When Warwick Conferences re-opened its doors following the lockdown period, one of the first companies to return was British Mensa. The high IQ society not only held its first post-lockdown board meeting in the COVID-secure facilities, but also hosted its first ever virtual annual general meeting (AGM), for its 18,000 members.
The lockdown period allowed Warwick Conferences to overhaul its services, launching both hybrid meeting spaces and virtual conferencing in August. With Government guidelines ever-changing, its team ensured its spaces met strict policies in order to deliver a safe environment for both visitors and staff.
One of the first teams to experience the new-look facilities was British Mensa. A long-established client, British Mensa invited its board of directors to take part in a creative brainstorm, offering the choice of meeting in-person or joining remotely. John Stevenage, CEO of British Mensa, said: “During the lockdown period, we had a number of online calls to discuss future plans, but we all missed the face-to-face experience.
“We’d been coming to Warwick Conferences for a number of years and were informed of the new-look facilities. Like anyone meeting for the first time after lockdown, there was some apprehension about returning to a face-to-face setting. However, as soon as we walked through the doors at Warwick Conferences, we all felt very safe.”
Socially-distanced hybrid meeting
Warwick Conferences’ team has been working diligently to update its facilities in line with the latest Government guidelines. From rigid cleaning processes to social distancing measures, it has produced a number of new processes to ensure a safe working environment for visitors and staff alike.
British Mensa utilised the new socially-distanced meeting rooms, which, according to John, resulted in an environment which led to an effective and creative experience. He explains: “It was the first time we had met in a face-to-face environment for five months, and it was great. As soon as we got started, we were bouncing new ideas off each other.”
Also utilising the on-site overnight accommodation, British Mensa was so impressed that it decided to arrange more regional meetings using the facilities at Warwick Conferences. John adds: “We could see how beneficial face-to-face team meetings were and want to ensure our regional offices can experience the same.
“The team at Warwick Conferences has clearly worked hard to ensure it is a welcome and safe environment. For me, it was great to be back and we are already looking forward to future plans to meet.”
As well as being one of the first companies to utilise the hybrid meeting facilities, British Mensa was also on hand to debut Warwick Conferences’ new virtual conferencing service.
Combining Warwick Conferences’ award-winning facilities with its on-site technical broadcast team, the virtual service can support an unlimited number of online participants. Putting the choice in the hands of the delegates and speakers to dial in or attend in person, the facilities ensure global or whole-company events and conferences can still take place.
In a first for British Mensa, it decided to live-stream its AGM, inviting all 18,000 of its members to attend. The Board of Directors presented from the lecture theatre at Scarman, where its members could stream in via an online link. John commented: “We knew the probability of having a live AGM this year were low, and so we decided to plan for a virtual meeting which could be viewed by all of our members.
“We worked with Warwick Conferences and were able to plan and deliver the meeting in just eight weeks. We valued the input from the team, including adding polls and reports during the meeting, and were thankful we were able to join together as a membership during these difficult times.”
Warwick Conferences’ virtual and hybrid meetings are just two of the new services available, as it continues to welcome back businesses.