As one of the UK’s top conference destinations and one of the most accessible, it makes sense to host your conferences and team building events in Birmingham. According to Core Cities, the National Exhibition Centre Group alone attracts more than 4 million visitors a year. With great transport links, a plethora of accommodation options and a bustling nightlife and evening scene, it’s the perfect place to get your delegates excited about your next event. But surrounded by this fantastic city, how can you keep a conference interesting and engaging for every guest?
- Choose an inspiring venue
Finding the right venue can be tough but in a city as diverse as Birmingham there’s a huge choice of engaging spaces. A great venue should meet your needs but also work to attract attendees.
Try looking at venues in Digbeth for an up-and-coming area full of quirky, hidden gems or, if you want a venue that’s easy to commute to, the city centre is ideal. There’s no need to spend hours trawling the internet either, you can access many great free venue finding services, where venue specialists hand-pick incredible locations and outdoor sites specifically suited to your company requirements.
- Try a theme to spark excitement
A theme for an awards dinner and post-conference entertainment is a great way to guarantee your event is memorable and well-attended!
Whatever your theme might be, it will act as the main thread throughout your conference or event and will be reflected in the colours, room dressing, centrepieces and even props. It might sound like a lot of work, but with professional event theming services it can all be handled superbly and efficiently.
With the Olympics coming up in 2020 and tennis having originated in Birmingham (yes, this is true!), a sports theme would be a great way of tying in the location with current events. With Birmingham as the setting for the infamous Peaky Blinders and dramatic TV series, you could even add a twist to your after-conference entertainment with a 1920s gangster theme. Prefer an event theme that’s a little quirkier? Take inspiration from Birmingham’s own J.R.R Tolkein and the local areas such as Sarehole Mill which influenced his famous work, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, with a fantasy-themed event.
- Break the Ice
When attendees first arrive at your team building event, conference or meeting, it can take a little while for everyone to come out of their shell and get involved. Break the ice early on with a fun, energetic activity such as the challenge of the Haka and get everyone laughing, chatting and engaged ready for the day ahead.
- Engage and Inspire Attendees
Add some fun activities into your conference to keep your guests’ full attention and minds refreshed. Thanks to Cadbury’s, Birmingham is now thought of as the homeland of chocolate, so why not host a chocolate making workshop as a location relevant activity to break up the day. Or if you’re looking for something more innovation focused, with Birmingham being a bustling business hub, a Wolf of Wall Street style challenge can work well to keep engaged and entertained with a stock market style team event.
- Explore the City
With more canals than Venice and more open spaces and trees than Paris, take time to explore Birmingham whilst making connections and building bonds between your guests. A treasure hunt for the whole team is the perfect way to get people talking and solving problems whilst making the most of the sights and landmarks of the city. In this competitive event you can send your delegates out in teams with the aim of being the first to return to the venue and receive a prize (top tip: while your guests are exploring Birmingham, you have extra time to convert a room from a business layout to evening event layout).
- Strengthen Communications
Make the most of having all your attendees together and reserve some time for a team building event that will help strengthen communications between departments.
Tie in your team theme with Birmingham’s history. The Forensic Science Service, which was based on Birmingham Business Park, pioneered the use of large-scale DNA profiling so why not book a CSI themed activity and try your hand at forensic investigation. Alternatively, you could follow in the footsteps of famous Birmingham musicians Duran Duran, Ozzy Osbourne and UB40 with a bandeoke team building activity. Get your delegates singing with a talented live band which will leave them feeling like the next big Birmingham breakout act.
- Network and Socialise
After an intense day of meetings and talks, let your attendees wind down with some time for socialising and networking. Why not choose some exciting acts and entertainers to captivate your guests during an evening meal or put time aside for a Birmingham themed quiz to test their knowledge on the host city.
For large conferences, free participation activities work well, such as free play games or casino events. We have a great selection of evening entertainment that can be tailored to suit your event.
Whatever you have in mind for your next event, Birmingham makes a fantastic starting point for your planning. With unusual event spaces and rich, exciting history, you can be sure your conference, meeting or team building event will be a huge success in this impressive city.
Be sure to check out our great range of team building events and make sure your next away day keeps everyone involved.