Photography by Aniseed Photo
Over 200 guests came to The Great Hall, Queen Mary University London, 22 November, to see the best in class of the UK’s academic venue community honoured for their achievements at the inaugural CN Academic Venue Awards (AVA) held in association with Kinetic Solutions.
MC for the evening, VisitBritain and Visit England’s new head of business events Kerrin MacPhie, said: “Academic venues contain many of our most dedicated and often unsung event professionals…Academia is a place for uncapped blue-sky thinking and dreaming big. A beautiful fit with our events industry.” She added that academic venues had done a lot of emerge as a cohesive group, “and it is only fitting that this marketing effort is being recognised and helped to a new qualitative level”.
University of Leeds picked up a hat-trick of awards, winning the accolades for Best Accommodation, Best Accessibility and Best Residential Venue.
Venuemasters member venues scooped 9 of the 12 awards up for grabs and the marketing consortium’s general manager, Natalie Williamson, said: “I’m delighted that our member venues are topping the awards lists once again. They work so hard on their sales, marketing and operations, and this is a fitting end to a very successful year for all our members. Well done to everyone.”
The Art Deco Great Hall within the iconic People’s Palace was a fitting backdrop and Jennie Powell, QMUL’s head of events, said: “It’s important that academic venues showcase themselves to the widest possible audience to demystify stereotypes. As these are the first ever AVAs, we felt it was important to get them into our venue to show the investment QMUL has made and to shine a spotlight on what the space is capable of to buyers and competitors alike.”
Other award winners on the night were:
Best Conference Venue – Solent Conference Centre, Southampton Solent University
Best Exhibition Space – Ambika P3, University of Westminster
Best Outdoor Space – Nottingham Conferences
Best Catering Service – De Montfort University
Best In-House Technology – 1 Wimpole Street
Best Customer Service – College Court Conference Centre & Hotel
Best Non-Residential Venue – Nottingham Conference Centre
Best Training Venue – Well Met at Leeds Beckett University
Best Wedding Venue – The Devonshire Dome, the University of Derby