Academic venues – a change in perception?

Posted on 19th August 2015 by Rob Chamberlain

In years gone by, if somebody suggested using university facilities for a conference or event, the first thing that would spring to mind would be run down lecture theatres that hadn’t been refurbished in the last 30 years and accommodation that was more akin to an old style boarding school.

However, times have changed and so has the perception of what a university can offer. That’s largely due to the introduction of increased student fees which means universities are investing more than ever in their facilities so they are more attractive to students. This in turn is having a positive impact on the attractiveness of universities conference facilities to commercial markets and there is a definite upturn in business as event organisers see the value they offer.

As the conference and events arm of Loughborough University, imago has seen great success over the last few years with many events benefitting from our association with an academic institution from access to industry leading speakers to the world class sporting facilities.

To provide clients with a real return on investment, we’ve worked with clients to uncover their core objectives, and then been able to call upon the knowledge of the university to enhance conference programmes and increase value to those attending.

Our focus on winning new business from the association and not for profit sectors was born of our access to the university’s academic excellence. They are a key target market because of the synergy between what they want to achieve and the range of facilities we have available.

This shift in has proved incredibly successful. A prospering relationship with Let Me Play a strong example of this. Let Me Play is a sports and education organisation that delivers programmes across the UK, providing young people with opportunities to play their chosen sport in a safe and secure environment.  Through Loughborough University, imago’s level of sporting facilities has opened the door for this business relationship to blossom and it is just one of many examples as to how the tide is turning for academic venues.

Event organisers are constantly looking for fresh ideas and different creativity but you would be hard pressed to find any venue that matches up to what an academic facility can offer when it comes to new and innovative.