With in-person events coming back in full force, we look at how multipurpose venues have adapted to the challenges and changing trends of the industry and remain a reliable destination for planners to organise their next event.
Supporting the Music
As the live music sector continues to pick itself up with the resurgence of music festivals nation-wide, even the smallest multipurpose venues are lending a helping hand to support planners in providing independent music events taking place over a weekend or a single day. Paul Sparks, Sales and Marketing Manager at Newark Showground said: “Not only did we secure extended contracts with longstanding customers, even as they were forced to postpone events in the short-term, we were also available to have conversations with completely new customers about bringing their events to Newark.” Seeing the return of Tech Fest this year after its cancellation in 2021, Newark Showground will also welcome the arrival of 90s-themed Unlocked music festival, which targets over 10,000 visitors across three days.
The possibilities become endless for unique events when branching outdoors, and while reliable weather is never guaranteed, multipurpose venues ensure to utilise the most of their outside space and make the right preparations such as providing pop-up shelters, hardstanding areas and free-draining grass for delegates. With flat, expansive square metres of outdoor space available, larger multipurpose venues can stay flexible, allowing single-day trade shows to flourish or campers to pitch up for events taking place over several days. A prestigious example of this is Lincolnshire Showground, taking advantage of its 270 acres of outdoor space to host the county flagship Lincolnshire Show for up to 60,000 visitors.
The events landscape has evolved since lockdown to introduce a diverse range of specialist events helping delegates come together to celebrate their shared unique passion. Whether it’s a rally for vintage car enthusiasts or a tabletop exhibition for space innovators, multipurpose venues have adapted to showcase innovation across all sectors and cater for the most niche programmes. Demonstrating this compatibility for special events, P&J Live’s superior 15,000 capacity venue will host a multitude of specialist events this year, including the Scottish Skipper Expo, Dog Lover Show and Comic Con Scotland. Marketing Manager Lynsey Shepherd said: “The versatility of Aberdeen’s largest event venue has proved highly attractive to prospective event organisers. The team will work to configure an event from a multitude of possible layouts to ensure each event space is unique and fit for purpose. Coupled with the latest integrated audio-visual technologies and flexible spaces, the venue has welcomed events from a wide variety of markets including energy, hospitality, live entertainment, medical, fisheries, and lifestyle.”
Easy access to a venue often makes a vital first impression for event delegates. The range of transport options available to get in and out of multipurpose venues is an especially great starting asset for the event experience for first-time visitors and may also help ease the stress for some visitors returning to re-emerging large events. Marketing Manager at Wetherby Racecourse, Michelle Campbell said: “Our venue is set in 300 acres of farm and parkland, with convenient free parking for horseracing and events visitors alike. Situated less than a mile from the A1, the racecourse is instantly accessible from the North or South, making it an ideal meeting place for those travelling from either direction.”
Utilising the in-house caterers at multipurpose venues can make the event planning process a lot simpler without the need to coordinate schedules with external suppliers. The in-house caterers’ expertise on delivering exceptional hospitality is also a highlight for multipurpose venue delegates. Providing a bespoke conference dining experience for up to 420 guests, the reputable catering team at Cutlers’ Hall elevate the event experience at the historic Sheffield venue. Business Development Manager James Birch said: “Our in-house catering team lovingly prepare all the food onsite using fresh, locally sourced ingredients wherever possible for our seasonal menus. We are happy to accommodate any special dietary requirements or even create a bespoke menu to cater for your individual vision. We are extremely proud of the standard of our food and pride ourselves on the outstanding feedback we continually receive from our clients.”