Visit Essex for Business Familiarisation Tour
The first ever Visit Essex for Business familiarisation visit took place recently, and over 30 event organisers were introduced to some of Essex’s unique and finest venues.
Carol Jolly Business Tourism Manager for Visit Essex said ”Since the launch of Visit Essex for Business in May last year, it’s been important to keep event organisers engaged, and this trip was organised to show them first-hand some of the unique venues Essex has to offer for their future events, whilst saving them time and resource. The feedback since the trip has been amazing, and the trips will definitely be a permanent fixture in our future business calendar”.
The day started with a tour of the Grade II listed Hylands House in Chelmsford, home to the annual music V festival, and a wonderful historic house and conference centre owned by Chelmsford Borough Council.
Travelling through the heart of rural Essex, the next stop was Topsail Charters in Maldon, where guests were invited on-board “Hydrogen”, one of only a handful of Thames sailing barges which has been converted into a pleasure craft. Hydrogen recently represented Essex in the Queen’s Jubilee Flotilla, and offers a unique venue for a small meeting or event up to 50.
Lunch was laid-on by the Crowne Plaza Colchester Five Lakes Resort, which is located between Maldon and Colchester. It’s the only Crowne Plaza resort in the UK, and is also Essex’s largest conference venue.
In the heart of historic Colchester, firstsite the new cultural arts and conference centre provides a fantastic new meeting space for up to 190, and guests were surprised and delighted by the design of this unusual building which is coated with a pliable gold cladding.
Afternoon cream tea went down a treat at Wilkins of Tiptree, world renowned jam makers, whose home is in Essex. Guests also tasted wonderful blackberries and strawberries, all of which are hand-picked for the jam making. Wilkins offers an unusual venue for an event, with jam tasting and a board room catering for up to 20.
The last stop was “a jewel in Essex’s crown” – the wonderful Osea Island located in the Blackwater estuary. The resort of self-catering apartments, 400 year old cottages and the Manor House (which sleeps 20), opened in January 2011. The island is an idyllic retreat, and has acres of land suitable for many types of outside events. It also has a converted Chapel which can cater for receptions up to 80.
Sandi Phillips from Get Equipped said ” The day had the right mix of interest due to the unusual venues that were selected. Excellent choices! One of the benefits to us was the opportunity to view venues we may not otherwise have taken the time to visit. It certainly gave us ideas for putting on future social events”.
For information on future trips, please contact Carol Jolly on 01245 435152