meal we were free to enjoy the evening entertainment with our families/guests including the shows, arcades and bars.
We were given a full tour of the resort on the Saturday morning to get a feel for all the conference spaces that are available on site.
This tour can take up to 4 hours as there are so many different venues to see however we were given the slightly shortened version, so we could spend the rest of the weekends to enjoy the park and its facilities.
They have a dedicated, Shoreline Conference Centre where they can accommodate up to 400 people theatre style. There are a number of other smaller rooms within this conference building, most with natural daylight and all equipped with the latest AV technology.
Along with the conference centre, many of the entertainment venues can also be used for corporate events including the Centre Stage for up to 1600 people, 2 purpose-built cinemas and the Skyline Pavilion which can be transformed into great exhibition space or works well for a product launch.
It is also worth bearing in mind that throughout the year they offer a selection of dates at all of the Butlins resorts on an exclusive hire basis. You then utilise the entire venue as you wish and entertain up to 2,500 guests. Plus, all year round Corporates can exclusively hire areas of the resort including the fairground, sports bar, splash pools etc
During the weekend, as a family, we enjoyed spending time using the facilities on the park including the waterpark, funfair, bowling, crazy golf and a number of the on-site team building activities including the latest craze, the Ninebot Mini Pro Riding Experience (similar to Segways but without the handles). Many of these activities are included within your stay but others such as go-karts & archery you need to pay extra for.
All of these extra activities can be added to any conference package to enhance your event. They can also offer many other group, team building exercises such as sand sculpting, treasure hunts, coastal activities or even get a chance to hire dance group Diversity to teach your delegates a few street dance moves!