You might think London and the UK's other major cities - Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and others - are your best bet for organising a conference. Think again. You'll now find airports an hour's drive away from most places countrywide, and train and bus services have never been more efficient. And so instead of opting for the obvious, why not choose somewhere further afield to host an international meeting or conference? Facilities are available to host and accommodate groups of varying sizes and needs. Many former manors and stately homes have now been transformed into grand hotels with events space, and more basic options are available too. You could wow your delegates not only by putting on a great event, but also by choosing a venue with a difference where they could go from conference room to golfing in ten minutes, for example.
Rural areas across the countryside are dotted with hidden gems - hotel complexes with the best blend of traditional and contemporary features and facilities. These offer so much more than just a venue. As they are often surrounded by large estates, many forms of entertainment and activities are available on site and in surrounding areas. Look out for offers of golf, spa treatments, clay pigeon shooting, fishing, white water rafting and quad biking, among others.
Names to look out for are Gleneagles in Scotland, The Lake in Wales, Rockliffe Hall in England and Tullylagan in Northern Ireland.
Small Cities and Towns
Small cities and towns are often local business hubs and so cater towards varying business needs. Local industries have also responded to the growing interest in organising conferences and meetings outwith major cities. Similarly to rural areas, you'll find a range of venues available for hire. As you'll be based in a town there is more scope for delegates to go sightseeing, and for evening entertainment at local pubs, restaurants or theatres.
Towns and cities with great venues are Stirling with Stirling University's fantastic facilities in Scotland, Truro's Epiphany House in England, the Belle Vue Royal Hotel in Aberystwyth in Wales, and Fermanagh House in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.
If a city really is the most appropriate choice of venue in your case, you'll find specialised conference centres for hire from Inverness to Brighton. Universities are also worth contacting as they often have facilities available, particularly to those working in the academic field.
For state-of-the-art facilities and specialised events services look into major hotel facilities. Conferences and meetings are a daily occurrence for them so staff have specialist knowledge and first-hand experience of dealing with all kinds of requests and requirements. Whether you're seeking a Tower of London hotel for a financial event, a Bradford-based conference centre for a health care industry exhibition or a function room to host an annual wedding planners' meeting in Cardiff, you'll find specialist events staff will be able to tailor to your needs.
Harvey McEwan writes to offer information and advice on a variety of areas, from technology to holiday destinations. Read through Harvey's other articles here to find out more.
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