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ACADEMIC VENUESwww.conference-news.co.uk . April 2012 . 21eading North by North West, and Keele Conferences and Events at Keele University in Staffordshire, offers lecture theatres, seminar rooms and a 1,000 sqm sports centre. As well as these modern facilities it offers the 19th century Grade II listed Keele Hall (pictured), which has the largest ballroom, conference and banqueting venue in Staffordshire.The purpose built Keele Management Centre has a further 11 meeting rooms, restaurant, lounge and internet café. There is accommodation for 40 all year round, in addition to the 2,000 rooms that are available across the campus outside of term time.This year, Keele Conferences is developing a campaign emphasising service delivered with real personality.'Conference Characters' features a series of video guides starring individual members of staff. These are hosted on a microsite and YouTube. Sam Booth, Head of Keele Conferences and Events, explains: "Conference Characters is based around the importance of delivering conferences and events with a more personal approach. "It is not enough to just focus on providing a good service anymore, that should be a standard. We should be working to provide good service but with a unique delivery by strong characters." She continues: "With the arrival of the Olympic Games, this year more than any other will be one where people expect unique events. We have a great opportunity to show off what we can do."The initiative follows the 2011 launch of 'Keele Event Services', a programme designed to offer event support and management to associations as their annual conferences travel around the country. Staffs terriers for eventsKeele Conferences is campaigning hard for conference business based on delivering service 'with personality'H

22 . www.conference-news.co.uk . April 2012ACADEMIC VENUESoughborough University's hospitality and conferencing brand Imago is hosting the Japanese Olympic team and Team GB and appears to have acquired an international taste. The brand will take its message to Europe by attending IMEX in Frankfurt and EIBTM in Barcelona later this year.Emma Boynton, Sales and Marketing Manager, says: "We have traditionally attended UK only exhibitions, building on the strong foundation that we already have in many sectors including academic and sporting markets. The decision to attend EIBTM and IMEX refl ects our wider objective of promoting Loughborough as a key, central destination for international events."New Business Development Manager Paul Cooper has come in with fresh sales ideas and customer incentives. Recruitment of a Coordination Manager, a Revenue Manager, a Marketing Executive and Event Management Assistant also refl ects the intention to ramp up Imago's services, which span the University, The Link Hotel, Holywell Park and Burleigh Court.Burleigh Court this year celebrates 21 years hosting events.Kay England, Imago Chief Executive was at the venue when Burleigh Court fi rst opened: "I'm proud of where it now stands as a leading Leicestershire venue and host of two Olympic teams," she says. "The venue itself has vastly changed since a £8.5m expansion in 2006 when the venue nearly doubled in size." In 2009, a further £400,000 was invested to bring the original bedrooms up to the same standard as those created in the 2006 expansion. In January 2012, £60,000 was also spent on the bar and lounge to create a relaxing space for guests and athletes. Imago targets EuropeHospitality brand Imago is setting its sights on international businessApril 2012L