When we were invited to spend a day with Katie Hodson and the fab team at Nottingham Conferences we jumped at the chance. I mean, how often to do you get the chance to spend some time with a group who look after over 500 meeting spaces? Yes, you read that correctly…. over 500 meeting spaces! Wowser! So, before we tell you all about how the day panned out, here’s a little insight into what they look after
Since the University first opened its doors to conferencing over 30 years ago; it has now blossomed into an extensive venue, with its meeting spaces, training and sporting facilities spread over 4 campuses as well as offering over 4,000 bedrooms within halls of residence.
Predominantly here to serve the University, most of the meeting spaces are available for hire 22 weeks of the year during the students’ holidays, with some spaces available all year round. What you need to know is the sheer size and scope of the options available to meeting planners. Quite literally every type of meeting can be catered for here. So, if it’s a small meeting room for 2 right up to 4,000 delegates in the sports hall of the David Ross Sports Village – Nottingham Conferences can offer it all. This is a location set in the heart of the UK with excellent road, rail and air links and at amazing prices too.
So, without any further ado, here’s how this amazing team look after so many meetings and take it all in their stride…
On arrival at the Conference Cottage, we got the chance to meet some of the Nottingham Conferences team including: General Manager – Andy May, Director of Sales – Katie Hodson, Sales Office Manager - Gayle Timmins, and a team of experienced sales coordinators whom together have over 80 years’ conferencing experience within the organisation. After the introductions we learned about some of the current enquiries that the team were working on – for example, one client needed a venue for a faith service for a congregation for 2500 whilst another required 20 grass football pitches – you couldn’t get more diverse enquiries, could you?
Katie took us over to the phenomenal £40m David Ross Sports Village. Having opened in October 2016, it’s ideally located adjacent to halls of residence accommodation and the De Vere Orchard Hotel with its 202 beds.
The Sports Village has to be seen to be believed. Home to a number of national sports teams and athletes, this amazing facility is regularly used by Olympic athletes and professional sports teams – the facilities are THAT good! And the great news is, it’s available for hire – which includes the wonderful 20 courts sports hall covering 3845sqM sports hall, which can hold up to 4,000 delegates in theatre style. The hall has already seen some non-sport activity having been converted into an exhibition hall, graduation space, conference plenary for up to 2000 and much more. The scale of the place is awe-inspiring.
For instance, you can hire any of these spaces there:
- Climbing wall
- 7 squash courts
- a martial arts dojo
- 60m indoor sprint track & much more
Great for adding that little bit extra to your event. In fact, whilst we were there, an amazing World Tang Soo Do Association Event Tournament was taking place and we witnessed 240 participants, including European masters, during their demonstrations, an incredible sight to behold!
After the Sports Village we headed over to the brand new ‘Teaching and Learning Hub’ also located on the University Park Campus just behind the fantastic De Vere Orchard Hotel. Calling it new was an understatement as during our visit they were operating their very first event to be hosted there and I have to say, the place looked mind-blowingly good – especially if your client is specifically looking for an educational venue.
It features perfectly self-contained and flexible event spaces for those looking to book conferences and events with meeting capacities ranging from 4 up to 306 – including seminar rooms, tiered lecture theatre, meeting rooms & a performing arts space.
It’s worth pointing out that each of the seminar rooms contain top of the range, state-of-the-art interactive touch screen worth £30k each. Wow – absolutely stunning tech! I can’t wait to use this venue for one of my clients – they will love it!
We then headed over to the lovely De Vere Jubilee Conference Centre which is situated on Jubilee Campus and what a very nice place it is. Branded up as a De Vere hotel, this 3 star property has 95 modern hotel bedrooms, providing the perfect solution for self-contained residential conferences and events.
In addition to the hotel, this light-filled, innovative and stylish, purpose-built conference centre is set within a stunning, tranquil lakeside setting and has a large auditorium for up to 250 people as well as, 13 contemporary event spaces (capacity from 12 to 70) and 2 glass atriums, ideal for exhibitions, networking buffets or drinks receptions.
There is also the fab ‘Spokes restaurant and coffee bar,’ named after the Raleigh bike factory originally housed on the same site, where we enjoyed a delicious lunch.
Our final venue on our whistle stop tour was Studio 7 at King’s Meadow Campus. This amazing venue was originally home to the ITV studio complex called "East Midlands Television Centre" and later "Carlton Studios" from 1983 until 2005, which during its lifetime as a working TV studio regularly hosted iconic productions such as The Price is Right, Family Fortunes, Supermarket Sweep, Celebrity Squares and Bullseye and you can actually hire out the very same studio for your event when you want something that little bit different and quirky.
Studio 7 features:
Large flat floor space, approx. 27m x 27m (729m2)
Retractable bleachers type tiered seating available for 235
Vehicular access for light vehicles
Tall black drapes surround the edge of the room
High ceiling, approx. 8m height to underside of the lighting rig
I love the fact that it is so unique and is as a total blank canvas that can be dressed to your hearts content. I loved it in there.
When you look at the number of meeting spaces that the Nottingham Conferences team look after you can’t help but be impressed. Super professional and knowledgeable, what more could you ask for? So, if you’ve had a venue request for this area, I would suggest you contact Katie and the team as a must. With the flexibility of their offering, they’ll definitely have something that is right for you and are a dream to work with. You and your clients will love the sheer breadth of options they have and all at great value for money too!
For any enquiries or more information, please contact:
Tel: +44 (0)115 97486100
Facebook: Nottingham Conferences