Corporate venue hire is big business. You’ll find no shortage of choice at the luxury end of the market. Glitzy facilities at top hotels and purpose-built, state-of-the-art conference centres are competing for corporate customers whose networking meetings, training days, or hospitality are positioned to be a stylish brand endorsement.
With so much to choose from, who would think to hire event space at a school, college, university, or learned society?
Until recently, these types of venues were seen as more glum than glam; firmly positioned at the utilitarian, unexciting end of the spectrum. Available out of term time only, academic venues were known for providing practical, no-frills venue hire space for large groups and basic study bedroom-style accommodation.
Luckily, this old-school approach to venue hire has given way to a new, intelligent thinking. It’s based on the realisation that there’s serious money to be made. By maximising the potential of often beautiful historic buildings and investing in new, cutting-edge conference facilities, many colleges and universities now offer business lounges, hi-tech meeting rooms, and hotel-style accommodation that are keenly priced and highly sought after.
Educational venues are now reaping the results of their efforts to develop corporate venue hire facilities within their establishments. If you are considering booking a venue at a school, university, or learned society for your next event, here are 8 reasons to go ahead.
1. Great value for money
Unsurprisingly, value for money is one of the key decision-making factors for booking a venue. For the academic institutions, corporate venue hire is a valuable yet incremental revenue stream. Because the cost of conference room facilities is partly covered by services already employed for students, private hire costs can be kept competitive.
2. Flexible meeting room space
Educational establishments are keenly aware of the need to have flexible teaching spaces. They’re accustomed to configuring rooms and halls into a variety of different meeting room layouts and furniture arrangements. For business clients looking to hire versatile event space, this can be a big advantage.
3. Large-scale event space
Academic institutions are purpose-built to cater for large numbers of students. They include dedicated spaces for learning, meeting, and socialising. From large-scale lecture theatres and grand refectories to smaller classrooms, bars, and cafés, there’s plenty of space available for corporate networking events. (Plus plenty more for additional breakout space.)
4. Year-round availability
While schools, colleges, and universities continue to be governed chiefly by term time commitments, the availability of corporate hire venues among educational establishments has improved markedly over the last few years. Many institutions now have dedicated facilities that are available all year round, in addition to meeting space outside term time.
5. AV/IT facilities
Unlike many commercial venues, academic conference venues tend to come with audio-visual and IT facilities already built into the room and included in the room hire fee (along with free WiFi). With many establishments having heavily invested into the latest technology in an effort to compete with traditional event venues, prices are keen and an on-site technician may also be available.
6. Attentive customer service
Compared to many commercial venues, the educational sector offers attractive employee benefits. This results in higher levels of staff motivation and lower staff turnover. When it comes to customer service, corporate clients can benefit from continuity of service, greater attention to detail, and more personal engagement from staff.
7. Choice of venues
With such a wide range of attractive academic venues now on offer to corporate clients, it’s easy to find the perfect space for every occasion. From sports halls to great halls, small classrooms to grand lecture theatres, indoor exhibition space to outdoor facilities, you’re bound to be find the ideal venue for your event requirements.
8. Individual architecture
Whether you choose a contemporary arts centre or a historic university college, no two event spaces will be the same. Expect to find bags of character and personality, exciting architecture and inspiring surroundings, great vistas, and more. Compared to a modern conference centre or standard hotel function room, an academic venue will have an ambience like no other.
Author: Dakota Murphey provides content for a small selection of event industry sites including Billetto.