Spotlight On: Birmingham

Birmingham: More canals than Venice, birthplace of heavy metal, and home of the Commonwealth Games 2022! And that doesn’t even scratch the surface.

While Birmingham is the UK’s second city based on population (behind London), what makes the West Midlands capital an exceptional UK events location?

Big brand birthplace

Cadbury anyone? John Cadbury opened a grocer’s shop in 1824, where his chocolate journey began with making cocoa and drinking chocolate he prepared using a pestle and mortar. If you’re looking for marketing or innovation inspiration, where better than one of the largest confectionery brands in the world?

Birmingham is the birthplace of other iconic British brands, including Bournville Drinking Chocolate, HP Sauce, Birds Custard, and Typhoo Tea.

And if you’re looking for more recent additions to this impressive portfolio, check out Gymshark – one of the fastest growing and most recognisable fitness clothing brands. Or, Grenade, the sports nutrition brand. If you’ve visited any UK supermarket or gym in the last 12 months, you’d be hard placed to have missed Grenade bars.

Birmingham’s rich history

Birmingham offers visitors some incredible Industrial Revolution-era landmarks that shout 18th-century manufacturing. At its heart, you’re faced with Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, which first opened in 1885. Housed within a Grade II* listed building, it holds 40+ galleries displaying art, history, archaeology and more – including its famous pre-Raphaelite paintings.

Among other impressive sights, you can visit Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. No, not the home of the American actress born in 1982… the beautiful 500-year-old cottage of Shakespeare’s 1556-born wife-to-be.

A lesser-known fact, perhaps, is that the anchor of the Titanic was made in the Black Country.


If you missed Birmingham’s incredible network of canals, take a look at the Peaky Blinders! The BBC show is a glamorised work of fiction. Yet, it is based on the gangs representing the city’s criminal racketeering during the late 19th century. The hit series certainly enlightens viewers on Birmingham’s vast waterways.

These days, Birmingham’s canals lead to a stream of hip cafes, bars and eateries, all keen to showcase the latest foodie trends. This makes the city a wonderful location for water of food-themed events! Or simply some wonderful outdoor breakout events during your company conference or sales day.


Birmingham, alongside being the birthplace of big brands, is known as the birthplace of big bands! Heavy metal to be specific – Black Sabbath or Judas Priest anyone? The lead singer of Led Zeppelin also originated from Birmingham, alongside UB40, Duran Duran, Laura Mvula, and more.

So if you’re looking to host an event with music at it’s heart, there are heaps of opportunities here.

Food – all hail Birmingham’s food…

The cultural diversity of Birmingham means foodie vibes thrive in the city. And, when it comes to Michelin star Restaurants, Birmingham has more than any English city outside of London.

If you’re hunting for quality food, a diverse and popular dining scene can be experienced at any time of the year. It is, perhaps, best showcased during Birmingham restaurant festival (follow #BRF2023 for the latest info).

The annual celebration showcases fantastic restaurants across the city, during which participating restaurants create a great value set menu to enjoy.

No matter your tastes, there is an eatery for everyone in Birmingham. From the authentic neighbourhood food of A La Mexicana to the Rouge Brasserie’s French-inspired all-day dining, or ‘a feast for the eyes and the taste buds at the authentic Thai food Giggling Squid (insert lip licking emoji here!!).

Event venues

Birmingham is host to a vast array of event venues, from luxury or creative, to large and acoustically impressive! Here’s a selection of venues on offer…

The Studio Birmingham

Situated in the heart of the city, just a hop, skip and jump away from all major transport links, the Studio Birmingham has 19 vibrant spaces to offer.

And, this “Aim Accredited” venue boasts a communal business lounge and a roof garden. It’s the perfect setting for like-minded professionals to get the job done or for that all important lunch time sun bathe.

The Eastside Rooms

The Eastside Rooms is Birmingham’s newest conference venue, combining innovation with Birmingham’s industrial heritage. It offers a range of blank canvases perfect for your next conference or celebration.

The venue’s largest event space, The Affinity Suite can play host to glitzy balls or structured conferences, this 888m² space can host up to 1200 delegates and benefits from it’s own foyer and bar.

Conference Aston

This centrally located conference hotel provides the perfect setting for a range of events. With 19 conference suites, function suites for dinners up to 400, and 2-222 theatre style or 120 cabaret style, there’s something for every event planner.

Millennium Point

Bang in the heart of Birmingham, Millennium Point has great access to transport links. It has onsite parking, Hs2 and Midland Metro on its doorstep.

What’s more, it provides visitors with fully flexible spaces: 11 flexible internal and 2 external spaces suitable for almost any event, from purpose built meeting suites to a giant screen auditorium with stage.

Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club

Set within 10,000 acres of ancient woodland where deer roam free, Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club offers an unforgettable experience. Nestled between Birmingham and Coventry, the hotel offers intuitively designed hotel rooms.

Plus, you can challenge yourself to a post-event round at the hotel’s golf club, which offers two courses, including the Championship Arden Course, a putting green and driving range. Or your guests can pamper themselves with a massage at the spa.


Pentahotel Birmingham is perfectly placed. Not a mile away from Birmingham city centre, it is easily accessible and makes the ideal base for business travellers.

As you enter this seven-story concept, your first stop is the huge Pentalounge, a multi-purpose space that rivals some of Birmingham’s best restaurants and bars, with a locally sourced menu of mouth-watering delights. It offers 131 bedrooms, all created with style and comfort in mind.

Considering a business trip to Birmingham?

Explore Bien Venue’s corporate event management services and get in touch to plan your visit. 

Looking for more inspiration?

Have a look at our back catalogue of ‘Spotlight On’ and our other blogs – Previous ‘Spotlight On’ include Grna Canaria, Liverpool, Chester, Sydney, Cape Town, Krakow, Qatar, Cyprus, Las Vegas, Denmark, Barcelona, Geneva, South of France, Brighton, Edinburgh and Ireland.

Bien Venue is a boutique creative agency who specialise in a free UK venue finding service.  It’s not just workshops, training, conferences, or off-site meetings we can arrange and venue search for. It’s also away days, residential training events, awards ceremonies, networking, roadshows, hybrid events, summer parties, Christmas celebrations, private dining, team building, incentives, employee engagement hampers and virtual activities. And we offer accommodation booking platforms for both corporate bookers and event specific allocations of bedrooms

Our re-identified strapline alongside ‘Our Team is Your Team’ is ‘Event Management – Professional, Pro Active with a personal touch’.

What does Event Management mean to us?

We see event management as any part of the planning process from conception to delivery. It’s not just the onsite event management we specialise in but also the pre-planning and logistics plus post event. Our flexible approach means you can pick and choose which of our services you want to use or just use our free UK venue finding service.

Bien Venue’s reach isn’t just UK or Europe we offer our service globally. We have also featured in a Parliamentary Review for Best Practice Representative –