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Wyboston Lakes

Restarting after a crisis

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Covid-19 disrupted the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply’s (CIPS) training programme at Wyboston Lakes Resort for several months. Here’s how it got back on track after lockdown.

Training company T2P was forced to close its training for the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) at Wyboston Lakes Resort in Bedfordshire in March of this year afyer Covid-19 brought the meetings, training and events industry to a halt.

In response, T2P temporarily moved its teaching online, with CIPS giving the go ahead for training to return in July when the UK’s lockdown restrictions eased.

T2P was tasked with getting CIPS residential training courses and computer-based exams back up and running in a socially distanced and Covid-safe environment. This was particularly challenging as the number of people needing to take exams had increased by more than 50% to 380 people, as many of the alternative exam centres were still closed.

For a solution, T2P founder Paul Robinson turned to Wyboston Lakes, a training venue that has been used by the company every since 2009.

Robinson said: “What I look for in a venue is staff that are committed to you, as well as the right facilities, and during these testing times, the staff at Wyboston Lakes were very supportive.”

T2P worked with the team at Wyboston Lakes to accommodate the 380 candidates who needed to go through the exam centre over a two-week period whilst following social distancing rules, meaning the maximum number of people allowed in a room at one time was 20.

In addition, Wyboston Lakes followed its SafeEvents plan, which was developed to "ensure all the venues at the Resort could operate safely, and in accordance with government guidelines, for both guests and team members".

Key points in the policy include advising guests on social distancing rules, the introduction of maximum capacities in public areas and the rearrangement of layouts to ensure a ‘one-metre-plus’ distance is upheld.

The venue also introduced thermal temperature check technology on arrival at each venue, an online food ordering portal for use in the bar and bedrooms and put all in-room information online. Cleaning regimes were also intensified, and hand sanitising stations were placed in high traffic areas.

Robinson said: “Wyboston Lakes shared a large amount of useful information on their website on how to hold a safe meeting. I was able to send an electronic version of this to delegates before the start of the programme, so they knew what to expect.

“Our events in July were successful due to the efforts put in by all the team at Wyboston Lakes, including the sales and operational staff, who were all very accommodating given the current restrictions and are extremely committed to our events going ahead with as little disruption as possible whilst keeping everyone safe. Everyone took the time to explain the procedures required in both The Woodlands Event Centre and The Waterfront Hotel.

“All the training rooms were socially distanced, and the meetings went well. The most we had in terms of attendees was eight, which was fine as we normally only have small groups for training. The feedback from the learners was very positive especially in relation to the Covid-19 measures that the team at Wyboston Lakes had put in place.”