Founding members talk about joining the company in 1986 and remaining members 30 years later
In 1986, Michele Nichols had a vision to create a company that would connect non-traditional meeting and event venues with planners looking to break out of the norm. In the beginning, the burgeoning company focused on college and university venues, which were broadcast in a ledger called “The Guide to Convening on Campus.”
Thirty years later, Unique Venues has become a trusted resource for campus facilities as well as 700-plus additional historical and cultural venues, arenas and stadiums, camps and retreat centers, conferences and business centers, and special event venues. The company also produces its own publication and annual marketing conference and gives out yearly Best Of awards that exclusively tout “unique venues,” a name that has now been trademarked. Yet, as founder Nichols points out, the company wouldn’t exist without its original members who took a chance on the idea.
“The founding members gave us our start, and perhaps more importantly, gave our industry its start. They were pioneers willing to take a risk, and everyone involved in collegiate conferencing today owes some of their success to them,” Nichols says of the 12 current members of Unique Venues who were among the first to join the company in 1986. That list includes the University of California, Los Angeles; California State University, Northridge; Purdue University; University of Massachusetts Amherst (Hotel UMAss); Tufts University; The Conference Center at Bentley; University of Nebraska Lincoln; Hofstra University; Oregon State University; Trinity University; The College of William and Mary; and the University of Washington.
“Unique Venues has worked in conjunction with my department and so many others in the collegiate conference and events industry over these past 30 years, and our client base has grown because another world of meeting venues was put at the fingertips of meeting professionals,” says Mariellynn D. Maurer, CCEP, director of conference services at The College of William and Mary. “Our relationship is mutually beneficial – when we win, we win together.”
Claire Davis, associate director for administrative services, student housing & conference services at California State University, Northridge adds, “We have always felt that Unique Venues works hard to showcase their clients and to ensure potential clients see their resources. Had we not partnered with Unique Venues we are confident our conference program would not have the national recognition we are proud to have achieved.”
Unique Venues will recognize the original 12 this year with a special landing page, full-page ad in Unique Venues Magazine, and a presentation at the annual marketing conference in October in Denver, Colorado.
About Unique Venues
Unique Venues has been the go-to source for non-conventional meeting and event venues, and the planners looking for them, for 30 years. The marketing and membership company has grown to be the largest online database in the U.S. and Canada with member venues including colleges and universities, historical and cultural venues, arenas and stadiums, camps and retreat centers, conferences and business centers and other special event venues. Services include free RFP submissions, assisted searches and a quarterly magazine distribution that help planners find the perfect fit every time.
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FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT UNIQUE VENUES, 866.266.6857