Over the last two years the group behind three AIM Gold accredited venues; Broadway House, (Westminster), Engineers’ House (Bristol) and the group’s residential venue, Woodland Grange (Leamington Spa), has achieved 19% consolidated growth, adding £900K to its turnover over the two-year period.
David Vaughton, director of venues for EEF Venues attributes this performance to EEF Venues’ focus on customer service excellence and quality.
He said: ”While price was a driver throughout the recession, we have seen an increased appetite from buyers to select on the basis of value rather than price. This is indicative of companies being more solvent and wanting a more quality experience for their staff. An improved business landscape means there is a growing demand for business travel so we expect further strong growth in our business residency sales at Woodland Grange.
“2015 has also seen us penetrate new markets such the associations sector and we have seen tangible improvement in the Christmas party market – again an indication of a more confident corporate scene.”
The group’s sales and marketing strategies have also impacted on performance, as David Vaughton explained: ”We have invested in sales and we have been fortunate to attract many awards and accolades throughout 2015, such as winning the Business Tourism category of the Visit England Awards for Woodland Grange, but that doesn’t mean we rest on our laurels.
“New business doesn’t come on a plate; you have to go hunt for it so we will be seeking entry into new business markets to diversify our client-base. As ever, our critical focus will be on serving the customer. Achieving ‘world class customer service’ is an aspirational target across the business and we see this as being built into our DNA. We are constantly innovating and developing to meet the changing needs of our customers.”
According to David Vaughton, staffing will continue to be an issue for the wider hospitality sector.
He said:"2016 will continue to be a candidates’ market so our goal is to retain our staff by incentivising them to be the very best at what they do to protect our standards, consistency of service and quality - and to provide succession planning.
“We view investing in talent as key to our on-going success and will continue to appraise, develop, mentor and reward our teams to encourage loyalty and performance. I firmly believe that we have an obligation to help people to grow. Happy staff means happy delegates. In return, we get greater stability, consistency and loyalty which impacts positively on our business performance.”
EEF, the parent company behind EEF Venues, has set a rolling capital investment budget of £500K for 2016/2017 to support the group’s aspirations ahead.
David Vaughton concluded: ”We will continue to invest in what we see as the three most important core elements for any delegate: leading edge technology, great food and people as these have most influence on our business.
“Given our growth over the last two years, we are confident that 2016 will be another great year for EEF Venues.”