University of Maryland Garners Top Honors from Unique Venues

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COLLEGE PARK, MD – The University of Maryland, for the third consecutive year, took home the Unique Venues’ Best of Award in the “Best Venue for Youth/Sports Groups” category. 

The Best Of Awards recognize the standout campuses, conference and business centers, sports arenas, historical and cultural venues, camps and retreat centers, and other special event venues that made a lasting impression on guests. More than 55,000 planners that regularly use the services provided by Unique Venues to connect with non-traditional spaces voted in a total of 22 categories.

The University of Maryland offers unparalleled options for youth groups, including a suburban location near the nation’s capital with 8,000 beds, two-layer security in the residence halls, plus two dining halls where attendees can convene together. 

“Each summer, sports camps run by Big Ten Conference coaches combine with college immersion, special studies, and STEAM programs to create a thriving campus,” said Joseph E. Criscuoli, Marketing, Sales, Publications & Outreach Coordinator for Conferences & Visitor Services. “One of the most notable is the Maryland Field Hockey Camp, held at UMD’s state-of-the-art field hockey turf facility since 1995, with instruction from current and former National & Olympic team members.”

The university can also provide in-house motor coach charters that make ground transportation to nearby Annapolis, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. a breeze for additional educational components. 

“Back on campus, our ropes challenge course, rock climbing wall, ice cream socials from the Maryland Dairy, and TerpZone facility are ‘must-do’ add-ons for any youth program,” adds Criscuoli. 

The University of Maryland was also named a Runner-Up in the “Best High Tech Venue” category, citing the brand-new Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center and its position at the forefront of active engagement. The 187,000 square foot building holds twelve classrooms and nine teaching labs and in a range of sizes and layouts. Most rooms feature a Crestron touch-panel at the lectern, allowing presenters to send up to two inputs to the room’s various screens. Seamless video-conferencing is available using built-in cameras, as well as ceiling, in-table wireless handheld and lavaliere microphones. Attendees can also wirelessly project content from their personal devices using the integrated Mersive Solstice system. The “Tiered-Collaborative” lecture halls feature speaker confidence monitors, while the “6Round” spaces provide round tables for group discussion, with screens on multiple walls for ease of viewing. Situated in the heart of campus, the Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center offers user-friendly technology, convenience, and an inspiring atmosphere for any event.

With the announcement of these awards, the Conferences & Visitor Services department has now brought eight Best Of Awards to the University in just four years. In 2015, the “Most Easily Accessible Venue” award and a “Runner-Up” nod in the “Best Venue for Tradeshow/Exhibits” category was received, followed by the “Best Suburban/Rural Venue” and “Best Venue for Youth/Sports Groups” in 2016, and the “Best Venue for Unique or Locally Sourced Catering” award plus the second “Best Venue for Youth/Sports Groups” award in 2017.