Center Parcs looks back on a successful year following the relaunch of its dedicated corporate events venue at Woburn Forest, following a £2.5m refurbishment.
Center Parcs Conferences & Events today celebrates one year since reawakening its Woburn Forest venue in September 2022, following a period of closure and extensive £2.5m refurbishment.
Over the past twelve months, The Venue welcomed 10,064 delegates from 162 different companies – including 2,500 within just the first two months. Across the year-long period, 3,832 delegates stayed overnight, benefiting from Center Parcs’ unique accommodation offering, ranging from one-bedroom self-catered apartments and executive lodges, through to luxurious treehouses.
Over 2,500 activity slots were booked, for companies looking to combine business and team building and make the most of Woburn Forest’s extensive leisure offering, which includes archery, laser tag and tree trekking.
A wide range of industries held events at The Venue, but IT companies lead the way in terms of spend, accounting for 26% of total revenue since Center Parcs’ corporate events relaunch, up from just 8% prior to the pandemic – and 13% of total confirmed bookings.
The banking and financial industry, and the automotive industry demonstrate the largest appetite for corporate events, accounting for the largest portion of total bookings, namely 10% each.
With the onset of new ways of working, combining the natural world with corporate events has become a more enticing option than ever before, particularly for global businesses with colleagues spread across different parts of the world, and those who operate with a remote-first policy in need of some face time with colleagues.
Julia Green, Sales & Commercial Manager at Center Parcs Conferences & Events said: “This past year, it’s been incredible watching delegates pour back into Woburn Forest, visibly excited to resume in-person events, connect with colleagues, and enjoy our hundreds of acres of woodland. We’re firm believers in the importance building strong workplace relationships through a nature-rich getaway, and the feedback we’ve received from delegates has only served to reaffirm that belief.
“Looking ahead to the coming year, we can already predict that the IT sector will continue to be a big contributor in year two of Woburn Forest – but the Education & Training sector has emerged as a contender, with the largest number of enquiries for September onwards to date. High demand for our corporate events one year into our reopening leaves us optimistic for the future, and excited for the reopening of our second dedicated conference and events venue at Sherwood Forest in early 2024.”
Edward McCann, Executive Assistant for Research and Development at pharmaceutical company Sanofi Cambridge UK, said: “Centre Parcs Woburn was by far the best location for our company offsite. It was amazing for our teams to switch off amidst natural surroundings, with spa and wellbeing facilities at our fingertips. The events team were super organised and in constant communication with us, which made the whole event run smoothly.”
Giulia Oakes, Sales and Relationship Manager at Elemis, commented on The Venue following a company retreat at Woburn Forest: “We wanted our conference to include a wellness element, and there is no better place than the beautiful Woburn Forest at Center Parcs. The venue was fantastic and catered to our business needs and event objectives.”
Need to know:
Woburn Forest is well connected to central London and the southeast 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.