Ask the expert: planning an event that stands out from the rest
For anyone planning an event in Newcastle – from a board meeting to a conference – a new city centre venue, which combines the region’s rich heritage with state-of-the-art facilities, is now available to book.
Nicky Sherman, Sales and Marketing Manager at The Common Room, talks about how to plan an event to remember.
What is The Common Room?
The Common Room is the new name for the building on Westgate Road close to the Central Station, which many people will have known in the past as The Mining Institute.
Built in the late 1800s for The North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers, the Common Room has undergone a two-year refurbishment and is due to reopen this summer.
Thanks to National Lottery Players, grants of £5,650,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund combined with additional grants from other funders has meant that we’ve been able to secure the future of this amazing building and create a new hub for innovation and engineering in Newcastle.
As well as safeguarding its stunning original features, we’ve also been able to bring the event spaces totally up to date – for example by incorporating live streaming technology – so when it reopens, The Common Room will provide a beautiful and functional venue for all sorts of events, from meetings and dining to conferences and weddings.
How can people make sure their business events are safe, post-pandemic?
The Common Room can host events for up to 150 people, so of course it’s our priority to make sure that all the relevant COVID guidelines are followed, and that our guests feel safe while they are with us in the building.
I’d recommend that, whatever event you’re planning, you talk to your venue and find out what measures they have in place, such as regular lateral flow testing for staff.
We also offer live streaming so that, if you’re organising a conference for example, colleagues who may not be able to travel from overseas can still feel as though they’re present at the event.
And as part of the refurbishment, we’ve installed a new ventilation system which supplies fresh air and extracts used air, giving us high levels of air changes and purity. This is in place in our spectacular Wood Hall – combining the historic beauty of the space with the latest in technology – and our new café bar, 5 Quarter.
What makes a memorable venue for an event?
More and more, people are looking for unusual places to hold their events. The great thing about a building like The Common Room is that it is filled with character, but at the same time it has been brought up to date with all the facilities that people expect at a business event.
I think if someone attended a seminar in a space like our Edwardian lecture theatre, which is where some of the greatest innovators of the 19th century gave their ground-breaking lectures, it will definitely be something they will remember.
You might also want to consider a venue that can offer you a range of characterful break-out spaces, and somewhere guests can relax and chat after the event. If people don’t know each other well, a space like our café bar 5 Quarter will provide them with plenty of talking points to help break the ice.
And think about your guests who are travelling from elsewhere in the UK or further afield – as well as picking a location that is close to rail links, it is also a huge bonus to be able to invite them to a venue which really showcases what is great and glorious about the North East.
The Lecture Theatre at The Common Room
The Common Room of the Great North was established in 2017 to manage the redevelopment and refurbishment of the former Mining Institute building following an award from the National Lottery Heritage Fund of £4.1m. Further awards have now increased the total support to £5,650,000 and additional funder support has increased the overall support to £7.1m
The Common Room, Neville Hall, Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1SE.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by The Common Room .
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