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Russell Partnership customer experience conference at Ascot Racecourse

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The Russell Partnership will host its ninth annual conference, entitled “It’s a Kinda Magic!”, on Thursday 5 September at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire, UK.

Chairman Professor David Russell said:

The conference is our way of sharing new knowledge, up-to-the-minute market insight and access to our networks – thus providing an opportunity for you to engage with peers, explore best practice, new solutions and take learning from some of the best in the business  – and develop this application for your own operations.

The programme is designed for management level delegates from the UK’s top customer service businesses. Attendees are from a wide portfolio of sectors including leisure attractions, visitor destinations, major events stadiums arenas, hotels, conference and exhibition centres as well as leading universities.

Meanwhile Vision XS Ltd has been added to the Russell Partnership collection of companies. Vision’s experience is in strategic planning and mobilisation of national and international resorts, leisure attractions and large scale venues.

Managers can register their interest by email

All England Tennis Club uses innovative graphics to show visitors the way

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As the Wimbledon Championships got underway this year, enhancing the visitor experience took a new turn. With over 35,000 visitors per day during the prestigious lawn tennis fortnight, unmissable graphics were the latest wayfinding development to keep the fans and traffic safely on course at the event and on leaving for home.

Championship manager Matt Crawcour said:

Providing the best possible visitor experience is hugely important to us. A big part of this is to provide information for everybody to move safely and efficiently with minimum queuing and delays.

The unique Applied Media floor-applied graphic system has been adopted as part of an experimental signage scheme designed to contribute towards continuous safety improvements. The scheme enhanced pedestrian, wheelchair and vehicle movements in and around the world famous venue in South West London.

The system, which is more usually employed for high impact advertising campaigns, provided clearly visible route markings to help the large visitor numbers enjoy even more of the Championship experience.

The London Borough of Merton also approved the system as temporary signage on the macadam footpaths around the perimeter of the Wimbledon complex. The signage safely guided the queue for tickets and the authority were impressed with results and performance and are assessing potential for future events in the borough.

Business development director for Applied Media, Larry Walsh said:

This innovation has been specifically developed to facilitate branding, advertising and signing opportunities in new and sometimes difficult to access locations. Sports fans will be familiar with the Applied Media graphics which were also adopted to provide branding in the challenging tidal environment at this year’s BNY Mellon Boat Race in London. Last year our parent company also worked closely with Transport for London using similar technology to apply and remove 120 kilometres of temporary games lanes for the Olympic and Paralympics games.

The panels are designed for use in areas with heavy pedestrian activity and can be overrun with vehicular traffic. The panels are easily laid on any sound surface and then quickly lifted without damage to the substrate or leaving adhesive residue.

Crawcour added:

Following the success of this year’s trials we may consider further opportunities to roll out Applied Media at Wimbledon next year.


Wimbledon helped traffic and fans get around more easily with its new signage.

Wimbledon helped traffic and fans get around more easily with its new signage.

State of the art grandstand to complete Cheltenham jigsaw

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The Jockey Club is investing £45 million into the next stage of development at its flagship Cheltenham Racecourse. Subject to planning permission, the proposed development will create a state of the art new grandstand in place of the circa 1920s ‘A&R’ block.

The new grandstand will house annual members’ facilities, general public viewing areas, private boxes and Royal Box facilities. The Jockey Club investment will include improvements for owners and trainers, and focus on enhancing the overall customer experience at the racecourse. The 2013 Cheltenham Festival, one of the UK’s major events, welcomed in excess of 235,000 people.

The Jockey Club Board commissioned a feasibility study into the proposed development at Cheltenham. With that completed and having now been presented with a robust business plan, a range of financing options and a carefully tested design, they had no hesitation in approving the project,

Paul Fisher, Group Managing Director of Jockey Club Racecourses said

The economy remains challenging, but we continue to grow our business successfully year-after-year, allowing us to invest more into our sport. We are contributing a record amount into prize money in 2013 from our own resources and that will remain a key area of focus for us. We propose to finance the development at Cheltenham through a range of commercially-sound methods, on which there will be more news in the coming weeks.

Provided planning permission for the proposed development at Cheltenham is achieved in time and the necessary financing is in place, the main development will begin immediately after the 2014 Festival with a scheduled completion date ahead of the 2016 Festival. During the construction period, Cheltenham would be able to continue staging its race programme as normal.

All of us at Cheltenham are delighted to be involved in this new iconic grandstand development, which will make a huge difference to the experience for many racegoers,

said Ian Renton, Cheltenham and the South West Regional Director of Jockey Club Racecourses.

Over the course of a successful 2013 Festival, we gathered customer feedback asking us to improve bar facilities, increase the number of toilets, provide further viewing opportunities of the racing and the parade ring and help improve circulation on the busiest days.

This new development will deliver all these enhancements as well as offering much improved facilities for Annual Members and Owners & Trainers, an excellent facility for our existing A&R boxholders, and new opportunities through additional hospitality areas and viewing boxes to generate revenue to reinvest into racing.

Robert Waley-Cohen, Chairman of Cheltenham Racecourse, added:

This development will enhance Cheltenham’s unique character and is the last part of the grandstand development that began 30 years ago. It focuses on two key objectives: maximising enjoyment of the horse and improving the overall Cheltenham experience for all racegoers.

Before and after images of its proposed grandstand development, issued by Cheltenham racecourse.

Before and after images of its proposed grandstand development, issued by Cheltenham racecourse.