Sometimes venues don’t fall into any particular category or they are at the forefront of our memory bank because of how they made us feel. A large part of our events’ successes can rely on how the venue performs; that can be out of our control to a certain extent, so finding a venue that provides faultless service and one that we can put all of our trust in makes our jobs as event planners that little easier.
How a venue operates and how their teams communicate can make the world of difference. We have a million and one things to think about when we are on-site; registering delegates, briefing speakers, making sure that the audio visual is set up, tested and ready to go and that delegates are in the right place at the right time.
Having confidence in the venue and its ability to deliver to the highest standards helps us to concentrate on other tasks at hand. On the run up to the event, we keep in contact with the venue to ensure that they know what we expect, how the event rooms should be laid out, what catering is required, including any dietary requirements and timings for the day. Vital to any event is the need to be flexible and react to change, live events can sometimes be unpredictable and we all need to be responsive to any change and that includes the venue.
We are often working to a budget too; value for money is paramount when we’re looking for suitable venues. Venue packages need to be transparent and inclusive so that we aren’t faced with any hidden extras. As well as working to tight budgets, we are often working to tight deadlines too so by providing us with an all-inclusive package helps us to manage our time more effectively.
Here are some of the venues that gave us that little bit more, both in outstanding service but also those added extras that enhance the delegate experience:
Perhaps because we have spent so much time at this venue and became to feel part of the family (they really do operate like one big harmonious family), EEF Venues, Broadway House in London was absolutely perfect in every way. This AIM Gold accredited venue is red hot on customer service and surpasses expectations. This small team of highly personable individuals, seemingly effortlessly, provide support and reassurance; their catering team are innovative and dish up fantastic and fresh menus. Above all else, they are extremely adept at reacting to change and truly go above and beyond in everything that they do. What we love about Broadway House too, is that they offer incredible value for money in a Central London location; have all-inclusive facilities and an obvious commitment to what they do.
When you have a prestigious entrepreneurs’ graduation to organise, you have to aim high and that’s just what we did. We had been involved with The Sirius Programme from its launch and the graduation was the culmination of two years’ support we had provided. This required a special venue and where better to play host than The Shard; more specifically 24/25, a combination of co-working, offices, meeting rooms and event spaces.
Managed by The Office Group, the space we used at 24/25 was a working area during the day and the team there had very little time to co-ordinate the transformation; in fact, just one hour including rearranging the furniture, getting AV equipment set up, tested and ready to go and catering. This event was logistically complex as it ran to a tight deadline, there were heightened security arrangements to put in place and with some high-profile speakers attending it had to run absolutely seamlessly (which it did, of course!). The team at The Office Group were a pleasure to deal with, absolutely nothing was too much trouble and they went above and beyond under extremely demanding circumstances.
Closer to home, we love the Nottingham Conference Centre slap bang in the centre of town. Opened as part of the re-development of two of Nottingham Trent University’s iconic Grade II listed buildings, this venue has more flexibility than most we have come across. NCC perfectly marries old with new with their modern rooms and facilities complementing the stunning spaces that maintain the original Victorian architecture.
We have held a variety of meetings and events here, including some of our own in-house team-building days. What stands out for us about the Nottingham Conference Centre is their attention to detail; their event team are knowledgeable and not fazed by an unusual brief, always willing to make your event work just the way you want it to. Their price packages and day delegate rates are exceptional value for money, they also offer hourly rates which is really handy if you want to hold a meeting in the city centre and still have privacy.
We also love their website. It has perfect imagery where you can clearly see the facilities and straightforward rates and package costs, enabling you to calculate an approximate total and work into your event budget.