Delivering large scale exhibitions to intimate meetings, a dedicated conference centre has it all. H&E North speaks to some industry voices to find out why these venues give you the edge.
Built for an audience
The beating heart of conference centres, the auditorium is where delegates can truly grasp an event’s full capabilities during keynote speeches, panel discussions, and exclusive interviews. Hosting up to nearly 2,000 delegates, the versatile auditorium of Harrogate Convention Centre is a fine- tuned example of how the vital space gives dedicated conference centres a flexible edge to cater for events across different sectors.
“Purpose-built auditoriums offer capacities unrivalled by generic venues,” said Account Manager Jamila Alhassan. “They are usually complete with flexible seating arrangements, state-of-the-art zoned lighting, sophisticated AV systems, and great acoustics which are perfect for creating a sense of occasion.
“Using a conference centre’s auditorium also guarantees exclusive booking, meaning that planners can stay at ease knowing that everything will be operating around their needs without worrying about residents or other guests. This makes conference centres particularly useful for events which require total privacy around any sensitive topics or delegates involved.”
The teams working behind the scenes at dedicated conference centres establish a key working relationship with event organisers from the very first stages of planning. With advanced knowledge behind running each space in the conference venue, Manchester Central’s specialised team is a proactive presence, tailoring their skills to bespoke requirements and enabling organisers to know their event is in safe hands.
“Our team is perfectly placed to advise organisers on the whole spectrum of decision points,” said Manchester Central CEO, Shaun Hinds.
“Delegates at conference centres are more discerning about the events they attend, meaning care and attention to detail are now more critical than ever. The presence of experienced event teams therefore plays a crucial role in delivering exceptional experiences.”
“Delegates at conference centres are more discerning about the events they attend, meaning care and attention to detail are now more critical than ever.”
A variety of breakout spaces gives planners an abundance of choice to hosting their event at dedicated conference centres. Spaces within Harrogate Convention Centre can be further sub-divided into 10 secure areas for smaller AGMs, seminars, and briefings, giving delegates greater exclusivity.
“In the current events landscape, conference organisers are now looking for versatile spaces that can accommodate a range of functions aside from the main event,” said Jamila Alhassan. “Complete with conferencing equipment and free WIFI, organisers can build a diverse events programme to engage delegates in different ways.
“Delivering different experiences within the same building complex really allows the advantages of using dedicated conference centres to come to the forefront.”
Thanks to strong relationships with neighbouring businesses in the hospitality and transport sectors, dedicated conference centres are equipped with a further advantage to ensure delegates can truly make the most of their conference trip.
With reliable advice on city attractions and travel options, Manchester Central’s booking system goes beyond focusing solely on the day of an event and gives planners all the needed tools to coordinate their stay at the event location. Further support from local destination management organisations also allows the venue to provide more opportunities for planners.
“Every event requires thinking about the wider logistics, and using our firm links to public transport, hotels, restaurants, and bars which delegates may want to use,” said Shaun Hinds. “These are important factors that help put an event on the map, and a big bonus to hosting events at a dedicated conference venue.
“It’s all about providing a high-quality experience coupled with interactivity so delegates can have a more memorable event experience.”