To help celebrate Trident Hospitality’s 10 year birthday this year, we’ve been asking our partner venues for their stories about themselves or their properties to help celebrate the occasion!
To start, Paul Sparks, Sales & Marketing Manager at Newark Showground, filled us in with a couple of his stories…
“10 years ago, almost to the day, I was in the final throes of preparing for my fourth Newark Jazz Festival, quite a sobering thought that it was that long ago – I was young then, or so it seemed!
“It had already become one of the UK’s largest Jazz Festivals in a short space of time. I had been a freelance marketing consultant for 20 years and ran the festival in my spare time(!). Newark Showground had been one of my clients before I was invite to join the team in 2012.
“However, our business has changed dramatically over the past decade. Around the time I joined, Newark Showground was hosting just over 200 events per year. In the past year alone, we hosted 550 events.”
“From being a venue known primarily for the many colourful weekend consumer and specialist shows and events (including the annual Nottinghamshire County Show, run by our charity the Newark & Nottinghamshire Agricultural Society), bi-monthly International Antiques and Collectors’ Fairs (Europe’s largest), the UK’s largest Agricultural Machinery Exhibition, being the go-to destination for local organisations, societies, individuals and charities for balls, dinners and fundraisers, we realised that we had a lot of in-week capacity to develop.”
“So, having pretty much filled every weekend throughout the year with whole-site or multiple large events on many weekends, we began to focus (with some success) on building the modest meetings and conference side of our business to where to where we are today when there are meetings happening every day.”
Paul says the biggest changes include:
- The reconstruction and modernisation of the Lady Eastwood Centre four years ago (NB. half the roof is covered in solar panels) effectively created a brand new flexible and versatile 1,400sqm exhibition/conferencing and event space with three new meeting rooms and new facilities attached. It has attracted many new events and customers, including exhibitions needing seminar space, conferences for up to 1,200 delegates and balls and awards ceremonies for up to 700 diners.
- Over the past decade, we have introduced satellite catering outlets with seating in all seven major event spaces – all run by our in-house catering team and operating under the ‘Tastes’ brand. These now generate over half our revenue.
- Another major change has been the introduction of the Ungerboeck venue management system which has transformed the way we communicate across the business within one central database – from managing customers, event-planning and site management, to operations and billing.
Stay tuned as we bring you more stories from our partner venues as part of our #10YearsofTrident celebrations!