Social Programme


Rookeries, Ground Floor of the BCEC 

A welcome drinks reception will be hosted in the rookeries on the ground floor of the Birmingham Conference and Events Centre on the evening of Tuesday 27th August from 6pm until 8pm.


Banqueting Suite at the Council House

On Wednesday 28th we will host a 'supper & social' evening in the Banqueting Suite of the Birmingham Council House, from 6.30pm until 8.30pm. 

This is a 10 minute walk from the conference venue, parts of it uphill (Google maps directions).

Following the social evening, which will include drinks and a light supper, guests are invited to explore the city in their own time, and take advantage of its excellent choice of bars and restaurants. 

This venue is located in the heart of the city. Upon leaving the Council Chambers in Victoria Square, you will find yourself within walking distance of Broad Street (restaurants, cocktail bars and clubs), Colmore Row (restaurants and cocktail bars), The Mailbox (unique retail and leisure opportunities), Brindley Place (restaurant options on the Birmingham canals). Discover Birmingham restaurants on the Visit Birmingham site.

Day Delegates are welcome to attend (tickets can be purchased during registration at £60 per person).


Mercian Suite, Top Floor of the BCEC

On Thursday evening the Mercian Suite at the BCEC will be transformed from the main conference room into a sumptuous venue for the ARA 2024 Gala Dinner and Awards.

Enjoy a delicious 3 course dinner with wine, followed by dancing.

Day Delegates are welcome to attend (tickets can be purchased during registration at £80 per person).

NEW THIS YEAR - the Gala Dinner and Awards will be hosted by ITV News Central's weather man, Des Coleman! During his established career Des has appeared in many guises. As an actor, host, compere or vocalist, on Children in Need, or as a pundit, even sitting on the 'This Morning' sofa. But it was as a presenter that he won a Royal Television Society award, and with a Christmas single under his belt as a reporter on 'The One Show', Des soon turned his hand to presenting the BBC weather. Des has appeared on numerous TV shows including: East Enders, The Bill, Casualty, Doctors, East Midlands Today, Wild Weather, Is Harry on the Boat & Submerged. 

The Awards & Dinner will be followed by disco and dancing! 

We hope you will enjoy the new format.

Archives and Records Association (UK & Ireland)

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