Whittlebury Hall’s Director, Michael Stott, provides comment on ‘The Big Debate’ surrounding the European Referendum that has grabbed headlines over the past few months.

Michael mentioned during a recent business debate that he hopes that the EU debate becomes objective and that we get real information that can be digested, and form a measured and pragmatic decision.

He also commented ‘something with much more clarity and proven has been the explosive growth of online/digital/web/ecommerce. Across all industries, both in terms of finding information to make decisions but also as a sales channel.’

‘We can not only pretty much buy anything online anytime, anywhere but we can fulfil services more and more now also – pay for a coffee, turn my car lights on, check into a flight, board the train etc, yet the meetings industry/events space seems slow to keep up.’

Michael asked customers to vote, would you search and buy online and there was a resounding yes, but certainly a move towards more of “click and collect”.

‘There is clearly a need for detailed planning and work that venues need to do to add value for the customer but there is a lot of opportunity to make the search stage more efficient in the 21st century, something that we as venues need to develop.’

When asked his decision on ‘in or out’, Michael said that ‘online search, customisation and connecting customers pre, during and post event will happen so it’s an in.’