As Academic Venue Solutions gains pace to their annual conference in November, five new academic venues join the consortium bringing the total membership to 52 venues. As the only dedicated consortium to support academic venues in the UK, this is great news for Sales and Membership Director, Rachael Bartlett who said: “We’re delighted to welcome our new members who enhance the breadth and depth of Academic Venue Solutions in the UK.”
Rebranding in 2018, the Academic Venue Solutions mission is to offer member venues the opportunity to work collaboratively to generate opportunities, make new connections and educate customers about the unique offering at academic venues. With the wealth of University Campuses in the UK, with world renowned facilities, academic venues grow from strength to strength as a recognised venue style sought by event and conference organisers.
Key to membership, is the communication from the consortium to members and the bespoke approach to support venues in gaining exposure within the MICE markets. “We want to understand the expectation of our members from the outset, and help them to grow an invaluable network of peers to share best practice within the academic arena” says Rachael, “and we ask our new members to share with us the benefits they feel will help their business grow”.
When members join the consortium, we are keen to understand what they feel will be key benefits to their organisation, as we understand that these will differ from one academic venue to another. Paul Bartlett, Head of Sales for Warwick Conferences commented: “We are delighted to be associated with Academic Venue Solutions and look forward to the opportunity to raise our profile and showcase our unique offer. The collaboration will provide us with a great platform to reach and engage with the events industry, and ensure we are constantly innovating to offer our delegates the best possible experiences. We also look forward to networking with other academic venues and utilise the knowledge hub to access a wealth of information and gain invaluable insights.”
By contrast, Heather Fitzgerald, Head of Campus and Commercial Events for Falmouth Exeter Plus, and Cornwall Plus said: “We are delighted to be joining ‘Academic Venue Solutions’ to showcase our outstanding, flexible accommodation on the world-class Penryn Campus’ says Heather Fitzgerald, Head of Cornwall Plus. ‘The team are looking to collaborate with commercial and campus managers in Higher Education to share best practice and keep up to date with industry standards to foster continuous service improvement, as well as to create exciting new opportunities for growth.”
The hospitality industry is like many others impacted by current affairs, and Steve Crawford, Board Chair for AVS, who was instrumental in leading the consortium through its rebrand has commented: “I am delighted to report that since our re-branding just 2 years ago and our continual drive to focus on the needs of both our members and customers, we have welcomed 20 new members. This has been a combination of new and past members returning. Our target was to grow the membership to 90 venues by 2023 which we are on course to achieve.
The Board have reviewed all aspects of the business and have a defined strategy for the organisation to ensure that our members fees are able to deliver an ROI. The membership growth suggests we are on the right track.
With an exciting conference planned for November and the Academic Venue Showcase taking shape for next spring they are exciting days ahead.”