Written by: Crystal Jackson
Innovative Meetings That Inspire
The Benchmark University Collection is a distinctive group of hotels and conference centers that deliver the best in hospitality services and the latest technology. At these outstanding venues, exceptional facilities and Benchmark’s operational expertise coalesce to create an unsurpassed meeting experience that reconnects and revitalizes attendees.
Here are three great reasons to consider hosting your next event at a Benchmark University Collection venue:
THE INTELLECTUAL VIBE
There’s a rarified atmosphere that’s only found on a university campus, a thoughtful hush balanced by the spark of discovery and expanding horizons. Being surrounded by the hum of academia can put your attendees in the mood to open their minds and prepare for a meaningful experience.
David Rubenstein Forum at the University of Chicago
For more than a century, the University of Chicago has been regarded as a global intellectual destination. With the recent addition of the David Rubenstein Forum, UChicago now has a convening space that’s perfect for hosting vital conversations and nurturing collaboration for groups large and small.
The Forum’s biophilic design, striking architecture, and stunning views of downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan offer a distinct setting that connects the university and the city. Elevated dining, premium amenities, and a diverse variety of formal and informal spaces create an exquisite setting for hosting spectacular events, and an on-site meeting concierge helps with all the details.
Hilton University of Florida Conference Center
Located in the heart of “Gator Nation” in Gainesville, the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center has flexible, contemporary meeting spaces for gatherings of all sizes. One of only four IACC-certified facilities in Florida, the hotel and conference center is newly renovated and offers more than 25,000 square feet of meeting and event space. For dining, the highly regarded Shula’s Steakhouse, founded by football coaching legend Don Shula, serves up a classic steakhouse experience.
Reflecting the university’s ranking as one of the nation’s top research institutions, you’ll find museums right on campus. The Florida Museum of Natural History is one of the top five natural history museums in the country and home to 40 million specimens. The Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art has a permanent collection of more than 8,000 original works and rotating exhibitions.
THE ENERGIZED SETTING
Universities are home to much more than stately buildings covered in ivy. They often have vibrant arts, dining, and entertainment options that are perfect for teambuilding activities or to simply give your attendees the chance to reconnect in an informal environment.
Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center
There’s no other campus in the world quite like Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. At the Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center, located in the heart of campus across from legendary Kyle Field, true Texas hospitality meets the latest innovations in meetings. With ergonomic furniture in all event spaces and top-of-the-line technology, the Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center keeps attendees comfortable and focused on the task at hand.
A trip to Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center isn’t complete without a stroll through Aggieland. From Aggie football games to art exhibits housed in the Memorial Student Center, there are unique experiences to be had right outside the property’s doors. There are also a ton of fun things to explore off campus, including Aggieland Safari, the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library, an iconic saloon called the Dixie Chicken, and, of course, great Texas barbecue.
The Heldrich Hotel & Conference Center
Located steps from Rutgers University, The Heldrich Hotel & Conference Center is right in the middle of the action in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The Heldrich has mastered the art of productive meetings, offering artful spaces filled with natural light, activated breaks with mindfulness programming, and teambuilding activities that enrich mind, body, and spirit.
The Heldrich is surrounded by performing arts venues, shopping, dining, and nightlife. Take a stroll to Rutgers University, see a show at the State Theatre, enjoy some laughs at the Stress Factory Comedy Club, or dine in style at one of the many restaurants and brewpubs nearby.
THE CONSTANT INNOVATION
By design, universities push boundaries. Their never-ending quest to find smarter ways to boldly stride into tomorrow is contagious, and the properties in the Benchmark University Collection are each on their own journey of innovation and discovery. The goal? To create a superior meeting experience from start to finish.
The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center
A Tudor-style property built in 1882, the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center in Roanoke, Virginia is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. But don’t let that historical pedigree fool you—the property offers a high-tech conference center with the latest technology to support in-person and hybrid meetings. In fact, the property just invested $450,000 in renovations, infrastructure, and equipment to support innovative meetings and events.
To complement the meetings experience, the hotel also completed a $3.9 million renovation of its notable restaurant, The Pine Room, and expanded its outdoor venues. A new stone patio overlooking downtown Roanoke is a great place to unwind after a productive day, and the Garden Courtyard, which seats up to 250 guests, has multiple spaces to gather, including a stunning lounge area surrounded by beautiful garden plantings.
The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center
Another Virginia property, The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center is located on 25 lush acres of the Virginia Tech Campus in Blacksburg and incorporates leading technology developed by Virginia Tech for use in the university’s modern-day classrooms. Self-adjusting ceiling-mounted microphones respond to changes in volume and room echo based on each person who speaks. Built-in security features prevent cybersecurity risks. And dedicated, high bandwidth connectivity enables presenters to connect to the system wirelessly.
The property balances all that technology with beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites as well as teambuilding activities that help people connect with each other and their inner adventurer. From hiking on the Appalachian Trail and bouldering at the Venture Out Center to doing good deeds in the community and hitting the links, these experiences help teams become more motivated, engaged and ready for what’s next.
ENROLL AT BENCHMARK U
Host your next event at one of these exciting venues, and enjoy a superior meeting experience at a great value. Our sales and marketing, event planning, and technology teams are ready to partner with you from start to finish to ensure your meeting is cost-effective, engaging, and executed flawlessly.