Investment by co-owners Helena and Andy Hogarth at Hogarths Hotel & Restaurant has led to the opening of a marquee which can cater for up to 180 delegates, refurbishing the summer house on the island in the venue’s 32-acre grounds and introducing new conference products.
New sales manager Robert Elliot and his team are also bringing new business to the four-star hotel in Four Ashes Road, Dorridge.
Adam Bessant, conference and banqueting manager at Hogarths Hotel & Restaurant, said continuing to develop and invest in the business was reaping rewards in conference bookings.
“The investment in the island means it is a real selling point for new clients because in the past we have primarily been seen as an ideal location for wedding ceremonies and receptions which remains a big part of our business,” he said.
“But we are also seeing a huge increase in organisers looking to utilise the island for outside events such as team building, BBQs and Caribbean-themed summer parties following their conferences. “We have seen our conference business grow already this year by over 28% which is tremendous as we continue to improve standards.
“We have speeded up our free Wi-Fi which is an important priority for conference organisers as well as introducing Hogarth branded products such as stationery and we have bought new projectors and screens. “The marquee is perfect for conferences and weddings, and it has been key bringing in an experienced sales manager like Robert because we are noticing a rise in repeat bookings as well as enquiries from global companies who are located in the Midlands.
“In one week in June, we had 20 enquiries we had to turn away because our conference suites were already booked which emphasises the need for our new marquee.
“We have also completely refurbished and adjusted the lay-outs of our suites so we can host a boardroom meeting for four guests or a conference for up to 120 and this flexibility is important in the industry.
“All these factors along with our location and superb grounds are the reasons behind a fantastic first six months of the year for conference bookings.”
The boost to the conference business has led to Hogarths Hotel recruiting more graduates as part of the 54-strong team involved in the conference and events aspect of the business.
Adam added: “We offer placements to students studying hospitality degrees which are valuable experience for their future careers by working with universities in Birmingham, Leeds and Wolverhampton. “With the business growing, we have been in the fortunate position of being able to offer permanent jobs to some of the students at Hogarths.”
Pictured: Adam Bessant, conference and banqueting manager at Hogarths Hotel & Restaurant