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Venue selection

The venue selection is an important task in planning and delivering a Crucible programme for three core reasons:

1. The availability of a particular venue in a specific location (or with a specific layout that is suitable to the Crucible programme) will be significant in the dates chosen for each Lab.

2. Accommodation and hospitality is the most significant cost in the budget for running a Crucible and, therefore, the venue must be a location that meets the needs of the participants and creates the right environment for a Crucible whilst simultaneously being cost-effective.

3. It needs to be easily accessible for the majority of participants, facilitators and speakers, but far enough away from the daily grind that it has a feeling of a retreat.

Previous Crucibles have run in a mixture of university halls of residence during holiday periods, conference hotels and specific training and development venues. There is no prescription for the venue where the Crucible is held other than it needs to be:

  • Conducive to creating a learning and creative environment with a sufficient level of hospitality and comfort to sustain the participants without being lavish.
  • Large enough to accommodate 30 researchers and associated course staff and facilitators with AV facilities.
  • Have flexible accommodation for the main activities and some break-out spaces for smaller conversations/activities.

The venue can be the same for each Lab or different for each Lab – there is no specific requirement. When more than one institution is involved you may wish to spread the Labs out so that they occur near the different locations of the institutions so as to spread the travelling for participants from each institution; or you may find that one central regional location works best for everyone.

There is, however, a specific requirement to know the dates of the Labs from the outset of advertising the Crucible programme, as the advertising and application form will ask participants to commit to their availability for the programme and this must be known right from the start.

Event management company Kinetix Events have previous experience of organising Crucible programmes for NESTA and are able to provide advice on venue selection based on that experience: