Gold win for M&IT Disabled Services Award

imago recognised for exceptional disabled services

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imago, the conference and meetings venue based at Loughborough University, took Gold for the Best Disabled Services Award at the national final of the Meetings & Incentive Travel Industry Awards held in London recently and was described by one judge as "a 4 star venue with 5 star staff."

The award was specifically created to raise awareness across the conferencing industry of the constantly evolving requirements for disabled services and to reward excellence of service for those organisations striving to provide better facilities and better services.

Entrants had to demonstrate an inclusive and integrated approach to service provision, fully attuned to the needs of disabled delegates, taking account of physical, sensory and other disabilities. Emma Boynton, Head of Sales & Marketing at imago, explained why this award in particular has generated such pride at the venue: "This celebrates the imago customer care culture, providing the best customer experience whoever you are and whatever your need." "This is not just about the accessibility services that we provide but also about our ability to cater for any needs, from dietary to mobility.

It means that we can offer extended services to specialist groups, organisations and associations." To emphasise just that point, imago has appointed its own Disability Champion from within the team. The Champion coordinates all disabled service requirements and also meets and greets customers as a front-of-house manager, engaging with customers from the moment they walk through the door to the moment they leave. Such closely monitored customer care has delivered huge benefits to the venue providing a constructive customer panel able to identify shifting needs and respond with tangible improvements to service and facilities. It is a practice viewed with some passion by staff at imago, a passion that was clearly picked up by award judge Rachel Stevens, Operations Director at BI Worldwide: "Through their written synopsis and during our site inspection, imago at Burleigh Court demonstrated its intent and ability to go beyond excellence in its consideration to accessibility and inclusivity. Instead of separating out its approach to special requirements, its philosophy is that every guest has individual needs, whether that's based on diet, religion, sight, hearing or mobility." "Every employee in this venue appeared committed to providing all guests with the best experience. Everything we saw from their infrastructure, amenities and service code across all areas - from front of house, to bedrooms, and even to the health centre - were superbly inclusive and accessible. It's one of the few places where we honestly felt every guest's experience would be equally excellent, whatever their individual requirements." "We were unanimous in our award of Gold to imago at Burleigh Court, the 4-star hotel and conference centre with a 5-star team." Emma continues: "National recognition at this level is a wonderful boost to the team here and spurs us on to continue with our programme of customer excellence in 2009." Last year, imago attained the Mobility 3 Awards from Visit Britain's National Accessibility Scheme, only one of four hotels in the country to reach that status, which is a nationally recognised benchmark for accessible accommodation throughout the UK.

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