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Mandy Jennings

New ownership for Venues of Excellence as hospitality industry reopens for business

Venues of Excellence, the UK consortium for conferences, training, meetings and events, has been sold to Mandy Jennings (pictured), director of Paje Consultancy Ltd.

Jennings has been involved with Conference Centres of Excellence since 2015, where she led the consortium and members through a rebrand in 2016 to Venues of Excellence, before being appointed executive director in 2018.

Jennings has also managed the Venue Find Team who work with clients to place business within member venues and UK venues. The business saw a 60% financial growth over the previous five years surpassing projected membership figures ahead of plan.

Since the pandemic hit, Jennings and the board of Venues of Excellence have delivered 70 ‘Zoom to Boom’ sessions with industry experts and took the Learning Development Academy online, with the creation of virtual sales and marketing learning packages.

Ivor Turner, chairman of Venues of Excellence, said: “The board’s key focus is what is best for the longevity of Venues of Excellence and, most importantly, its members in the future and wanted to shore up its financial security in these unprecedented times.  We discussed a number of options and came to a decision which takes all of these needs into consideration. 

Turner added: “Mandy and her colleagues, who have been the linchpin of the organisation provided the board with the most comprehensive business solution to acquire the assets and continue to run and operate Venues of Excellence.  With a long-established relationship with the consortium, she will continue to give confidence, continuity and innovation that surrounds the success of Venues of Excellence.”

Jennings said: “The team and I are extremely proud of our achievements working with Venues of Excellence for the past six years and we truly believe we are ready to take on this exciting challenge.  With the support of the board and our members we feel well equipped to do this. As we are sure you would agree all great organisations need to keep evolving and keep achieving excellent results, and we will support our members to be ready to return to the market with renewed vigour and positivity.”

Stewart Elsmore, director of commercial services, Venue Cranfield, which was a founder member to the organisation in 1989, said: “We are very fortunate to have the partnership with Mandy Jennings who fully understands Venues of Excellence.  We have a great opportunity to combine the strengths of a commercial business and a membership organisation.  We will all benefit greatly from this union and the remodelled Venues of Excellence will be ready and fit for the future, with its values firmly grounded in excellence and quality.”