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The meetings and events sector is today recognised as a core revenue stream for academic venues. Sam Booth explains how schools, colleges and universities can give your meeting a degree of excellence.

The majority of academic venues offering conference facilities now function under a dedicated brand with a specialist conference team and, despite operating in a difficult economic environment, the majority have continued to invest in the upkeep and improvement of their facilities. It is because of this that the academic venue provides some of the highest quality conference and events facilities available for event organisers today.

With such large scale purpose built facilities it is not surprising that the academic venue has become the preference for many organisations’ annual conferences and conventions. Combined with state-of-the art audio and visual support, a mix of old and new facilities, and a vast amount of high quality on-site accommodation, they provide a one-stop shop approach to modern conferencing.


Extracurricular facilities

With the addition of some of the more unique sections of the university being opened up for use, they have also become a popular choice for product launches, awards dinners and even large exhibitions. Sports facilities are also another great asset, playing host to tournaments or team building for many different groups.

It is because of the fact that all of these facilities are already in place that the academic venue can offer a competitive price for delegates, unlike many purpose built conference centres or hotels.

However, it is not just the top class facilities or cost effective offering that is attracting event organisers. The sheer amount of supporting research and access to academic speakers at a university is also playing a major influencing factor on choice. Coupled with the fact that the facilities have been built with learning in mind, this element can enhance and enrich an event and in turn help to add credibility and increase delegate engagement too.


School fees

In return, students and academics will benefit from this too with all profits generated being reinvested directly back into the university, giving research programmes and other learning facilities a welcome boost in resources.

The academic venue is a vibrant, unique and highly cultured choice for any event and can help make a significant contribution in paving the way for the country’s next generation of leaders. I would urge anyone to give them a try.

Sam Booth is the Head of Keele Conferences and Events.