. . .so treat them differently, says Keele Management School’The more that delegates participate, the more they benefit’ is an accepted truth for most kinds of conferences and corporate events. However, Keele University suggests, not all delegates are alike. They require, says Keele, different kinds of environments in which to be at their best. ‘Organisers should be encouraged’, Keele goes on, ‘to do more with meetings and conferences than simple Powerpoint presentations in theatre-style layouts.
More needs to be done to encourage everyone to get involved, not just those who excel at presenting in front of large groups of people.’
Keele University Conferences and Events won a gold award for Business Tourism in 2013 and has welcomed more than 125,000 visitors to Keele University campus in the last 12 months.
The university venue has been using its academic connections to work in co-operation with Professor Emma Bell from Keele Management School to explore how a mix of conferencing methods can be the best way to get the most from delegates.
The collaboration has helped to reveal the benefits of using breakout areas, exhibition space and the great outdoors for conferences. By using a mix of different spaces, it believes, organisations have a better chance of engaging the various different types of delegates attending a conference from modest analysts to rising stars.
Professor Bell says: ‘Conferences are an important rite of passage for working professionals who can use this opportunity to demonstrate their proficiency in a face-to-face environment. In order for this to work, you need delegates actively to participate and engage in the event.’
The venue has a 13-strong team offering a full event management service. Not surprisingly, Keele has as many as 75 spaces to hire, from the impressive Grade-II listed Keele Hall, through to the professional training facility of Keele Management Centre. The venue also offers up to 2,000 rooms during vacation periods.
Sam Booth, Head of Conferences and Events at Keele University, says: ‘It’s been a busy year for us at Keele and we’ve been working to upgrade a number of our facilities, including improving our on-site signage and rolling out free Wi-Fi across campus’.
The Keele events team will be at Confex 2014 at Olympia, London, stand C20.
Pictured: Professor Emma Bell from Keele Management School; Sam Booth, Head of Conferences and Events