Birmingham’s premier independent conference venue has already started repaying the cost of a large redevelopment project after improving its turnover by seven figures in the past year.
Conference Aston, a subsidiary of Aston University, completed a £5.4m refurbishment 12 months ago, but has since hosted its two largest ever events and secured a 25% increase to its 2014/15 income compared with this time last year.
With more than 750 Islamic Network guests descending on the venue in August, the Green Party then invited almost 1,000 delegates to their annual conference at the centre in September – a month which has gone down in the venue’s record books, welcoming over 9,500 guests and generating business to the city worth almost £1million.
An increase in pupils attending summer schools from destinations such as Italy and Russia has also helped boost trade for the venue, which has seen an upturn in residential events throughout 2014 following the classification of all its 163 bedrooms to a 4* standard as part of the works.
Paul Bunce, marketing manager at Conference Aston, said: “Birmingham is going through a renaissance at the moment and the city will only get stronger once projects such as HS2 are completed.
“This thought was key for us in our aggressive redevelopment strategy and it is fantastic to see that it is already beginning to pay for itself. 2014 will go down as a record for us and, as part of the university, our profits go back into funding education and research initiatives for long term benefits.
“The Green Party and Islamic Network conferences were key for us this year and we’re already having discussions about them returning in the future, as well as the opportunity to add some really big names to our client list in the new year.”
As well as conferences which require attendees to stay overnight, Conference Aston has also seen a demand from companies in need of a holistic approach to events, making their complete offering even more appealing.
“We’ve seen a real increase in firms and their agents asking for everything to be provided in one place since we finished the redevelopment. Gone are the days when people would be ferried across London from hotel to venue after breakfast. Delegates can wake up, grab a bite to eat and attend the conference all in the same building and that convenience is something that is really starting to take precedence.”
For more information on Conference Aston call 0121 204 4300 or, alternatively, visit www.ConferenceAston.co.uk