In early June I had the pleasure of managing the first Down Syndrome Education Conference at the Principal-Hayley Palace Hotel in Manchester.

The event was over 3 days, 4-6 June, the first 2 days aimed at health professionals and practitioners, with the final day for parents and families with children with Down syndrome. These unique events cover motor, cognitive, social, language, literacy and numeracy development from birth, presenting up-to-date overviews of current knowledge and illustrating evidence-based, effective teaching techniques and approaches for people with Down syndrome.

Whilst the event was very succesful; good turnout, inspiring speakers etc, I wanted to do a very quick review of the hotel so that future event managers of events at the Palace will get a feel for the place. Overall, I have to say, its a cracking conference venue.

It'd been a few years since I'd been to the Palace, so I was delighted to see the Tempus Bar Lounge has had a thorough makeover. This area is used as a public lounge, but also as the main area for large conference breaks/ lunches. Despite not being private, it works well for groups that dont require total privacy. In the evening this are transforms into a more intimate setting, great for late night drinks.

The meeting rooms were nicely decorated, carpets in good order and overall comfotable. A few words of warning, the signage is terrible, fortunatly we had plenty of free standing signage to use. If you'rr using the Oak Room, its miles away. We used a member of staff to direct delegates to and from that room for every session. Also, most of the meeting rooms have pillars in them, although the venue staff set up the meeting rooms sensibly to avoid any line of sight issues.

Best of all, the food was superb, an excellent choice of hot and cold buffet items, served by excellet and attentive staff.

Overall, this hotel is a real winner for conferences, events and dinners for up to 800 people. Our free venue finding team would be very happy to secure great rates for anyone interested.

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