I first went to visit the Dallas Burston Polo Club five years ago when it was just about to open.

A fellow agent told me she was interested in learning more as she was unaware of the space and asked if I wanted to join her. I thought why not, and it would be interesting to see if the venue had changed from what I remembered.

The main conference area is called the IXL Events Centre and is located within the 600-acre estate on the outskirts of Southam, Warwickshire, within minutes of the M40.

The entrance is welcoming with a large registration area and cloakroom area. From the foyer area, there is a door leading upstairs to the luxurious Champagne Lounge which can be used as a foyer area or an area where speakers could relax before their presentation. The Champagne Lounge (pictured) has extensive views across the complex, with relaxing seating a bar and naturally a plentiful supply of champagne.

The main area has a capacity of 1000 and on the day we visited, the main area was set up for a conference for 900 ladies holding a weekend conference. The main area can seat 650 for a dinner with staging and 500 cabaret style. There is a built in stage although this can be removed or adapted to suit each events need.  There are chandeliers which give a ‘wow’ feel for dinners, but these can be removed for conferences and events.

The venue has no large break out areas but is working very well by dividing delegates into areas within the main room and having a silent conference, where the delegates have headsets, and the presenter has a microphone. Delegates cannot see the other groups or hear them - an excellent concept and reduces the need for additional room hire charges.

 There are several catering areas on two levels, allowing delegates to be fed a hot fork buffet quickly should time be of the essence.

On the upper level there are also eight further rooms which can each seat a maximum of ten boardroom style and a further room of 50 theatre style.

To add to all this, the venue has 700 complimentary car parking spaces.

A brand new five-star hotel with 43 bedrooms lies a 2-minute walk from the main conference area and will open in June 2019.

There is a lot to absorb at the IXL Events Centre, so on our departure, we headed for the Milestone Hare, a local pub housed within the complex and enjoyed lunch and debrief.

We were curious to know why the venue was called IXL Events and were quickly told – ‘I Excel’ – very fitting.

Sally Clift

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