For me, the most memorable achievement was improving the guest experience at Rise Hall.
The first six months were terrifying and exciting in equal measures. With no systems, processes or people in place, everything needed to be established from scratch. This included recruiting every single member of staff, implementing customer relationship management systems and being involved in the interior design and upgrading of the venue.
It also included managing the maintenance of the property and its grounds, overseeing relationships with multiple third party contractors, overhauling bed linen, upgrading soft furnishings, installing head boards on to beds, replacing interior fire doors, installing emergency lighting and creating a serviceable bar. At the same time I was busy managing marketing activity, conducting viewings, taking bookings, selecting preferred suppliers whilst week in, week out hosting weddings and events and gaining enviable customer feedback.
At around the same time, I also implemented a program of work in order to realise the full revenue potential of the Rise Hall bar as a substantial source of income for the business. In addition to this, my team and I restored the Library creating a beautiful space and the perfect environment for guests to enjoy as a late night lounge.
The bar before....
The bar after…
In order to create a more compelling offering in respect of Winter weddings I managed the installation of a beautiful pea-light canopy which improved the appearance of The Ballroom and illuminated the front of Rise Hall with dramatic up-lighting.
In 2015, I sourced an incredibly talented local tradesman to build an outdoor bar alongside which I installed a fabulous fire pit surrounded by seats carved from logs sourced from fallen trees on the estate which guests absolutely adored.
At the point at which I took over Rise Hall in June 2013, there were 12 weddings in the diary. With very minimal investment in marketing, wedding bookings very quickly grew and Rise Hall has since hosted around 40 weddings each year.
In 2015, we entered the Wedding Industry Awards and were highly commended in two categories - Best Countryside Wedding Venue and Best Events Team.
In 2016 we won the Regional Award (based solely on customer feedback) for the Best Countryside Wedding Venue in the North East of England.
Within three years, from a standing start, Rise Hall was well and truly on the map. It was an incredible feeling.