PA Life talks to Phyllis Wilkie, Director of Sales at the Old Course Hotel about the growing demand from corporate bookers for events later this year and beyond…
What sort of demand are you seeing from corporate bookers since lockdown restrictions began easing?
We are experiencing high level of enquiries for events towards the end of this year and into 2022, mostly for mid to large conference and events.
And for what type of events?
Conferences (some are a combination of in person and hybrid), board and executive meetings, team building, reward and recognition events, sports camps and product launches.
Talk us through the event spaces at the Old Course Hotel.
The new Hall of Champions allows complete flexibility; the moveable walls provide options for plenary and break-out meetings or multiple small meetings taking place at once. The space boasts its own dedicated entrance with private registration/receptions area, inbuilt AV and PA options, coffee lounge, outdoor terrace area with iconic St Andrews views and is large enough to seat up to 480 for a dinner or 700 theatre style when fully opened.
The new event spaces are perfect for seminars, conferences, training, product launches, team building, fashion shows, sports camps, gala dinners, award ceremonies, drinks receptions and much more!
Outside of the golf course, what outdoor spaces do you have for events?
We have land around our golf course, The Dukes, which is ideal for team building events as well as a roof top deck here at the hotel, perfect for cocktails and canapes or BBQs.
What are your golf packages for corporate bookers?
Golf is often an add-on to a corporate event, depending on the programmes and how much downtime there is. We can book 9 or 18 holes on our own course, The Dukes, or 18 holes on some of the fabulous Links courses on our doorstep. In recent months golf has been a great way for corporates to network and we have seen a rise in corporate golf memberships and tee time pick up. Our in-house golf simulator is a great fun way to incorporate golf into a busy programme, especially for the non-golfers attending, at least they can say they had a go in the Home of Golf.
Are businesses keen to ‘get back out’ and meet face-to-face?
For sure, corporate bookers seem to be excited at the prospect of holding events out with their own premises, many have missed holding their own annual events and all signs point to those returning as soon as regulations allow.
What are the key concerns from corporate bookers regarding Covid – and what are you doing to alleviate their fears?
Most are being very positive about the future, although of course, contracts need to be more flexible now than previously. We have also adapted our offering to take the burden off the organisers, in terms of COVID precautions, menu styles, updated capacities etc. These are ever-changing as we move towards the return of in person meetings and events.