In July 2019, Swansea University played host to the prestigious College and University Business Officers (CUBO) summer conference. Representing universities across the UK and Ireland, CUBO is “the professional association for senior managers of university commercial and campus services” and aims to “promote excellence in the development of campus life and student experience”.
The CUBO Summer Conference is the flagship event in the CUBO calendar, and such a high profile event required meticulous planning and for Swansea University to provide innovative solutions to 3 key challenges:
- A single site to fit up to 300 delegates and exhibitors
CUBO felt this was important, but difficult to find. A number of venues offered no accommodation, or delegates were required to travel considerable distances between residences, meeting rooms and exhibition space. For the 2019 Summer Conference, CUBO were keen to offer delegates a convenient compact location, with everything in easy distance.
- Great access to exhibitors
Feedback from previous CUBO conferences highlighted that exhibitors felt they did not have enough face time with delegates throughout the conference. They were either located away from the main plenary and breakout spaces, or they were split across multiple locations with differing footfall. CUBO were determined to act on this feedback and offer an improved experience for exhibitors in 2019.
- Adding a ‘wow’ factor
The delegates attending the CUBO Summer Conference attend a number of conferences within the industry each year, therefore it was important for the organisers that CUBO stood out from the crowd and offered delegates a different experience.
Swansea University’s Bay Campus is a perfect conference venue, with accommodation, meeting rooms, exhibition space and dining areas all being within 3 minutes of each other. The event was well signposted, with temporary footprints on the floor helping to guide delegates between spaces.
A robust and spacious marquee was assembled on the grass directly behind The Great Hall, where the conference was taking place. The exhibition was housed within the marquee, as were refreshments and lunch. This was an ideal solution for exhibitors and delegates, as each stand was given equal prominence and exposure throughout the conference. Facing the sea, the marquee provided a picturesque location for delegates to enjoy lunch, network and recharge between sessions.
CUBO’s Summer 2019 Conference was the first in a long time to take place in Wales, therefore Swansea University worked closely with the event organisers to provide subtle Welsh touches throughout the conference. Fresh Welsh cakes were baked in the marquee and miniature bottles of spirits distilled in Wales were placed in each of the bedrooms. The in-house catering team, using the finest Welsh produce, created a bespoke menu for the Gala Dinner, which received glowing praise from delegates. The organisers felt that the Great Hall was one of the best venues they had worked with, with the in-house AV adding spectacular impact to the celebratory evening.
“Swansea University was a stunning venue for the CUBO Summer Conference 2019. We loved the convenient, compact campus and beachside setting. All accommodation, meeting rooms and dining spaces were within easy reach, and the exhibition marquee right beside the great hall provided an ideal space for delegates and exhibitors to network!
The gala dinner was exceptional and the welsh touches, such as fresh welsh cakes and local produce, contributed to the wow factor. We’re very glad to have chosen Swansea University as the venue for the CUBO Summer Conference.”
If you are looking to host a meeting, an event or a conference in 2020 then please contact us and find out how we can support you.