Wyboston Lakes Resorts has delivered a record six months of Meetings and Events business for the first half of 2022, despite restrictions around events in January and February following the Omicron outbreak.
Business on the books at the six-month point is up by 47% on 2019 with a solid base already in place for 2023.
Bookings remain relatively short lead but there is a welcome uplift in demand for long-term bookings and a commitment to securing multi-event deals across a diverse range of sectors.
The resort’s sales strategy has been focused on specific sectors for many years and the sales team has reported a 75% increase in demand for events when compared with 2019.
At the start of pandemic in 2020, Wyboston Lakes Resort’s management team took the decision to continue with planned refurbishments, which saw more than £3m invested into the resort’s Meetings and Events offering. Along with an overhaul on the delegate experience, such as enhanced Food & Beverage products and alternative dining options, the uplift on average booking value has increased substantially since 2019.
Christine Gomez, Director of Revenue, commented: “This year, we have seen meeting agendas evolve and, whilst the meeting content itself is the priority, the social aspect is also very important. The fact we had products in place to cater for this has really paid off.”
Richard Smith, Sales Director of Wyboston Lakes Resort, added: “The resort’s commitment to the environment, to investing in the team and our physical assets will keep pushing the costs base up. Therefore, to keep offering our guests the high quality, value for money, and best-in-class service, our prices will need to reflect this. The focus now is to maintain the margin and we do this by being focused on what business is good for the resort. We know those sectors we specialise in, but we are also clear on what business we don’t take, and we have moved away from non-core sales lines, such as weddings.”
The resort’s management took the decision not to furlough the Business Development team during the pandemic and the team believes this has been a key benefit in keeping relationships with agents and clients strong, open, and based on trust.
Steve Jones, Managing Director of Wyboston Lakes Resort, concluded: “We are delighted with the business performance so far in 2022 and the future looks extremely bright for us. We will continue to invest in our team and are extremely proud to be a Real Living Wage Employer. We will also be investing in further capital projects in the coming months. Our culture is at the heart of what we do and ensuring we have a robust and stable business for our team members and shareholders is fundamental and, despite the economic pressure, we will endeavour to remain strong.”