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The Woodlands Event Centre at Wyboston Lakes

Great North Road, Wyboston, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK44 3AR Show on Map Add to shortlist
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The influence of the next generation on food and drink at venues and events
For baby boomers and before, the time and place for eating was fixed into the defined framework of the traditional working day. For the new generation, it is flexibly integrated into their day to day lives.

Just as they want and expect access to high-speed internet and to work, play or relax whenever they want 24/7, they also expect fast easy access to an extensive choice of fresh food and drink whenever they want it. They want to ‘Grab and Go’ any time that suits them. Street/ festival style food works well for them.

It’s also very important to them. In planning our recent £3m investment in transforming our event facility to become The Woodlands Event Centre we commissioned in-depth research among millennials meetings planners. Striking among its findings was that they expect venues to demonstrate excellence across three pillars; food, technology and sustainability.

The challenge for venues is to cater to both this new generation and those whose tastes and needs have not changed so much.

The solution for hotels and conference venues is to refine and update the lunch and dinner menus of traditional restaurants and coffee shops and supplement it with additional options.

For example, a Food Market providing a variety of international street food dishes can be added to the lunch options. Our stalls for events include Tex-Mex, Oriental, Carved Ham, Burgers, an Ice Cream machine and other Desserts.

Here, Cedar Bar offers a variety of light snacks such as sandwiches and paninis 24 hours a day. In addition, high street quality coffee and a wide range of drinks, pastries and snack is now always available right across the site from coffee artisans Paddy & Scott’s multiple refuelling stations and kiosks.

Paddy & Scott’s also reflects a further influence of the next generation’s attitudes on F&B; the hallmarks of the brand are authenticity and deep concern for sustainability. This also has to be reflected through the venue’s restaurants and bars. Our approach is to use locally sourced ingredients wherever possible.

Changing dietary requirements, especially of younger people, are having a significant on menus and restaurant preparation. 20 years ago there would be 10 vegetarians among 100 diners; today the vegetarians are now vegans and there are vegetarians as well. There are also more people with allergies to gluten, wheat, dairy and nuts.

Restaurant and function menus not only have to allow for all of these, but the quality and creativity must also be consistent, with delicious homemade foods given the same care and attention given to other guests.
Next Generation Technology to be unveiled at The Woodlands Event Centre
Delegates and presenters at events will be able to take advantage of the latest presentation tech, with the brightest and sharpest image projection currently available. Leading edge communications techniques with digital flipcharts, advanced optical front projector screens and wireless HDMI facilities are being introduced at The Woodlands Event Centre, Wyboston Lakes Resort.

As part of a £3m plus investment to completely refurbish the conference and training equipment, £0.5m is being spent on the AV and IT network alone.

Craig Warner Director of IT at Wyboston Lakes Resort, comments “IT is now a key consideration for conference and event planners when selecting a venue. As part of our refurbishment of our meetings spaces, we have taken it one step further to ensure that our digital ecosystem is future proofed.”

Craig continues “Whatever the event requirements may be, a wide range of cutting edge options will ensure delegates have a packed, productive and valuable experience at Wyboston Lakes Resort”.

Presentations will be enhanced by the Panasonic PT-RZ series laser projectors with Infinity display screen, for the sharpest and brightest image quality currently available. Located in the Rosewood Suite they provide features such as immersive picture quality, low-maintenance stability and a dynamic user interface. Apple AirPlay is also available.

The Rosewood Suite, which will seat up to 450 theatre, will also feature fantastic Sennheiser digital mics offering studio quality audio and Crestron controlled lighting, allowing the organisers the ability to quickly set and adjust lighting levels to suit the demands of the event.

Smart Kapp-Digital Flip Charts will be available for use in training rooms, this will enable attendees to share content remotely with colleagues anywhere in the world when they write, draw and erase ideas on the capture board. They can do this by connecting a Bluetooth®-enabled mobile device to the capture board and scanning a Quick Response (QR) code or by tapping the Near Field Communication (NFC).

Meeting organisers will be able to increase engagement, collaboration and creativity among participants by using the 86” LED display which will be installed in The Yew technology theatre. The theatre will also be equipped with Dolby Atmos speakers providing an immersive sound experience. Meetings planners can also book a facility to join their colleagues around the world seamlessly or for more social aspects of the event such as evening entertainment in the form of ‘a night at the movies’ or ‘Karaoke’.

Built in applications are available for displaying content with easy connection to additional equipment, such as ClickShare or HDMI devices.

1.3Gb of high speed internet is offered across the site and in all facilities, this will ensure delegates receive good bandwidth, with no passwords or limitations, completely free. Wireless connectivity from PC, Mac, iOS & Android devices will allow delegates to interact easily and participate in the session.

To save delegates hunting for sockets and trailing across rooms, some of the new conference tables will come designed with integrated 13A and USB power sockets. Top tables also feature HDMI sockets and all principal rooms have wireless connectivity for laptops to stream seamlessly to large screens. Social tables and quiet spaces are also being introduced, where delegates can network with one another or take time out to catch up on work or personal matters, and they will also be equipped with 13A and USB power sockets.
Wyboston Lakes Resort announces partnership with Paddy & Scotts
Wyboston Lakes Resort announces partnership with Paddy & Scott's.

Leading hospitality, leisure and conference venue Wyboston Lakes Resort is announcing a five-year contract with coffee supplier Paddy & Scott’s to provide an award winning craft coffee experience across its spa, restaurants, events spaces and bedrooms.

As part of the multi-year agreement to provide all coffee, machinery and branding, Paddy & Scott’s have been commissioned to design and build a conference coffee house, or fuelling station, as part of the refurbishment project at the newly renamed Woodlands Event Centre and at various other coffee points across the Resort.

An initial capital investment of £150k in the refuelling station, machines and other fixtures and fittings is being financed by Wyboston Lakes Resort, ensuring delegates will be fully energised throughout the day. In addition to serving high street, craft quality coffee, the fuelling station will offer a wide range of crafted drinks and snacks, all included in the daily delegate rate.

The partnership will also provide ongoing operational support and specialist training to Wyboston Lakes Resort team members, enabling them to become fully SCA Barista certified, engage with the coffee farm in Kenya and enjoy barista competitions to drive standards

This facility is set to open in early September 2018 at the same time as the newly created 300 capacity Rosewood Suite at The Woodlands Event Centre.

Commenting on the announcement, Steve Jones, Operations Director at Wyboston Lakes Resort, says:

“Paddy & Scott’s ethical approach to business, such as having their own coffee farm in the shade of the eastern side of Mount Kenya in northern Nairobi, allows them to support their local community and aligns perfectly with our own values as a proudly independent venue that provides great value, service and hospitality to our clients. We don’t just pay lip service to corporate social responsibilities, but we live and breathe these throughout all aspects of our business”

Jon Reed, Brand Director at Paddy & Scott’s had this to say “So much can be achieved from a humble cup of coffee and we’re incredibly proud that Wyboston Lakes shares our vision to fuel ambition for its guests and delegates. It’s great to have a partnership that is focused on raising the bar and rewriting the rule book when it comes to conference coffee!”

This latest announcement comes at an exciting time for Wyboston Lakes Resort, with work underway on the first phase of a complete refurbishment of its conference and meetings spaces. Over £3m of investment will add inspirational meeting areas designed with creative flare and equipped with top of the range technology; £0.5m is being invested specifically in the IT network.

The Rosewood Suite at The Woodlands Event Centre will be capable of hosting over 300 delegates and comes fully equipped with cutting-edge technology. Training suites will benefit from a comprehensive redesign, providing greater inspiration and innovation for conference guests.

For more information, please visit www.wybostonlakes.co.uk
The Woodlands Event Centre & The Willows Training Centre
Wyboston Lakes Resort is to rename its main venues as The Woodlands Event Centre and The Willows Training Centre.

The Woodlands Event Centre is currently known as the Wyboston Lakes Executive Centre and The Willows Training Centre is the Wyboston Lakes Training Centre. Both new names will be supported by the overall Wyboston Lakes Resort brand.

The changes will take place in September when the first phase of a £3m investment in a major transformation of The Woodlands Event Centre is due for completion.

All rooms at The Woodlands Event Centre will be re-configured and renamed as part of this redevelopment. The theme of natural wood will run strongly throughout the whole of the building. There will be a new Italian inspired Olive Restaurant along with Cedar Courtyard and Bar and the meeting rooms will all be named after differing woods. The newly created Rosewood Suite will be capable of accommodating over 300 delegates. One of the other new features will be the Yew technology theatre which will benefit from the latest in in-room tech and provide tiered seating to allow presenters to interact with their audience.

Louisa Watson, Director of Marketing at Wyboston Lakes Resort explains: “Re-naming both venues will create a separate distinctive identity for each and enable us to position each venue in its relevant market more effectively. We will continue to use the Wyboston Lakes Resort in all marketing and promotional activities as our brand name is well known and a major asset, particularly in the meeting and events industry.”
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