The new year is always a time for reflection, looking back, looking forwards...and with Meet Cambridge in its 20th year of operation we thought it would be fun to list some of the things we did when Meet Cambridge began back in 1998 and what we're doing now, here in 2019, in our 20th year of operation - we've certainly seen some changes, here's 20 that made the cut! 

  1. Circulated enquiries by fax! What even is a fax machine?
  2. Printed and filed a copy of every enquiry – all enquiries are circulated electronically now through our new CRM system, Simpleview - we haven’t had to file anything for years and we're making great strides on our journey to becoming a paperless office.
  3. Produced a conference guide with information about our venues – it was out of date as soon as it hit the press, so now all information is online.
  4. We took around 20 enquiries a week, now we take over 100 most weeks.
  5. We only had Colleges in our membership, now we have hotels and other unique properties and a portfolio of over 50 venues in and around the city.
  6. We concentrated on Cambridge – the City is still very much the leader brand, but now we work with neighbouring towns and cities: Newmarket, Bury St Edmunds and Ely.
  7. Most of our enquiries were from local corporate organisations, today our local market remains loyal, but we also take an increasing number of enquiries from North America, Canada and China.
  8. Back then we simply found venues – today we also have a remit to deliver destination marketing and to promote Cambridge on a local, national and international stage, we are recognised as the official conference bureau for Cambridge. 
  9. We lived in a tiny grace and favour office at Downing College – today we’re independent, with a much larger office on King’s Parade.
  10. We were a team of 2, now we’re a team of 4, soon to be 5!
  11. We were managed by a College bursar, now we have a Board with representatives from our stakeholders.
  12. We only attended local B2B exhibitions – we still do, but our wider remit, to promote the destination has led us to exhibit at international trade fairs in Frankfurt, Barcelona and Las Vegas.
  13. We didn’t have an environmental policy – today we’re proud to say that we are accredited with Green Tourism and we also hold a Cambridge University Bronze Impact award with plans to go even further.
  14. We weren’t a limited company, today we are a limited company, although we remain not for profit.
  15. We didn’t have a CSR policy – we do today, and we are proudly supporting CPSL Mind.
  16. We didn’t have an ambassador programme, today we offer a free programme of help and support to academics and business people who want to bring their international conferences to the city and the region.
  17. Social media wasn’t on our agenda in 1998 – today we have a presence on all of the major social networks and we are seeing an increase in enquiries via these routes.
  18. We didn’t offer an event management service, today we work with Suzy Howes associates ltd, to offer a whole host of services, everything from badge printing to registration packages and much more.
  19. Venues emailed offers to clients direct, today we collate proposals and shortly we’ll be launching an exclusive client portal, My Event, which will allow clients to manage enquiries online.
  20. The Colleges didn’t offer Bed & Breakfast accommodation back in 1998; now visitors can enjoy a unique ‘Cambridge’ experience by choosing and booking a B&B break online at a number of Colleges.


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Meet Cambridge can help you find a venue and host the perfect event in Cambridge.

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