Exeter Racecourse: The Perfect Space for Conferences & Business Events

Exeter Racecourse: The Perfect Space for Conferences & Business Events

Business Events & Conference space


Exeter Racecourse gallops into the autumn with a full calendar of jump racing and a conference and events business that is booming.

From Christmas parties to team building events, as the seasons change and autumn colours bring alive the surrounding Haldon forest, conference and events manager Michelle Thomas and her team will be looking after the needs of delegates.

It’s a huge business that is gaining momentum every year, and this summer another room was added to the facilities with Owners and Trainers undergoing a complete rebuild and more than doubling in size creating the perfect space for team building events.

Explaining the growth, Michelle said:

“Marketing ourselves involves persuading our clients to spread the word about us and we do this by ensuring that they have a great experience when holding events at the racecourse.”

“When Exeter became part of the Jockey Club in 2007 we benefited from a £2.1m investment in the Haldon Stand which was built in 2009, adding our Denman Room which can seat up to 250 delegates and the River Rooms, comprising of 5 breakout rooms.   This was built with conferencing in mind and is to this day in huge demand. Since then we’ve added the Iddesleigh suite to our offering and now the Owners and Trainers. The business continues to evolve and grow and it’s an exciting time.”

Michelle began working at Exeter Racecourse in 1990, starting at first on racedays and progressed to working part-time helping out with hospitality sales, accounts and general office duties.  She applied for a full-time position as Conference and Events Manager at the racecourse and started on 1st January 2006.

She continued:

“When I took on the role, conferencing was a very small part of the business and I felt there were several areas that needed attention in order to establish a credible conference venue. It’s now incredibly busy and we’re very proud of what we have achieved here.”


Adapting to the changing needs of event orgnaisers has been key to the growth of the business. She explained:

“Expectations from event organisers have risen in that they expect a seamless process from the moment they book until the event is concluded. Priority on the day is delivering their conference or event and this fits with our philosophy where, as soon as they book, they have a single point of contact who is available throughout the day.

“It leaves very little opportunity for negative feedback because should any issues arrive they are dealt with there and then. I would say that is a huge reason behind the repeat bookings and positive feedback we receive.”

Exeter, Michelle says, stands out from the competition because of its location alongside the main Exeter to Plymouth road, the fantastic views of the racecourse and surrounding forest, free car parking, easy access, fantastic modern rooms and of course the excellent service offered by the C&E team.

“We also like to reward our clients by offering them ‘Go Racing for Free’ through Jockey Club Venues.  It’s nice to be able to say thank you to our clients by offering them a day out at the races and the take-up from Exeter delegates is one of the highest in the group.  Not only is it a valuable tool when selling conference space.

“Being part of Jockey Club Venues means we are able to recommend other conference facilities within the group as well, which give the same level of service as they receive here at Exeter,” she said.

Michelle will be hosting Swing Into Christmas at the racecourse on the 8th, 14th and 15th December. This year swing singer Neil Barclay’s fabulous songs will accompany the evening followed by a disco until midnight. Tickets cost £40 each and include arrival drinks, a three-course dinner, a photo booth and sensational music.

Guests will also receive two free race tickets to enjoy a day at Exeter Racecourse worth £34.

To book, to visit Exeter Racecourse or for more information call Michelle Thomas on 01392 832599.

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