Discovering Reading's Meetings and Event Venues with PA Life Members
MEET Beyond London and Visit Reading joined forces with PA Life in May to showcase Reading as a premier location for meetings and event venues to 10 influential Corporate PAs and EAs based in London. Our goal? To inspire event planners to think beyond the obvious and discover the untapped potential and unique conference and event spaces in this vibrant town.
What makes Reading truly stand out is its unparalleled accessibility for delegates, just a short 22-minute direct train ride from London on the Great Western Mainline, it offers a seamless connection to the heart of the capital. Not only that, the new Elizabeth Line connects Reading directly to central London and Docklands, opening up a world of possibilities for event professionals seeking convenience and ease of travel.
During our visit, we experienced first-hand the proximity of Reading's venues, every venue we explored was within a leisurely 10-minute walk from Reading Station. This level of accessibility ensures a smooth experience for both event organisers and attendees, maximizing the potential for a successful and stress-free event.
The highlights of our visit, started with the contemporary Pentahotel Reading. This six-floor concept hotel exudes style and comfort, offering 206 beautifully designed bedrooms. The venue also boasts an impressive selection of Penta Plus meeting rooms and suites, accommodating up to 250 guests in a theatre-style setup. The Pentalounge, a dynamic space for relaxation and networking, with its pool tables and PlayStations, adds an element of fun to any corporate event.
We then ventured to The Thames Lido for pre-dinner drinks, an extraordinary venue that has transformed an Edwardian Ladies' Bathing pool into a high-end restaurant, bar, pool, and spa. The abundance of natural daylight creates a refreshing ambiance, perfect for hosting standing receptions for up to 80 guests or seated events for 56.
Dinnertime was a mouth-watering experience at the prestigious Roseate Hotel Reading, known for its attention to detail and luxurious amenities. Built-in 1911 as the Shire Hall for Berkshire County Council, this listed building is an impressive luxury hotel. We savoured a delightful dinner and embarked on a tour, including a visit to their 30-seater private cinema, tailor-made for corporate presentations or VIP guests.
The following day, we explored the impressive Reading Town Hall, an awe-inspiring Grade II* listed building. With the largest theatre capacity in Reading, this venue is an ideal choice for large-scale conferences and events, just a 2-minute walk from Reading Station. The magnificent Victorian Gothic facade sets the stage for unforgettable experiences, and the state-of-the-art 750-seat concert hall speaks volumes about the grandeur that awaits. As an added delight for attendees, we were lucky enough to view the full-scale replica of the Bayeux Tapestry which is housed in the Town Hall, You guests can enjoy reception drinks in the gallery alongside this renowned medieval artwork spanning an impressive length of 70 meters.
We concluded our trip with a visit to the stunning Crowne Plaza Reading, situated on the picturesque banks of the Thames. We explored this riverside gem, including its five incredible meeting spaces. The River suite caught our attention as it offered a large flexible meeting space to host up to 250 guests, with plenty of natural daylight, and even has its own exterior entrance, giving events a touch of exclusivity. After working up an appetite, we were treated to a light lunch that was not only delicious but also beautifully presented.
We were welcomed aboard a Thames River Cruise vessel, moored in front of the hotel, which added a touch of magic to end our experience, as we took in the scenic side of Reading whilst discovering even more local businesses that can enhance events held in Reading.
To see more about the visit view the Instagram story highlights
In summary, Reading was a pleasant surprise to our guests, many who had never been to Reading before. A huge thanks go out to all the fantastic venues that put on a great showcase of their facilities and work with us to shout about all the great things they offer. Together we were certainly successful in our endeavours to place Reading front of mind, as an ideal conference and event destination. We showcased the city's accessibility, one-of-a-kind venues, and the endless possibilities it offers as a corporate event destination. We invite all event planners to consider Reading for their next gathering where you'll unlock the true potential of this hidden treasure and create unforgettable experiences that will impress clients and attendees alike.
For more information on conference and meeting venues in Reading:
Alex Brannen | Visit Reading | www.visit-reading.com/business/meet
Elaine Colley | MEET beyond London | www.meetbeyondlondon.com
Image Copyright : Alex Brannen Photography. / MEET beyond London