www.guildhallwinchester.co.ukIt offers a unique combination of function roomsranging in size and character; all furnished to a highstandard and perfect for both grand or intimate events.Newly restored and refurbished the Bapsy Hall is one ofthe largest function rooms in Hampshire, suitable for awide range of events seating up to 620 people.Guildhall Winchester is situated at the heart of one ofEngland's most beautiful historic cities, a short walk from its many attractions, shops and the spectacularCathedral. Excellent transport links make Winchester andthe Guildhall the ideal location for all types of events.WinchesterGuildhallBroadway, High Street, Winchester, Hampshire S023 9GHtel01962 840 820 firstname.lastname@example.orgGuildhall Winchester combines theold with the new to create a beautifuland modern venue within the historicVictorian exterior. ES0223-1401ConferenceNewsAds188x114FINAL:Layout115/06/201110:45Page1conference@kcl.ac.uk www.kcl.ac.uk/kcvb. Locations just minutes from Waterloo and London Bridge stations. Excellent range of flat-floored classrooms & theatres. Tiered auditoria (seating up to 397). Full audio-visual and catering services. Competitive prices you can afford. Comfortable ensuite accommodation available June - September
February 2012 . www.conference-news.co.uk . 61 DAY IN THE LIFE OFConference News caught up with Baker at The Jockey Club's central London head offi ce as he headed out of the year's inaugural board meeting. Taking stock of a frenetic week, which has already seen him travel from his Warwickshire home in Balsall Common to Exeter on Monday, Wincanton on Tuesday to today's board meeting in head offi ce, Baker muses over his transient lifestyle and reliance on his Blackberry. "I am in my offi ce a maximum of one day a week as my role requires me to be hands on in the business. This time of year is critical for us as we gear up for the start of the jump season at Cheltenham and its 220,000 guests, and for the fi rst time ever, we are focussing our business efforts to incremental revenues through meetings and events". Raised in Stockport, near Manchester in a household of racing enthusiasts Baker was explaining horse racing terminology to his classmates as the rest of them battled with Pac-man and struggled to fi gure the Rubik's Cube in the playground. From early days the Cheshire-man had set his sights on a career as a sports journalist, studying English and American Literature at Canterbury University in order to help him break into the fi eld. After some subbing shifts at The Racing Post and a number of early roles in the Racing Industry, he joined Worcester racecourse, from there moving to Bath racecourse before joining Jockey Club Racecourses in 2003. Now reporting directly to Group MD Paul Fisher, Baker's focus for the fi rst quarter is to launch Jockey Club Racecourse Venues as a stand-alone business brand; a task dominating his working week. "I have been fortunate to see the group from many different roles including Managing Director of Carlisle Racecourse as well as having responsibility for the PR for the London racecourses. Over the years I have seen a huge growth in demand for using the courses on non-race days, hence why I am concentrating on the launch of Jockey Club Racecourse Venues," he said.With just over 30 days of racing held at each of the courses, the Jockey Club needs to maximise its assets; and drive events to the racecourses from corporate meetings and events, private milestone events like weddings and birthdays, teambuilding activities and larger scale events including festivals and concerts. According to Baker balancing The Jockey Club's core business with the demands of event planners has required tact and buy-in from every level of the organisation. "It has been critical to make sure that everyone is engaged with the launch of the venue division and understands the revenue potential. Many of our courses already have a department responsible for non-race day revenues so we have strived to create consistency of enquiry handling and proposals, as well as to make it easy for corporates or agencies to buy our offering. Some of the sites like Cheltenham, Aintree and Newmarket are well used by meeting planners so we have taken best practice from these and carried it through to our smaller regional courses to make sure that we have the best sporting offering in the UK," he adds.Back at his desk after the board meeting a glance of his emails draws a smile from a message he has been waiting for, a note from the General Manager at Kempton Park confi rming it can host the launch event for Jockey Club Racecourse Venues on 29 February. "My work is very clearly cut out for the next few weeks now as we are taking over the entire restaurant for the night and want to showcase exactly what we can Day in the life of...CN spends 24 hours in the saddleJohn Baker, Group Operations Director atThe Jockey Club RacecoursesThe Jockey Club's Group Operations Director has been made responsible for standardising, consolidating and positioning the racecourses to the UK and in-bound conference and events market. It is an estate made up of over 3,000 acres, 80 function rooms and 230 syndicate rooms spread over 14 sites and requires a straight talking and hands on approach from the man in charge.