Fast Facts for the Conference / Event Planner
Venues in Wales - here are some highlights
- The Wales Millennium Centre is available for conferences, from the 1,900 seat Donald Gordon Theatre at the heart of the offer, as well as meeting rooms and theatre space for smaller numbers. See www.wmc.org.uk for more information.
- The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff - located in the centre of Cardiff, the college boasts a 450 seat capacity acoustically excellent world class Concert Hall, 160 seat state-of-the-art Theatre, drama and movement studios and public exhibition and café-bar facilities and a renovated and upgraded 150-200 seat Bute Theatre. The college includes an award-winning restoration of the former castle mews buildings, now called the Anthony Hopkins Centre. The centre already houses two recital rooms and an outdoor court yard.
- The three-star superior Clayton Hotel Cardiff, the first of the Irish hotel chain to open in the UK. It is conveniently located in the heart of the city, adjacent to Cardiff Central Railway Station. The 12-storey hotel has 216 air-conditioned guest rooms as well as a bar, restaurant and a dedicated business centre comprising of 8 meeting rooms, accommodating up to 115 delegates. For more information, visit http://www.claytonhotelcardiff.com/
- The Celtic Manor Resort, the venue for the Ryder Cup 2010 and The Nato Conference 2014, has been named the UK’s Best Hotel at the Meetings & Incentive Travel Industry Awards for the last 5 years in a row. The award was voted for by readers of Meetings & Incentive Travel magazine. The five-star resort offers 400 bedrooms in two hotels, an additional country inn, convention centre, three championship golf courses, six restaurants and two spas and health clubs. It’s easily accessible, just off Junction 24 of the M4 motorway, 30 minutes east from Cardiff and just 2 hours from London. www.celtic-manor.com
- The £20m Cardiff School of Management building at the Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff has conference and meeting rooms that can be used for seminars, conferences and networking events and a range of professional development courses on leadership and management will be offered to businesses and organisations. More information the facilities available at UWIC can be viewed on its website www.uwic.ac.uk
- After a £30 million build, Cardiff City Stadium is the second largest stadium in Wales, seating around 26,000 spectators.
Home to Cardiff City Football Club and Cardiff Blues RFC, the venue has two large conference spaces that can accommodate more than 600 delegates each, and can be combined to accommodate up to 1,200 delegates. It also has 14 boxes some of which can be used as smaller meeting areas or breakout rooms. The venue has complimentary parking for up to 1,250 cars. For more information visit www.cardiffcityevents.co.uk
- Chapter Arts Centre, one of Europe's largest and most dynamic arts centres, has undergone a major £3.8 million refurbishment programme. Home to many of Wales’ best-known and award-winning names in theatre, dance, music, art and animation, Chapter also has a number of hire spaces and hospitality packages available to the corporate market. This includes the newly revamped Cinema One and Cinema Two, which can hold 188 and 57 delegates theatre style respectively, and First Space and Media Point, which are flexible and welcoming spaces, both of which hold 50 delegates theatre style. For more information see www.chapter.org
- University of Wales, Newport opened a new £35m city-centre campus in January 2011 as the first phase of an intended two-phase £50m development for the University with partnership funding from Newport City Council and the Welsh Assembly Government. The state-of-the-art campus has a mix of social spaces, quiet areas and access to bespoke seminar facilities. The building will also house a number of lecture theatres which will hold a maximum of 186 delegates in theatre-style seating, with most facilities available for conference delegates. More information is available at www.newport.ac.uk
- Set in 600 acres of Pembrokeshire National Coast Parkland is the historic country residence, Slebech Park. After a £4million refurbishment the 18th century, grade II listed building has extensive gardens, woodland trails and a 12th Century chapel as well as state of the art conference and meeting facilities for the corporate market. The main corporate facilitates are housed in the venue’s coach house where a maximum of 100 delegates can be accommodated theatre style. There is also the harbor room, a semi permanent structure which can hold up to 200 delegates banquet style. Other options include the stable, a number of syndicate rooms, or the terrace of the main building which offers unique water’s edge location. For information can be found at www.slebech.co.uk
- The 46-bedroom cliff-top St Brides Spa Hotel has launched six new luxury-styled apartments to the corporate market. Each apartment has two bedrooms, a lounge, contemporary kitchen area and limestone bathrooms. It has also opened its fourth conference room that can accommodate 20 delegates boardroom style. This is in addition to St Brides’ three existing sea view suites: the Cliff Room which can host 100 delegates theatre style; the Harbour Room which can host 60 theatre style and the Boardroom, which can host 40 delegates theatre-style www.stbridesspahotel.com
- The Grove is an 18th century country house which has opened its doors to the corporate market. Situated in 24 acres on the edge of the Pembrokeshire National Park, the newly refurbished venue offers views across the Preseli Hills and is within walking distance from the market town of Narberth. The venue has 12 accommodation rooms and four self contained cottages. All rooms are individually styled and finished to a high quality, luxury standard, featuring cast iron baths, quality linen, Ren bath products and original modern artwork. The Grove has three rooms available to the corporate market. Its largest room, the Garden Room, has its own private terrace and can cater for a maximum of 22 delegates theatre style. The panelled room can hold a maximum of 16 delegates theatre style and the study can hold 10 delegates theatre style. The whole venue can be hired exclusively. The venue is located 15 minutes from the coast and it can arrange management team building activities by linking up with local providers such as coasteering and surfing. www.thegrove-narberth.co.uk
- The £6.5m Eirias Park is north Wales’s latest sporting venture, located in Colwyn Bay, it offers delegates the chance to combine meetings with team building, outdoor events space and corporate hospitality. The venue will be available for exclusive hire, and will comprise a 3,000 seat sports stadium with nine boxes, an indoor events and training centre including indoor rugby pitch, a boating lake and an outdoor event space similar in size to a standard Olympic athletics track.
- The Quay Hotel and Spa, Deganwy, located on the north Wales coast on the edge of the Conwy Estuary, has recently unveiled its newly refurbished conference and meeting rooms. Its meeting facilities have been moved from the ground floor to the first floor creating space for 140 extra delegates. The largest of its conference rooms, the Castle Suite, can hold a maximum of 240 delegates theatre style and can also be partitioned into two rooms. The Tegid and Vyrnwy suites can hold 80 and 60 delegates theatre style respectively. The venue also offers the option of a number of breakout rooms. More information can be found at www.quayhotel.co.uk
- Nant Gwrtheyrn is a refurbished Victorian village located in a 250 acre site that offers conference organisers the chance to hold their events in a range of meeting places. The village is located in a private valley overlooking its own beach. The recent investment has provided new conference facilities in a newly refurbished building for up to 350 delegates theatre-style, and 150 banquet-style with the option of creating multi-room meetings. Accommodation is available for 80 delegates which is located in the refurbished Victorian quarry cottages within the village site and the newly refurbished Plas Education centre. For more information see www.nantgwrtheyrn.org
- For a comprehensive list of meeting venues in Wales
Some incentive ideas
- Angela Gray has opened a cooking school at Llanerch Vineyard. She is a food writer, broadcaster, consultant and former chef to the rich and famous. It offers an exciting programme of courses and events including one and two day courses, taster courses, cookery demonstrations, private dining functions and corporate events with three challenge days. The vineyard and accommodation has being transformed and has just re-opened, offering daily vineyard tours and wine tasting. www.llanerch-vineyard.co.uk www.angelagray.co.uk
- A new fun Taste of Wales cookery break is also available at The Vale Resort, Wales’ highest 4-star rated hotel located just 15 minutes from Cardiff with excellent leisure facilities and 2 golf courses. It’s hosted by Sian Bassett Roberts and the Coginio (Welsh for Cooking) team. Sian is a Welsh Food Consultant and broadcaster and is a regular voice on the Welsh television channel S4C. Delegates get to cook a variety of Welsh dishes for their lunch and learn a few Welsh words! www.vale-hotel.com
- Located in the International Sports Village in Cardiff Bay, the white water centre is the UK’s first on-demand white water rafting facility. The facility can offer delegates team-building packages for up to 60 delegates and activities range from canoeing, kayaking and white water rafting. Delegates can take part in a full day or a half day course choosing either flat water or white water activities or a mixture of both. There is also the option for the centre to link up with other water sport providers to offer delegates the full water sport experience. The centre also provides a meeting room for 60 delegates with on-site catering.
- Challenge Wales is the latest corporate team building activity to hit Wales’s shores in the form of the 72 foot round-the-world yacht. Based in Cardiff Bay, Challenge Wales offers delegates a unique sailing experience around the Welsh coastline either for day trips or overnight visits. The vessel can cater for 12 guests and six crew and each trip can be tailored to each client’s needs. All funds raised from corporate bookings goes to a charity that aims to help young people develop life skills including communication, responsibility and self esteem. www.challengewales.org
- Wales is known as the Land of Song so it’s entirely appropriate that Sing and Inspire in Cardiff has been set up to train, motivate and develop people in business through song. It offers a unique experience that is proven to help develop confidence, body language, presentational skills and dealing with stress. www.singandinspire.com
- Delegates are getting involved with some monkey business at Wales’s two new Go-Ape hire-wire forest adventure centers. The new centers at Pembray in south Wales and Coed-y Brenin in north Wales gives delegates the opportunity to experience a high wire forest adventure using ladders, walkways, swings, bridges and tunnels made of rope, wood and wire in the forest canopy. The courses provide various options for on-site catering including breakfast bacon-rolls, picnic packed lunches and the day can be rounded off with a forest barbecue. The course can be hired exclusively and can cater for up to 250 delegates at any one time. If needed, on-site fully equipped meeting rooms are available. Go-Ape already has a site in south Wales at Margam Park.
- Quack Pack was set up by farmer and sheep dog handler, Meirion Owens, to offer delegates the chance to learn duck herding with the help of his seven dogs and 80 Indian Runner ducks. Quack Pack can cater for up to 200 delegates at any one time and can either work one-to-one or in groups of 30 to 40 delegates. Delegates learn to navigate the ducks through the course by using a series of four verbal commands directed to the dogs. www.quackpack.co.uk
- For more incentive ideas please check out our detailed factfiles.
An example of facilities and venues in Wales
- The £121million Principality Stadium (formerly Millennium Stadium) is Europe’s largest retractable roof arena, with a capacity for 72,500 spectators. It has 124 executive boxes that can cater for 16-32 people, and seven banqueting suites for corporate entertaining from 12 to 400 people (reception style). The design of the stadium is so versatile that it can also host large scale exhibitions.
- St David’s Hotel and Spa in Cardiff offers 132 guest rooms, eight meeting rooms that can accommodate up to 45 people theatre style and two conference suites, accommodating up to 270 theatre style in the Dylan Thomas suite and 200 theatre-style in the Roald Dahl suite. Both have own dedicated pre-function area and can be divided into two suites if required. All have natural daylight, video conferencing facilities and a 24-hour business centre. www.thestdavidshotel.com
- Hilton International in Cardiff is the city’s largest capacity hotel. The 197 bedroom five star hotel is located in the city centre overlooking the castle and civic centre. Rooms are available for a range of events with the ballroom holding up to 350 people, the Castle and Friary rooms holding up to 170 people, the Sophia room holding up to 50 people, the Roath room holding up to 40, the Victoria room holding up to 20 people and the Bute room holding up to 14 people. The business centre provides IT equipment, ISDN lines and broadband services. Since its inception, the business centre has become a drop-in service for business men and women in the city who may need somewhere to work for short periods during the day. www.hilton.co.uk/cardiff
- The Celtic Manor Resort, Newport - Host for the 2010 Ryder Cup golf tournament and The Nato Summit 2014, the 333-bed five star resort is one of Europe’s largest residential conference, leisure and golf venues. It offers a 1,200 sq metre Exhibition Hall, dedicated entrance and reception, 31 syndicate and meeting rooms, video-conferencing, business centre, registration areas and organisers’ offices. The Caernarfon Suite accommodates 1,500 delegates theatre style or 800 for banquets. www.celtic-manor.com
- Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff - The main arena offers organisers 4,500 sq metres of purpose built exhibition space or can alternatively accommodate 500 to 5,000 delegates using flexible seating layouts plus banqueting for 300-1,500 guests. This is complemented by 40 meeting areas, ranging from executive boardrooms for two to conference suites for up to 400 delegates. www.livenation.co.uk
- St David’s Hall, Cardiff - Versatile building that includes an auditorium that has been ranked as sixth best in the world and is capable of seating for up to 1,500 people theatre style; three meeting rooms with capacity that ranges from 25-70 theatre style together with various foyers and bar areas that can be used as additional meeting and exhibition space (up to 4,500sq ft) www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk
- Park Plaza, Cardiff - is a four-star, 129-bed property. It has wireless Internet connectivity throughout and offers sleek and comfortable meeting space for conferences, seminars, training sessions, exhibits, and special events for up to 160 people. There are nine meeting rooms and two large function rooms with on-site meetings and events teams to facilitate all requests. The Civic Suite comprises five rooms - four of which are permanently set up board room style to accommodate 18, the 5th room can take up to 25 board room style. www.parkplaza.com/cardiffuk
- Mercure Holland House Hotel & Spa, Cardiff - The four-star hotel has 16 modern conference suites, the largest of which can cater for 700 people. All rooms have natural daylight, black-out curtains and air-conditioning with video conferencing, Broadband lines and specialist equipment available for hire.
- Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff - There are five function rooms available for private hire located on level two and three of the Wales Millennium Centre. All rooms are air conditioned and have natural daylight. In addition, there is also a 250 tiered seating Studio, plus two rehearsal rooms and the Donald Gordon Theatre which can hold up to 1900. www.wmc.org.uk
- Cardiff City Hall, Cardiff - Within the Renaissance exterior of City Hall can be found rooms of all sizes including the spacious Assembly Room that can host a conference for 600 delegates, while the Marble Hall can be used for presentations and receptions. www.cardiffcityhall.com
- The National Botanic Garden of Wales, Carmarthenshire - The Great Glass House can accommodate up to 270 people theatre style, providing a stunning back drop to any event. Theatre Botanica, one of only two in Europe, is purpose built as a revolving audio-visual centre with 360 degree viewing. It has seating capacity for 55 people, fully equipped with projector and screens, ISDN links, and excellent surround sound and lighting. Other conference suites are available ranging in size from boardroom for eight delegates to theatre style for 80 delegates. www.gardenofwales.org.uk
- The sensitively restored Georgian Dylan Thomas Centre can accommodate conferences and meetings from two people to 200, in nine separate rooms. The facilities include a theatre that seats 118. www.swansea.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=1629
- Opened in 1934, the Brangwyn Hall is one of the principal cultural locations in Swansea. The complex has over 10 rooms available for conferences and meetings, they range from the magnificent Brangwyn Hall which can seat just over 1000 down to the smallest Committee Room, to seat 20. www.swansea.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=1452
- Llangoed Hall, Llyswen - A four star hotel owned by Sir Bernard Ashley in the heart of Mid Wales. Twelve people can be seated in the boardroom, while the library caters for 20 and the Orangery caters for 50. www.llangoedhall.com
- The Metropole, Llandrindod Wells - The 120-bed hotel has completed a £1.2 million investment to add a new conference suite and overhaul the existing restaurant. The new suite can cater for 200 delegates but can also be separated into three smaller rooms with sound proof dividers. In addition, the hotel has a further 14 conference suites which can cater for up to six to 250 delegates, exhibition facilities and 122 ensuite bedrooms. Leisure facilities are available in the pool and health suite. Won the Business Tourism Award 2005 at the former Wales Tourist Board’s National Tourism Awards www.metropole.co.uk
- Lake Vrynwy Hotel - situated in a 24,000 acre country estate, the 35 bed-Lake Vyrnwy Hotel offers a dramatic setting for conferences, corporate entertainment, team building, training and special events. The Tower Suite has 1,400 sq ft of space that can be flexibly adapted to suit large or small meetings. www.lakevyrnwy.com
- Venue Cymru - Having undergone a £10m redevelopment, Venue Cymru, formerly the North Wales Conference Centre, reopened in Autumn 2006. Largest, purpose-built conference venue in North Wales; hosts more than 20 specifically designed conference spaces from small meeting rooms for less than 10 people to the new 1,550sq metre arena for up to 5,000 people. The original conference rooms have also been given a face-lift to match the modern, airy feel of the new extension. New facilities include broadband throughout and a dedicated delegate business centre, as well as controllable air conditioning and dimmable lights in most rooms. New on-site restaurant providing catering from cold finger buffets to banquets for more than 1,000 delegates www.conference.venuecymru.co.uk
- Elegantly Victorian, The Imperial Hotel is situated on Llandudno’s promenade. Business guests have a choice of five conference suites which accommodate 2-150 delegates with a wide range of audio-visual equipment is available in-house. www.theimperial.co.uk
- Conwy Business Centre, Llandudno Junction - Has a suite of rooms that accommodate from two - 25 people, and a purpose-built exhibition and conference hall with a capacity for up to 150. www.conwy.gov.uk/doc.asp?cat=3159&doc=14741
- St Georges Hotel, Llandudno - This historic four-star hotel has a 150-year history, including six British Prime Ministers staying at the hotel from Disraeli to Tony Blair. It has undergone a £3.5 million refurbishment programme and its business offering includes six meeting rooms catering form 10 to 250 delegates and a newly installed Wi-Fi network, together with Broadband data points in all bedrooms and function rooms. www.stgeorgeswales.co.uk
- Portmeirion, Gywnedd - Built 75 years ago and made famous as the setting for 1960’s cult TV series The Prisoner, The Portmeirion Hotel and Village is set on its own wooded peninsula overlooking Cardigan Bay in Snowdonia. A winner of Visit Wales's ‘Best Place to Stay in Wales’ award, Portmeirion sits in 145 acres of woods and farmland, and the whole peninsula is surrounded by miles of sandy beaches. The venue is available for small, top level meetings and also for large corporate hospitality events. All or part of the village and its grounds can be taken over for the duration of the event. The main hotel building has a conference room which seats 30 delegates boardroom style and 50 theatre style. The 17th Century Hercules Hall, 100 yards from the hotel, seats 150 theatre-style and has its own catering facilities. www.portmeirion-village.com
Incentive Travel Ideas
- Quack pack involves just one man and his dog and a herd of sheep. Delegates watch, listen and then have a go at herding up the sheep by using just four commands. www.ewe-phoria.co.uk
- Team spirit will be galvanized with a Dryad Bushcraft team building experience on the stunning Gower peninsula. The day begins with a shipwreck situation! www.dryadbushcraft.co.uk
- Coasteering is a wild combination of scrambling, climbing, traversing, cliff jumping and swimming that was first developed in Pembrokeshire in the 80s and 90s and has now taken off all over the world. www.preseliventure-corporate.co.uk