This month, we bring the spotlight onto one of our busiest stadium venues, the Royal Berkshire Conference Centre in Reading. We talk to Rob Brumell our new General Manager, who has recently joined the venue from Twickenham Stadium and brings with him a wealth of operational, sales and marketing knowledge. 

Lime Venue Portfolio: Hi Rob, for those that don’t know, please can you give us a quick introduction to your venue?

RB: The Royal Berkshire Conference Centre is a great facility based in the Madejski Stadium, home to Reading FC.

With 12 Suites and 28 boxes RBCC is able to hold events from 2 to 700 people, this would include board meetings, conferences, exhibitions, banqueting, weddings, Asian Weddings and Christmas parties. We have an absolutely fantastic location just off the M4 and plenty of parking. It’s great to see the excitement of guests and delegates as they arrive at the venue.

LVP: Are there any new interesting things at the venue. New menus? Packages? People? Spaces? Offers?

RB: We have had great feedback from our 2016 Christmas parties and many have already started booking for next year which is a superb testament to the quality of the parties we delivered. We have already launched our theme for 2017 which is Willy Wonka and our January sale is in place allowing early bookers to do so at last year’s prices.

It’s an exciting theme that the entire team can be a part of, from chocolate bars with golden tickets being issued to market the parties to the theming of the facilities on the day itself. We plan to have a showcase event in the future so watch this space.

LVP: Christmas planning is truly an year round consideration then?

RB: Yep, it really is. But because we always like to have fun with it, it doesn’t get boring. It’s fun, being creative, coming up with ideas, making sure everything is just right! We have 12 months to go to the next party season, and our plan is to improve each and every year.

LVP: Come next Christmas things could be very different though. With Reading flying high in the Championship at the moment we all hope they get promotion. What would that mean for your meetings and events business?

RB: For meeting and events it would be superb, the attraction of being a Premier League club undoubtedly enhances the desire for people to hold events here which we would thrive on. We’re certainly already there from a venue facilities and infrastructure perspective and last year hosted the Stadium Experience Awards. We’ve tasted it before and hopefully we’ll taste it again.

LVP: What are the top 3/5 things, that #eventprofs need to know when considering choosing Royal Berkshire Conference Centre for their events?

RB: There’s so many great things about hosting an event at RBCC that we want event buyers to know. But the main ones for me have to be:

Our excellent transport links. We’re easy to get to by plane, trains or automobile

We have loads of Free car parking.

All our spaces and facilities are in the same stand reducing logistics of breakout rooms and enabling us to provide a better service.

We have an onsite hotel with great facilities and gym access.

A warm welcome. We pride ourselves on creating a great experience for our guests from start to finish. From walking through our dedicated reception and conference entrance with its inspirational frescos to receiving a attentive service from our team of event managers and host.

LVP: How important do you think food is to delegates during meetings and conferences?

RB: Food is vital during meetings and conferences, it helps to break up the day and refuel to help engagement between delegates and facilitators.

At RBCC we offer a variety of options allowing organisers to choose between formal sit down options through to informal dining allowing networking between delegates.

LVP: What are your 3 top tips for organising a meeting

RB: My first tip would be to utilise the venue and the team, most venues have had a number of events similar to yours and they will have a wealth of knowledge that you should utilise in helping you to plan yours.

Secondly utilise a venues contacts – this can include AV suppliers and hire companies. The venue may have preferential rates with reduced delivery costs which will help you to focus your budget in other areas.

Finally venues can be very flexible on requests if given enough time, discuss options with the venue and make contact regularly as the event world is always evolving and new ideas come around.

LVP: What do you think the future holds for live events?

RB: Virtual reality is huge at the moment, not only in the gaming world but it can be utilised to walk someone through a venue without even being there but can be utilised to engage with delegates who are actually attending the conference. Watch this space. (Did you see what I did there!)

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