The long awaited Ladies Weekends are back
Matt Devine from Square Events reports
After 18 months without events, we were delighted to welcome Lodges back to hotels this Autumn for their postponed Ladies Weekends.
There was a great deal of nervousness amongst Masters, Festival Committees and ourselves that numbers would be sufficient to achieve contractual minimums and make the events successful.
Delivering these events has been challenging. Whilst following strict COVID protocols, many hotels also faced supply issues. All this was compounded by some serious reductions in staff numbers. Most hotels had to recruit and train a majority, if not the entirety of their workforce. As a result, knowledge about how to host and deliver these events has largely been lost. Behind the scenes, we have been working closely with their teams to ensure everything goes to plan so that guests can relax and enjoy themselves.
We are so pleased and proud to report that every festival hit their minimums, with most having higher numbers than their historical events. The average numbers were in the low 70’s for 2019. In September to November 2021 the average was 98. This is hugely encouraging for the future of these wonderful events and hopefully a confidence booster for those looking to get ‘back to normal’ in 2022.
As a large portion of the Lodges we work with are from London, we would like to share some images and comments from recent Ladies Festivals.
If we can offer any help or support for your next Ladies Festival, do not hesitate to get in touch, you’ll find our advert with contact information on the back of this page.
A few quotes from recent Ladies Festivals:
‘After moving the date three times due to covid, our Ladies Festival was a total success with over 150 people attending. It was amazing. Everyone really enjoyed themselves, and we exceeded our target of £3,000 for the charities.‘
W Bro Paul Scott – Worshipful Master, Rupert Patterson Lodge No 3646
‘Thanks to Square Events, we have had a number of successful and fantastic Ladies weekends. Square Events have taken out the hard work in finding the right hotel for us and our event.’
Mark Wooldridge – Festival Secretary, Sanitarian Lodge No 3458
‘Although COVID 19 had a detrimental effect on our numbers, we all had a very enjoyable weekend with many positive comments from members and guests. We fully expect to be back to our normal numbers for our 2022 event.’
Terry McAlpin – Festival Secretary, St Paul’s Column Lodge No 7197
‘The first Ladies Festival weekend since the relaxing of restrictions was a complete success. Ninety-seven members and guests attended our Ladies Festival early in September, with the vast majority staying the full weekend. It was good to be back to normal with first-class entertainment on Friday evening and the full gala evening on Saturday, with dancing until the small hours. We all felt safe and were happy to be reunited once again. The weekend raised an astounding sum for the Master’s Charity, ‘Williams Syndrome,’ which, when topped up by The Polytechnic Lodge, reached a magnificent sum of six thousand pounds. Can’t wait for next year’s Ladies Festival.’
W Bro Ron Wainer SLGR – Festival Secretary, The Polytechnic Lodge No 2847
Image kindly shared by Bruce Foster Photography.
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 47 January 2022 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.
Read more articles in the Arena Issue 47 here.