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Butlin's thinks big after Argos success

Resort brand sets sights on large scale events at three sites in Sussex, Somerset and Lincolnshire

Pictured: Butlin's Conferences & Events national sales manager Simon Jones

Butlin's is positioning itself for large-scale conferences after the success of a 1,200 delegate event for Argos.

Simon Jones, national sales manager for Butlin's Conferences & Events, says the high street retailer’s three-day meeting last year has given the resort brand the confidence to target larger conferences. The Argos Retail & Supplier Conference achieved a 93 per cent delegate satisfaction rating. It was the largest event to date held at Butlin's Bognor Regis resort – the brand has two other resorts at Minehead in Somerset and Skegness in Lincolnshire. A 1,600 delegate conference for another retailer is in the pipeline at the Minehead resort.

Jones said: “That’s the next step for us; talking to the large events about accommodating up to 2,000 delegates. We give a kind of village feel because everyone is in the same area - that you do not get from hotels and convention centres. That conference has given us the confidence that we can do even larger events.”

Butlin's enjoyed a 35 per cent boost in meetings and events sales in 2015, three years after re-entering the market in the wake of Bourne Leisure’s £700 million acquisition of the group from the Rank Organisation. 

More than £200 million has been invested in facilities and a marketing push to change negative perceptions of the Butlin's brand.

Jones added: “Perception is something that’s ongoing. If we persuade clients to come and look at the resort and we can tell them what other clients have achieved, around 93 to 94 per cent of them confirm business with us. I do believe that if clients have not been to Butlin's before and they are looking for something a bit different we can deliver for a range of different sectors.

"Argos and a number of other businesses are coming back for a second year. The next step is to think about whether and how we can enhance our other facilities.”

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