Having photographed Conferences across the UK and Europe for over a decade, Jas Sansi looks at the best venues in his home city of Birmingham.
A summary of the best venues and what makes them stand out.
As we enter the Conference and Awards Season, I’ve listed a number of the outstanding venues here in Brum.
Birmingham is ideally placed at the very heart of the UK to be considered your first choice for hosting an event. 90% of the the entire country’s population is less than four hours away.
However, it isn’t geography that makes Brum the number one choice for business and leisure, its the people. I’ve enjoyed working in all of these venues and it’s always the teams who ensure the smooth delivery of events that make a difference.
Whether you’re flying in, driving or letting the train take the strain, you will receive a very warm Birmingham welcome. Let me know if I need to include any others.
IET Austin Court @IETvenues ietvenues.co.uk
Great location on the canals of Birmingham. Close to the bars and restaurants of Brindleyplace, as well as the city’s entertainment quarter, Westside BID.
IET Austin Court is like a Tardis, it looks small on the outside, but expands exponentially inside. A unique venue in historic buildings, it was also the place Theresa May learned she had become Prime Minister in 2016.
Bill Clinton enjoyed a pint in the Malthouse Pub next door during the G8 summit. There’s a photograph of him on the wall. The glass he drank out of was smashed by the President’s security detail to prevent his fingerprints being extracted.
This is Birmingham’s flagship Conference Venue. The ICC enjoy the scale and flexibility to host World Class Conferences. The in-house Catering Team, Amadeus, delivered the catering for London 2012. Usain Bolt’s 100 Meters at the Games in 9.63 seconds was fuelled by these guys.
Location is superb, there is a bridge linking the ICC to the Hyatt Regency next door. The bridge is bullet proof as it was used by Bill Clinton at G8.
The recent addition of a water feature outside the ICC demonstrates the on going investment in Brum as a destination city for business and leisure.
Inside, the ICC has recently enjoyed a complete refurbishment. The building is a bridge between the Business District of Colmore BID and the Entertainment District of Westside BID.
Part of the NEC Group and the newest Conference space in Brum. This sits on the NEC Campus lake and enjoys unparalleled transport links. You can get here by car, train, bus, or plane. The only way you can’t get to Resorts World is by water but that doesn’t stop the International Boat Show.
Resorts World is also home to Genting Hotel, and close to Birmingham Metropole and Crowne Plaza so delegates can attend and stay over without having to make the ten minute train journey to Birmingham city centre. Which would be a shame, as there is a lot to enjoy.
Affectionately known as the Fortress where England had never lost a game ahead of the Ashes in 2019, this iconic venue has fabulous conference facilities in the leafy suburb of Edgbaston.
The closest hotel is Edgbaston Park Hotel, Marriott Five Ways and Radisson Blu, but there are plans for a Hampton by Hilton to be built next door.
Lots of parking on site, 15 minute walk from the city centre and a busy bus route so easy to get to.
Birmingham’s only Premiership football team are based at Villa Park. The venue has invested heavily in producing an excellent space for Conferences and Events.
It’s a ten minute drive from the city centre, lots of parking on site and a very popular choice.
Catering is provided by Compass, who are the world’s biggest catering organisation.
This is a unique venue of choice.
A drinks reception your guests will never forget can be organised in Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery’s Roundroom.
It’s just one of several spaces available to hire in a venue that is in the top 100 most visited Museums in the world.
A Grade One listed building that has welcomed Charles Dickens, Buddy Holly and The Beatles has helped shape this venue into arguably the most iconic in Brum.
A twenty seven million pound transformation has resulted in a space that is as stunning on the inside as outside.
There’ll be a Metro Tram stop right outside next year and its a three minute walk to New Street Station.
The Great Hall is a remarkable banqueting space at the heart of the University’s Edgbaston campus.
The University is a seven minute cab ride from Birmingham City centre and is served well by bus and train transport links.
Edgbaston Park Hotel allows delegates to stay over. The University has invested heavily in recent years including a new 50 Metre swimming pool.
The Conference and Banqueting rooms are on the Mezzanine floor of Hyatt Regency Birmingham.
All of the services you would expect from a world class brand, the space is both versatile and incredible. A huge refurbishment has bought this venue up to the highest standards.
This is a very popular events space in Birmingham’s Business District.
The atrium’s roof is retractable, and is surrounded by a number of different rooms available for hire.
You have to see the refurbished bedrooms to believe them.
Currently celebrating its 25th Anniversary, Malmaison are proud to do things differently.
Did you know Malmaison Oxford used to be a prison, and the Edinburgh branch was originally a brothel. The Birmingham one doesn’t have such an interesting past, it used to be a Royal Mail sorting office.
The team at Malmaison will support you in delivering an excellent event. The hotel is situated in The Mailbox and walking distance to everywhere.
The biggest Library in Europe, the Library of Birmingham opened in 2013 and has wowed visitors ever since.
The balcony overlooking Centenary Square is one of several spaces available to hire and can be used to host the ultimate barbecue.
This is the closest hotel to New Street Station and has recently been transformed with a huge investment program.
There are 14 refurbishments meeting rooms and suites. Situated in the heart of the shopping district, this remains a very popular choice.
This is a just a few of the many spaces available for Conference and Events hire, let me know which ones I’ve missed out.
Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer specialising in Conference and Awards photography.