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The events industry has seen a shift in the last 10 years. While it was previously seen to form a part of the wider hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism sectors this role has diminished and events has flourished as an industry in its own right. Parts of the events are of course Conferencing and Banqueting which for many hotels is contributing as a revenue generator.

Therefore, for purpose of this assignment you are a Conference and Banqueting Manager for a five star hotel located in London.  The hotel is experiencing downturn in sales due to economic climate hitting UK and the rest of the world.  The Owners are seeing the opportunity to improve revenues by focusing on Conference and Banqueting Business, especially weddings and business events.  Therefore, you need to write a report in which to address the following issues.

  • Discussthe size and scope of the conference and banqueting industry in the UK and briefly analyse factors that have influenced its development.  Close consideration should be given to socio-cultural, economic and technological factors. (AC 1.1 and 1.2)
  • Critically assessthe key strategic and operational issues involved in the effective management of weddings and business events. Explain to your Owners the elements that needs considering such us: pricing and packaging, discounting initiatives, licensing laws, health and safety at work, hygiene regulations, etiquette and protocol, etc.  (AC 2.1)
  • Discusssome of the most effective techniques that the management should use to measure the performance and review the quality for weddings and business events  (AC 2.2)
  • Evaluatethe suitability of a range of food production systems and styles and food and beverage service styles for a wedding that will take place in your hotel. (AC 3.1)
  • Discussfactors to consider when organising an off-site conference or banquet (AC 3.2)
  • Analysethe key menu planning considerations for conference and banqueting events (AC 3.3)

Task 2

In pairs (2 students), you are required to conduct primary research in a hotel or a different type of facility which holds events such as Banqueting and/or Conferences and find out from the respective people in charge how they handle the following:

  • Space utilisation techniques: seating plans/room layout designs to accommodate guests, style, comfort, types of event, computer-aided design packages (CAD)
  • Quality of environment: minimum and maximum space/floor occupancy, demands on floor space, heating, ventilation, change of air rates, air-conditioning
  • Audio-visual: lighting, sound, special effects, video projections, computer disc presentations, lighting technology, sound technology, etc.  
Discussion

In order to gain a clear comprehension of the nature of the conference and banqueting industry in UK, the changes it is experiencing and the challenges it is facing, this report has been composed. The report would highlight the size and scope of the industry, the factors that are influencing its development, the key strategic and operational issues involved in the effective management, most effective techniques for reviewing, the suitability of food production and service system, factors to consider when organizing and analysis of the key menu planning considerations.

In the conference and banqueting industry, size and scope are the most vital components that can attract the investors and make them invest in the industry. These two components depends on the factors like ownership styles as well their orientation and the level of service offered by them. Conference industry offers the facilities of large meetings, conferences and seminars, whereas the banquet industry provides with meeting spaces, food facilities to the attendees of the seminars (Rogers 2013).

United Kingdom (UK) is one of the world’s foremost economically developed countries, becoming the venue to one of the largest conferences organized in the world. Moreover, they have the scope for that. This is a growing sector in the UK, depending on other industries like restaurant, bar and similar ones. Research has shown that the UK conference and banqueting industry consists of 45,000 hotels and guest (Hotel Industry Magazine 2017), employing 2,440,583 people in 2010 (Statista 2017), meaning the industry has a lot of scope. The size of the industry basically depends on the number of attendees, square size of the industry and the number of meeting and conferences taking place at a specific time. In UK, small sized conferences last one day, with approximate participants of 500. Medium sized conferences last for 2-3 days, with participant numbers of approximately 600-100. The large size conferences hold 3000-4000 participants, continuing for minimum 4-5 days.

The factors that influence the conference and banqueting industry in UK are mostly in the categories of political, economical, socio-cultural and technological.

Political

Political issues directly influence the conference and banqueting industry and its healthiness is crucial for the maintenance of business goodwill. Certain government mandates strongly influenced the development of the industry in terms of political stability, tax policies, environmental laws, trade restrictions and so on (Pantelidis 2012).

Economical

Some major economic aspects that influence an organization or business are inflation, interest and exchange rates, economic increasing disposable income of consumers and businesses. These aspects have a considerable control over the ways in which any organization does its business, alongside how commercial they are (Marais, du Plessis and Saayman 2017).

Socio-cultural

In UK, the conference and banqueting industry is one of the largest employer institution, with almost (Wowbc.co.uk 2017) of the workers of Britain being involved in the conference and banqueting sector. Other social factors that influence the industry consist of public freedom of movement, earnings allocation and providing of skills acquired. These traits contain growing of residents, age dissemination, health consciousness and career attitudes. Country cultural influxes have significantly boosted the efficiency of the conference and banqueting industry, in turn increasing its scope.

Technological

Technology plays a very crucial role in the development of organizations and businesses. Over the years, organizations have been dependent on the technological advancements, even the conference and banqueting industry, to keep on providing the customers with the best possible efficient and complete software solutions (Yaduma et al. 2015).

Table 1. PEST analysis

Source: (As created by author)

The key procedures for supporting the operational issues in connection to conference and banqueting and event administration are complex and incorporate association and tie up capacities with some outstanding event administration organizations will build the exhibitions of the events (Council 2013). Alternate techniques to pull in associations and corporate house incorporate after sales service provision and subsequent meet-ups. Organizing support and maintaining etiquette in such manner will help in better business maintainability (McCabe 2012). The different instruments and systems of operations administration in conference and banqueting will bolster the business firms to have increment gaining bolster. The different systems incorporate standard service provision to bolster food and housing with expanded ambiences like web offices, health programs and exercise centers, swimming pools, night clubs, shops, auto stopping zones, and different spaces for additional office fortune to the visitors (Mair 2013). The major concern that rises in such wedding or business events is the risk of safety and quality. Additionally there is the issue with hygiene of the amenities made available at venues of such events. Prior to this, the first concern that customers deal with is the bargaining about pricing, packages and availing discounts.

Size and scope

The performance of the conference and banqueting organization is to a great extent subject to the achievement of the conference or the conference. The reasonable conduction of the conference will require dynamic human resource interest and upgraded support of the administration will help in better administration and hospitality enterprises will have expanded accomplishment in future circumstances (Manning et al. 2015). The customer decisions were steady in dialog of performance and quality of the conference and the audit strategies of it. The customers has opined this leadership conference as the best till date and the imaginative vision and group perfection were the two principle things that were of high acclaim in the conference so directed. The area and office support of the lodging business was high and the social event of members outperformed their accepted level of desires (Singh and Srivastasva 2016). The achievement was very high and the members were happy with the way the conference was led. The outsider support and organization middle person bolster has expanded the proficiency of the event administration programs and the eventual fate of hospitality businesses will be manageable in future. The assessment systems may incorporate criticism from the members, inn staffs and the office itself (McCallaghan 2015). The association will likewise give expanded support of the legislature and other national sorting out bodies to have better adequacy. In reviewing such events, the first step is to make sure the organizations are accredited and has the license and specialty certification to be in business. The next step would be to maintain appropriateness and follow customer management guidelines so that the event can be carried out peacefully. Time to time reminding of the organizing party about the main requirement and preference would assist them to be on track.

The food service framework is one of the chief components that affect the accomplishment of any event administration program. In the event that the food and food provision service is not in control then the program would unquestionably come up short. The sustenance assortment ought to be founded on social socioeconomics so that each taking an interest part could have their nourishments (Davis et al. 2013). The food production framework, food production style and food production management should be arranged adequately and effectively so that service offices has no discrepancies. The food should be fresh and healthy, remembering the work environment’s sterile variables (Bowie and Buttle 2013). The refreshments and different beverages services should be furthermore given the primary sustenance things and this will expand the client's recognitions and requirements.

Influencing Factors

The conferences will have distinctive food supply framework and will have diverse drink details according to the span of the conference. Large scale conferences are by and large finished with a celebration supper party. Be that as it may, smaller conferences may on occasion bolster higher food services (Mensah and Dei Mensah 2013). The conferences ought to have banquet framework support and drinks will chiefly constitute tea and espresso. Be that as it may, summer conferences may have soda pops bolster and the function supper equality may give hard beverages and other social equality bolster (Wambua 2014). The food items along these lines gave ought to be crisp and sterile to bolster basic danger control measures and the menu arrangements ought to be founded on the lawful compliances of the hotel setting and the association also (Guerrier 2013).

Sorting out an offsite conference or banquet appears, at to start with, to be a genuinely basic matter. In any case, there's a whole other world to think about than exactly what is on the menu.

Location

The initial phase in arranging an effective offsite conference or banquet is to choose the scene. The advantages of an expert event space for offsite conference or banquet can't be overvalued. It offers defense, taking into deliberation open and constant discourses, introductions and discussion. Organizing the offsite conference or banquet at a procured scene additionally limits diversions, and serves to focus everybody's consideration on the current work (Rogers and Davidson 2015).

Menu

Offsite conference or banquet offers an open door for business directors and their workers to escape the workplace and focus on conceptualizing new thoughts and growing new deals techniques. It is additionally the ideal event to talk about new office systems, and to acquaint new innovation and methods with the working environment. By picking your scene and your menu painstakingly, you can augment the working capability of your off-site business conference or banquet and end the evening on a beneficial, and effective, note (Rogers and Davidson 2015).

Accessibility

To organize an offsite conference or banquet it is important for the venue to be easily accessible for the attendees. The transportation facilities need to be of superior quality and easily available at all times (Rogers and Davidson 2015).

While menu planning the food for any conference or banquet, it is always recommended that the needs and desires of individuals, and groups are assessed. What types of people would be involved in the different activities and functions in a conference or banquet would be discussed (Rogers and Davidson 2015). While designing the menu for the conference or banquet, the different issues and considerations and elements that might arise are:

  • Types of people in the conference or banquet: To make sure all the customers are happy and satisfied it is important that their wishes and preferences are considered at the time of menu planning for any conference or banquet.
  • The negotiated price for any conference or banquet: Depending on the price or cost negotiated for the conference or banquet it is crucial that the prices for the different food items are maintained.
  • The various types of menu items that have been finalised: Depending on the types of people, their preferences and origin, the items of the menu can have different options of food.
  • Different combinations of menu items that would be able to satisfy the people: The menu must have a great and broad combination of food items in terms of inclusion of different types of colour in order to make the menu, along with the display, look more attractive.

Key Strategic and Operational Issues

In addition to all this considerations, HACCP or hazard analysis and critical control points is used as an approach to control and analyse the food being served. Therefore, while planning the menu, along with the taste of the items, the quality and safety of food must be given great significance.

While deciding upon the menu for any conference or banquet, the menu must have breakfast, lunch and dinner in the buffet sections. Each course must consist of three vegetarian and three non-vegetarian food items. Different types of beverages, like soft drinks and liquors should be made available, at least four. In the liquor section, four main types of drinks should be supplied and must be made unlimited. In addition, four types of desserts should be there with each course.

Conference or banquet events are to be organized in ways that they look beautiful and must appeal to the aesthetic. The decors must be kept simple and the lightings should be soothing, with the presence of different kinds of business tools required for the event. The following are necessary:

  • Laptop and projector arrangements
  • Speakers, mikes and other hand held speaking devices
  • Music and sound controlling systems and devices
  • Screens for visually experiencing the conference, or to make the environment livelier while bringing in a feeling of zeal and seriousness to the event.

Besides these arrangements, the tables and chairs must be done in ways that they forma round table to provide accommodation for 10 people at each table. Each table should have a tent card and other amenities like water bottle, notepad, pens and pencils. The buffet section must be just outside of the hall, with separate tables and chairs for the guests (Marroquín, Gaviria and Mejía-Gutiérrez 2016).

Conclusion:

Conference or banquet management is one of the most key and crucial functions of the hospitality industry in UK today. The UK hospitality industry is getting promoted by the help of the conferences and other events. While doing so, the different issues related to operations, quality and management needs to be addressed to avoid any kind of mishaps during the events. By proper support, the UK hospitality industry can become one of the largest sectors.

References:

Bowie, D. and Buttle, F., 2013. Hospitality marketing. Taylor & Francis.

Council, W.B., 2013. Economic development strategy.

Davis, B., Lockwood, A., Pantelidis, I. and Alcott, P., 2013. Food and beverage management. Routledge.

Guerrier, Y., 2013. hospitality management. Key Concepts in Hospitality Management.

Hotel Industry Magazine. 2017. Hotel Data: Industry Size. [online] Available at: https://www.hotel-industry.co.uk/data/hotel-data-industry-size/ [Accessed 24 Mar. 2017].

Mair, J., 2013. Conferences and conventions: A research perspective. Routledge.

Manning, C., O'Neill, J.W., Singh, A.J., Hood, S., Liu, C. and Bloom, B.A., 2015. The emergence of hotel/lodging real estate research. Journal of Real Estate Literature, 23(1), pp.1-26.

Marais, M., du Plessis, E. and Saayman, M., 2017. Critical success factors of a business tourism destination: Supply side analysis. Acta Commercii, 17(1), pp.1-12.

Marroquín, C., Gaviria, M. and Mejía-Gutiérrez, R., 2016, July. Ergonomic Considerations in Product Design Through PLM Technologies. In IFIP International Conference on Product Lifecycle Management (pp. 32-42). Springer, Cham.

McCabe, V.S., 2012, April. Developing and sustaining a quality workforce: lessons from the convention and exhibition Industry. In Journal of Convention & Event Tourism (Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 121-134). Taylor & Francis Group.

McCallaghan, W.A., 2015. Service quality management in conference tourism: expectations versus delivery (Doctoral dissertation, North-West University (South Africa), Potchefstroom Campus).

Mensah, I. and Dei Mensah, R., 2013. Management of tourism and hospitality services. Xlibris Corporation.

Pantelidis, I.S., 2012. The role of events in the hospitality sector. Events Management: An International Approach, p.253.

Rogers, T. and Davidson, R., 2015. Marketing destinations and venues for conferences, conventions and business events (Vol. 14). Routledge.

Rogers, T., 2013. Conferences and Conventions 3rd edition: A Global Industry. Routledge.

Singh, V. and Srivastasva, U.R., 2016. Team Performance Scale for Hospitality Professionals. Journal of Psychosocial Research, 11(1), p.1.

Statista. 2017. Number of direct employees in the UK hospitality industry 2010 | Statistic. [online] Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/206001/direct-employment-in-the-uk-hospitality-industry/ [Accessed 24 Mar. 2017].

Wambua, J., 2014. Food and Beverage Operations Management.

Wowbc.co.uk. 2017. Hospitality the job market. [online] Available at: https://www.wowbc.co.uk/showcontent.php?id=99 [Accessed 24 Mar. 2017].

Yaduma, N., Williams, A., Lockwood, A. and Park, S., 2015. Performance, labour flexibility and migrant workers in hotels: An establishment and departmental level analysis. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 50, pp.94-104.

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