Name: Mike Gough
Job title: Operations Director
How long have you worked at Lane End? 16 years this year.
1. Tell us about your role at Lane End at what it involves?
What I love about my role is that it is never routine! Of course, I have a number of regular things that need doing every week, reports to look at and check to see if we are doing ok, feedback to read and action if required, salary and wage sheets to authorise, etc, but my job is never a dull procession of tasks. It’s more a fluid set of responsibilities that mainly revolve around people – both customers and staff alike – and making sure that they are all ok and happy.
Happy, contented and empowered staff have a huge impact on our ability to ensure that our customers are happy and return to us time and again. As the Ops Director I am totally responsible for the smooth running of the venue and every aspect of our operation. As such there are also jobs that I don’t like doing from time to time and, as in any role of responsibility, there are often issues to resolve. But hey, that’s what makes the role continually challenging!
2. What’s your favourite thing about working at Lane End?
Meeting new people every day. I also get a huge amount of job satisfaction from getting great feedback from our clients – it’s what keeps us on our toes and helps us to continue to improve our standards and consistency. That and, of course, the golf simulation machines in the Cedar Club!
3. What do you think is Lane End’s secret to success?
There are three things that make us stand out from the crowd – value for money, exclusivity and our policy of continual improvement.
We have a 79% repeat rate for our clientele – that’s borne from a combination of those three things. We have always strived to improve the experience of our guests every time they visit us – whether that is in the tangible things like air-conditioning in the bedrooms or the less tangible things like employing and training staff that care and are engaged.
We are also able to offer our guests exclusive use of their own teaching, dining and lounge areas – a great advantage over large conference centres without that capability. I think we have always offered value for money ever since we began Lane End Conference Centre 50 years ago – if you don’t, you will be quickly found out.
4. What do you think the meetings and events industry will look like 50 years from now?
50 years ago the meetings and events industry was in its infancy and businesses were only just starting to understand and appreciate the benefits of getting their people together for training, meetings and other events. Things have moved on apace from those days, but some things never change. The fundamentals will always be there no matter what technological advancements are in the pipeline. Unless they invent a “beam me up Scotty” machine, businesses and corporations will always have a need to get their people together.
You might be checked in by a robot and your training will no doubt be conducted by a virtual facilitator. Your totally healthy, balanced food will be cooked to perfection by a robot chef, you may see herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the plain, on your wall-to-wall bedroom screen, and you may take for granted the lack of single use plastics on our site - but I think you will still be able to enjoy our lush green spaces, great food and caring staff that you can appreciate now and of course still benefit from the synergies and advantages of meeting your co-workers, managers and colleagues off site here at Lane End Conference Centre whatever your purpose and agenda.