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Alexandra House: Back to Business, A Case Study

Alexandra House is a modern, stylish conference and event venue located near Swindon in Wiltshire. Set in acres of green far-reaching grounds, Alexandra House is home to a range of contemporary event suites and an abundance of outside space. Ideally suited for team building and outdoor events, the venue offers a memorable backdrop for meetings, conference venues, weddings, celebrations and much more.

An International Veterinary School has taken a permanent home at Alexandra House, Swindon. They have continued to host training throughout the last year, whilst Government regulations allowed, holding three or four sessions per week. “While most of the training has been virtual, a lot of veterinary training needs to be held face to face, in person,” says Chris Steadman, Regional General Manager.  “In between lockdowns we were able to create a Covid secure environment for them to host a whole day training session for 30 delegates. We followed our ‘Stay Safe, Feel Safe’ Covid Secure Standards Charter – a six-point charter committed to reassuring organisers and keeping everyone safe. The delegates enjoyed lunch from our bento boxes and felt very safe and secure in our venue.”

The team has adapted the food available and the way it is served; more ‘grab and go’ options are now offered to guests to take back to their rooms, buffet meals are plated up and screen guards have been installed at counters. Restaurant seating and bar service areas have been adapted to enable each delegate to have lots of space and keep a safe distance from others.

Keeping social distancing in place during an event is paramount to the Alexandra House team. The venue now has a one-way flow system and signage across the venue to help guests keep a safe distance from others. The team works with organisers to prevent congestion and to suggest options such as staggered arrival/departure times and catering breaks to make sure they don’t get too busy.

A regular and thorough cleaning regime has also reassured customers. The team uses recognised cleaning products and antibacterial cleaners used by the NHS and they have increased the frequency of cleaning, paying close attention to high contact areas such as door handles, handrails and card readers. Hygiene stations with hand sanitisers have been placed around the venue for customers and colleagues to use and the team actively reminds everyone to continually practice safe hygiene measures. For extra safety, any colleagues working in close proximity to one another and our guests must wear personal protective equipment.

“We are offering our customers an extra 25% more space at no extra charge,” says Chris. “We have 20 flexible event spaces that allow for the many configurations that we have created in line with our social distancing guidelines. Clients have been really impressed with the procedures set out in our six-point Covid Secure Standards Charter, and this has given them the confidence to book,” continues Chris. “We have been strict at following our Covid procedures and our clients have told us that this has made them feel very safe at our venue.”

Did you know?

The Venues Collection team was the first venue team in the UK, to work with Public Health England and the World Health Organisation to repatriate British citizens and their families, after being flown from Wuhan City in China, the epicentre of the outbreak of Coronavirus. All guests tested negative for the Coronavirus; however, the experience has led the way for working in these unprecedented times and all the considerations that go with it.

Chris Steadman, Regional General Manager, Alexandra House, Milton Hill House & Ettington Chase

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