WFS Unique Venues
When planning an event, large or small, it’s easy to get carried away with the details but before thinking about the food, entertainment or decor, begin by thinking about the four W’s: what (the type of occasion), why (the message), for whom (the guest list) and where (the venue).
What type of night are you looking to hold and what is the message? Is it a corporate conference needing to engage hundreds of employees with new company policies? Is it an awards ceremony or gala dinner dedicated to awarding the year’s hard work? Or maybe it’s a launch party for a new concept or product?
Once you have what message you are looking to get across for why you are having the event and who will be attending, the next step is to consider the logistics. Will the space be big enough for the proposed guest list? Will the room cater to the event needs? Can it be decorated within the budget to fit the theme?
Once you have an idea of the logistics, now is the time to get creative and to think outside the box to elevate the annual company gathering to the event of the year. In this Wow-Factor Series, we are going to examine venues that give a ‘little bit extra’ which can take a basic plan and make it an extraordinary experience.
Some venues have been created because of a feature they’re looking to show off. Take the Manchester Concorde Conference Centre. It has 1600m² of space and the capacity for 750 people. The centre feature is a Concorde G-BOAC, a legendary flagship of the British Airway Fleet. We’ve helped our clients use the space for dinners, conferences and exhibitions but needless to say that with the use of this space- the sky is the limit!
Another venue type to consider is one with a view. Having a building with large windows and vast views of the city or countryside is an easy win. Take the Cloud 23 Bar in Manchester. As the tallest hotel in the city, it’s an easy pick for the best views and boasts ‘height with luxury.’ The venue is the perfect place to make an impact on guests. With everyone enthralled by the view and the glamorous building, very little else is needed for the decor (unless the intent is to be over-the-top). Drinks and canapés served at this height are sure to make an impression! They have two rooms for private hire- the Zeus room that can fit a cosy group of 40 or the Iris room which is suitable for 100.
Unusual Historic Spaces
If you are looking for something further off the beaten trade with more of a historic presence, why not check your local cathedral? While most associate these spaces with religious ceremonies and weddings, corporate guests will be dazzled by the historic architecture, resonating halls and dramatic lighting the space can offer. Clear have loved working with Manchester Cathedral. With 5 separate rooms for hire and seating anywhere from 15 to 940, there is something to suit every corporate need.
Another venue type to look for is one with added interest, especially if you can pair it with your audience. Are your colleagues big football fans? Why not check some of your local football clubs. You might even be able to get an ex-player to host the evening. Racecourses are a great alternative to this. Many have their our conference rooms and dining halls with incredible views of the track.
If you’re looking at something with more of a refined sophistication, why not choose an art gallery or museum? The Manchester Art gallery has excellent facilities for drinks, receptions and dinners for party sizes of under 10 to over 200 guests. The Manchester Museum of Science and History likewise is a striking building with fascinating galleries and a purpose-built conference centre.
Often buildings, restaurants and hotels can have their own charm by way of lighting. Take the newly refurbished One Fine Day in Liverpool. Located in a historic building, the venue is decorated with a variety of lights that give the historic space a cool, contemporary feel (with minimum work needed for other decorations). The venue will hold around 200 guests for a drink reception, but it has excellent catering facilities as well.
Of course, if you have a specific theme in mind, lighting is an excellent way to dress up any venue. Dance floors, up-lighting and fairy lights are all opportunities to add to a theme.
Create your own
There might be times where the venue needed is very specific. Perhaps it’s for an extremely large party. Maybe you want to make the most of scenic gardens or the venue you like doesn’t have catering facilities. Whatever the reason, marquees and tipis offer a customisable solution. Generally companies offer facilities that cater from 50 to 1000- but there is no reason why you couldn’t have multiple set ups if you need to cater for more!
When planning an event, there seems to be a million things to consider. The food, the entertainment, the decor- the list could go on for miles! However, starting with the four basic ‘W’s’ can make a massive difference. Having a live corporate event can be an excellent way to get people out of the office and to problem solve, but that doesn’t mean that a corporate event, dinner or presentation needs to be held in a ‘corporate’ environment. Thinking outside the box with the venue can help take care of a lot of the decoration, can aid in team building and can often naturally give an event a theme.
If you enjoy learning about events, make sure to check out our previous ‘Wow-Factor’ series on summer events here!
All too much to think about? Planning a corporate event and feeling overstretched? Maybe you don’t know where to start? Make sure to drop Mara a message to firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 0161 448 2424 to hear more about Clear’s full-service in house team and how we can help you.