My Top 5 venues in Glasgow for Corporate events
Updated: Apr 17, 2018
When reading this post about my preferred venues in #Glasgow please do bear in mind that I really don't like working with hotels: in my opinion they represent a very cost-effective and hassle-free option for event organizers, but they are also a bit boring and soul-less and detract from the kind of atmosphere that I like building at my events.
Something else to bear in mind is that I'm specialized in #Corporate and #B2B events for the Construction industry and spend half of my time talking to #Architects and #Designers; this is probably why I tend to fall in love, and eventually hire, only venues that are architecturally stunning or different, with a definite preference for industrial and historic.
1. The Briggait - Merchant City
I have been using the courtyard of the Briggait every year since 2015 for my #DesignPopUp event (picture below) and I absolutely love it. The building itself is a Victorian fish market, turned shopping mall in the '80s, left empty for the best part of the '90s and then refurbished and brought back to life by the charity Wasps Studios in 2010.
The courtyard is a very good size space (approx. 600 sqm) that is used for all sort of events: weddings (a few), art installations (many), circus shows, exhibitions (like mine), beer festivals, you name it. It's got tons of character and is flooded of light thanks to the very old, and a bit leaky, glass roof. There is a massive car park across the road (NCP's King St), which is always helpful, and a big door to the rear which is handy for when you have to drive a photo-booth-taxi in for your exhibition. As they don't have a preferred list of suppliers, you are free to use your own #catering which for someone with my levels of OCD is a massive bonus.
An ideal venue really.
2. SWG3 - West End
I have been following this venue on Social Media for a long time because it looks really cool, but also because they host very interesting events spanning from #concerts to #art installations to #streetfood festivals, and University nights.
A few days ago I had the opportunity to finally visit this space while attending an event organized by the #GIA (Glasgow Institute of Architects) and for once my very high expectations were not disappointed. SWG3 is a fantastic space: industrial but not rough, it has been refurbished to very good standards and seems to offer very flexible spaces.
Unfortunately I have never had the opportunity to hire SWG3 as I need my venues to be as central as possible and the #WestEnd of Glasgow is not really an area that is normally suitable for me. Should the right project knock at my door though, this venue is at the top of my list.
3. The Arches - Argyle Street
When The Arches night club was closed a couple of years ago after losing their alcohol licence, my heart sank. I hired this beautiful place in 2014 for my very first #Charity gala dinner which was called "Art meets Architecture". The venue offered quite a large space subdivided into 3 connected arches: we used the first arch to host the exhibition of the art pieces that had been donated for the charity auction as well as the pre-dinner drinks reception (picture below); in the second arch we had a stage and the tables for dinner (150 guests), while the bar area was located into the third arch. The whole evening flowed really well, the spaces worked perfectly together and the #atmosphere was fantastic.
The great news is that a few weeks ago The Arches opened its doors to the public again in the form of a street food market. The even better news is that I heard through the grapevine that the new management is now also accepting private hires so this stunning venue seems to be available again.
4. Drygate Brewery - Glasgow Cathedral/Dennistoun
Here is another uber cool #industrial-looking space, offering litres and litres of delicious craft beer as an extra bonus.
The venue sits on top of the brewery and restaurant, it is accessed by an outdoor staircase and terrace area and it is composed by two spaces: the beer hall with several big and sturdy tables and benches ideal for a rustic meal and some beer, and the main event space, which offers another bar and a stage, plus some other bits and bobs such as sofas and tables that can easily be removed if you don't need them.
As mentioned before, Drygate is primarily a brewery and restaurant and therefore you will have to use their own catering if using this venue. The quality of the food they serve is very good anyway, so it wasn't a problem for me.
5. The Corinthian Club - Ingram Street
This is a very well-known spot in #Glasgow, which makes it a bit too commercial for my taste. What I like about it is that the building is really stunning, it was very well renovated by one of Scotland's star designers, Jim Hamilton, and offers a multitude of spaces which allows you to host more or less anything: meetings, conferences, seminars, private dinners, drinks receptions and of course dinner receptions.
I hired the Corinthian in 2015 for the gala dinner of the second edition of my "Art meets Architecture" charity event (picture below) , and although I wasn't impressed with the level of service offered by the venue (i.e. the DJ never turned up), I would probably still use it should the right opportunity present itself: it's very central, everyone knows about it and it's beautiful. Plus it is over 2 years since I last hired this venue, so hopefully the events team are more experienced now.
As per Drygate, The Corinthian has its own restaurant and therefore catering.
Click on the images to visit each venue's website.
Should you need any help in picking your venue for your next event, please do not hesitate to ask: I know plenty more.