Renowned business consultant Sally McNamara explains what the city centre has to offer.
Attracting 34 million visitors a year, Birmingham is a hive of activity all year round. With non-stop activity and a central location which can easily be reached from all around the UK, it makes sense for you to want to hold your next conference right here in the city.
But with the eclectic mix of old and new, including restored industrial heritage buildings, Michelin-starred restaurants, the world famous canals, the Balti Triangle, Colmore Row and St. Philip’s Cathedral, the Jewellery Quarter, Grand Central and The Cube, it can be difficult to choose a venue for your requirements. Just like its culture, Birmingham’s venues are many and varied; it can be hard to know where to begin when searching for the perfect venue for your event.
To assist you in your search, Conference Care Events Consultant Sally McNamara spent the day in the city visiting various venues. Here, she shares her experiences…
Located behind the International Conference Centre, this waterside meeting and conference venue is right in the heart of the city centre. Whilst on first glance, you may think it is a standard conference centre, upon visiting you will soon find that you are wrong. With a courtyard, a tiered lecture theatre, a glass panelled frontage letting in streams of light, upstairs function spaces with wooden beams and arches, plus its waterside location, Austin Court really has some interesting space and is filled with character. This lovely venue is perfect for catering, exhibitions, drinks receptions and product launches.
A brand new function space located at The Cube, alongside Hotel Indigo and Marco Pierre White Steakhouse, Canalside is large contemporary room with a small restaurant which can be used for breakout space if required. A blank canvas for your events, the venue leads directly out onto the canal and also has a patio and an outdoor terrace, which is particularly lovely in the summer months.
Should you want to combine venues for your event, Marco Pierre White Steakhouse has three private dining rooms at the top of the Cube with stunning views of the skyline, and if you require accommodation, you can utilise Hotel Indigo’s 52 bedrooms.
Crowne Plaza Birmingham City Centre
Close to Broad Street, Paradise Circus and within easy walking distance from New Street Station, this is a hotel that is finished to a good standard. The largest meeting space can take up to 300 guests. Whilst all of the other meeting spaces are on one dedicated floor, ideal if you need lots of small breakout areas. Depending on your event’s programme this floor works really well for a variety of breakout or catering spaces. There is also a private dining room at the rear of the restaurant, which is a great alternative for dinner if you are using the largest room for your event during the day.
Birmingham Conference and Events Centre
A huge events space, the Birmingham Conference and Events Centre can cater for events of up to 1000 people. Recently undergoing a massive refurbishment, the largest function room has a pre-function area with two bars. On the ground floor, the 25 meeting rooms are very modern and sleek, featuring glass panels and high tech facilities. Whilst there are good breakout areas which can be utilised for add-on meetings or catering. The mix of versatile event spaces are ideal for conferences, exhibitions, board meetings, private parties, networking and special events.
Just a short walk from the Bullring, the Hotel LaTour is a sleek and stylish option. With 174 luxurious bedrooms and the sophisticated Auden Rooms conference and events floor, the venue is designed with comfort and practicality in mind. The modern surroundings ensure delegates can just turn up, plug in and get going with nine separate conference and meeting spaces to choose from, as well as a roof terrace and private dining room.