meetings

The Meetings Show 2016

This year’s meeting show took place from the 14th – 16th June 2016 at Olympia Exhibition Centre, London. Our girl Laura headed down for one night and one day for a busy but productive whirlwind 24 hours in London….
It all began on Tuesday 14th June. I hopped on a train to London at 5.04pm, arriving at 7.20pm I headed straight to check in at my hotel for the night, the Melia White House.  The Melia White House is beautiful and quite possibly has the best smelling lobby area ever! It was a vacation for my nose (my house tends to smell look cooking but not the nice kind, the kind when you are full and smell food and you just think ‘nope’. I’m not making myself sound great here am I?). Moving on, I checked in, collected an envelope with my pass and important details about the show from the concierge and then headed to my room. Okay, that sounds simple but funny story I’m a numpty and didn’t know how to use the lift (highly embarrassing). A kind man had to show me how to make the lift doors open. Heads up, you use the touch screen machine to the right of the first set of lifts, select what floor you want and then it tells you what lift to go to and it takes you there, it’s simple really once you know what you are doing or if you aren’t a numpty like myself. The Melia White House not only has 581 lovely rooms in eight categories it also has great event space. They have 10 meeting rooms and the largest can hold 150 delegates. Day Delegate Rates are between £60.00 – £70.00 for a full day meeting and include: 2 coffee breaks, 3-course buffet lunch in the restaurant, Wi-Fi, water, stationary, roll up screen and flipchart.

On Wednesday 15th June I woke up bright and early to get ready for a day at The Meetings Show. I headed down for breakfast which was lovely, checked out and boarded the coach that took us straight to Olympia for the show. I believe this is the first year that the event has taken place in the larger hall and it was a good and manageable size. Not too big, not too small.

Whilst at the show I had meetings with venues that we currently work with and found some new ones to start building strong and positive relationships with. One of the new venues I met was CentrEd at ExCel, London.

CentrEd (with a capital E, that was not a typo) is located at the Royal Victoria Dock in London. Although a bit further out than the sought after City area of London, CentrEd is easily accessible via public transport and heading out of The City has its benefits. For example, all 29 rooms have natural daylight and balconies with views of the beautiful Royal Victoria Dock. The rooms have flexible walls so the venue can create spaces for 20 delegates all the way up to spaces for 400 delegates. Plus you are only 20 minutes away from The City so should you need to get back there after it won’t take you long.

Next up is the Ibis London Earls Court Conference Centre or ILEC for short. This venue claims to be the most versatile space in West London and I can most definitely see why. The venue has an innovative modular space called The London Suite. This suite can then be partitioned and divided up to create smaller rooms. The whole hall can seat 1200 in a theatre style but then can be divided up so many ways that it can create as many as nine individual rooms. Not only can the venue cater for pretty much anything and everything they also have 504 bedrooms on site making it a great option for large conferences that also require bedrooms.

If you’re interested in any of the venues above or want to find out more on how we can help, get in touch!

You can email myself or the rest of the team at theteam@top-venues.co.uk or give us a ring on 0844 8709963. We look forward to hearing from you!

Category : Blog
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Center Parcs – Something a little bit different!

I decided it was about time I made the trip to Nottingham’s Center Parcs (the largest of the venues in the group) to see what all the fuss was about in relation to using the venue for events.

I’d been to the ‘village’ over ten years ago, purely on a leisure basis and I have to say, while I loved the place for leisure, I wasn’t entirely sure how it would work for business events.

In my head I had the picture of a large event space and facility that, by day, was a resting place for those families that wanted to get away from all of the activities on site, and by night, would turn into an event space similar to that of the cabaret acts you’d find at those well-known leisure seaside resorts we all know about.

How wrong was I!

I got to the ‘village’ (which is what the staff lovingly call the resort) early afternoon to be greeted by fake snow on the way in, lots of fairly lights in the trees and Santa’s reindeer on the roofs of the buildings dotted around the place. It reminded me of Christmas. In fact, it basically is set for Christmas which is fair enough considering we’re close enough to December.

My site inspection consisted of walking around all of the facilities, which actually didn’t take as long as I imagined it would, past real reindeer and Santa’s grotto through the ‘square’ (a street with all the food outlets) through the indoor leisure spaces including ten pin bowling, indoor badminton courts (that can double up as exhibition space or a large space for corporate dinners or awards ceremonies). I was then taken through ‘The Venue’ which is the private event space that is totally separate to any of the leisure space and consists of one extremely large floor space that can br subdivided into smaller rooms.

Center Parcs - Santa's Reindeer!

With its own bar and foyer area and located in an area that the general public don’t tend to frequent, this space is perfect for keeping the business, business and moving into the leisure side as and when you need or want to.

It’s location in the middle of woodland with its man-made lake (which looks as natural as any normal lake), beach and plenty of options for both food and activities provides the perfect option for a venue with a difference!

With easy access to the M1 motorway and fab new rates of £39.00 for a day delegate meeting rate (from Jan 2013) or from £79.00 to include 2 activities, it makes meetings more affordable and interesting.

Accommodation can be provided in the lodge facilities onsite, a little bit higher in price but then, you get a lot more for your money than staying in a standard (if there ever is such a thing) hotel.

So all in all, I was extremely impressed with the quality of the venue options and choices that you have for mixing a bit of business with pleasure. Consider it for your next meeting, if you’re travelling, as all of the sites have meeting facilities onsite and with a new location opening in 2013 near to Woburn Safari Park, it will provide options up and down the country.

(plus it’s well worth the visit, even if you only want to sample the spa facilities – something I’ll certainly be returning for!)

Happy Christmas from Centre Parcs! (and me)

 

Category : Blog
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