The Royal College of Physicians has reported a significant increase in business inquiries in the first quarter of 2013, and has also announced a range of enhancements for outdoor events in its unique medicinal garden, which achieved record levels last year.
The RCP has seen a growth in the number of inquiries from potential clients of more than 10% in the first three months, with March itself up by a remarkable 32%. It believes that the increase is attributable to a number of factors that have helped boost positive awareness of its facilities in the events market. They include the rebranding of the Marketing & Events activity during the last quarter of 2012, including a radically enhanced website and innovative new marketing materials; recent facility enhancements that have included the creation of a state-of-the art IT infrastructure with dedicated in-house support; and the fact that during 2012 the RCP won two prestigious awards: the title of ‘World’s Best Convention Centre’ from AIPC, the International Association of Congress Centres, and the accolade as ‘Best venue for up to 250 delegates’ in the UK’s annual Conference Awards.
“In a market where organisers have a wider choice of venues than ever, it is particularly pleasing that our efforts to elevate our image and respond even more effectively to the demands of our customers have had such an immediate impact,” commented Clive Ostler, RCP’s General Manager, Marketing & Facilities: “Our most recent awards, based significantly on customer feedback, have also provided important testimony to our determination to build mutually productive relationships with our clients.”
A growing element of the RCP’s business success last year was the popularity of outdoor events such as garden parties and barbecues in its historic medicinal garden – the largest of its type in the country – which is located by the RCP’s main buildings. Demand from event organisers for tours of exhibits in the garden to enhance the experience of their guests and delegates doubled to record levels last year. Capacity for tours is even greater this year with the appointment of two new Assistant Garden Fellows.
The RCP this week launches two new value-for-money barbecue packages for this summer. They include a four-hour, full barbecue package at £45 + VAT per person, and a three-hour barbecue selection package at £25 + VAT per person. Optional drinks packages are available, with a cash bar alternative. Available free of charge are a range of options to enhance events, such as garden benches, picnic blankets and gazebos. The RCP recently installed uplighters on the buildings overlooking the garden area, providing background illumination in various colours.
The packages are available each weekday from 1800 hours, for a minimum of 50 people. “Many aspects of our heritage, together with our Grade 1 listed building, give our clients outstanding opportunities to add distinctive touches to their events,” added Clive Ostler: “The medicinal garden provides a particularly effective and memorable option.”