Ryman and Boux Avenue

Case study

With office supplies company Ryman and purveyor of lingerie Boux Avenue both in his retail portfolio, company chairman Theo Paphitis held a combined sales conference at Center Parcs Sherwood Forest.

One of the UK's best known stationery and office supplies company wanted to gather all its store managers together in order to brief them on its Christmas 2012 range and promotions. It also wanted to reward delegates for their hard work and contribution to the financial success during the year’s first half.

The decision was taken to hold the annual sales conference for the second time at Center Parcs Sherwood Forest, a 40 minute drive from Nottingham and just 80 minutes from London’s Kings Cross.

As Paphitis and his senior management are busy people, Paphitis likes to hold two annual sales conferences at the time, an initiative tried and tested in 2011. The two-day event was held in October, with all participants staying in the Woodland Lodges at Center Parcs.

Delegates from both companies met for registration and lunch, where the menu hinted at Paphitis’s and chief executive officer Kypros Kyprianou’s Greek heritage. The work portion of the event followed and after that a gala dinner. On the second day the delegates were treated to leisure activities including Ten Pin Bowling, Archery, American Pool, Snooker and Table Tennis.

Donna Chan, the event’s organiser, says: "In 2011 it proved a difficult task to find a centrally located venue that offered the conference space and the amount of accommodation we needed." Chan adds that on its return in 2012, Center Parcs pulled out all the stops, even though the resort remained open to the public. "They provided more stewarding and allocated our accommodation closer to the main venue and closer to one another to enable team building to continue away from the conference centre."

Another key requirement for Chan is a separate area away from the conference for key attendees to continue working while the conference was in full swing. Center Parcs provided a dedicated staff area at the back of The Venue that was turned into a fully serviced green room. Another was to have the popular Huck's restaurant closed off to holiday-makers. Even though the eaterie styles itself as a family restaurant, it can be made available for exclusive corporate use.

For Chan, the event could not have gone better. She concludes: "The conference was once again excellent and surpassed expectations. We firmly feel that Ryman, Boux Avenue and Center Parcs have the same ethics and beliefs when it comes to customer service – listening to and working with the customer to give them exactly what they need."