A conference in the garden of England

Kent, known as the Garden of England, has breathtaking countryside dotted with orchards, vineyards, hop gardens, oasthouses and more famously the White Cliffs of Dover.
    
The County is steeped in history and heritage, stunning gardens and world famous buildings including Leeds Castle where Henry VIII visited frequently in Tudor Times, and Hever Castle, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn.
    
The South East region offers a selection of remarkable conference venues in both new and traditional settings including modern hotels, purpose built conference centres and historic houses and well as unusual venues.
    
In Kent you will find some of the most recognised chain hotels such as the Marriott, Hilton, Ramada and QHotels. Kent towns range from the seaside resorts of Herne Bay, Folkestone, Dover and Hythe, which are great locations for team away days. More urban areas include Ashford, Maidstone, Canterbury and Tunbridge Wells, all easily accessible from the UK motorway network.  

Kent Conference Bureau
Kent Conference Bureau is the official award winning organisation charged with promoting the county as a first class destination for conferences, incentives and events. The bureau represents over 65 of the county’s top venues and suppliers, and provides a variety of free services to help ensure each and every event is a success from beginning to end.
    
The friendly team at Kent Conference Bureau are dedicated to making life simpler by offering free, impartial, practical advice, and a written personalised proposal detailing rates and availability within one working day. In addition show-rounds of venues within Kent can be arranged to ensure the site of your choice meets your specific needs and requirements.
    
All Kent venues have something different to offer facilitators, speakers and delegates. Your next meeting could really be the one your delegates remember.

A range of activities
If you are looking for something to freshen up your next meeting, why not enhance communication skills, improve office relationships, boost moral or maybe just reward the workforce with some team building activities? Activities can vary from a quiet round of golf, a simple treasure hunt, a high wire forest adventure at Go Ape, to an adrenaline fuelled multi-activity day.
    
The Kent Conference Bureau also arranges familiarisation visits, covering each area of Kent, which offers conference and event organisers the opportunity to speak to venue staff, collate information and meet other service users. If you would like to be added to our mailing list so you are notified when the next familiarisation visit is taking place, please do not hesitate to contact the team.

Sustainable events
Sustainability and green issues are now very much mainstream, with governments, businesses and individuals all involved. Catering for meetings and conferences is one area in which organisations can help to reduce their impact on the environment.
    
Kent is keen to work towards a reduced carbon footprint and your contribution can help with this. Produced in Kent promotes local and seasonal produce and provides support and services to some of the Kent Conference Bureau venues.
    
The Kent Conference Bureau operates under an environmental policy within Maidstone Borough Council, and recognises that the conference and events industry can impact on the local and global environment. In order to show continued commitment wherever possible, Kent Conference Bureau recommends local suppliers with good records for using recyclable materials, sustainable products and environmental policies in place.   
    
When placing your enquiry, feel free to ask for more information about the sustainable and ‘greener’ venues in Kent.
    
Well connected
With new high speed trains able to run at up to 140mph through Kent, rail connections have significantly reduced journey times across the region. A trip from London to Ashford takes on average 37mins (previously 80 minutes) and to Canterbury takes 60mins (previously 100 minutes), making Kent easy to reach for your next meeting or event.
    
Request a copy of the brand new A5 Conference Venues Directory, it contains all the contact information and venue capacities you need when searching for a conference venue in Kent. You can get your free copy by e-mailing info@conferencekent.co.uk or by logging onto www.kentconferencebureau.co.uk.
    
Kent Conference Bureau has recently partnered with Kent County Council, the country’s largest authority to act as their external venue booking agent. This partnership strengthens the support offered to Kent venues from the Bureau.

New development
In Autumn 2011, Kent will see the development of a 55,000 sq ft (5,200m2) events and exhibition venue at Bluewater. Once complete, the Bluewater Events Venue will be the UK’s focal point for retail and leisure led events, shows and exhibitions. It will complement Bluewater’s retail offer whilst meeting the continued demand for specialist consumer events in a purpose-built environment.  
    
The 5,200m2 Events Venue at Bluewater is an exciting and innovative purpose-built development. It is being developed and managed by Lend Lease on behalf of Bluewater’s owners.
     
The latest venue additions to the Kent Conference Bureau membership include Port Lympne Mansion, perhaps one of the most beautiful and memorable settings for all types of conferences and corporate functions. At Port Lympne you will enjoy breathtaking views of the Romney Marsh and the 15 acres of landscaped gardens. Tours of the grounds and safaris can be arranged with prior notice.
    
Another recent addition is Sundridge Park Manor, a stunning Grade I listed Manor House, set in six acres of grounds on the edge of a golf course. Each of the meeting rooms have high ceilings, natural daylight, period features and excellent views. It is arguably one of the most convenient venues for London and Kent.

A range of venues
The Winter Gardens, celebrating its 100th year in 2011 is Kent’s largest non-academic venue. The Gardens provides a wide range of technical and catering facilities, making it the premier entertainments, conference and banqueting venue in Kent.
    
Hever Castle has a variety of event spaces available all year round on an exclusive use basis for conferences, day meetings, company away days, receptions, private lunches and dinners. In addition to the superb range of meeting and dining rooms, the Astor Wing also offers 21 bedrooms. All are individually designed to a very high standard with en-suite facilities.
    
Bradbourne House is set among 20 acres of beautiful parkland complete with a private lake, surrounded by ancient trees. The venue provides you with a unique and historical location in which to hold all your business and corporate events. The impressive Grade I listed building dating back to Tudor times can provide you with exclusive venue hire for the day in elegant surroundings for all your executive business meetings, seminars, training and team building events.
    
Treasure Trove

Dover Cruise terminals, set against a backdrop of Dover Harbour, Dover Castle and the White Cliffs, provides a unique venue to host your conference or exhibition. Two luxurious terminals offer a variety of large open spaces that can be configured to meet your needs, providing one of the largest, flexible exhibition areas in Kent.
    
Oxon Hoath is a treasure trove of history and nature, set in 73 acres of its own private grounds. This historical, character venue offers a genuinely unique setting for meetings, conferences, training and team building days that your staff won’t forget.

For more information:
Tel: 01622 602485
E-mail: dawnbowen@maidstone.gov.uk
Web: www.kentconferencebureau.co.uk