By Beth Lindner
Steeped in the tradition of excellence one has come to expect from Washington University, the Eric P. Newman Education Center, or EPNEC as it is commonly known, is a top-notch choice of meeting facility. Located on the prestigious campus of Washington University Medical Center, this first-class facility offers key ingredients essential in determining the success of a meeting and provides the convenience and support necessary for productivity and learning.
Opened to the public in December 1995, the center has consistently charted a course as an industry leader when it comes to accommodations and attention to detail. From local to regional and expanding onto the international arena, EPNEC has hosted myriad meetings, workshops and symposiums. Vicki Tegethoff, Director of Continuing Medical Education at Washington University and host of 15 to 20 meetings annually at EPNEC, explains, “The facility is both convenient and accommodating to physicians as well as the meeting attendees.” She continues by saying, “The facility is conducive to their programs and the attendees enjoy coming on campus.”
Positioned to Meet All Business Needs
Jamie Ryan, director of the center, reports that EPNEC is a disabled-accessible facility. In addition, the center has the capability of accommodating groups of 20 to 450 people. “We have a fabulous, state-of-the-art auditorium that seats 450 people. We also have two-tiered auditoriums that seat approximately 50 people and 95 people each.” To further complement the auditoriums, the two-story Atrium Lobby can serve as a pre-function and registration space.
The second floor offers seminar rooms featuring tastefully designed furnishings that are standard to the EPNEC, but on a more intimate scale for smaller groups. These seminar rooms are ideal for strategic planning meetings or breakout spaces. The center also is home to three presentation rooms that offer classroom seating in a tiered setting. These rooms are equipped with ergonomic chairs, hard-surface writing tables and user-friendly, state-of-the-art presentation equipment. Additionally, a great room is available and is able to seat up to 200 people for dining. The great room is equipped with a portable wall capable of dividing the room into private dining or meeting spaces. High-speed Internet connections and interactive video conferencing are standard in every room.
“Ten breakout rooms are available on the third floor and can be used for meetings or private dining space,” Ryan says. For the convenience of meeting planners and attendees, a room capacity chart is available to help in planning meeting logistics on the EPNEC Web site at www.epnec.wustl.edu. Prices vary based on the room selection and the time allotment required. Breakout rooms begin at $185 for a half day; seminar rooms begin at $371; great rooms also begin at $371; auditorium rental begins at $1,685 per half day. Customized day meeting packages are offered. These packages include meeting room rental fees, standard room audio-visual needs, continental breakfast, morning and afternoon breaks, lunch buffets and dinner selections, depending on the meeting format.
Wide Spectrum of Services Available
EPNEC is a full-service facility offering a full menu of services. A conference center team is available to meeting planners. The team is able to assist clients in choosing the correct audio-visual equipment to meet their particular needs. They are also able to recommend cuisine perfectly suited to satisfy a variety of dietetic preferences as well as help in creating room layouts that best facilitate a meeting. It is this attention to detail that helped Scott Miller, President of Server Centric, choose EPNEC for his company’s annual Geek Day Event. A technology consulting firm, Server Centric hosts a large-scale, invitation-only marketing training event with a variety of room layouts and intricate technology requirements needed to make its sessions successful. From multiple breakout sessions to numerous vendor product displays, and everything in between, EPNEC has been able to effectively and seemingly effortlessly meet the needs of this satisfied client. When asked why Server Centric chose this location two years in a row, Miller says he based his decision on several factors. “The Eric P. Newman Education Center has the physical layout large enough to seat 450 people. This factor alone eliminates other facilities in the area.” Miller goes on to say, “The theater-style seating keeps people involved in the presentations. And there are enough large breakout rooms to keep things going simultaneously.”
The third and perhaps most pivotal reason that this group has chosen EPNEC is its ability to meet both the power and technological needs vital to the company’s business. Miller says, “This facility has the ability to meet broadband requirements and need for secure access to data centers. In theory, large hotels may have the space and power needed, but broadband requirements could not be met.” At EPNEC, a comprehensive selection of technological equipment is available to meet clients’ specific needs including, but not limited to, wireless microphones, free wireless high-speed Internet, an Internet kiosk, free local phones, on-line presentation submissions and video conferencing. The facility also offers data/video projection, DVD/VCR/CD players, transparency projection, document cameras, whiteboards, flipcharts and markers.
In addition, with an on-site staffed business center available to attendees, groups have access to copying and duplicating services, fax services, message management, e-mail and Web connections, receiving and sending shipments and printing from disk or memory stick.
Flexible Refreshment Service from Casual to Elegant
EPNEC’s food service, says the center’s director, “offers guests choices from casual to elegant gourmet depending the group’s requirements. We offer themed buffets and a variety of choices to meet the diverse range of dietary requests.” The catering staff at the center works diligently to provide both high quality food and service. The menus are extensive and ensure that guests and meeting attendees will feel satisfied with the selections.
A “continuous refreshment service” is offered to clients and is touted as an integral aspect of EPNEC packages. This service removes time constraints, thereby promoting flexibility for meeting planners when scheduling sessions and breaks. For example, continental breakfast is served outside your meeting room at 7:30 a.m. The mid-morning break is available from approximately 9:30 a.m. to a half hour before lunch is served.
Although the Eric P. Newman Education Center does not have guest rooms on location, the center does partner with the Parkway Hotel. This hotel is conveniently located a half block away and offers 220 guest rooms. The hotel’s director of sales is available to EPNEC’s guests for additional information about the hotel and the amenities it offers.
Facilities and the services they provide coupled with an attentive and knowledgeable staff mark the key ingredients to making a meeting successful. EPNEC has positioned itself in the category of premiere sites available to meeting planners.
For further information and to begin planning your next meeting or conference, EPNEC’s Web site is both informative and user-friendly, www.epnec.wustl.edu. Contact Jamie Ryan at (314) 747-1668 for more information. EPNEC is located at 320 S. Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri, 63110. MM&E
(Beth Lindner is a contributor from Manchester, Mo.)
At a Glance
Type of Facility:
Group size this facility is able to accommodate:
Type of Cuisine:
The facility offers free wireless Internet throughout the building, video conferencing, data/video projection, DVD/VCR/CD players, transparency projection, document cameras, whiteboards, flipcharts and markers.
Are group rates/discounts available?
Customized packages based on client’s needs are available
Is the facility disabled-accessible?
$185 – $2,809