Focus on… Birmingham

Our new feature ‘Focus on…’ will see the team explore different towns and cities across the UK, looking at their accommodation and meeting space and highlighting some of their key features. Based in Bromsgrove we thought our first ‘Focus on…’ would only be right if we headed straight to Birmingham being right on our doorstep and Clare Pas, Hotels Relations Manager at Hotel and Travel Solutions, gives you everything you need to know.

Why Birmingham?

Located at the heart of the UK with more than 36,000 bed spaces available for delegates and an incredible range of world-class venues and state-of-the-art facilities, Birmingham is a city of choice for national and international conferences and events.

The venues deliver the experience and dedication that great events deserve, whether that is historic or sporting, purpose built or unique, the right venue can be found.

The outcome is a hassle-free and enjoyable experience for delegates, and this is before delegates even begin delving into the city’s lifestyle scene.

Birmingham’s excellent transport links

Birmingham is so easy to get to as it is right in the centre of England and well-connected by road, rail and air. There are three city centre railway stations New Street Station being the hub of the National Rail network with fast and frequent services to London’s Euston station and many other major towns and cities across the UK.

Birmingham is also at the heart of the motorway network as it’s linked by the M5, M6, M40 and M42 and upon arrival you can choose from 25,000 city centre parking spaces.

Birmingham can also boast an Airport which welcomes more than 50 airlines from over 100 destinations and home to a number of low-cost carriers, making connections to and from European and international destinations very easy.

Places to stay

There are numerous options for delegates to stay within the city depending on budget and the type of experience that is required.

An example for a budget option would be the Hallmark Strathallon - just a short distance from the city’s vibrant entertainment hotspots, but providing a deep, comfortable slumber is the heart of their business. The hotel’s range of highly flexible accommodation includes 135 rooms and suites offering everything from 53 refurbished city doubles, 17 newly refurbished Executive Doubles and 18 brand new Classic bedrooms. They have seven meeting spaces and can cater up to 170 delegates.

If you wanted to go for a mid-scale option then a good example would be the Hilton Garden Inn – a stylish hotel in the city centre. The hotel is one of the closest to the Arena Birmingham and is only a five-minute walk from the International Convention Centre and the Symphony Hall. The hotel has 238 comfortable bedrooms and their flexible meeting space holds up to 120 delegates

If you are feeling that a high-end option is more appropriate, then the Malmaison Birmingham that features 193 beautifully styled rooms and suites that are sure to deliver delegates with comfort, style, and first-class facilities.

Whatever your budget there are countless places to stay in Birmingham.

Places to meet

When it comes to the meeting, conference or event itself Birmingham offers so much. It has sporting venues, unique spaces, hotels and conference centres.

The Thinktank at Millennium Point is an entirely new visitor experience. The museum itself is the largest in the region and features 10 themed galleries over 4 floors which are available to hire for evening receptions and corporate entertainment. The adjoining Thinkbusiness Event Suite comprises of 3 interconnecting conference rooms for up to 250. Thinkbusiness also offers a 180-seat Thinktank Theatre, featuring delegate voting and video conferences, a spectacular 356-seat IMAX® 3D Cinema, a 900m2 temporary exhibition hall and a state-of-the-art 70 seat digital Planetarium.

Crowne Plaza Birmingham NEC is just an example of some of the hotels on offer. An ideal venue for business as there is 10 meeting rooms with the ability to accommodate up to 300 delegates. Set in acres of green space and overlooking the peaceful Pendigo Lake, Crowne Plaza Birmingham NEC welcomes you in to its bright, glass-fronted Lobby. It is also well placed to do business as it’s a 5 minute drive from the Birmingham Airport and Birmingham City Centre is 15 minutes away by train from Birmingham International Station.

For a sporting venue look no further than Edgbaston - it is just one of the many sporting venues that Birmingham has to offer. With 40 different meeting rooms, it’s a venue that can easily cater for individual requirements. They even have their cricket centre on site that can be used for teambuilding.

For a unique venue look no further than the National Motorcycle Museum with over 800 British motorcycles from 1898 to the present providing a historical record of a great British Industry. The museum also incorporates a state of the art and luxurious conference complex. The purpose-built conference suites range in capacity from boardroom style for 12 to theatre style for 950, offering the ideal venue for every occasion.

Whatever the meeting purpose - Birmingham can accommodate.

Places to wine and dine

Delegates will be spoilt for choice with cuisines from 27 different countries making up the Birmingham restaurant scene, offering an incredible culinary experience.

If you’re after a Michelin-starred experience then look no further as Birmingham has four restaurants; Adam’s, Purnell’s, Simpsons and Carters of Moseley.

And if you have a spare 5 minutes…(or maybe a bit more than 5 minutes)

If you have a little spare time outside of your conference or event (bleisure time as we like to call it) then why not take a look at Birminghm Cathedral which is a fine English Baroque parish church designed by Thomas Archer and is one of the most beautiful historic buildings in the city centre.

If you want to venture a little further, then why not go to Drayton Manor theme park and get your adrenaline fix on all the rides. There is also a hotel there set amongst the grounds that can offer four meeting rooms and can accommodate up to 500 people.

Still not got your adrenaline fix then why not partake in a Jaguar visitor centre in Castle Bromwich where you can get behind the wheel of the XK140, XK150s, C-type, D-type and E-type. Bring the Jaguar legend to life with a Classic Track Experience. Over half a day at a test track, you'll get to drive in some of the greatest cars from Jaguar's history.

This is just a snapshot into what Birmingham can offer. If you want some ideas on what and where to go when planning you’re next meeting or event then drop the team a line, they’d love to share with you some of their inspiration.

And on that note we’ll leave you with a final useful fact…  Birmingham is the fourth-most visited city in the UK by foreign visitors. People from Birmingham are called Brummies, a term derived from the city's nickname of "Brum", which originates from the city's old name, Brummagem, which in turn is thought to have derived from "Bromwich-ham".

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