The X Factor; independent venues USPs

Venue Representatives at the #CCMiniExpo

Conference Care is often asked who the largest venue group is that we work with. In fact the biggest group may surprise you – it is not a global hotel chain, but independent venues. Around 35 – 40% of our clients’ business each year takes place in these fantastic venues, from bars to castles, academic venues to boats, and part of maintaining our high standard of service is ensuring we stay up to date on what’s hot and what’s new.

One of the key factors to our success as a business is communicating openly and working in partnership with venues, so in 2012, we started a series of mini expos specifically to connect and build relationships with key independent venues. Events were so beneficial to both our team and the venues who attended (and of course subsequently our clients!) that a programme of events now take place every year.

This week’s expo began (after the all-important cup of coffee) with a brief overview of the company’s history by Director Andrew Deakin followed by an open and honest Q&A session. One of the recurring points which came up during the discussion was how venues can stand out when working with a venue finding agency; in a competitive market what is it that gives them the X Factor when responding to an enquiry? Team Manager Jayne Turnor said that it’s always important to highlight at the start what really sets you apart from the crowd; the trend to seek something innovative, unusual and unique continues – unless we know a venue’s unique selling points we can’t share them with the client!

With that in mind, here is a snapshot of things you might not know about the venues who attended this week…


University Arms, Cambridge

The oldest hotel in Cambridge is currently undergoing building work to transform the University Arms Hotel. The work is led by John Simpson, a world leading architect whose previous projects include Buckingham and Kensington Palace! The venue will reopen in 2018…

Trinity Park

Set in 350 acres of parkland, Trinity Park is a unique, purpose built conference and events venue. Home to the Suffolk Agricultural Association, not only does Trinity Park host the Suffolk Show each year, but all profits from their commercial activities are ploughed back into supporting the Association’s charitable programme.

Oxford Abingdon Hotel

This venue is currently undergoing a 12 million pound refurbishment programme. Due for completion by October 2018 it promises to make the hotel one of the most modern hotels in Oxfordshire, it will reopen as the Hilton Garden Inn Abingdon Oxford.

Ellenborough Park

Ellenborough Park is the only five star hotel in Gloucestershire. Set in 90 acres of land it is a historic hotel with meeting facilities for up to 120 delegates; an indulgent 15th century country estate which has evolved into a 21st century retreat.

Revolution Bars

The Revolution Bars group has over 70 venues across the UK with five new openings this year. Every venue is different with the majority being listed buildings such as churches, post offices and banks.

The Caledonian Club

This private members club brings a little bit of Scotland into the heart of London. Adjacent to Hyde Park corner, the club offers an amazing array of malts, stocking a selection of over 80 whiskeys.

Deer Park Country House Hotel

Set in 80 acres of grounds is this 18th Century Georgian mansion. A micro cider producer, they also have a gin distillery, a tree house and can even pick you up from the station in one of their eight classic cars…

Cameron House

A beautiful five star resort set on the banks of stunning Loch Lomond, Cameron House not only offers spectacular views, but also has its very own sea plane and cruiser!


Famous for hosting some of cricket’s most prestigious events, their true strength lies beyond the boundary; here you are guaranteed a truly warm welsh welcome…

Conference Aston

Birmingham’s largest residential Conference Centre, Conference Aston has 163 bedrooms and 27 conference spaces. It is also home to a fantastic sports centre complete with Birmingham’s oldest working swimming pool, beautifully set in original Victorian features.

KCOM Stadium

Home to Hull City & Hull FC this venue has been part of Hull’s City of Culture celebrations this year. The stadium offers free tours of the venue as part of meeting packages over 20 delegates and you can even utilise their changing rooms as a meeting space.

Harbour Hotels

A collection of contemporary southern hotels, each hotel features award-winning restaurant concepts, the ‘Upper Deck Bar & Restaurant’ and ‘The Jetty’. The Southampton Harbour Hotel is a stunning contemporary hotel with a striking super-yacht design and rooftop destination bar.

Countrywide Hotels

A diverse portfolio of individual venues in key locations across the UK, the group includes Victoria Warehouse; a historic, flexible and completely unique space perfect for corporate events with an industrial urban edge.


For more information on these or any other venues do feel free to give our expert team a call on 02476 369720 or email us

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