Conference, team building and events offering set to relaunch in September 2022, as enquiries reach pre-pandemic levels
Center Parcs is set to reawaken The Venue, its conference and events space, in September 2022 at two of its most accessible and sought-after destinations in the UK: Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire and Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire.
Taking bookings for autumn 2022 onwards, the reopening of both locations comes after a period of closure due to the pandemic, and an extensive £2.5m investment in upgrading and enhancing the facilities at Woburn Forest.
Whispers of the reawakening within the events sector has already resulted in interest reaching pre-pandemic levels, with booking enquiries from agents up 10% since 2019 and a large proportion of confirmed bookings being from past clients eager to return.
Julia Green, the newly appointed Sales & Commercial Manager at Center Parcs, said: “To say “we’re back” is extremely exciting. Following an in-depth study of the current trends within the industry, we’ve reviewed our product offering and made changes in response to client demand. We haven’t just switched back on, we’ve repositioned an already fantastic product to make it more enticing and rewarding than ever before.”
Center Parcs takes pride in offering nature-rich escapes to suit the needs of all types of corporate events, including conferences, team building and away days, product launches and gala dinners.
Both Sherwood Forest and Woburn Forest offer dedicated conference and event spaces nestled in the heart of the forest, providing the perfect setting for event planners, delegates, and colleagues to escape the everyday and embrace nature.
Julia adds: “Center Parcs is a living breathing destination, it’s immersive, inspiring, and energising – the overall experience will leave delegates feeling enchanted by the great outdoors and go home feeling refreshed. Unforgettable memories are made here. It’s a place delegates will want to rush back to and tell their family and friends about – we can’t wait to welcome them back this September.”
Pre-pandemic, both Woburn Forest and Sherwood Forest were welcoming repeat bookings from the likes of Virgin Holidays and Giggling Squid. In 2022 and beyond, Center Parcs’ ambition is to welcome back repeat bookers while securing new clients eager to embrace the great outdoors and make use of the new facilities.
Colin Whaley, Sales & Marketing Director at Center Parcs, said: “The conference and events industry’s reawakening since the pandemic has seen a spike in interest in unique locations with nature at the heart, allowing businesses to combine valuable work and collaboration with wellbeing, all in a professional environment. We feel the relaunch of Woburn Forest and Sherwood Forest couldn’t be better timed.”
Julia’s appointment was a pivot point in the process of reawakening Center Parcs’ conference and events offering. Having started in April, Julia brings over 20 years of MICE experience, including managing the launch of both corporate and leisure facilities at Drayton Manor Resort and invaluable agency experience from Conference Care Limited. Combining her marketing and sales experience, Julia has brought a fresh perspective and helped every step of the way through the journey so far.
Set within hundreds of acres of woodland, Center Parcs offers a natural, spacious, forest environment for discovery and exploration, and the ideal place for colleagues to reconnect and recharge.
Julia concludes: “With two excellently located and easily accessible destinations, we attract businesses, large and small, from all across the UK. We can support everything from conferences for up to 600 through to team events for 10, and our dedicated conference teams work alongside event planners to help make the most of their Center Parcs experience.”
Both Woburn Forest and Sherwood Forest offer a broad range of activities for event planners to choose from and delegates to enjoy; planners can mix and match the activities on offer to cater for different interests and levels of mobility and fitness.
Specialising in away days and overnight stays, Center Parcs has a unique accommodation offering, ranging from one-bedroom self-catered apartments and spacious Executive Lodges, through to luxurious Treehouses.
Need to know:
Woburn Forest is well connected to central London and the south east of England; with direct trains running from London St Pancras (International) to Flitwick train station, just three miles away; delegates can be in the heart of the forest within an hour.
The Venue at Woburn Forest, at 811 sq m, sits within 365 acres of woodland and can accommodate up to 600 delegates. With floor to ceiling glass windows and doors along the full length of the conference space and access out onto the woodland terrace, The Venue is flooded with natural daylight, perfectly transitioning between the indoors and the forest beyond.
Benefitting from sliding walls, The Venue can be a spacious pillar-free room for large events or divided into eight individual rooms, and two additional spaces, accommodating between 18 to 100 delegates, or a combination of larger conference spaces with break out rooms for refreshment breaks and lunch.
Sherwood Forest, located in central England, benefits from access to major network routes, including the A1 and M1. Those travelling from London can be in the forest in under two hours, with direct trains from Kings Cross into Newark Northgate train station, just 16 miles away. Nestled in 400 acres of forest, The Venue, at 864 sq m, comprises five suites which can be used individually or as one large, flexible space and can accommodate up to 600 delegates theatre style and 500 in gala, with smaller rooms offering capacity for between 16 to 280 delegates each. The versatile spaces, surrounded by leafy walkways, offer great views overlooking the forest and lake.