Re-thinking the Conference

Stephanie Hall, Group Director of Sales & Marketing at Exclusive Collection
Published on October 15, 2019

Consumers choose to work with likeminded companies who are striving for change. 

CSR isn’t just a differentiator for hospitality businesses it’s now a pre-requisite in the buying process for both corporate and agent. With a new generation taking their place in procurement roles and ethical living mainstream for us all, it’s no longer sufficient for hoteliers to focus solely on the ‘Big 4’of takeaway coffee cups, drinking straws, plastic water bottles and plastic shopping bags.  

Danny recently joined a panel at Venues + Events, a session where some of the biggest influencers in the business of events shared how we can all make a positive impact, large or small. ‘Caretakers For The Future’ was a fitting name for the session, a discussion that showed not only the breadth of the matter but the different initiatives organisations such as London Convention Bureau, BCD M&E to Compass Group are actioning. No right, no wrongs: but the consensus that because customer behaviour is being influenced by ethical and sustainable trends, everyone needs to address today's conscious consumer. 

The topic is top of the agenda again this week as we join other industry leaders at C-Vent and The Independent Hotel Show to look at examples, case studies and even re-think some of our own practices.

Sustainability forms one of our core pillars of business: it has informed the design and build of our new Spa at South Lodge, helped focus improvements across the estate and has had a major impact on our supply chain. 

For example, we relish wonky vegetables and partner with a neighbouring supplier called Local for Love who help us source home grown produce from the local harvest and our superfood blueberries are produced on a farm in the grounds of South Lodge. Our house pour is from Ridgeview, a Sussex family business owned by Mike and Christine Roberts. Our signature dish in Botanica is a ‘wasted burger’, made from the pulp of beetroot and carrots - a bi-product of our healthy juices.      

We don’t stop at our infrastructure and product; we are a people centric business. As such we have created policies to encourage local employment and recruitment from within. We also ensure that our team has healthy meals, wellness classes and we even have a wellness app to help switch off after a long hard day.  

We’ve also thought about how we can help event organisers achieve a more sustainable event. From simple thing like fruit, nuts and seed snacks, sprout top pencils and glass bottled table water – they all add to a wider experience that is focused on sustainability and our role as Caretakers For The Future.    

Consumers choose to work with likeminded companies who are striving for change and while we know that the problem can’t be solved overnight; we have a collective responsibility to consider the future and more importantly re-think how we do things and re-think how we meet, conference and network.

Share your thoughts on the LinkedIn article here.