Louise Higgins, Business Development Manager

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Did you know that our Education and Conference Centre at Arthur Rank Hospice Charity is available to hire for your meeting, training event, workshop, seminar or away day?

We caught up with Louise Higgins, Business Development Manager to find out more about the Centre and it’s future plans.

Tell us about yourself

I have worked in the events industry for over twenty-five years and had the privilege of managing high-profile conferences and events with corporate partners.

In 2016 I joined Arthur Rank Hospice Charity. It was an exciting time with the opening of our new purpose-built Hospice on the outskirts of Cambridge. Following the launch of the Education and Conference Centre, we had our first event in December of that year. Since this time and following the pandemic, the meetings and events industry has evolved, and venues are having to adapt to attract customers in a competitive market. Venue managers are mastering change and unpredictability in a constantly challenging business environment.

What does your role involve?

My role is focused on generating commercial income from the Education and Conference Centre through client and business relationships and partnerships.

We host around 60-70 events and meetings a year for local, regional, and national organisations and NHS partner organisations.

The service sits in the Communications and Fundraising Department, helping to raise a total of £4.79 million each year for the charity.  In total, it will cost just over £12 million this year to deliver our Hospice services this year.

What challenges are you experiencing?

As with many businesses and organisations, we have been impacted by rising costs. Our clients are choosing to host hybrid events or online meetings instead of in-person events which impacts our ability to generate income. In addition to this, we are seeing more enquiries where companies want to adopt more collaborative, and experience-led approaches to bring people together and venues are having to adapt to meet client expectations.

What plans do you have for the Education and Conference Centre?

Over the next year, we plan to appeal to a wider target market and grow the business by increasing the number of events we can accommodate. At present, we are focused on developing new business connections and are open to exploring collaborations, new partnerships, and business ideas to maximise revenue potential for the charity.

The Hospice is committed to reducing its impact on the environment and with our Bistro Team who provide our catering, we are seeking ways to improve food sustainability and reduce wastage as well as catering for plant-based menus.

We aim to offer an inclusive and accessible venue experience, and we want to offer staff training to ensure visitors receive an inclusive welcome that supports our Meetings Industry Association AIM Secure accreditation.

We are also looking to expand our team of exceptional Volunteer Event Hosts and we are extremely grateful for their support and dedication to deliver hospitality and customer service to 2000 visitors per year.

How can companies support or get involved with Arthur Rank Hospice Charity?

There are a variety of ways you can support and engage with the Charity. Your company may like to nominate Arthur Rank Hospice as your chosen Charity of the year, promote your business by sponsoring one of our key fundraising events or hire our Education and Conference Centre for your meeting or event.

We are open to discussing how we can support your business needs and look forward to connecting with you.

For Venue Hire enquires please visit venuehire@arhc.org.uk

For Corporate Partnerships please visit corporatepartnerships@arhc.org.uk

Or email fundraising@arhc.org.uk or telephone 01223 675888.