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Factors to consider when selecting a conference space in Birmingham

Birmingham is a famed destination for large-scale sporting and business events, owing to its excellent connectivity, location, and accommodation. As noted by Meet Birmingham, the city is home to over 36,000 bed spaces and a plethora of top level venues with cutting edge facilities. From the Copthorne Hotel (with seven meeting rooms and a capacity of 200) right through to smaller venues such as the Ibis Birmingham City Centre (with a 60-person capacity), the city is well equipped to handle single- as well as multiple-day conferences from a wide variety of sectors. If your business has an upcoming event you wish to hold in a professional setting, keep these considerations in mind to ensure all your needs are met – in terms of size, features, services, and technology.

What Size of Conference Hall Do You Need?

Bigger venues like The Old Library at Bordesley Green or The International Suite at Molineux Stadium take up to 200 guests. Once you have narrowed down your choice of venues according to capacity, consulting these venues’ online sites or better yet, paying them a visit, will give you a good idea of how to lay out your event. The Molineux Stadium, for instance, has a long hall that is suitable to events in which various small groups can work at different tables. The Humanitarian Academy for Development, meanwhile, is ideal for smaller conferences in which the entire audience is to listen to one or more speakers, taking part in ‘round table discussions’ afterwards. Visiting proposed venues is important, since the staff can suggest the different ways in which podiums, chairs, and projectors/screens can be laid out so as to fulfil the purpose of your event.

Lighting is Key

Natural light is important if you are hosting a long or multiple day conference. Sites like the Calthorpe Suite boast large conference rooms with windows that let in floods of natural light – perfect for a conference where attendees will have to stay focused and/or pay attention to key facts and figures. Halls with large windows and doors that look over gardens or greenery have an added bonus – in between talks, attendees can step out and enjoy a coffee break while enjoying a beautiful view. If you plan on making use of gardens, check for features such as clean gutters and terraces. Outdoor spaces should be attractive and amenable, and contain tables, chairs, and a view that makes stepping outside worth it.

Catering for Attendees

Any event lasting over two hours should provide catering – be it coffee and biscuits or light snacks – for attendees. Many local events centres – including the Bournville College Conference and Events Centre – have solid relationships with local caterers, helping you obtain a good price for your catering needs. Your chosen venue should also have enough space for catering equipment, and staff should be able to refer you to specialist caterers for halal, kosher, and other dietary needs.

Tech should be Up to Scratch

Just a few of the technological features you may need include projectors, PA systems, WiFi, large screens, and laptops for attendees. Find out what different venues offer. The quality of the projector is particularly important if you will be making presentations. Look for projectors offering a resolution of around 1920×1200 and opt for a brightness of around 5,000 Lumens.

If Birmingham is the location of your next event, you have chosen an easily accessible city with various types of hall to choose from. Take advantage of the competitiveness of this sector and compare what each venue can offer you in terms of technology, size, and catering facilities. Ideally, select a space with natural lighting, and one that is large enough for comfort, yet cosy enough for attendees to interact and network.

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Expert OpinionWest Midlands