Even though they have existed for a very long time, conference and training centres are now more popular than ever. Today, clients can choose from a huge variety of venues which fit their specific purposes. Near Sydney’s Northern Beaches in the suburb of Ingleside, the Sydney Conference & Training Centre offers a dedicated residential venue located on 9 acres of secluded gardens which overlook the nearby ocean. Purpose-built to host all kinds of different events, the centre has been servicing various industries for decades.
In fact, the venue has been trading as an exclusive conference, event, and training centre for 20 years though the owner had changed several years ago. Even before that, the facility was owned by a banking corporation which also conducted training for their staff on the same premise. And while the facility has gone through two different owners in the last several years, some of the employees have been working there for almost 20 years. Scott Spear, the Facility Manager at the Centre, explained to us that the varying levels of staff experience ensure that shared knowledge is engrained into the employees, which means that everyone knows how to treat existing and new clients alike.
Scott has been with the Sydney Conference & Training Centre for a year. He makes sure that everything is properly set up and that any services or facilities that the guests may want to use are primed and clean on time. Furthermore, he facilitates any request made by the clients before and after their arrival so that their meeting or event can go smoothly. His background in sales means that he actively listens to customers’ needs, actively suggests things that they might have missed, along with his co-worker Tammy they ensure that all client needs and requirements are met in a timely manner.
Providing personalised care for all clients
The Centre takes on many different types of clients though they mainly focus on corporate and government contractors. There are six fully equipped conference and training rooms along with nine break-out rooms, each offering a view of the landscaped gardens with an abundance of natural light. The conference and training rooms are all equipped with ergonomic furniture which can be swapped at the clients’ request. Moreover, they come in many different sizes and arrangement styles which aim to accommodate each client’s needs.
The team ensure that every client receives a personalised service, from the moment that they first enquire about the venue until after they have left the facilities. When the Centre sends out the inquiry form, they try to ask as many questions as possible so that they can provide a high quality personalised standard of care and give the clients a tailored quote. As such, each room and every item inside of it are fully customizable while also offering a lot of privacy.
Team building exercises and other activities
Aside from providing the necessary rooms for training and conferences, the Sydney Conference & Training Centre also provides several other amenities such as sports facilities and a gym. Catering can also be provided at the client’s request through a third-party supplier.
“Catering is not compulsory; the clients take that up, though we do encourage it. Our food is a cut above the average conference centre, in my opinion, and clients constantly give us feedback to that effect. We have everything from three course meals down to snacks. People can choose from a variety of breakfasts, for instance, so we do cater to different budgets as well. When we quote a price we are always happy to negotiate, of course, according to the client’s needs”, explains Scott.
Aside from food, clients may also choose to participate in external events and activities. The centre has a big activities and events book which the clients are free to peruse at their own leisure. Many of them choose to go through planned entertainment events such as obstacle courses or even bubble soccer as part of team building exercises, for instance. To make sure that everything goes smoothly, the Centre remains in constant communication with the clients and the feedback has certainly been positive.
Serious investments in a competitive market
The Northern Beaches area has quite a few conference centres which means that the market is quite competitive, particularly in pricing. Even so, most centres cater to a specific type of client. Whereas the Sydney Conference & Training Centre may focus on corporations and government, for instance, others might focus on birthdays, weddings, and similar events. Even so, Scott assured us that the centres maintain friendly relationships even though they are in constant competition.
To keep up with the competitors, there is also a need to continuously reinvest into the Centre in more ways than one. Technology, for instance, is a major focus for them. Infrastructure that clients may now take for granted, such as complimentary wireless Internet throughout the facilities.
Though they recently had some light refurbishment work done in the venue, additional work will be undertaken in the coming months. During that refurbishment, they will also look into upgrading other areas such as audio and visual equipment as well as digital marking screens and other areas of technology.
AT A GLANCE
WHO: Sydney Conference & Training Centre
WHAT: A purpose-built venue catering to businesses and organisations in Sydney and across the region
WHERE: 30 Ingleside Rd, Ingleside NSW 2101, Australia