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5 MINUTES WITH: Nick Tipper on the secrets of Butlin’s conferences & events success

Following huge investment, 2022 is shaping up to be a busy year at Butlin’s, so we sat down with Nick Tipper (pictured), its Head of Conferences and Events, to find out more…

What does Butlin’s recent conferences & events relaunch mean for your clients in 2022? 

Butlin’s has always been about bringing people together. Our conferences and events proposition applies everything that makes Butlin’s great for families with a new approach for corporates and their employees. 

The global pandemic has forced a shift in mindset. Employees are re-evaluating the importance of work-life balance, while businesses are realising they need to find new ways to re-engage their teams and bring people together again. There is a new focus on spending quality time together as a team and building relationships, without sacrificing family time. For example, we are seeing an increase in enquiries at all three resorts for end of the week conferences which will allow attendees to bring their families to enjoy a weekend break.

The facilities and entertainment at each of the Butlin’s resorts create opportunities for every member of a team to have a personalised experience and find like-minded colleagues, no matter what they like to do for fun. From the fairgrounds to bowling and go-karts or from the beaches to the bars, there is something for everyone at Butlin’s. 

Butlin’s is uniquely positioned to provide the solutions to our clients’ post-pandemic approach to events. With the launch of a brand new, state-of-the-art venue in Studio 36, each Butlin’s resort can welcome events of all sizes and requirements. Studio 36 is fully flexible and comes with professional standard sound and lighting equipment, so the venue can be tailored to suit the needs of all types of events. Additionally, everything at Butlin’s is in one place, so the venue, accommodation, catering and entertainment can all be contracted together for simplicity and peace of mind. Our new proposition puts Butlin’s in a position to be part of the recovery, pioneering how we think conferences & events should be moving forward.

Tell us about your Bognor Regis, Skegness and Minehead venues.

You’ll find the same quality facilities, entertainment and team support at all three Butlin’s resorts, ensuring a consistent product for all our clients regardless of their preferred location. 

Each of our three resorts is situated in an iconic seaside location and has all the ‘key elements’ needed to create a memorable conference or event — venue, accommodation, F&B — all in one place. Each resort has Studio 36, fairground facilities, retail spaces and a minimum of five venues to choose from. 

The fairground is the ideal location for event planners as corporates are realising that ‘traditional’ team building is less effective and they are seeking to engage their teams with personalised fun and free time. However, each of our three resorts has its own USP. The resort in Bognor Regis has dedicated conference spaces and direct train connections to London and Gatwick airport. Minehead can host large arena events such as the annual PDC Darts UK Open and Players Championship. Skegness, the original home of Butlin’s, is very popular with clients based in the Midlands and north of England thanks to the space on offer.
What can event organisers expect from the Studio 36 facilities?

Studio 36 is a fully flexible, state-of-the-art venue designed to provide bespoke solutions to client event needs. The new venue, available at all three resorts, is the perfect customisable space for event organisers. The pillarless space can host up to 1,600 delegates in a variety of seating arrangements including theatre, cabaret style and gala dinners. The industry level sound and lighting systems have been used by the likes of Diversity, Stephen Mulhern and Tony Hadley to name a few, and our in-house technicians can help create a bespoke brand-focused experience for our corporate clients. The space can be configured to allow natural daylight and breakout spaces, or blackout curtains can create a perfect canvas for an audio-visual experience.  

Studio 36 gives the flexibility to personalise the space to suit each specific conference or event, and Butlin’s brings everything from AV and entertainment to catering and accommodation together in one place.

Tell us about Butlin’s approach to corporate catering.

If I had to sum up our approach to corporate catering in one word, it would be variety. We can offer a wide range of catering options from traditional gala dinners to something a bit more informal, like buffet stations or street food. The best in the business, including Michelin star level chefs, have created a host of new mouth-watering menus specifically for conferences and events. We work closely with clients to ensure we are catering to specific requests and have bespoke solutions including an ‘around the world’ themed buffet with stations for 1,400 delegates and seated dinners in one of our many restaurants. 

What support can the Butlin’s team offer to event organisers?

We have a team of dedicated event managers with a wealth of experience at each of the three resorts, ensuring that event organisers have a single point of contact to support their experience from start to finish. Our event managers are brilliantly reinforced by up to 1,000 resort team members, so no matter what creative ideas they come up with we are here to help realise that vision and create a memorable event.  

What measures does Butlin’s employ to ensure Covid safety at its venues?

We have already hosted a number of conferences and events at Butlin’s with Covid-secure policies in place. We have solutions adjusting every aspect of the delegate experience from check-in to dining and networking. We work closely with event planners to meet not only government regulations, but also any specific client requirements to ensure the safety of all visitors to Butlin’s.