Nottingham Conference Centre achieves leading industry accreditation

Nottingham Conference Centre has recently received the Accredited in Meetings (AIM) Gold standard award. AIM is the nationwide Kitemark for venues and service providers in the meetings, conference and events industry.

Administered by the meetings industry association (mia) and endorsed by Visit Britain, Visit England and the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers, AIM is awarded to venues that have met or exceeded 50 criteria including customer service, quality of facilities, compliance with codes of conduct and corporate social responsibility.

AIM Gold is the highest level of the accreditation and demonstrates a venue’s compliance with a more stringent set of criteria, completing a self-assessment, producing a portfolio of evidence in support of its application and receiving a visit from an independent assessor.

Jennifer Canto, Nottingham Conference Centre business development and sales manager, said: “We believe this is an important accreditation within the industry, showing customers the level of standards we are operating at.

“As an AIM accredited supplier we are committed to making our clients’ events a success and by using our expertise we strive to exceed the highest standards.”

Jane Longhurst, mia chief executive, added: “AIM is a mark of reassurance to meetings buyers; a demonstration that a venue is compliant, competent and capable. When a venue has achieved AIM Gold, buyers know the facilities will be of the highest standard and that they will receive service that is second to none with exceptional catering and hospitality.”

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Getting married in 2014?

Nestled right in the heart of Nottingham city centre, Nottingham Conference Centre offers a unique and beautiful setting for your wedding day. Marrying the old with the new, our Grade II* listed building is licensed to perform civil ceremonies and partnerships. We can host intimate celebrations or large weddings for up to 200 guests.

With our all-inclusive wedding package you can be sure that all the little details will be taken care of, leaving you to enjoy your special day. With venue hire, delicious food, drink and evening entertainment all included, as well as a dedicated wedding coordinator, we can help make planning your wedding a little easier.

To learn more and view our remaining dates for 2014 visit our wedding web pages.

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Delegates: using Twitter to enhance your conference experience

Twitter is a brilliant (and free!) tool that can be used to enhance conferences from both an organiser’s and a delegate’s point of view. In our previous post, Organisers: using Twitter to enhance your conference, we looked at ways for organisers to incorporate it into their event. In this post, we concentrate on how delegates can enhance their conference experience via Twitter.

Chances are you’ve probably already got a Twitter account. If you’re an avid user of Twitter then you can move straight on to the next paragraph. If you’ve got an account that you signed up for over a year ago and you haven’t logged into since, then now is the time to brush off the cobwebs and get tweeting. Or if you’ve never used Twitter before in your life, then a conference is a great place to start. All you need to do is set yourself up with an account at twitter.com.

Make sure you’re following the Twitter account of the conference that you’re attending or the account of the company running the conference. Next, find out what the official hashtag is. A hashtag is simply the hash symbol (#) followed by a key word or phrase. You should tag all your conference related tweets with the hashtag so other delegates can see what you are saying. Remember that the hashtag eats into your 140 character limit so make sure you leave enough room at the end of your tweet to use it.

Before your conference, use Twitter to find other delegates who are attending. Look at who is using the hashtag, following the conference account or tweeting about the topics covered. It’s great to find people online and then look out for them at your event. You can even arrange to share travel or accommodation with them in advance. Also, look out for tweets from the organisers offering information to their delegates. This can range from how to get to the venue and what menu choices are available to confirmation of keynote speakers.

On the day, pick one or two sessions that you’re going to tweet live from. Try not to spend all day tweeting or you might find you don’t engage fully with what’s going on around you. After all, you want the use of Twitter to enhance your conference experience, not impede it.

If the person next to you isn’t using Twitter then share what’s happening with them. There’s nothing worse than sitting in a room full of people using their laptops or phones and having no clue what’s going on. If you are tweeting during a speaker’s presentation, check beforehand to see if the organisers would prefer you to sit at the back and if you’re allowed to take photos or make recordings of the session.

Monitor the conference’s hashtag before and after your sessions, at lunchtime and at the end of the day. Join in with the conversation and share your thoughts on the event. Keep an eye out for any tweets from the organisers giving you last-minute information or asking for feedback.

Use Twitter after the conference to stay in touch. Companies will often post links to presentations or handouts from the conference or offer deals if you book early for their next event. You can also use Twitter to keep in contact with other delegates you met at the conference.

At the end of the day, Twitter is an excellent way for you to get more out of your conference experience.

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We can now host dinners for up to 300 guests

Central gallery news imageCentral Gallery, Nottingham Conference Centre’s contemporary open gallery space is now available for dinners. Catering for up to 300 guests, the gallery provides the perfect setting for gala dinners, banquets and award ceremonies.

This unique and flexible space can be dressed to suit any theme and can accommodate staging and lighting. In addition, the lower level of the atrium provides space for a DJ, dance floor and bar to be incorporated into your event. For smaller dinners, our beautifully restored event rooms in the Grade II* listed Arkwright building provide spaces for 50 – 200 guests.

To make an enquiry please call us on 0115 848 8000 or contact us online.

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It’s Nottingham Conference Centre’s 3rd birthday!

Birthday CupcakesThis month Nottingham Conference Centre is celebrating its 3rd birthday. We’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has helped us make the first three years a success and we look forward to many more.

As a special birthday treat, we’re offering you 3 free places per 50 paying delegates for events taking place in March, subject to availability.

Our fantastic value Day Delegate Package contains:

  • Conference room hire from 8.30 am – 5.30 pm
  • Unlimited Fairtrade organic tea, Puro Fairtrade bean-to-cup coffee and orange Capri-Suns
  • Mineral water coolers in your conference room
  • Morning pastries and afternoon handmade cakes
  • Fruit basket and sweet jars
  • Three course hot buffet lunch served in the stunning Old Library, or working finger buffet lunch
  • Fully integrated Personal Computer Pod with screen and projector, or 50″ Plasma TVs
  • Digital signage
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Climate control, floor to ceiling windows and disabled access to all rooms
  • Notepads, stationery box, flipchart and on-site AV support
  • Complimentary use of the Sillitoe Executive Lounge for breakouts and smaller meetings

To make sure you don’t miss out on this great offer, call us today on 0115 848 8000 or make an enquiry online.

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Top tips for cost-effective conferences

In the current climate, conferences and events can often be viewed as an expensive outlay. The team here at Nottingham Conference Centre have put together this post to offer advice on how to run your event on a reduced budget without compromising on quality.

Start by drawing up a budget and make sure you stick to it. Include all your costs from pre-conference administration and event insurance to post-event feedback collation. Ensure you include emergency contingencies into your planning. If you’ve considered any potential problems in advance (such as a volcanic ash cloud disrupting your keynote speaker’s travel plans), then you’ll be better placed to sort them out in good time and without spending a fortune.

Find a venue that is local to you or one that has good public transport links. This will allow your delegates and speakers to reduce their travel and fuel costs. If delegates or speakers do need to travel by car, encourage car sharing where possible. This is a great way to save money and gets delegates in touch with each other before the event. If you’ve got offices spread out all over the country, or even the world, consider using video conferencing facilities instead of paying for everyone to come to the venue.

Look carefully at what is included in your venue’s DDR. It may look like the cheap option on paper but if you have to pay for all your food and drink separately, this can soon escalate the cost. It will also help to book early. You may find that prices rise if you try to arrange everything at the last-minute. If you can’t plan ahead then keep an eye out for last-minute deals.

Use the event management services offered by your venue or an external company. They will often be able to negotiate a better deal with suppliers as they work with them on a regular basis. They will also save you the time and hassle of sorting everything out yourself.

If your event date is flexible, consider holding it in a less popular month such as August or January. Also consider the day of the week – Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays tend to be the peak conferencing days so avoid these if possible. This will give you a much better opportunity to get the best deals.

Turn your residential conference into a day conference. This will lower the costs involved considerably. Or, if you want to keep it residential, make sure the venue is within walking distance and see if your keynote speaker can cope without their expensive suite.

Avoid print costs by promoting your event via your website, email and social media. Provide handouts of presentations as downloads from your website. These are great ways to engage with your delegates before and after the event, as well as saving you money.

Most importantly, invest time into planning your event. This will put you in a much better position to see where you can make savings.

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Top tips on how to organise your office Christmas party

If you’ve been tasked with the job of organising your office Christmas party this year then don’t panic, the team here at Nottingham Conference Centre have put together this post to ensure your festive frivolities are a success.

Do you have a budget or will you and your colleagues be contributing to the costs? In smaller companies it tends to be usual for each employee to pay their own way at the Christmas parties, whereas large corporate companies host the party at their own expense.

Pick a venue. It’s usually best to head to an external venue rather than holding the party in your own office. This will make your party feel more special and saves on a lot of tidying up.

There are hundreds of places that cater for Christmas parties. From small restaurants to huge themed marquees or hotels offering residential packages, the choice is yours. Check costs, minimum numbers and availability. The later you book the less picky you’ll be able to be with your dates, however, on the other hand you might be able to pick up a bargain!

If you’re a small office you might want to consider joining a shared party to enjoy the atmosphere without a huge cost. If you’re part of a larger organisation then you might consider venues that offer exclusive use. Look for a venue that can offer you a package with food and entertainment all included – this will save you lots of time and planning headaches.

Send out invitations in plenty of time. Christmas is a busy time for most people so get your party date pencilled in as soon as possible. Remember to give an RSVP by date to save you having to chase everyone for an answer and send out plenty of reminders as the party gets closer.

Finally, on the night, remember to enjoy yourself. You may be worrying about final numbers and if everyone likes the entertainment – but it’s your Christmas party too.

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Nottingham Conference Centre Open Evening

Join us after work on Thursday 18 October and take the opportunity to view our first-class venue.

The Open Evening offers you the chance to take a tour of our conference and event facilities and discover exactly why Nottingham Conference Centre is the perfect place for your next event. Our dedicated event coordinators will be on hand to discuss your requirements and answer any questions you may have. You can also enjoy complimentary drinks and canapés on arrival.

The evening will include:

  • 5.30 pm – 6 pm: Drinks and canapés in the Old Library with a welcome from Jillian Miles, Conference and Events Operations Manager.
  • 6 pm – 6.30 pm: Guided tour of the venue including our conference and meeting rooms, bespoke event spaces and external courtyard.
  • 6.30 pm – 7 pm: Individual one-to-one appointments available to discuss your requirements with our event coordinators (please book these in advance).

To confirm your attendance, please email us or call us on 0115 848 8000.

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Don’t miss our Wedding Open Evening

Join us on Thursday 4 October between 5 pm and 8 pm for the Nottingham Conference Centre Wedding Open Evening.

We are proudly showcasing our stunning Grade II* listed buildings to couples wishing to get married right in the heart of Nottingham city centre. Following a multi-million pound investment, our beautiful venue has been lovingly restored to its former glory, making it the perfect place to say “I do.”

The Open Evening offers you the chance to view our unique venue and discuss your plans with our dedicated wedding coordinators. A selection of the region’s finest wedding suppliers will also be on hand to offer help and advice.

Confirmed exhibitors so far include:
Jakt Photography
Pauldale Foto
Simply Cakes
Pam Gibson Floral Designs
Coco Falls Chocolate Fountains
Zullo & Holland
Vince’s Music
John Lewis Gift List
Monty Manatee Weddings

Entry is free and includes a complimentary drink on arrival. To book your place, please email us or call us on 0115 848 8000.

You can find out more about weddings at Nottingham Conference Centre on our wedding webpages.

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Vote for Nottingham Conference Centre in the M&IT Awards 2013!

We’re going for gold in the Meetings & Incentive Travel Magazine Awards 2013!

These prestigious awards measure market reaction and reward excellence of service across the meetings industry. They are 100% democratic and decided entirely by your votes – there are no judging panels, no vested interest, and absolutely no favours. The awards also do a fantastic job in supporting and raising funds for the charity Save the Children.

The magazine are giving away £500 worth of John Lewis vouchers to one lucky voter, so what are you waiting for? Please follow the link below and consider voting for us in:

  • Category C – Best UK Conference Centre
  • Category L – Best Academic Venue

Vote in the M&IT Awards 2013.

Voting closes on Friday 7 December 2012 and the winners will be announced at a presentation dinner in London on Tuesday 19 March 2013.

Thank you for your support!

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