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Mice Net : December 2008
news LEFT: John Lennon lookalike entertains at the Beatles Story. BELOW: Manchester United stadium – well-suited to a variety of events. OPPOSITE: Seated for the gala dinner in The Monastery. along the Albert Dock to the Tate Liverpool, one of the largest galleries of modern and contemporary art outside London. Once inside they were officially welcomed to Discovery 2008 and mingled over ‘bowl food’ and drinks. They could also take in an exhibition which contained some of the great artists of recent times, ranging from paintings by Picasso to Andy Warhol’s iconic Marilyn Monroe series. The real work began the next day, however, with the workshops at Manchester United. As well as attending appointments, delegates were given the opportunity to tour the stadium and try their hand at some interactive virtual sports. Mr Croft says Manchester was selected as the primary venue in a bid to showcase its advantages for the business events market. “It has great access via an international airport. It has wonderful modern or traditional venues, friendly people, excellent incentive possibilities in the nearby Lakes District and is renowned for its music and sport. It also has great architecture and is an industrial city regenerated.” With the Olympics looming, however, many of the suppliers were keen to highlight opportunities in and around London. As Chris Lynn, sales and marketing director, North America and Long Haul, for Visit London, pointed out, “there’s never been a more exciting time to visit London. New hotels are being built and renovated, new sports and entertainment venues are being created and the whole city is buzzing with innovative thinking.” That evening a gala dinner was held at the newly restored St Francis and Gorton Monastery in Manchester. Not only did the grand proportions of the historic building make an awesome dining venue, they allowed room for a spectacular show from high-flying acrobats and trapeze artists. After the dinner, those with the stamina ended the evening with drinks at Cloud 23, a bar at the Hilton Hotel, Manchester. Here’s a quick look at some conference facilities, hotels and venues in the area: Manchester Radisson Edwardian, Manchester – Voted as the city’s Best Large Hotel at the Manchester Tourism Awards 2007, this venue hosted the delegates for Discovery 2008. A five-star hotel, it offers 263 rooms and can organise a residential conference for 700 people or smaller business meetings. www.radissonedwardian.com/manchesteruk_edwardian The Lowry Hotel This contemporary hotel in the recently developed Chapel Wharf area has a self-contained floor dedicated to conference and banqueting. All function suites are equipped with the latest technology, and events can be tailor-made to accommodate a maximum of 400 people. www.thelowryhotel.com/home/ Manchester United Football Club Old Trafford has established itself as a leading conference, banqueting and meeting venue. With 24 purpose-built event suites, it can accommodate a conference for 1200, a training course for 50, a banquet for 1000 or a private dinner for a few. www.manutd.co.uk mice.net 101