Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Events in East Sussex

Over the years we have managed many meetings and events in our local area of Hastings and Rye and we often have need of meeting venues for small-ish groups of under 50 delegates.

The area has many splendid venues and some very interesting ones too! Quite often we need only a simple seminar facility with good meeting resources and catering - but other times our clients want us to seek out something with a little bit more character or interest. You'd think that this region of the country would be crying out for meetings business - yet sometimes we wonder!

For a small press launch for a local organisation, we have been looking for an unusual venue and we identified three such venues in the immediate area and called them to ask for prices and details.

Venue Number 1 - "too short notice". This is for a function with just 30 people to be held in mid April!

Venue Number 2 - "New health and safety rules means we can't accomodate people who will be standing still"!!! (this is a venue that has been open to the public since the mid 1850's but which includes a large cave!)

Venue Number 3 - After three phone calls and three emails we're still waiting for details!

But do we despair?

Well, yes we do - but life goes on. We have always tried to support our local region for events both large and small but there does seem to be an attitude issue with some venues. For instance we often take groups to Le Touquet for wine and dine or shopping - or golf breaks. We do so because it represents great value for money and our clients can rely on certain quality standards. Our France, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg visits always match client expectations - but what about if the boot was on the other foot?

For instance, wouldn't it be great if we could bring guests from Northern France to this area for wine and dine, shopping or golf? Well, whilst we may get away with the wine and dine - shopping? Golf? Well you try and arrange for guests to play on the famous course at Rye - a course that would appeal to golfers from across the water and, indeed, across the UK. "Sorry - members only"!!

But it isn't just the services that make life diffcult for visitors - for instance Rye's only supermarket has recently changed hands and the new owners refuse to open on Sundays - the local authority has also done its best to discourage visitors with closures of public conveniences and a ridiculous move to close down the Tourist Information Centres.

Is it any wonder that France, Belgium and the rest of Northern Europe is such an attractive destination?


Joint-Owner, Copperfield Technology said...

Just like to echo your comments. We're a technology company (web development, pc support etc) working across the Romney Marsh area and try as much as possible to support the local area but it's difficult at times.

Occasionally we hold events for current and future clients and trying to find a venue with responsive management in the area is a nightmare.

Just a while back we tried to organize a afternoon do, three places never got back to us and another two lost interest when we asked about availability on a Sunday. In the end we ended up with two possible places and then neither of these could provide any kind of Internet connection - yet they claimed to offer business conference facilities...

Ironically, setting up intenet connections is one of our services and we offered the two establishments in question help setting up wireless Internet links that they're clients could use in future, even doing it free in return for room hire. We're still waiting...

We're now starting to take clients to Ashford, Tonbridge and Canterbury where the venues are only too happy to open on Sunday's and lay things like telephones and Internet links.

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