Academic Venue Show promises bright ideas

The Academic Venue Show is just weeks away and organisers are gearing up for another great event. Forty-two stands have been sold to 43 member venues and with sponsors' and organisers' stands there will be over 45 exhibitors at the event. There will also be a seminar programme, with Ruby Wax as the headline act.

One of Britain's best-known TV personalities, Ms Wax has become a leadership consultant and executive coach in recent years, working with the likes of eBay, Johnson and Johnson, Microsoft, Orange and London Business School.

She has completed an MSc in Psychotherapy and a course in neuroscience, regularly speaking at conferences on successful communication techniques.

Julie Wright, acting marketing manager at Venuemasters, which runs the Academic Venue Show, said that landing such a big name was a real coup for the event.

"Booking Ruby Wax as our keynote speaker has helped a lot with publicity and there's been a lot of interest in the event," she explained.

Ms Wax is not just there to be a famous face, however.

"Ruby has spoken at industry events, like Confex, in the past. So, we know her sessions have gone down well with event organisers and thought it would also be relevant for our show," Ms Wright commented.

The American's seminar also ties in with the theme for the conference - "bright ideas for your next event" - as she will be talking about how to improve communications to inspire clients and colleagues.

Other workshops will also centre around this theme, with speakers offering advice on event planning and venue finding.

Presenters include Mike Lyon and Peter Rand, who are "both very popular industry speakers".

"The bright ideas theme also relates to venue finding and some of the great reasons for using academic venues such as competitive rates and flexible facilities," Ms Wright commented.

This year the event is being held at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal FC's fantastic new home ground.

"We're always looking to keep it exciting and keep a buzz about the event and I think the Emirates Stadium is the perfect setting. It's certainly got the wow factor," Ms Wright commented.

Organisers have also managed to attract six new exhibitors this year, including the University of St Andrews, which is new to the Venuemasters consortium, which represents academic venues in the business and leisure tourism market.

Other venues appearing at the show include King's College London, Keele Conferences, the University of Liverpool, Nottingham Conferences, Venue Essex, Warwick Conferences, the University of Manchester and Edinburgh First.

The aim is to get 400 people through the door on the day. In the past one in three people registering actually attended the event so organisers are targeting 1,200 registrations.

"We're actually up on the same point last year and we're almost at the 1,200 mark now," Ms Wright confirmed.

The free event takes place on May 12th from 10am to 4pm. Register online at

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