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How to bring character to your business meeting

Do you go to a lot of meetings? Chances are, you know what to expect from a meeting room when you walk through the door. A neutral space, with white walls, large tables, and no distractions.

When you want nothing to pull focus from your message, it’s great to know you can rely on the essentials: comfortable seats, plenty of room and reliable technology.

But what happens when you want to make a different kind of impact?

Perhaps you’re welcoming international guests, curious about the history and culture of the new city they’re visiting. Your meeting might involve highly visual people, stimulated by an environment rich in colour and design. You may simply want to distinguish your event from any other: to make it memorable.

If these walls could talk

No one likes to feel like an afterthought. That simple neutral space may be functional and undistracting, but when you want to demonstrate how valued your attendees are sometimes you need that to be visible from the moment they step from the car.

Winterbourne house from the garden

The University of Birmingham’s rich history means you’ll find a wide range of meeting venues and event spaces around campus, from the classic to the cutting edge in look and feel.

But for undeniable character and unique charm, you can’t go wrong with Winterbourne House and Garden.

Built in 1904, Winterbourne was home to the Nettlefolds, a prominent Unitarian family. John Sutton Nettlefold was a businessman, philanthropist and town planning pioneer, responsible for the planning of Birmingham’s Moor Pool Estate, providing clean safe housing for the city’s working poor. Margaret was the niece of university founder Joseph Chamberlain, and cousin of World War I Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. She was also a keen gardener, and designed much of the Grade II-listed garden guided by the principles of Gertrude Jekyll.

View of Winterbourne house from the path

The house is an outstanding example of the early twentieth-century Arts and Crafts movement, popularised by William Morris. Bequeathed to the university in 1944, it has been a student hall of residence and a university department.

Now a museum and botanic garden, it’s also home to three beautiful, peaceful meeting rooms flooded with natural light and overlooking the stunning gardens. With a range of sizes and an additional beautiful coffee room on the same floor, all three offer the full range of AV facilities and equipment you’d expect from any contemporary meeting space, in a unique and distinctive location.

Pens and paper on a table in Winterbourne meeting room

Hold your meeting at Winterbourne and you attendees can enjoy the outside space as well as the quality interior. Blend your morning coffee or afternoon breakout chat with a stroll among towering Redwoods, through the cacti of the Arid House, to the beautiful Japanese bridge.

Bridge over a lake in Winterbourne garden

Looking for a festive place to visit in the run up to Christmas?

Winterbourne House & Garden is open to the public until Friday 21st December 2018, serving festive afternoon teas and plenty of winter magic.

What difference does a meeting room make?

Your brain is, primarily, an image processor:  a far larger portion of your sensory cortex is dedicated to processing visual stimuli, not verbal. That’s why you’ll respond better to a presentation that uses photographs, icons and diagrams than to one that’s a wall of text.

And that’s why holding a meeting in a unique space can add value.

Woman presenting a meeting with a flip chart

Remember the time

Giving your meeting or event a strong visual identity shouldn’t be limited to a logo, a strapline or a colour scheme. Once your attendees are in the room where it happens, you want them to remember it.

Your auditory memory may not be perfect; it’s why you make notes when you’re having an important conversation. But visual memory is incredibly powerful. Connect your message to an engaging location and it’ll always be remembered.


Find out more about Winterbourne's meeting rooms now, and give your attendees an unforgettable meeting experience.

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