City Cruises

Demand for meetings and events at the forest venue breaks historic revenue record by £2m


Center Parcs Conferences & Events has experienced its best ever year for corporate bookings at the dedicated events venue in Woburn Forest. The records from previous years have been broken with a £2m increase in confirmed revenue compared to its prior strongest year in 2019/20. This is testament to the growing demand for meetings and events at the forest venue.

The nature-rich destination has received nearly 1,000 more enquiries for events at its Bedfordshire venue than in its last full year pre-pandemic. During the first half of 2024 alone, The Venue received a third more enquiries than throughout the entirety of 2023.

In addition, event size for confirmed corporate bookings has increased, with double the number of 200+ people events delivered this past fiscal year compared to the last – the largest of which welcomed 550 delegates for an overnight stay amidst the trees in September 2023.

IT, financial services and automotive industries favour meetings and events at the forest venue

Leading the way for another year running, the IT, banking and insurance, and automotive industries show the biggest appetite for conferences and events in the 2023-2024 period.

Residential events make up the largest proportion of corporate bookings at Woburn Forest, with 90% of all bookings including an overnight stay in Center Parcs’ unique accommodation, amidst hundreds of acres of woodland.

This record-breaking year follows Center Parcs’ reawakening of its corporate offering. It all began in May 2022 with the £2.5m refurbishment of Woburn Forest, and concluded in January of this year with the completion of Sherwood Forest’s transformative renovation worth £4.5m.

Julia Green,  Head of Corporate Events at Center Parcs Conferences & Events, said: “A year and a half on since our Woburn Forest reawakening, we can firmly say the period of closure to transform The Venue was worth every minute. It’s been reflected in the soaring demand for our new and upgraded corporate event offering and the continuous stream of fantastic feedback from clients. Our numbers show that, more than ever, off-site meetings against a natural backdrop, combined with team building activities continue to appeal to companies looking to combine strategy with a change of scenery.

Return-on-relationship a key indicator of success

“If overnight stays are dominating our schedule in 2024, it’s because businesses have radically reframed their perception and approach to meetings. One or two-night residential stays allow global mobile workforces to take networking to the next level and maximise the return-on-relationship (ROR) of their events. As the industry continues to reinvent itself post-pandemic, we expect to see businesses reward staff and engage clients with longer visits to the forest and wellness-geared activities.”

Speaking on the business’ ambition behind the double refurbishment and her vision for the future of corporate events, Julia Green will be this week’s keynote speaker at The Business Desk’s networking lunch taking place at Bar Esca in Nottingham from midday on 21 March.


We are thrilled to have Center Parcs on our spring 2024 issue cover.