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Busted: 3 myths about airport venues

Airport venues can present event organisers with a secure, unique and flexible space for their meeting or event, but many wrongly discount the venues due to mistaken beliefs. Here, Carlo Zoccali, account director, at Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre unpicks the three most common myths surrounding airport venues.

Airports are in the middle of nowhere

While airports are not located in the centre of a town or city, they are incredibly accessible – and for good reason. Airports are typically close to a motorway and have brilliant links to public transport, meaning delegates from all corners of the UK, or further afield, can easily get to and from an event at the venue.

As a result, these venues often have the advantage of space, and many offer large amounts of free parking – for example, at Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre we have 3,500 free spaces for event attendees. The venues are typically surrounded by hotels, restaurants and other amenities, which create a great hub for large conferences and events with different off-site meeting options.

These outer-city locations can form hotspots for businesses and research, creating Intellectual Capitals for specific sectors. As the birthplace of aviation and home to one of the largest air shows in the world, Farnborough’s reputation as a hub for aerospace, technology and innovation has grown in recent years, encompassing more sectors, including marine, maritime, life sciences and healthcare, and advanced engineering.

Airport venues are too noisy for events

While some airport venues can suffer with noise pollution from busy runways, those that have purpose-built spaces for meetings and conferences should be fitted with enhanced soundproofing to benefit events. Most venues are far enough away from the runway itself that they won’t be affected by the noise of the aircraft – Farnborough International Conference Centre sits in 700 acres, with the privately-owned TAG Farnborough airport metres away from the new 20,000sqm venue, Hall 1 which can be accessed via an internal perimeter road.

The food is rubbish

Whether dining at a restaurant or attending an event, consumers expect to have a great experience when it comes to food and beverage. Venues are working harder than ever with catering partners and talented chefs to provide exquisite dishes to impress guests and win business. It’s all about nutritious dishes, using locally sourced produce and creating a talking point for guests, whether that’s with energising bowl food during a breakout session or a three-course gala dinner.

At Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre we work closely with our catering partners, Sodexo Prestige Events and Venues – expert caterers and service management services  for various iconic venues across the UK, including Ascot Racecourse, Aberdeen Football Club and Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh – to create delicious, healthy dishes that keep attendees energised throughout their visit, while providing the ‘wow’ factor with delicious choices that cater for all food types, allergies and cultures.

If a secure venue that is easy to access, has an abundance of flexible space situated in a hub of hotels and restaurants with strong connections to specific sectors, such as aviation or technology, would suit the event in mind, then airport venues should be a top of priority to consider. As these venues grow in popularity their common misconceptions are being debunked and event organisers are beginning to see the spaces for what they really are – a fantastic and diverse setting for impactful events.