Joanne Coates, Events and Conferencing Manager, shares a roundup of what happening at KUEC in 2022.
Rewind to this time in 2020, we were just starting planning for the Summer of 2020, little did we know what would happen over the next few months. So after an unprecedented two years, I am really excited about welcoming our large residential Conferences and Events back to Keele this Summer.
The Team and I have faced new challenges particularly in the last 17 months working as part of the University Covid Response Team but we transferred our skills, knowledge and personalities to support the University in keeping the campus safe.
We have exciting times ahead with new and refurbished facilities on campus. The Chancellor’s Central now offers new contemporary dining and more flexibility. Early 2021, we saw the opening of the Courtyard by Marriott Keele Staffordshire Hotel, a 150-bedroom hotel with café, bar, fitness centre and outdoor dining space. Over the last two years there has also been an ongoing programme of refurbishment to the Halls of Residences.
A uniqueness to Keele is our commitment to sustainability. Energy generation is now underway at the new low carbon energy generation park on campus, marking an important milestone in Keele’s journey to become carbon neutral by 2030. With most of us working from home for the last two years, our green campus will be an ideal opportunity for Conferences and Events this Summer, with the ability to enjoy the outdoors.
As a team we have worked very closely with clients over the last two years, with a flexible approach to building relationships and confidence. This Summer we will be hosting new events but also those which were rescheduled from 2020 and 2021. Keele has always had a good repeat client base and our customers’ needs always come first. Having worked as part of the Covid Response Team means we have a greater insight and knowledge of the pandemic protocols. I am already working with one of my clients for this Summer who wishes to consider lower social distancing capacities, so my knowledge of the Covid response means we can support them with these decisions.
I am looking forward to working with repeat and new clients this Summer. One event I am really excited about is the TUCO Conference, this will be their main conference combined with their competitions. With over 100 exhibitors, the largest marquee they have ever had and an exciting social programme, it will certainly be an event to remember and one of the biggest we have hosted for some years. We are welcoming back clients such as MEI and Hazard, who I have built strong relationships with over the last 10 years and have been able to assist them in adapting to changes in their events, delegates, and requirements.
Hopefully 2022 is a little more normal for us all and the prospect of home schooling, lateral flows and face masks becomes a thing of the past!! Let’s get back to what we do best and seeing happy delegates and clients and that buzz of events back on campus.