The new £11.5m event halls at Harrogate International Centre (HIC) have received the highest five star ranking from BREEAM, the world’s leading design and assessment method for sustainable buildings.
The Centre’s new bespoke exhibition halls scored an ‘outstanding’ 87.98% at the interim design stage assessment.
The new halls – which have already been used for a range of exhibitions, parties, conferences and events by the likes of Honda, Pepsico, The Stroke Association and the Christmas & Gift Fair – had been hoping to achieve a rating of “Excellent” (70%). The higher rating clearly demonstrates HIC’s desire to meet the growing need for venues to consider their environmental impact.
The BREEAM assessment uses recognised measures on performance, set against established benchmarks to evaluate a building’s design, but the assessors created a unique assessment for HIC’s new build.
Harrogate International Centre (HIC) has enjoyed a strong start to 2013, contracting 13 significant business wins during January worth over £3.5 million to the local economy.
Commenting on the wins, Paul Ashton, Acting Head of Sales said: “This is fabulous news for both ourselves and the local economy as it is estimated that these 13 events will bring in over £3.5m to the local area. 2013 is set to be a fantastic year for HIC. We have some significant events already booked but 13 signed contracts in the first month of the year is a record. From our point of view, the icing on the cake is the fact that 11 of the events take place this year. Many of these clients have chosen Harrogate for its great central location and the reputation Harrogate has for looking after event delegates.”
The contracts are a mix of new and repeat business and include:
• The Senior Times Over 50s show • Three Wine Men (featuring Oz Clarke, Olly Smith and Tim Atkin) • Events for 2 large well known retailers • Partylite • Ann Summers • Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association • Perinatal Medicine.
Several of the events are expected to attract as many as 1,000 delegates to the venue and town.
Dublin-based S&L Promotions have announced it is bringing its phenomenally successful Over 50s show to Harrogate International Centre (HIC) for the first time. The show will be held on April 12-13 2013.
S&L Promotions has organised the lifestyle event for more than 12 years in Ireland, and the sales team at HIC are delighted that the organisers have chosen Harrogate for this new show.
This lifestyle event described by the organisers as entertaining, informative and educational, will include golf lessons, creative writing, painting and keep fit master classes, tracing family roots, travel and retirement advice, fashion and beauty makeovers, wine tasting, health checks and talks. There will also be hobby and pastime ideas and the chance to get expert advice from Eric Knowles, best known for the Antiques Roadshow, and Tommy Walsh, the building expert and member of the Ground Force Team.
The Harrogate International Centre (HIC) team pulled out all the stops when they treated 80 VIP guests to an exclusive night at the Tower Of London. Guests were given a private viewing of the Crown Jewels before heading onto the Wakefield Terrace for a reception.
Simon Kent, deputy direct at HIC, said: “The aim of the evening was to get London buyers to consider Harrogate as a venue of choice for their event. Harrogate is one of the best event destinations in the country with the centre, bars and restaurants within 10/15 minutes’ walk of each other. Harrogate is a safe, cosmopolitan and event focused destination which offers the perfect solution for buyers. The Tower of London event was a memorable evening and one which guests will remember for a long time to come just as their delegates do when they bring their event to Harrogate.”
The Townswomen’s Guilds has chosen Harrogate International Centre (HIC) as the venue for its annual conference in 2013.
The Townswomen’s Guilds is one of Britain’s leading women’s groups with more than 30,000 members across the country. Its annual conference is its largest event and more than 2,000 women are expected to attend when it comes to HIC in June 2013.
The conference is returning to HIC – the venue last hosted the conference in 2006 – following a start to finish marketing campaign aimed at attracting new clients and events. HIC targeted associations using a variety of marketing tools including a direct mail showcasing exactly how HIC could cater for their conference. Organisers of the Townswomen’s Guilds conference were also invited to the official preview of new Halls H and G in November 2011 so they could see the new facilities, and Harrogate, for themselves.
Harrogate International Centre (HIC) has retained the business for a long running consumer exhibition and an academic conference. The two events will bring in excess of an estimated £500,000 in economic benefit to Harrogate and the region.
The Knitting and Stitching Show has rebooked HIC for a three day exhibition in November this year. The show, which has been held at HIC for 20 years, is one of three the organisers hold across the country. It is expected to attract around 10,000 visitors each day. As well as a wide range of exhibitors, the event also features demonstrations, workshops and artist galleries.
The British Association for Psychopharmacology (BAP) has signed a two year deal to host its annual summer meeting at Harrogate International Centre (HIC) – a deal worth £120,000.
The event will bring 500 visitors to the town during the four day meeting, contributing more than £500,000 to the local economy. The summer meeting is the largest the BAP organises, and it has been held at HIC most years since 2001.
BAP brings together people from the clinical and experimental disciplines as well as members of the pharmaceutical industry involved in the study of psychopharmacology. It is one of many high profile medical organisations which choose to host large conferences and meetings at HIC.
At a time when we are all struggling, have venues become their own worst enemy? For too long we have been blaming event organisers for creating shorter lead times by leaving bookings until the last minute. But maybe we should consider the impact of our own practices before laying the blame on other peoples’ doors.
Yes, we’d all like conference, exhibition or meetings to be booked and confirmed months in advance instead of being made at the last minute. But with the economy still looking uncertain and conferencing budgets being squeezed tightly, organisers and businesses are looking at ways they can get value for money. For some this means leaving the decision on the venue until the last possible minute in an attempt to get a better deal. And some venues are encouraging late bookings by offering last minute deals with massive discounts. This drives down prices and decrease lead times.
Every artist, writer, or composer begins each new work with a blank canvas. All that blank space is free to work with and fill with whatever they want to convey. Harrogate International Centre (HIC) may not be an artist, writer or composer. But we do have a blank canvas of our own.
Following the completion of Halls H & G at the end of 2011, clients can not only take advantage of the additional space available and better flow to the existing facilities, but because the halls provide event organisers with a blank canvas, clients have the opportunity to create anything they want. The options are endless, whether the client is a conference, event or exhibition organiser.
Harrogate International Centre, has reported a growing trend for business contracting with shorter lead times.
In the last 6 months, the venue has seen a rise in the number of events booked within 6-8 weeks of the event being held. Angus Houston, director at HIC, believes shorter lead times should not be seen as a major hurdle for venues but as an opportunity to introduce higher standards of customer service to ensure events always run smoothly.