The Open Air Business Gathering is just weeks away and promises to deliver a pre-season pick-me-up for venue, glampsite and outdoor event professionals. Join the party!
Once a year, outdoor hospitality and events professionals gather in the tranquil surroundings of Hothorpe Hall, Leicestershire, for 24 hours of learning, networking and special treats.
Following an informal and fun evening get together, the conference day welcomes delegates to four streams: Function Venues, Glamping, Outdoor Events and, new for 2020, Resort and Retreat. This new stream is aimed at professionals in the holiday park, family attraction, hotel and eco-tourism sectors interested in expanding their offering into alternative accommodation at any scale.
Led by sector experts, with plenty of opportunity for sharing knowledge and experiences peer-to-peer, the programme is comprehensive and designed to provide inspiration, knowledge and, importantly, contacts to get you set for 2020 and beyond.
A trade village and outdoor showcase area offers the chance to get up close to products and have meaningful discussions with suppliers, and we are delighted to welcome Clear Sky (safari tents) and Morris Site Machinery on board as sponsors.
Tickets are strictly limited to maintain the intimate nature of the event and maximise on the opportunity for attendees to chat, connect and do business. With seven weeks to go, over two thirds of places have been taken and we are anticipating another full capacity event. Visit www.oabgathering.com and secure your ticket to avoid disappointment.
Sunday 22 March
Food, prosecco/gin/beer bar, Party Karts with silent disco, chill in the treehouse or chat around the fire pit
Monday 23 March
• Industry trends
• Your business online
• Who is your customer / Pricing strategies
• Seasonal experiences
• Business events
• Wildflower meadow management
• Planning permission Q&A
• Policies and procedures
• Emerging markets
• Sustainability at all scales
• Wildflower meadow management
• Planning permission Q&A
• Securing sponsorship
• Sustainability at events
• Vibing a site
• Volunteer management
• Booking artists
Resort & Retreat
• International lessons
• ‘One Planet’ holidays
• Experiential accommodation
• Luxury outdoors
• Future trends
FIRST SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED
Venues and Ventures
Iain is the founder of Venues and Ventures, a management consultancy specialising in delivering strong returns on investment across historic venues, rural estates and outdoor spaces. He has worked for some of England’s grandest country estates and leading luxury venues, refining his eye for spotting new opportunities and helping businesses realise their potential.
Kelly Chandler Consulting
A regular contributor to Open Air Business, Kelly is a long term preferred service provider for exclusive venues such as Syon Park, Highclere Castle, Spencer House and Stoke Park Club. Kelly’s consulting services to wedding venues draw on her prior experience in international conference and event planning, over 15 years of business management, and working directly with discerning couples planning their weddings in diverse locations and forging successful relationships with all components of the wedding industry.
The Forge / Wild Bushcraft Company
Sheena is the owner and co-founder of The Forge and Wild Bushcraft Company. Based in North Wales, Sheena and her husband Jamie offer glamping retreats with a twist. As well as the usual luxury camping facilities, The Forge encourages guests to engage in a wide range of bushcraft activities, ranging from lighting their own campfires to wild food foraging and star gazing, all with the aim of helping guests step off from the modern world and find a deeper level of relaxation and wellbeing.
With a background in corporate Diversity and Inclusion, The Forge perfectly complements Sheena’s career, which focuses on encouraging better mental health in the workplace.
After graduating in environmental management and outdoor education, Richard moved into corporate development training before joining forces with business partner John Maddy to become one of the early pioneers of glamping in the UK, launching Long Valley Yurts in 2007. The pair has worked with the Irish Tourist Board to consult and advise on glamping nationally, and are now bringing together over 17 years of experience to offer consultancy, training and qualifications through Canopy, a new glamping and camping industry association.
Joe is the director and programmer of Towersey Festival, the oldest independent festival in the UK. Established in 1965, it continues to be one of the country’s leading festivals of acoustic, folk and roots music, attracting over 8,000 people annually.
Events Industry Form
Steve is the chairman of the Events Industry Forum (EIF) and a contributor to the Purple Guide. He has been the general secretary of Association of Festival Organisers (AFO) since its formation in 1987, is the director of Mrs Casey Music and was director of Towersey Festival for 45 years, having retired last year.
The Quiet Site
Daniel owns the Quiet Site in Ullswater, and his pioneering commitment to sustainability has seen over £1million invested in the latest technologies to make it one of the greenest parks in the land. The Quiet Team was delighted to win the ‘Ethical, Sustainable and Responsible’ Award from Cumbria Tourism for a record fourth time last year and maintains a Green Tourism Gold award.
After graduating in outdoor education and leadership, John moved into corporate development training before joining forces with business partner Richard Coulter to become one of the early pioneers of glamping in the UK, launching Long Valley Yurts in 2007.
The pair has worked with the Irish Tourist Board to consult and advise on glamping nationally, and are now bringing together over 17 years of experience to offer consultancy, training and qualifications through Canopy, a new glamping and camping industry association.
Kate’s hospitality-dedicated businesses support development projects that include alternative accommodations such as glamping and treehouses. Her consultancy service offers informed advice on how to diversify into this niche sector, and her design service combines her holiday property rental and glamping experience with design and construction to produce creative commercial treehouses and cabins.
Matt is a meadows adviser at Plantlife, advising and supporting anyone interested in restoring, creating and managing wildflower meadows.
Plantlife is a British conservation charity working nationally and internationally for over 30 years to save threatened wild flowers, plants and fungi. Its team of experts work with landowners, businesses, conservation organisations, community groups and governments to help save the rarest flora and ensure familiar flowers and plants continue to thrive.
Louis is CEO of Nomadic Resorts, an interdisciplinary design and project development company servicing the hospitality industry. Using a holistic approach, Nomadic creates sustainable resorts, tented camps, lodges and residential projects that reflect a true sense of place and fit organically into their natural surroundings. Its work includes the Wild Coast Tented Lodge in the south of Sri Lanka, Soneva Kiri on Ko Kut island in Thailand and Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp in Namibia.
Sue is director of Wicked Events which has been in operation since 2000 and recruits volunteers for festivals and events around the country. Wicked Events has grown year on year due to the emphasis on treating all with respect and ensuring volunteers enjoy their time.