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• The IoD Hub conference centre at Stonemartin’s Manchester building, Peter House, has been voted the 5th COOLest venue for small meetings in the UK

Manchester, UK, 16 November 2007: The IoD Hub at Manchester’s Peter House, has been voted the 5th COOLest venue for small meetings in the UK by an independent panel at Prestige Events’ COOL Venue Awards. The results were announced on the 12th November, with Peter House sitting on an impressive list that includes iconic venues such as: the Natural History Museum, Royal Albert Hall, Somerset House, The Dorchester, Warwick Castle, Wembley, and many more.

Peter House was chosen for its stunning design and immaculate attention to detail, which offers the business traveler the perfect venue to touchdown for a few hours, or to hold more formal meetings. The building offers an impressive entrance atrium, built-in white marble juxtaposed with rich dark red furnishings. Peter House is modern, fresh, yet simple – striking an impressive balance between comfort and style – which is why it has finished top out of all of the Manchester venues listed.

Typically London dominated the awards, but other Manchester venues also featured in the following categories: Manchester United was the 7th COOLest Sporting Venue, the Urbis was the 9th COOLest Venue Architecture and The Lowry Hotel came 10th in both the COOLest Boutique Hotel COOLest Conference/Exhibition Centre categories – but Peter House achieved the highest rating by coming 5th in the COOL Small Meeting Venue stakes.

Over the past few years there is a developing trend for corporate event organisers to seek newer and off-the-trodden-path venues which have something a bit special to offer. The COOL Venues Awards were developed by Prestige Events magazine to recognise an unsung and largely influential element that emerges in the process of planning a corporate event – i.e. how exciting is the venue? Where is the latest ‘place to be’?

Julie Pickford, Head of National Conferencing for Stonemartin and General Manager at Peter House, says this will be a real boost to business: “Stonemartin buildings are built to impress, carefully designed to strike a careful balance between being corporate and professional, while still maintaining some identity and character – and it’s paid off! At the end of the day Manchester is a cool city and it has a lot to offer. Considering what a distinguished list of venues we are appearing alongside, we are very proud to have finished in such a high position. It’s about time people realised there’s a whole world outside London and the rest of the country has a lot more to offer.”

Peter House has been enjoying a lot of success recently, with Julie Pickford also being a finalist for the Boss of the Year Award in the national Executive PA Awards in October. The building has also secured four new wins, with ENTEC, Viridis Clean Energy Group, GKA and Charles Fellowes all choosing the building to open new offices over the past couple of months.

The Awards were judged on the fact a COOL venue should have: Charisma, Originality, Style, Innovation, Sex Appeal, Authenticity, and Uniqueness. Awards were given in eighteen categories: COOLest Hotel Chain, COOLest Independent Hotel, COOLest Country House/Castle/Heritage Venue, COOLest Boutique Hotel, COOLest Bar/Club, COOLest Venue For Corporate Fun/Teambuilding, COOLest Restaurant, COOLest Venue For Awards Ceremonies, COOLest For Galas, COOLest For Receptions, COOLest On Water Venue, COOLest Sporting Venue, COOLest Sporting Venue, COOLest Museum/Gallery, COOLest Conference/Exhibition Centre, COOLest For Small Meetings, COOLest For Outdoor Events/Hospitality, COOLest Venue Architecture and All-round COOL Venue Of 2007. The awards were also followed the strict guideline that each nominee should not be selected as a result of its technical capabilities, since many of these facets (lighting, AV, etc) can be imported.

An independent panel of judges comprised the council, with representative from a diverse collective, including; writers, industry figureheads, and event organisers/specialists. The panel consists of luminaries such as: Zanine Adams of Visit London, Will Broome – President elect of the International Special Events Society UK Chapter and MD of Londonlaunch, Julian Saipe of leading caterers Zafferano, Kate Ingles of event management specialists Beyond, Simon Thompson MD of industry website Conferences-UK, and Kanya King MBE – creator of the highly glam MOBO awards, as well as Prestige Events editorial team.

Peter House is a landmark building overlooking St. Peter's Square in Manchester's City Centre. The 100,000 sqft building offers 10 floors of office space, a major conferencing and meeting facility, together with adjoining restaurants and retail facilities.

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For further information:

Paula Elliott
C8 Consulting Ltd for Stonemartin
+44 (0) 118 9001132

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