The New Forest is one of the best locations in the UK for conferences and events. It is only one and a half hours from London and much closer than most people think.
Most companies have environmental concerns high on their agenda and one way of addressing this is to travel by train as much as possible. Brockenhurst has a selection of fantastic conference hotels and New Milton has the world renowned Chewton Glen. Both are on the main train line from London Waterloo.
The train journey itself can be a very useful first stage of a conference or event, providing the opportunity for people to relax in the bar on the way down and arrive at the event fully 'ice broken'.
There is no shortage of opportunities for activities in the area once the delegates have arrived. New Park is an excellent location for events from small groups up to large company wide activity days. Many hotels have land for activities on site, notably Rhinefield House Hotel and The Chewton Glen.
However, what really makes The New Forest special are the two unique opportunities afforded by the local area. The Forest itself is ideal for bicycle treasure hunts with stunning scenery and interesting local nooks and crannies. Not only is this event completely 'green' but it also gives a group relaxed light exercise. It ticks all of the corporate social responsibility boxes.
Another unique attraction is The Solent, a world renowned water sports location on our doorstep and available to conference visitors with the minimum of transport. Sailing is one of the most popular team building activities, with many managers choosing the close confines and challenges of sailing a yacht to find out how well their teams really get on.
There is one very good reason why these events are important to The New Forest. Corporate events are at their most popular outside the main holiday periods. Companies typically don't organise events when children are away from school and many people choose to take their own holidays and so will not be available.
In other words this lucrative market, thought to be worth around £9 billion per annum to the UK's economy, is available to businesses in the New Forest when they are not already full with tourists.
The New Forest has the opportunity to become the leading UK location for corporate events and it is a market which fits ideally, bringing in substantial revenue without adding pressure to the area's existing and very demanding holiday periods.