The beauty about searching for an unusual venue in Manchester is simply the sheer variety of venues on offer. No other regional city in the UK seems to offer the huge variety that Manchester can put forward.

So I was very much looking forward to visiting the Unique Venues of Manchester Showcase held earlier this week at the Lowry in Salford Quays.

manchester stollerhallI wasn’t disappointed. There was a wide range of venues exhibiting. There were education establishments such as Chethams School of Music (picture left) in the city centre.

There were theatres and concert halls including The Bridgewater Hall and not forgetting the Lowry itself. Alderley Park Conference Centre had come in from Cheshire with its hugely impressive and well equipped meeting facilities.

There were large conference venues such as the impossible to miss Manchester Central now with smaller meeting rooms in addition to their large scale spaces.

manchester chillfactoreThere was a variety of sporting venues, especially the large sporting stadiums for which Manchester is renowned - with the Premiership Champions trophy on display on a certain football stadium’s stand.

But it wasn’t just large stadiums, the smaller sports venues were represented including Chill Factore (picture right) which is about to launch a new branding as well as a range of snow-based team building exercises.

manchester monastrywelcomewingTake ‘religious’ venues as another example. They were represented by the mighty Manchester Cathedral in the centre of the city, The Monastery (picture left) or ‘Manchester’s Taj Mahal’ just out of town plus Friends’ Meeting House also in the city centre and the Life Centre in Sale.

All four are totally different yet each has an excellent range of meeting and banqueting facilities.

There is not room here to mention all the venues and hotels which were exhibiting but I will be severely punished if I don’t mention the presence of StudioVenues promoting the impressive meeting and training facilities they have on offer at their Manchester city centre site.

I knew most of the venues exhibiting even if I have not physically visited them all – yet. However, there were a couple which came as news. That is always the nice, unexpected surprise at exhibitions.

manchester cccaChineseI didn’t know about the CFCCA, the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, (picture right) – only a small venue in the city centre but they do offer meeting facilities as well as unusual activities such as Chinese Tea Tasting. Neither did I know about the Black Dog Ballroom or the recently reopened Bay Horse Tavern – both with excellent facilities.

I probably saw Manchester in its best light although I did go with some trepidation. I was warned there was a Rolling Stones Concert that evening just up the road at Old Trafford and the ‘problems’ with the trains were in the back of my mind.

I needn’t have worried. A lovely warm, sunny early summer afternoon in The Lowry with the Quays waterfront as a fabulous backdrop contributed to a very useful, informative and enjoyable afternoon.

Thank you very much Unique Venues of Manchester. I hope the showcase was as successful for you as it was for me. Please keep me posted about your next event.

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