About us

Academic Venue Solutions is a not-for-profit marketing consortium.

Founded in 1981 as HEAC the Venuemasters name was introduced in 2001 and more recently rebranded to Academic Venue Solutions Ltd. Our mission is to help member venues identify and maximise their commercial opportunities, by working collaboratively and strategically. Our vision is to be the leading collection of academic venues, connecting event organisers with unique meeting spaces and learning environments across the UK.

Membership of Academic Venue Solutions is open to all types of academic venues, anywhere in the UK. We currently have more than 45 venues on our books and we’re proud of the variety of high quality meeting spaces and hotel-standard accommodation that our members offer.

Our team, led by Rachael Lee, works directly with the member venues and event organisers to build relationships and understand their needs and requirements. The result is a free venue-finding service, matching event planners with a list of specialist academic venues that can help.

Our Board, chaired by Clare Forster, includes hospitality industry specialists and senior operations managers, as well as marketing and events experts. They have a profound understanding of both the needs and requirements of event planners, and the challenges the Higher Education sector faces in the commercial marketplace.

The AVS team and contact details

  • Rachael Lee – Membership and Sales Director,  Get in touch with Rachael for membership and sales opportunities – rachael@academicvenuesolutions.co.uk and mobile 07377 553922
  • Helen Fogg– Venue Finder, Get in touch with Helen for Enquiry, Sales and Referral requests  - sales@academicvenuesolutions.co.uk / 0114 2453423 Option 1 for enquiries
  • Dawn Spendlove – Marketing Consultant Get in touch with Dawn for updating your offers, news and venue information on the website, eMarketing – email  dawn@academicvenuesolutions.co.uk

Rachael Bartlett - Membership Services Director

"After enjoying a career in conference centres and hotels I was fortunate enough to join Warwick Conferences, part of the University of Warwick in 2008 as Head of Sales and Marketing. It was an exciting time taking a team from 20 to 30 strong and increasing our activities in proactive sales and marketing as a priority.

Operating in a University landscape teaches you skills such as resilience and tenacity, as often the decisions you want to make commercially are not in line with what is known in the sector as ‘the greater good.’ Having spent 10 years generating over £23m for the University I could not have been more proud of the success the team achieved, often in the face of adversity! There is no more rewarding yet frustrating environment to work in which enables me to empathise with my peers and colleagues across the sector.

Academic Venue Solutions affords me the luxury of working with many institutions of varying size and nature and enables us to look for new opportunities to raise our member venues profile and most of all to retain business within the sector."