Gallagher Convention Centre is a behemoth of a venue, sprawled over a 32 hectare property. Meetings’ editor Shanna Jacobsen takes stock of what the Convention Centre’s versatile spaces have to offer and gives a first-hand account of her site visit.
Driving in through the monolithic arched marble entrance to Gallagher Convention Centre is rather intimidating – the area the centre covers is massive but, thankfully, I have been equipped with a solid idea of where I need to go by the guards at the main gate.
The layout of Gallagher, even for someone who is lost on a simple round circuit (me), is easy to navigate; parking is on the right, while the Centre’s facilities are on the left. Once in the Convention Centre, there is a friendly group of receptionists sitting behind a large counter who are waiting to help visitors with whatever they may need. I’m ushered to Harold’s Bar – a cosy area around the corner from the reception area – while I wait for my host. I make myself comfortable on one of the big, brown leather chairs ahead of the grand tour and have a fabulous cappuccino brought to me that instantly tastes like more.
Leniese van der Merwe, marketing manager for Gallagher, comes down from the offices in the main building to meet me. I have on the proper gear and I am wearing practical pumps in preparation for being taken through the multi-purpose halls and wide corridors of the Convention Centre. The big halls with ample floor space speak for themselves, which is perhaps what many feel is slightly daunting about the Convention Centre, but its versatility does not just lend itself to events on a major scale.
Gallagher can accommodate up to 7 000 people in just one of its 27 venues, but what is not widely known is that it has smaller spaces catering for between 2 to 200 people that make its offering so much more diverse. I am shown a different area of the Convention Centre that doesn’t look at all like where I had my matric dance 15 years ago, and cannot help but be impressed by the little treasure trove of spaces I am being shown.
Gallagher has three larger meeting rooms that cater for up to 200 people and five boardrooms ranging in size that are suitable for 2 to 60 guests. Each boardroom can be laid out, furniture included, exactly to the client’s specifications and comes with its own dedicated butler for the duration of the time it is occupied.
Gallagher seems to have left no stone unturned with its offering and has ensured that there is a space that caters for every need – unbeknownst to many, the Convention Centre also provides an outdoor setting in the form of The Wine Garden. With its beautiful leafy canopy and winding water feature that trickles down throughout the area, The Wine Garden is also open to the public and is just one of many spaces within the Centre waiting to host your next bespoke meeting or event.