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Sporting chance

By Paul Colston, editor, Conference News   Although the new football season can’t come fast enough for me (and Everton’s appearance in the Asia Cup signally fails to fill the void), this past weekend, showed again just how Britain can deliver the big event to packed sporting houses. With even England’s abject batting collapse failing to dent the attendances at Lord’s, golf fans soldiering on through the bad weather to turn out for the Open at St Andrews, F1 at Silverstone, and tennis fans packing Queen’s Club to roar home Andy Murray (aka Great Britain) in the Davis Cup victory over France, it is another glorious summer of sport. We have the anniversary Games to come, more Test Matches and, if organisers have any sense, the Davis Cup semi-final to move to Glasgow. Last month I was at the Conference Awards at the Hurlingham Club, another classic British sporting venue and my Inbox has started to fill with football clubs’ new hospitality and events packages for the season 2015/16. Henley has come and gone, with hospitality to the fore and our race tracks have risen to the summer challenge, with evening concerts and events catching the eye of a new breed of racegoer that is now aware of how these courses can be used in business hours as well as pleasure domes. Sport and business events are a great mix and the UK is a mixologist like no other in this field. But what is the sporting backdrop secret of success for conference organisers exactly? Conference News will be producing a special sporting venue supplement in September. To contribute your news and opinions on how best to use the UK’s great temples of sport for meetings and events, send  your insights and info to