It’s finally here, the British summer has decided to make an appearance halfway through the year. Better late than never we say! Before we strut our stuff in shorts and add cocktail umbrellas to all our cold drinks, there is one hurdle to jump

We spend a good portion of our lives dedicated to our careers which usually means business attire! Whilst presentation is everything, being suited and booted often leads us to feeling hot under the collar. Despite retiring your blazer to your chair back, heat can be a problem.

So how would you keep your guests from falling asleep in your events? Read on for our top tips for keeping your team cool and engaged this summer!

1 – Feel that breeze! Let’s be honest, no one wants to be confined to an office space for the whole day. Not much has changed from those long hot schooldays spent peering out the window wishing you were outside. That’s why it’s important to have the best of both worlds. Choose an event venue that offers an outdoor area where guests can stretch their legs and get that all important dose of vitamin D. It’ll make a huge difference to their outlook and concentration.

2 – Avoid stuffy rooms… Open the windows! General ventilation is a blessing in hot weather conditions. Making sure there is a flow of air will have a significant effect on your guests’ comfort. How to make sure the venue offers exactly what you need? Getting a first-hand perspective of what you’ve booked really helps, book in to visit the event space you’ve booked!

3 – Ice cream! Everyone loves surprises, especially ones involving food. Refresh your guests by treating them to ice cream. It’s a great trick that’ll offer some refuge from the heat and a much-needed sugar boost! Rest assured ice cream isn’t the only option, how about: cool fruit kebabs, individual pots of sorbet, smoothies, jugs of iced tea or even hire in a Slushie machine! The possibilities are endless… Check with your events space what they could offer.

4 – Engage your guests… Visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic, keeping different types of learners engaged in the baking heat is a challenge to say the least! Our solution? Try having ice breaker style activities dotted throughout your event. Three short 5 minute activities will help refocus your guests. Using lightly competitive games, quizzes or puzzles alongside your event topic will make the information more memorable. Alternatively, you could book an external company through your venue who offer fun team building exercises!

5 – Hydration breaks… We all respond to heat differently, some of us relish in the inferno whilst others recoil at the thought of being hot. One sure fire way to douse that flame is to incorporate hydration breaks into your event. These little breathers will help the day keep pace and allows each individual to regulate their own body temperature. After-all, water is the elixir of life!

We hope our summer suggestions will help you in your events. Tweet us your cool ideas @studiovenues.

Written by: Jyoti Banga

With the flurries of new year’s resolutions coming in faster than UK’s snow spells, 2018 will no doubt be full of fantastic opportunities to make your wishes come true. With foresight taking centre stage, we’d like to celebrate your dreams!

I have a dream…

Martin Luther King’s timeless speech undeniably influenced change, he dreamt of a future full of equality and freedom, a future which he pursued to create a reality. Today, take inspiration from people who chase their callings. Aspiring to go after your dreams, no matter how big or small, can be illusive. It’s easy to only see the successful iceberg tip whilst overlooking what lies beneath, this perception is perfectly demonstrated by

Stephen McCraniein’s famous quote:
the master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.

One thing’s for sure, with a bit of elbow grease and perseverance, dreams can come true!

Burning with passion…

Ever notice how hours can fly by when you’re immersed in something you really enjoy? It’s because you’re no longer a serial clock watcher! When we’re bored, we become insanely aware of how slow time passes. Most of our lives are spent at work, time that would be best spent doing something we love. Unsurprisingly a lot of thestudio team had a background or interest in events before getting to join the family, as you could’ve guessed we love what we do!

Grab the bull by its horns…

We encourage risk takers, free thinkers and game changers. It’s why thestudio venues are designed with all the quirks. We want to offer you a fresh environment, laden with the inspiration to get your 2018 goals ticked off. Whilst we look to the year ahead, we wish you the very best of luck in making your dream come true.

What’s smoking hot @thestudio?

Blazing sun, clear skies, hot weather, shades… Yes the long awaited British summer is here! And what a better way to celebrate than a classy BBQ. We humans are a social bunch, loving any old excuse for a get together and with the sun high in the sky, what a better opportunity?

Individually we’re brilliantly unique but together, together we’re unstoppable. That’s why we love rounding up our team for a quarterly get-together. Being on the same page doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom with monotonous meetings. Spicing things up with a fun, relaxed event does wonders when it comes to team bonding. Plus, you know that age old saying to get to someone’s hear you have to go through their stomach!

No case without a showcase…

We’re really looking forward to the season of BBQ’s and great weather. So much so we’d like to add a bit of pizazz to your reunions by offering a smoking hot team building session in Birmingham and Manchester. Running from July to August, catch up with your crew over some delicious food!

Under the watchful eye of BBQ extraordinaire Richard Holden, your crew can enjoy a tailor made bespoke grilling master class. That’s not all, whilst looking forward to this creative lunch, we include the use of a main meeting room, unlimited tea, coffee and snacks throughout the day.

Ideal for 10-20 guests wanting to live it up in the sun, in just a few hours you’ll experience a 2 course menu of a starter and a main course, BBQ skills on show, tips on grilling and roasting, how to make pioneering pesto, saucy marinades, homemade pizza dough plus choosing and cooking the perfect steak! With a variety of activity packages starting from £50+vat pp for 3-6 hour sessions, looks like the only thing you’ll need is some shades and sun cream!

*Minimum numbers for any course are 10, increasing to a maximum of 20 per session. The above is subject to availability, to make an enquiry contact thestudio team on 0800 028 6694

Guest blog from Bea Peck …

Day 1
the studio conference meetings and events venue Birmingham 1st floor refreshment areaIt’s 8.50 on Monday morning, the first day of my work experience @thestudio, ¼ of my body weight is currently nerves, another ¼ coffee and the other ½ undeniable excitement. I suppose I should introduce myself – Hi, my name is Bea. I’m 17 and currently studying my first year of A levels but more importantly, I just spent a week @thestudio to learn how such a successful events company is run day to day.

Rumour has it, business people are scary. They’re crazy caffeine fuelled robots who type numbers into a computer nine hours a day – but not @thestudio. I was met with nothing other than a smile.

As I toured the building, I couldn’t help but grin at all thestudios’ little quirks; the bright and engaging décor, the goldfish on the second floor, even the toilet signs could lighten your Monday morning blues.

By 11am I had conquered my fear of the phone lines, it was until this week I had never transferred a call… embarrassing but true! Jyoti navigated me through thestudio’s social media pages, blogs and website, teaching me how keeping clients informed with thestudio’s recent activities or even gaining a twitter follower are all important aspects of establishing solid relationships with clients in this increasingly digital age.

Day 2
Today I sat with Pedro on the second floor reception, greeting puzzled looking guests and showing them to their rooms. Once again I manned the phone lines, discovering the talent of job juggling that the not-so-scary business people @thestudio perform so admirably. Here, I gained experience both behind the desk but also good customer service skills that I can transfer to any workplace in the future. (more…)

the studio conferencing meetings and events venue website home pageYou’re right, we’ve had facelift! We’d like to welcome you to our new and improved page, don’t worry there’s no major changes, just the same great team topped off with an even better website. It’s even responsive, meaning it will work on mobile devices! Super handy for your where’s Wally moments.

So firstly, I’ll introduce myself…  Hi, I’m Jyoti and you may remember me from such films as… Only joking!  I’m no Troy McClure (looking to you Simpsons fans) but if you’ve paid a visit to our Birmingham venue, you’ll most likely have been greeted by me! Usually serving an enthusiastic good morning and a more wilted good bye, I work as an Assistant Digital Copy Writer and Receptionist.

As exciting as my position is, I had the privilege of helping to develop the new site. That’s one of the great things about being part of thestudio family, you’re always encouraged to develop your skills and there’s always opportunity for growth. Being a self-professed geek I relished at the chance to upgrade my computing skills, who wouldn’t? Plus, it was too great a project to let pass by. My main priorities are content management, changing imagery and fault reporting.

house of commons pictureToday we are proud to announce thestudio Director and Co-founder Emma Jennings made it into the House of Commons!

Over a spot of breakfast, the IPT (Industry Parliament Trust) hosted a meeting addressing and recognizing the vital role small and independent businesses play in the UK’s overall economic growth and wellbeing. Acting as an intermediate, the IPT bridges the gap between parliament and businesses, through encouraging insightful exchanges to promote an improved understanding for both factions.

With talks of business expansion, current government opportunities available and the biggest challenges faced by SME’s, support was today’s topic of choice. After all, there’s nothing more efficient than working together towards a shared ambition.

Emma said after the event this morning …

“What an opportunity to be invited to such a prestigious venue where you get to speak and hopefully influence government policies of the future. Around the table the main topic, was definitely providing “support” and how is the existing support “signposted” to busy business owners to access it?

From the academics and MPs around the table it was interesting to hear them talk of “aspiration” being the biggest driver in small business growth. From experience I know thestudio has no lack of aspiration!

What we do lack, as a “service and hospitality business” is access to government funds that support our growth, we have borrowed a substantial amount of money to enable our successes to date and mostly at director level risk in term of guarantees.  I asked for encouragement in more of that aspiration and ambition, by mitigating some of the personal risk we always have to consider in any expansion of our business. More sensible and accessible funding please!

Also I was very interested to hear of the demand around the table of putting “entrepreneurship” as a curriculum agenda in schools – show young people that your own business is a career choice and support this at the grass roots. As a business we are extremely supportive of mentor programs and wholeheartedly support the next generation and giving something back.

And finally … a big message was consistency. So many initiatives come and go for businesses that it is challenging to make long term plans. In the 10 years of thestudio’s trading history we have survived some pretty stormy seas, we are have been resilient and come out the other side and are excited for our future growth, BUT we do need some stability in the economy, which could of course take us onto another very hot and current topic …. But for today, it’s back to the real world and the business of running our business!”

Mahatma Gandhi once said “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”

Though we may not like to admit it we all know the benefits of keeping active and eating correctly. Whilst many live the active life we’re so aware of many of us hide our guilty faces in a smoke screen of business or deliberately bury our heads behind computer screens, far too often we fall into a black hole of excuses and reasons to not go for that run, walk or swim. Fortunately a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to mean cutting all your much loved confectioneries; it’s more about being mindful. That being said, we have listed the top 5 things which could be the beginnings of a healthier mind and body.

1.Make a stand…

It may sound and even look a bit odd however the benefits of standing whilst working far outweigh the cons, so put on a brave face and anchor those heels to the floor. With the majority of the populous working in modern factories (offices) and commuting to and from work, we know this isn’t the best combination for hitting that all important daily step count.

2.Fight off temptation…

Don’t be fooled by the snake charmer, it’s true that at times your own thoughts can be your own worst enemy, especially when hunger pains take over! Surrounding yourself with healthy snacks will not only assist in keeping those hunger pangs at bay but will support your blood sugar levels. You’ll be as ripe and ready to go as your trusty fruit pot. (Don’t feel guilty about the odd chocolate though, after all, a momentary indulgence is a thing of beauty!)

3.Let’s get physical…

As hunter gatherers, physical movement was essential to survival, now it seems movement is a thing of the stone ages! It’s hard after a long day’s work to find motivation or even inspiration to do something out of the good ol’ comfort zone. Biting the bullet and having a session at a gym, where you may feel overtly self-conscious about your overall fitness levels may not always be the best solution to a healthier life. Why not invest in a step counter or take on a charity challenge? Don’t forget, being physical and getting enough sleep are both core ingredients to your wellbeing!

4.From horse power to human power…

For those brave enough to face the British weather head on, saddling up for what we loosely call summer could be a fun, revitalizing and a super healthy choice to make. With the trend of cycling becoming increasingly popular It’s not uncommon to see colorfully clad cyclists heading to work all year round. Cycling will help you have an energetic start to the day! Plus we have heard wearing Lycra can feel strangely liberating, naming no names…

5.Water works…

Making up around 60% of our body, water is not only important to help our body clear out toxins but hydration helps to Kung Fu combat that pesky heavy eye lidded monster called fatigue. So if you want to feel refreshed, grab a glass of water and if water just isn’t your thing why not try adding cordial. Some water must be better than no water, right?

Like a squirrel who stored nuts for the winter, remember all those little efforts you make all add up. You don’t have to wait for a new year to make some changes; there is no better time to start than the present. Good luck on the new ventures and healthier-ish lifestyles. We encourage you to hop, skip or jump to your next meeting even if it’s only from New Street to thestudio!

welcomeThis may seem like an odd question at first, however from a young age we are taught everyone is different and rightly so; no two sides of the coin are the same.

Without getting too philosophical, we are sure we can all agree that we are the sum of our parts. We are made up of an amalgamation of decisions, choices, likes and dislikes. There are so many contributing factors that have managed to craft us, that it’s almost impossible to list every experience that has taken effect, no matter how big or small!

One of a kind…

As a being we scream out originality from the moment we enter the world. The question is – do we retain this individuality when it comes to the workplace? Or do we just become a “Mr. Smith clone” ready for another 9-5?

One way to combat this dreaded pitfall is to simply do what you love or join an organisation that recognises and wants you for who you are. A happy workforce is generally a productive one, so watch out for those tell-tale signs within your team which suggest they may feel like “jumping the ship” and learn to recognise your own feelings of discontent.

It’s all the same…

When this individuality comes to businesses it is easy to be lumped into the same category. That’s why we at studio venues strive to be distinctive. What highlights us from the crowd and makes sure that we aren’t a “regurgitated and samey” meeting and event space is our big personality, and this we pull from our spaces and most importantly our team.  They have something we like to call “The Studio Weovil”, instantly recognisable in the studio characters in our venues! (more…)

Christmas has come to an end and all the festivities firmly put to rest with the traditional purging of decorations. After every dessert laden and cheese board filled Christmas, it seems common among the masses to rejuvenate during January, working on that all important beach body for the summer. That’s on all of our minds, isn’t it? Most people, and we’re no different, tend to reflect on the previous year and in rose-tinted aspiration of the coming year, look forward to change.

This lead to the thought of this New Year’s resolutions and what thestudio team have set their sights on in 2015. (more…)

There is a particular phenomenon typically experienced by astronauts called the Overview Effect. When individuals view the pale blue dot (Earth) surrounded by the blackness of space it induces a sudden philosophical realisation of complete unity, recognition that:

“All life on earth is interconnected, and we are, in a very real sense, one.”

Unfortunately I haven’t viewed the Earth from space, but am certain, like me, you can appreciate this ethereal bond we have to our planet and to each other.

 Walking for a Cause…