Meetings are an important way for people to come together for a common purpose as they bring a wider range of perspectives into discussions and decisions. If you were tasked with booking your next company meeting out of your normal office environment, your initial thought would likely be to search for inspired meeting venues in the UK that could potentially curate a productive, effective and inspiring meeting. You would search for venues that would offer you meeting rooms for presentations, client pitches, training, or team-building sessions. Also on your list may be conference halls, lecture theatres, outdoor spaces, dining rooms, and exhibition spaces.
The UK is infused with history and heritage and its diversity makes meeting venues in the UK distinctly different; from city centre, airport or country house hotels, to management training centres, university venues, purpose-built conference centres and not forgetting the wealth of unique and unusual venues. Given this plethora of choice, when it comes to finding perfect inspired meeting venues in the UK for those all-important meetings, can certainly come with its challenges. We’re all about uncovering creative and inspiring meeting venues, so let’s explore some of our top five favourite hidden gems, in no particular order of favouritism.
Our journey starts in a city crammed full of culture, one of Manchester’s most fashionable hotel, The Lowry Hotel. This is an iconic five-star property with an urban chic feel, dominating the skyline with its curved, glass-fronted façade. On one side, an evolving city scape, on the other, a more tranquil outlook of the River Irwell and beyond. Spacious yet intimate with artwork casually displayed, it delivers a sense of something different and inspiring when you step through its glass doors. A dedicated events floor, a special entrance on the ground floor, flexible configurated rooms, natural daylight with floor to ceiling windows, a city centre location – with Manchester airport, key rail and bus links only a short distance away – this is a centre stage for engaging meetings. This five-star hotel has just introduced an exciting Meetings inspired concept, so that businesses can create perfectly bespoke meetings and events, tailored exactly to their needs, from bespoke free-from menus, innovative technology to personalised branding in the conference space. This is UK’s inspired meeting venues at its best!
Allseated Vision image | The Lowry Hotel
Another inspired meeting venue in the UK on our list is the QEII Centre, located in the very heart of London near some of the most prominent landmarks; Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, to name but a few. The QEII Centre has been hosting corporate events for decades and has won several accolades as a result. It is the largest dedicated conference and exhibition space in central London with a capacity of up to 2,500 people. This venue is so central to everything that clients benefit from the additional advantage of having fantastic transport links, international airports, thousands of hotels and restaurants, nightlife and shopping within close proximity. The QEII has been hosting hundreds of important national and international events and meetings per year, from world leaders to technological game changers. Each room has the flexibility to completely transform itself to make every single event completely unique. It is continuously investing in technology for state-of-the art systems, continuous improvement of its customer service so it is not surprising for the past 30 years since it first opened its doors by HM the Queen herself, it has been game changers and innovators for events, and has won several accolades. The QEII Centre brings events back to its venue year after year, so if you don’t call that inspired meeting venues, I don’t know what is.
Image Credit: The QEII Centre
Go too far off and you may lose your audience, go too conventional and you’re in grave danger of losing your audience. How about going sustainable as an inspired meeting venue? Not too far away is a favourite, The Crystal. Arguably one of the most hi-tech, coolest looking conference venues in London, it is home to the world’s largest exhibition on the future of cities, the world’s most sustainable events venue, and office space for global engineering powerhouse Siemens. As its name suggests, this iconic sustainable building draws inspiration from the many sides of a crystal, providing a striking contrast to the surrounding skyline. It’s an all-electric building that generates its own energy using solar power and a ground source heat pump. It showcases state-of-the-art technologies featuring rainwater harvesting, solar heating, black water treatment, and automated building management systems. For meeting spaces, the Crystal has various flexible spaces, providing a state-of-the-art setting. The Exhibition area is currently being refurbished and will re-open later this year, but this venue sets the benchmark for sustainable building design – the only building in the world to achieve the highest certification in both the BREEAM (the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for master planning projects, infrastructure and buildings) and LEED schemes (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and certainly an inspired meeting venue in the UK in our eyes.
Image Credit: The Crystal
Another exquisite inspired meeting venue in the UK set in one of the country’s oldest, picturesque deer parks, is Parklands, Quendon Hall located in Essex. Famous for its awe-inspiring surroundings and its charming backdrop particularly for summer events, there are very few venues in the area with the capacity to host 650 guests in such impressive surroundings. Inimitably renowned for weddings for obvious reasons, it is also a standout location for business and corporate functions. It is an inspiring business retreat with extensive tranquil grounds providing exclusive use to its 17th Century, Grade I listed mansion house/ country estate. Meeting guests are inspired by its spectacular setting, its facilities of a modern conference centre, and its exclusive-use basis which gives total privacy to focus on what’s important in your event. With a variety of ornate small and large function rooms with an abundance of natural light, Parklands, Quendon Hall can accommodate everything from an executive board meeting, a seminar, an annual conference, a monthly sales meeting, a staff training course or team-building event or an exhibition even. The rooms can be tailored to specific needs, delegate packages to suit different budgets, and this place has built partnerships with other leading team building companies to tailor fun and creative packages for delegates. For overnight guests, imagine starting your day to spectacular views in the warmth and comfort of a sumptuous Parklands. This is not your typical inspired meeting venue in the UK, but certainly an idyllic inspiring setting for corporate events no less and a stately home for the day.
Image Credit: Parklands
Our final venue takes us to the iconic Derby County Football Club as an inspired meeting venue in the UK, where you can combine the buzz of a matchday stadium experience with the boost of a corporate event. This venue has a long-standing history of hosting corporate hospitality events with a cross section of companies year after year. Its contemporary venue has 36 rooms that can accommodate up to 450 guests individually. Whether it’s a behind-the-scenes tour, a range of rooms to suit any meeting requirements, or a Derby County football matchday experience, it is perfectly located on the edge of the city with links to all major roads nearby to create an inspiring occasion to delight your meeting guests, no matter the style or scope of your event. This venue thrives on tailoring events to make it truly inspiring and unique.
Why not shake things up and take your next meeting out of the office? There are thousands of extraordinary inspired meeting venue in the UK that can impact how innovative, productive and original you can be and we hope some of our favourites will get you inspired.
Image Credit: Derby County Football Club
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