We all know that hotels and conference centres provide an excellent setting for team meetings and events. Corporate dinner bookings often come with the request for “something different” in the form of museums, colleges, sports grounds and stately homes.
Over the years gradually more and more venues that you may call “something different” have opened their doors to external meetings and events. Many venues who have been hosting events for a while are adding to their offering; some have even built dedicated conference and events spaces.
Cambridge Country Club in Bourne is a prime example. This venue is part of Bourne Golf Club and already has 2 smaller meeting rooms the Study and the Lounge that are open for external hire. By Christmas they will have two larger rooms available. One that will seat up to 300 theatre style. The meeting space is really nice with lots of character.
The Abbey Stadium home to Cambridge United Football Club is another venue that is looking to attract more external meetings as well as events. They have 3 rooms that are currently available to hire. The Signature Suite has a capacity for 80-100 theatre style and 80 cabaret style. The Executive Lounge can hold 50 theatre style and 40 cabaret style. The Boardroom can hold 20 and has the added bonus of a small bar and area with sofas.
I have been reliably informed I am safe to mention this here because there is only friendly rivalry! Cambridge City Football Club are building their brand new stadium in Sawston. This will be open in April/May next year and will have quite a bit of conference space. A main room, on the ground floor will take about 180 for dinner. On the first floor there will be an Executive Boardroom for about 20 and a further two meeting rooms that hold about 50-80 in each. The four Hospitality Boxes can hold about 8 boardroom in each.
In the Cambridge area we are also lucky to have a number of amazing colleges that have dedicated space that is available for conferences all year round. We also have the Imperial War Museum Duxford with its own conference centre. Last but not least (not technically in Cambridgeshire) Newmarket Racecourses Millennium Grandstand. All offer space not just for dinners, but large conferences and small meetings!
The Rest of the UK
Sports grounds up and down the country offer some amazing spaces and many have hotels onsite too. Hotel Football which is part of the Marriott chain is next door to Old Trafford in Manchester. The Millennium Hotel Chelsea is next to Chelsea Football Club. Both football stadiums offer some really large and flexible meeting and events space.
Lots of the big museums have also opened up meeting space that is available during the day. The British Motor Museum near Warwick has its own purpose built conference centre. The Royal Armouries in Leeds is connected to New Dock Hall a purpose built conference space. There are a number of smaller museums that can offer some really unsual spaces – like We The Curious in Bristol; they have a great room overlooking the river.
Most of the larger racecourses have big spaces suitable for exhibitions and meetings. We cannot forget the growing number of old warehouses and commercial buildings that are also being converted into event spaces – like the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester.
If you are looking for somewhere a little bit unusual for your next event or conference then please just get in touch. The venues I have mentioned above are just a very small selection of those that are available all over the UK and Ireland.