University Venues Up Their Game

It’s amazing how perceptions can be based on the past experiences we’ve received and stick with us for years to come.

A few years ago, if a client had said they needed a conference venue that had equipment, a basic conference room and could meet their particularly low budget, one of the first types of venues that would spring to mind would be a university.

Universities have, until recently, typically been known as cheap venues with adequate equipment for training, only available out of term time and full of loud and scruffy students.

Not so much the case anymore. Yes you still get loud and scruffy students occasionally but with the lack of funding and a requirement to increase revenue to manage the growing costs to run, universities have quickly realised the potential in improving and selling their space to external clients.

So much so that some universities have built additional complexes to purely house the external clients for conferences and events.
This is the case with Warwick Conferences. Although based on the grounds of Warwick university campus in Coventry, the university have three venues purpose-built for conferences, training and anything else event related, with planning to build more in the near future. These three venues are nothing like the university of the past.

Having been recently refurbished to a high standard and with grounds to match, you wouldn’t realise you were on a university campus until you see the address.

I happen to know all this as I recently stayed as a guest. From the moment I walked into the reception I was greeted with a warm smile and very attentive staff, something that could rival even some hotels!

With everything included in the packages they offer (wifi, unlimited access to teas/coffees, free parking to name but a few) it made it very easy for me to check-in, log-in to my emails and find my way around.

Now, even in their improved state a university won’t be for everyone. They won’t work for the Incentive group that wants to be in the middle of nowhere in a unusual venue or for the client who wants a 5 star, all singing, all dancing venue. That’s not to say some universities don’t offer a five star service because some do. However, like with any particular ‘style’ of venue it works better for certain events over others.

In my mind, these new ultra slick and refurbished (both in the facilities and staffing mind-set) venues can offer a lot more than people imagine. Very good for training, conferences, and even perhaps for dinners and exhibitions, these venues are something to consider.

So next time you’re looking at somewhere decent to hold your training or conference, don’t discount the universities, you may be pleasantly surprised!

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