Great conference venues: one of our favourites

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We recently attended a financial event in Manchester which was held in the conference rooms at the Macdonald Manchester Hotel & Spa.

Business events can live or die on the strength of the venue they’re held in, but in this case, we were so impressed with this Manchester conference venue that we felt we should share it with you.

Having been to several events over the years, you get a feel for what makes a good conference venue, and this is certainly one of the finest I’ve been to.

So what makes a great conference venue, and why does the Macdonald Manchester Hotel tick all the boxes for us?

There are a number of things which you look for in a great conference venue, and when you attend as many as we do, you start to get a feel for what’s good and what isn’t. Here are a few of our tips:


Sounds obvious, but is the venue really suitable for the event you’re attending? For those hosting an event, there’s no point in choosing a venue that is totally at odds with your corporate image and won’t suit or appeal to your target audience. Within the financial industry there needs to be the right balance between formal and welcoming, and this is where we felt the Macdonald Manchester excelled as it has the mix just right.


For me, this is the most important factor when it comes to good venues, and again, why the Macdonald Manchester really chimed with me. The hotel is in a great city centre location and is accessible from all the major transport links. I’ve had to drag trolley suitcases to inconvenient locations often enough to understand why this matters, so to find a venue that is 1 minute away from the main rail link (Piccadilly Station), 25 minutes from Manchester Airport and easily accessed by the M60 motorway network is a big plus.


Another factor that makes the difference between a successful business event and one you can’t wait to get away from. Conference rooms need to be suitable for the event; too big and you lose any sense of personality, too small and you lose focus. Like Goldilocks, meeting rooms need to be just right, the Macdonald scored big for me here. There are a total of 12 rooms, all of which are air-conditioned (believe me, this matters) and all have their own reception area, kitchen and separate break-out space, this makes you feel more like you’re in your own office space rather than an impersonal venue.


We were well served by the facilities in the Macdonald Manchester; aside from the fact that each meeting room is self-contained, all rooms are equipped with up-to-the-minute technical equipment (this varies depending on the size of the room) and each is fitted with hearing induction loops. Another major plus is that all of them have plenty of natural daylight, you might not have considered this, but sitting under strip lighting all day is never good, so this helps a lot. Catering packages are available for all rooms and events and what you receive depends on the type of event you’re having.

If you need to stay overnight, the hotel also offers rates for business customers attending meetings and conferences. An overnight stay at the hotel also gives you the chance to get out and explore some of the sights and sounds of the city knowing that after a busy day, your bed is just a short walk/train/tram away.

You can find out more about the hotel and rates for business events by visiting their website at if you’re in the Manchester area, go in and have a chat with the events team, you’ll find them at:

Macdonald Manchester Hotel & Spa

London Road


M1 2PG

0161 272 3200

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