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The future is looking bright for MWB Meeting Venues, a division of MWB Business Exchange. Despite the tough global economic climate of the past few years, the company, which provides training, conferencing and meeting venue space across the UK, is positive about its outlook.
A strong client focus will help ensure the company's success in the current marketplace, James Leyland, area sales manager for the firm, suggested.
"We are optimistic about the coming year as we continue to design solutions around what our clients actually want not what we think they do."
"The market still remains competitive but we believe we have the right product, the right people and the right locations to continue to drive the business forward."
But, like many in the events industry, MWB Meeting Venues felt the effects of the recession. The company, which operates 37 venues across the UK, responded by developing new ways of approaching and dealing with clients and its business strategy.
Mr Leyland noted: "Like many venue providers, our rates came under pressure and the volume of requirements from existing clients reduced. This meant we had to be proactive in replacing these inactive accounts with more focused sales and marketing activity."
With the economy recovering, the company is now working on attracting new clients and ensuring old ones continue to use its services, though Mr Leyland admitted there have been a few challenges.
"The 2010 challenge has been replacing the mandated business from long-term corporate clients who no longer had the demand [for our business] and replacing this with new corporate opportunities."
But it hasn't been in vain; the company's focus on gaining new clients and increasing bookings is paying off.
"We have seen significant success in this area as we have increased our forward order book by 47 per cent on 2009."
Mr Leyland believes this is down to the services which the company provides.
"It is clear our nonresidential venue proposition continues to appeal to the corporate market, which is seeking contemporary, productive business environments, with the right onsite business support, to conduct their events."
For now, MWB Meeting Venus is focusing heavily on its client IT infrastructure, which will give customers more choice over how they book venues, as well as working on a new booking system.
He stated: "We have been focused on improving our management information and booking systems in order for us to help drive yield across our 37 venues."
"We are also imminently launching a comprehensive online reservations engine to give our clients more choice in how they can book their venue.
Mr Leyland added: "We have also designed a new proposition, aimed at fixed long term training/project requirements, enabling clients to take dedicated space which can be up to half the cost of a standard DDR [Day Delegate Rate] rate."
On top of this, MWB Meeting Venues, which has more than 300 meeting and conferences rooms the UK, is busy expanding.
"We have recently opened two new venues - one at the old Basil Street Hotel in Knightsbridge - in addition to our Paddington central location with capacity for over 200 people."