Making large events a success 

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With events back in full swing and confidence returning for events with high delegate numbers, it’s important to consider the right venue and how this will work for your event. Last month we hosted an event on the importance of carefully planning large-scaled events and how to go about choosing the correct venue. We discussed convention centres, exhibitions and purpose-built venues for large events, and the reasons as to why they worked so well for large numbers.

Here’s our insight to what we discussed and some tips for you to consider for making your large event a success. 

What to look for when selecting a venue? 

When searching for the right venue, a big consideration is the infrastructure and usually the transport, accommodation and location.  These are heavily invested in when a convention centre is planned.

With any event it is important to choose a location that works best for most delegates and is even more important now when we are looking at carbon used and sustainable events. During large scale events, often delegates will be traveling from multiple locations via various methods of transports. Therefore rail, road and air links are pivotal to the success of these events.

What can venues do to ensure the event is successful? 

 Security is always top of the list for all events and when using Convention Centres, they usually have ‘in house’ security.  It is important to ensure you are aware of what security is in place as standard and any additional requirements you have can be covered.  In addition a full risk assessment should be carried out and all government regulations should be covered too.

Another advantage of using a convention centre is the choice of space for your breakout rooms the breakout rooms are usually located to work well with the main rooms and ‘accessibility’ will usually have been taken into consideration.

Planning of a new convention centre 

When a city decides to build a convention centre, certain aspects must be taken into consideration. For example, they will work closely with councils to ensure roads, car parking and accommodation in the locations is suitable for the size of the venue.

An example of this was the construction of the International Convention centre in Wales that opened in 2019. They had a strong advisory board consisting of corporate travel and event managers, industry associates, hotel booking agencies, hotels, councils and transport ministers. The venue agreed to build a certain number of hotels in order to create the number of bedrooms needed to accommodate large scale conventions. 

So, with some of these considerations in mind, let’s look at some key convention centres across the UK and how they are set up for large events. 

ACC Liverpool 

We recently ran a very successful event at the ACC Liverpool. Following a series site visits, our client decided on the ACC Liverpool as the preferred venue. They felt the space was very adaptable and were particularly keen on a tiered theatre. The auditorium seats 1,350 delegates, with an additional 21 breakout rooms of varying sizes. 

How to get there, where to stay and what to do: 

  • The ACC Liverpool is just 20 minutes from the motorway with parking for 1450 cars.  
  • Lime Street Station is a short bus/taxi ride away, with John Lennon and Manchester airports close enough for international delegates. 
  • Hotels are within walking distance, including budget brands and 4* hotels as delegates requirements.  
  • Liverpool has some great venues for bars and private dinners if off-site dining is required and drinks parties. Revolution de Cuba made for a great bar for our clients use, and cocktails were even made in the clients’ company colours. 

ICC Wales 

This venue is just across the border into Wales and close to Bristol therefore makes for a great location. The brand-new conference centre recently opened in 2021 following a 2 year build and extensive planning. The space is amazing with 15 meeting rooms and boardrooms, with woodland views. There is a 1,500 seated auditorium and a 4,000-metre pillar-free exhibition hall. The venue has been built with some great sustainable features regarding their heating systems and recycling waste. They are plastic free and have planted 15,000 trees in local woodland, chefs also source food locally where possible. 

How to get there, where to stay and what to do: 

  • Only 2 minutes from the M4 motorway and close to Cardiff and Bristol airports 
  • Newport railway station is on the grounds on Celtic Manor hotel, with Holiday Express and Hilton nearby 
  • There are plenty of bars and restaurants in Newport and Cardiff city centre not far away. 

Convention Centre Dublin  

This impressive building is built on the river Liffey in the regenerated docks area. Something that struck us when using this venue is that it doesn’t feel big. The main areas are carpeted which is unusual and it is very welcoming as you walk in with that great Irish feel. ICC Wales has car parking for up to 2,000 cars close-by and 320 spaces under the convention centre building. 

How to get there, where to stay and what to do: 

  • The venue is located 10km from Dublin airport, only a short trip via the Port tunnel. International and domestic flights occur daily, with low-cost airlines such as Ryan Air and Easy Jet available. 
  • There are plenty of options for accommodation within walking distance. Hilton, StayCity hotels and the Samuel Hotel are all close. 
  • With the convention centre being situated on the docklands, it is not far from the city centre. Pubs and bars, as well as many restaurants are all nearby and within walking distance, making for an easy stay. 

Here at Venues and Events International, we are experts at venue finding and events planning. If you’re interested in organising an event, get in touch with our team