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10 minutes with Sandeep Singh, MD of Athena, Leicester’s premier events venue

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PA Life talked to Sandeep Singh, the Managing Director of Athena – an impressive Art Deco events venue in Leicester’s cultural quarter – who is on a mission to attract more corporate events and awards ceremonies. Since taking over the venue 18 years ago, many global and national brands have chosen the landmark building for their events, including Krispy Kreme, Next, Virgin Media O2, Sport England and Blue Diamond, making it one of the corporate event market’s best kept secrets outside London.


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Watch some of Athena’s dazzling events here.

Let’s start with finding out what’s unique about Athena

Athena, a landmark building in Leicester, was built in 1936 as an iconic Odeon cinema. In recent years, it has been restored and transformed into a stylish Art Deco venue with original features that offer timeless charm and character, enhanced by modern touches and state-of-the-art technology. The main room comes with high ceilings and a spacious stage that can be used for everything from high-octane circus-style aerial acts, bands, and DJs to award ceremonies and keynote speakers. Car brands, for example, have used the stage to showcase their latest vehicles. The venue has the flexible capacity to host events ranging from 150 to 1,500 guests.

What corporate offerings and support does Athena offer to event organisers?

Athena hosts a vast range of corporate events from awards and conferences to exhibitions, meetings, and launch events. The Foyer’s huge glittering chandelier and polished chrome doors are perfect for meet and greets and reception drinks as guests enter. The main room is the Cinema Suite, which can accommodate up to 650 guests with space for a dance floor. For larger gatherings exceeding 700 guests, additional seating is available in the Gallery, along with the Deco Lounge and the immensely popular City View Lounge, bathed in natural light and offering panoramic views of Leicester’s cultural quarter. These lounge areas come with cocktail bars and a glamorous space for guests to enjoy.

We have an experienced in-house events, lighting, and AV team at Athena who offer a high-level bespoke service where nothing is too much trouble. An award-winning head chef and an exceptional catering team can provide bespoke menus and cocktails to ensure guests can enjoy an unforgettable feast.

Book before May and enjoy complementary champagne reception!

We are currently offering a complimentary champagne reception, for events booked before May.

Any advice for PAs and EAs planning events for their teams and business clients, perhaps for the first time?

I would recommend starting the planning process as soon as possible and starting with a site visit, so you can see the venue in its glory and meet the team. Also, share your objectives and wish list with us – we excel at bringing your ideas to life. As we have been running events at our venue for more than 18 years, we can also share our recommendations on what will impress your guests to ensure it is a memorable event.

What are your clients generally looking for when they book and event with Athena?

PAs and EAs are often looking for a unique, high-end venue that is less than an hour from London and has a central location in the UK. Many want their employees to get away from office and the bustle of the capital, as this is beneficial for their well-being and focus. PAs are also looking for a flexible venue with an end-to-end, bespoke, high-level service with a lot of services available in-house if they need it, such as catering, Av production, lighting, etc.

Athena is a multi-award winning venue. What’s your most coveted award and how important is it to be recognised as an industry leader?

Athena has won multiple awards over the years for creativity and services in the events sector, which gives us immense pride. We are also proud of the amazing testimonials we receive from clients and our high repeat booking rate, which shows we are delivering – exceeding – what corporate clients want.

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Do you run any workplace support or wellbeing programmes for your employees?

Athena is a fun, diverse, and welcoming place to work, and this shines through when working with our corporate clients and their events. We aim to provide the best possible experience for a client, and this starts with our employees who are not only experts, but who also love what they do. Employee wellbeing and recognition are paramount for us and it is intrinsically linked to our success.

Find out more about hosting events at Athena here.

PA Life Club members visited Athena in December to experience their amazing Christmas Party World.