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Canterbury Cathedral lodge is a good destination and celebrates the Kent Excellence in business awards offering the best leisure and tourism businesses of the year. It is owned by the Cathedral and is ranked the best gateway destination for all visitors visiting the historic Canterbury. Canterbury is considered a valuable, as a living community. All visitors are mostly welcome with the ancient tradition of the community members with Benedictine hospitality. According to previous studies, the Cathedral is considered as a working, a living church, as well as, a place of worship. One of the most significant activities at the cathedral includes music which forms an integral part of worship and the church takes pride in music which is performed during the church services (Gazed, 2005). The main purpose of this report is to analyze the Canterbury Cathedral as a venue for events and to ascertain how its prime roles attracts and limits its even businesses as to assess the future market outlook for events

The Canterbury lodge

The lodge has been given the highly regarded award. The recognition is due to the delivery of outstanding services in the tourism, leisure, visitor attractions as well as hospitality. All visitors visiting the facility are given the warm welcome with the hope that they will come to view the complete holy places of Christendom. The many facilities which are housed by the cathedral include the Romanesque Crypt, which is a very old facility and dates back to the 11th century. Others include the 12th century Gothic Quire, as well as, the 14th century Perpendicular Nave. Others include some beautiful medieval stained glass windows which are used to demonstrate the miracles of stories which were associated with St. Thomas. The visitor facilities at the Canterbury includes guided tours, audio tours, behind the scene tours, private evening tours, stained glass studios and archives. The church is used for local regional and or national planned events or services. The Lodge has a very attractive seat auditorium coupled with a series of function rooms that makes it cater for any activity ranging from small activities to a large delegate event. Thus, it benefits from a unique location in Canterbury.

The appearance and the design of the venue is a very critical factor or choice to hold an event. The events include cultural and heritage tourism, music, youth meetings, as well as, private and corporate market. Therefore, in order to ensure that the role of the church is not tampered with, the facility is managed properly as a place for pray, work, and for lead Anglo communion.

Venue strategy

When choosing to hold an event, the Cathedral is considered to be more than a simple venue. It is characterized with unusual location and has become an icon in the city of Canterbury. The magnificent outlook of the destination which is characterized with a high level of nature and shaped with the greatness of its architecture demonstrates Canterbury’s historic and religious importance. The Cathedral has a vibrant view and the nature of the garden are described as a compliment to make the venue to be seen as even more unique. Therefore, to conduct a successful event business it is crucial to design a strategic plan to be implemented in the venue.

SWOT analysis

This s an essential tool which is used to determine the suitable objectives by ensuring that the strengths and opportunities are considered and taken advantage of, and to avoid the potential threats and weaknesses. Masterman (2006) observed that the best strategies must use strengths, minimize the weaknesses, and avoid threats. The other valuable thing is to take advantage of the opportunities which have been identified and unified. According to Bowdin the Cathedral and city are the most prestigious tourism attraction in the Kent. Therefore, in order to attract more visitors to the destination and to attract more sources of income, it is crucial to run an event business within the compound or grounds of Canterbury Cathedral. The most notable aspect of the plan is to establish a relationship between the activities that take place within the cathedral. These include the religious activities, tourism conferences, corporate activities, and the wider role to the community. Therefore, the SWOT analysis is an essential tool applied to design the strategic objective in order to build the conference centre within the cathedral lodge.

The main objective is to design a strategic plan to attract trade and corporate market in order to create a relationship with the Cathedral. This is done in order to boost the cathedral as a business destination and to boost its reputation for professionalism. The other objective is to state the mission and core values andprinciples, to enable the employees, managers, suppliers, and all stakeholders to understand the underlying basis of the activities or actions of the business. In addition, other mission can be provided in the group that provides an appealing and equally warm welcome to all the visitors as well as, the devotees in the church to unite them together. Therefore, there is an urgent need to market the cathedral as a visitor destination; however, this is seen as a new concept in the Canterbury (Heslop, 2004). According to Rogers (2011) the venue links with the appropriate marketing organization.

The venue and facilities

The Cathedral Lodge built in 2002, is an essential facility that provides a wide range of events on a yearly basis. The main aim of creating the venue was to make people believe that the Cathedral is a place where various activities can take place, such as prayer, work, education, and in the delivery of business product. The venue helps to earn income to the Cathedral in order to fund the mission and boost the attendances. In addition, it is crucial to note that the events can educate and put different categories of people together in similar connection.

On the other hand, the events provide an opportunity to the participants and volunteers with an opportunity to gain business experience and have an opportunity to manage the Cathedrals finances. However, the main purpose of the event business production it to be appealing to many visitors and to persuade clients and the general community to choose Canterbury as the best destination of choice. The facilities within the institution include a conference centre that was primarily built for use within the Anglican Communion. However, the conference centre also provides a valuable source of income when booked by outside organizations as a conference centre.

Events and activities

After building the cathedral lodge, it was used strategically to sell services, products, as well as, ideas to clients. The event services taking place at the Cathedral include among other activities, weddings, baptism, funeral arrangements, memorial services, musical concerts as well as exhibitions. All these activities generate a lot of income to the cathedral as a result of more tourism income. In addition, incoming events as well as past events must follow certain criteria considering the client category which must be appropriate and adhere to the doctrines of the church, as an institution.

Event market

According to Heslop the Cathedral lodge provides the best venue for meetings, conferences, seminars, facility for training courses, private dinner parties, wedding receptions, as well as musical concerts and performances. The event market comprises of activities such as tourism which comprise of a high level demand of personal services. Other events taking place at the facility include conferences, meetings as well as dinner parties. The lodge is divided into different categories of event sectors which are appealing to different segments of clients. According to previous studies, the main source of income is derived from the visitors rather than the activities which are held at the conference. Therefore, the marketing expecting is throughout visitors. Thus, the daily events are partially income generating while the evening functions are fully commercial. The main marketing tools for marketing the lodge is through trade organizers, press release, and travel journalists, since, the facility non profit making and is managed as independent organizations.

It has also been shown that mix corporate market coupled with the wedding sectors comprises of the most popular sectors, since the corporate utilizes facilities which are used to market the events taking place at the lodge. The other focus is also on the wedding reception since the cathedral provides accommodation of 35 bedrooms having a capacity of up to 120 guests on a wedding breakfast.

Venue facilities and accessibility

It is necessary to note the importance of the suppliers when the venue is on the operation with the possibility of being refurbished, adapted, and at times developed. In this venue, there is a need to have different suppliers. The best way to promote the facility is through press media, to be used a partner, which is a very important tool to show what the cathedral can add to the city of destination. On the other hand, volunteers are very important since they assist in reducing operation cost in different areas. In addition, the catering group as well as other departments also provides services to the cathedral. The cathedral is an important destination because of the facilities it provides such as the four spaces which are used to hold different events through offering flexible spaces as well as distinctive facilities; for instance, the Clagett Auditorium, Catering, Campanile Garden.

Other services include hotel accommodation, the Kentish Barn, Chapter house as well as a common room. These facilities provide an excellent atmosphere with high quality services. In addition to the quality services provided to the visitors, the customers are provided with the opportunity to visit the Cathedral at any time of the day for clients who visit the hotel. Other services include school education, library and workshops which represents the services which the facility provides to the community and visitors as well. Each feature of the facility has its distinctive features. Previous studies indicate that there are no any other events developed recently because they were recently refurbished. Some of the refurbishments were done on the stonemasonry which is a very old craft, and repairs are still being carried out since it was created during the medieval times. On the other hand, some of the facilities were refurbished in 2008 and others have more than 10 years without being refurbished.

Project facilities

It is important to understand the increasingly competitive market in the city. The planners programmed an extension of the project and adapted the facilities for more than 12 years. The income is derived from the properties, investors, and sources from visitors. In addition, specific events contribute more income to the cathedral; such as the wedding receptions and the corporate events. The refurbishments are mainly funded by the Canterbury Cathedral Trust and are mainly responsible for the conservation and the repairing programs. The main reason of refurbishing the church is because it attracts more visitors, business people, as well, as tourists. Through a closer examination, it can be noted that the features of the project and the venues provides a lot of benefit to the community.

Other benefits are felt by students who have the opportunity to access the church as a source of education. In addition, the facility also provides employment activities to work as volunteers in order to gain more skills and experiences. The events that are taking place at the Cathedral can bring many benefits to the entire city of Canterbury and change lives of the whole community. This may result in many people getting engaged in religious activities and adopt ways of learning and participating throughout the work and activities through collaboration with the community. On the other hand, the other important benefit that the facility brings is the business of tourism which is generating a lot of income.

Event management

The management of events at the cathedral represents a very useful concept since the venue brings special benefits to the community through tourism activities. This has made the church bring more benefits to the community a part of serving as a place of prayer. Thus, visitors who come to the area will encounter various activities such as a place where a purpose can propose to work, encounter musical concerts, festivals, wedding reception, exhibitions, as well as, conferences. Hence, enabling them to discover the cathedral behind the scenes since it had been used to promote cultural activities, these increases as a result of the reputation of the church. In addition, working with the volunteers needs through strictness because they serve as the key to the visitor experience. The volunteers learn, participate and interpret the training activities to improve the competiveness of the venue.

Venue analysis

It is necessary to understand the venues external environment which affects the organizations activities. This is possible through PESTE analysis which considers the competitors, social, cultural, technical and environmental factors. Bowdin observed that the external environment consist of all the factors which surround an event and which can have influence on its success. The most important factor to consider is the social and cultural issues. The cathedral is observed as a religious monument which also serves as the main tourist attraction site. However, some religious devotees believe that the cathedral should only serve its religious purposes. As a result, this influences community’s religious behavior, which also influences the demand of the venue; hence causing hindrances in choosing the clients and the types of events which at times become stricter. Therefore, based on the religious regulations, the type of the clients and the nature of events should be accepted based on the religious concept of the cathedral. This is a main challenge to the organizers in identifying the appropriate events and the appropriate services to be offered by the church.

Kent as a destination

As noted above, Kent is a tourist destination and visiting the place is a partnership which is funded by the local government with the sole responsibility to promote the region as a tourist as well as event destination. Kent has been classified as an international destination in England attracting many international visitors. However, most of the visitors come from Canterbury to visit the place for a short duration. However, the main aim of the event organizers is to try to keep the visitors for a longer duration. This can be done through altering the perception of visitors, and encouraging them to consider visiting Kent.

According to Rogers (2011) Kent is considered a destination because of the annual Canterbury festival which is an international Arts festival. The Canterbury festival is also recognized as the largest festival of arts in the entire region and may people consider is as the most important cultural event that attracts most people as well as tourists in the South East. The number of audience attracted by the festival includes both young and old, to attend both free and ticketed events drawn from all over Kent, London as well as, the entire South East.


The Canterbury Cathedral Lodge has a beautiful record located within the grounds of Canterbury cathedral. The visitors who are searching for retreat or just a special place to stay and enjoy the uniqueness of the region or nights stay at the lodge. The management of the lodge is doing everything possible to ensure that visitors continue visitant the place. Thus, event organizers should ensure that they study the intricacies and identify the target audience through devising ways to ensure that a return on the investment becomes as the key driver of the events taking place at the lodge.

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