Virginia Tech’s Executive Briefing Center has won an industry award recognizing excellence in distinctive venues hosting meetings and conferences.

The center was named the best high-tech venue by Unique Venues magazine, which bestows its annual “Best Of” awards to honor “unique, nontraditional, special, and memorable venues.” Winners were selected across 22 categories based on votes by the organization’s network of more than 20,000 event planners in the U.S. and Canada. The center was also named runner-up for the best venue for day meetings.

With more than 7,300 square feet of space on the second floor of the Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington, the Executive Briefing Center hosts seminars, training programs, workshops, receptions, and many other events for both internal Virginia Tech clients and clients outside the university. It offers state-of-the-art technology throughout its sleek and elegant meeting rooms, including a 20-foot ultra-high-resolution visualization wall. The center is also equipped with next-generation internet, providing seamless connectivity for presenters and attendees.

As the pandemic forced meetings to virtual or hybrid formats, access to the latest in virtual meeting technology became essential. Manager Larissa LaCour said the center, part of Outreach and International Affairs, is able to leverage the technology used in university labs and classrooms to better accommodate clients. For example, each meeting room supports Zoom meetings, enabling virtual and hybrid meetings and more collaborative engagement.

“Having great technology is only half the equation for a successful meeting, though,” LaCour said. “The other key element that our team is so focused on is empowering clients to utilize that technology to their fullest. We help guide them through the options that are available in our facility and work side by side with them to ensure it is the right path for them and their meeting objectives.”

Dedicated staff support leading up to and during a meeting helps minimize surprises. Event assistants are on hand to greet guests, assist with connections to technology, and make any last-minute adjustments for a seamless presentation, allowing clients to focus on their content.

The “Best Of” winners were acknowledged at the virtual Unique Venues Annual Marketing Conference and are featured in a special edition of Unique Venues Magazine.

The center, which opened in 2011, was named best high-tech venue by Unique Venues in 2016. The following year, it was also recognized as the best venue for small gatherings.

— Written by Diane Deffenbaugh