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On the other hand, we opened our brand-new conference centre during one of the most painful times in the history of the events industry – right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

So why did we open, why have we flourished, and why has The Eastside Room’s success become so much a story about the character, the resilience, and the return of the meetings and events industry.

The answers to all three of these questions are the same; values. Say what you like about our industry, as a people led marketplace it puts great stock in personality, people, and their ethics. This comes across in all our most successful brands and has become a key differentiator between those that have remained resilient over the last 24 months, and those that haven’t.

From the very inception of The Eastside Rooms, the construction of the venue itself, based in Birmingham’s trendy East Side, was built around ethics and values. From the support and protection of the building team to the ecological design, right down to the inclusion of Changing Rooms spaces, capable of catering for those with the more severe motor difficulties, positive values were vital in every aspect of the creation of the venue. The building of The Eastside Rooms laid the foundation for how the business wanted to act, and these values were put to the test the moment COVID-19 hit.

On a smaller meetings basis, the venue has also been able to support those businesses that have needed it most during the pandemic, be they key worker training, specialist industry or, more recently, those businesses that are just looking to get themselves back on their feet through intelligent meetings strategies. The team learnt quickly the art of reassurance for both customer and delegate, something that continues to be reflected in its operations today.

Again, this supports both the ethical approach of The Eastside Rooms and the importance of the relationships the business builds around itself.

Now, as it enters year two of, what has to be said, one of the most dramatic launches of a venue seen for some time, the team at The Eastside Rooms now looks towards both a golden period for Birmingham, but also what could be a significant one for meetings and events. The venue has been a large part of the creative execution for some major brands, it bought together digital and live audiences in dramatic ways and worked with its clients to create lasting impacts and memories.

Now it awaits one of the biggest sporting and cultural events on the planet, and the chance to showcase itself as a vital part of the Birmingham meetings and events skyline. Throughout it all though, The Eastside Rooms will remain people first, values first and relationships-first.

Throughout the pandemic it was important that these values were held steadfast, and this was realised through the establishment of the venue’s ‘relationships-first’ approach. There was no point in fighting for quick, valueless wins, The Eastside Rooms wanted to build strong, people-based, relationships first to create a strong team in the business and long lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with the people it did business with. This is where the business focused its efforts, being of use and of service to its existing and potential clients.

Flexibility was also baked into the nature of The Eastside Rooms, both from a people and product point of view. If there is one thing that launching in a pandemic does teach a business, its flexibility. The venue’s facilities however proved themselves more than capable to switch to a more digital / virtual model, and the production and AV teams, both within the business and external to it, backed this up.

This meant that the launch of The Eastside Rooms has not only been successful, but also reflective of its wider marketplace. Constantly having its agility challenged and learning the art of flexibility in real time. Since launch, the venue has hosted some of the most dynamic virtual events around, working with some of the very best event organisers. It has also kept these relationships in place so that they can be grown to create more astounding hybrid and live variations over the coming months and years.