Ovenu 2015 International Conference

 The Place to be for a good Catch Up …

Staverton Park HotelHeld at the prestigious Staverton Park Hotel near Daventry, the most recent Ovenu Conference was the place to be for a good catch up.

Proceedings started with a delicious buffet lunch on the Friday and gave the delegates an excellent opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues from the entire UK network of franchisees.

Following the hearty buffet, the ‘fun & games’ began with a choice of either 18 holes of golf on the PGA approved course on the hotel grounds or, for those who preferred something a little less arduous, the opportunity to take aim in a laser-clay shooting competition.

Staverton Park GolfBoth of the events proved extremely popular and entertaining whilst giving delegates & guests the chance to maybe chat to colleagues that they hadn’t met before or hadn’t seen for a while. In either case, a brilliant way to spend some quality time with like-minded company.

Prizes were awarded to the winners and runners-up from the earlier events during the 4 course dinner on Friday night with Stewart ‘Bandit’ Turkington picking up the trophy for the golf having amassed 39 stableford points and Drew ‘Hot-Shot’ Bennett (pictured left) collected the Winner’s Trophy for the shooting from Ovenu MD, Rik Hellewell.

During coffee, the theme of ‘Catching Up’ was continued with what can best be described as a ‘very competitive’ session of Rally Driving on the twin Sega simulators especially hired by Ovenu HQ for the evening.

Not only were delegates driving for the Fastest Lap Award but there was also a prize for the Championship Winning Table with drivers from each dinner table competing against each other to win points. The winners were announced after three plus hours of exhilarating (if not dangerous) driving, spectacular overtaking manoeuvres and some spine-tingling ‘accidents’!

The Saturday morning welcomed the ‘Day Delegates’ from across the UK who quickly availed themselves to the ‘Catch Up Workshops’ that had been requested by the franchisees themselves. Topics included Social Media, New Van Deals, Franchise Re-sales and many more.

The ‘Workshops’ were designed to be a relaxed and mainly informal way for delegates to bring themselves right up-to-date with a number of important business developments and innovations that Ovenu have introduced over the past months.

Rik Hellewell, Ovenu MD explains … “In a rapidly developing digital world that businesses all now trade in, we feel that it’s very important indeed for all of our franchisees to be fully up-to-speed in all aspects of their business and there is no better way to ensure this than hosting events and meetings like this.

Granted, it’s easy enough to send out conference emails, instruction videos and the likes, but there’s still nothing better in my opinion than some good ‘old-fashioned’ mentoring BY real people FOR real people!”

Many of the workshop topics were managed on a one-to-one basis and were presented by experts in their individual fields. Initial feed-back from the delegates has been fantastic.”

The ‘buzz’ from the workshop event carried on through lunch right up to the start of the more formal conference meeting and announcements.

Delegates were introduced to our guests from overseas who included Janet and Bernard Bannon, our Master Franchisees in Australia. They also got to meet our guest from Scandinavia who presented a most excellent (and amusing) series of topics for future consideration by the entire global Ovenu network.

Formal proceedings were brought to a close after which many delegates stayed on to enjoy many more discussions and networking with colleagues from near and far. Some franchisees who hadn’t been able to attend a national meeting for a while expressed a very strong desire to come to every event in the future as they had thoroughly enjoyed this year’s proceedings so much and many regular attendees suggested that the event this year was the best they had been to!

Rik Hellewell (pictured left) concludes … “In the modern world it might seem a bit ‘yesterday’ to hold regular meetings with human beings but, successful franchising is all about people, personalities & professionalism and when you combine all of these in one place at one time the benefits are crystal clear for all to see.

Organising these huge events does take an enormous amount of time, effort and resource but this all pails into insignificance when you experience, first hand, the brand enforcement and enhanced knowledge that franchisees leave with. Ultimately, gatherings such as this are simply a pleasure to arrange and attend and I look forward to ‘catching up’ with everybody again – soon.”