A joint venture between the Winter Gardens Blackpool, Visit Blackpool and Blackpool Council will officially be launched at The Meetings Show, Stand 54, ExCel London, on 29th and 30th June 2022.
Meet Blackpool brings together key stakeholders in Blackpool’s conference and exhibition offer to deliver a unified approach, simplifying and streamlining the generation and management of conference and visitor enquiries through a single point of contact.
Central to the initiative is the newly launched £30 million Winter Gardens Blackpool Conference & Exhibition Centre, which opened its doors for the first time earlier this year. Its inaugural event, the Conservative Party Spring Conference, was the first major political conference to be held in the town for over 15 years.
Now the largest venue of its kind in the north of England, the Winter Gardens Blackpool Conference & Exhibition Centre provides 2,400sqm of event space to accommodate 2,000 visitors over two floors which, when integrated with the wider Winter Gardens complex, creates an overall delegate capacity of 7,000.
The venue has been designed to offer complete flexibility, available to book as a standalone venue offering a range of connected spaces.
The main meeting space on the first floor can be used as a single venue or split into four rooms using fully acoustic sound-blocking sliding walls to keep noise separated.
The smaller convention area on the ground floor can be similarly divided, whilst an upper break-out room offers a glazed outlook.
The hyper-modern venue also features exceptional broadband fibre connectivity, state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment and environment management technology.
An undercover loading bay with capacity for two articulated trucks enables exhibits and scenery to be unloaded straight into the conference centre or onto the back of the adjoined Opera House stage. In addition, a heavy-duty vehicle lift can carry a four-tonne fully loaded transit van to the upper floor.
With the addition of the new Conference & Exhibition Centre, the full Winter Gardens complex provides 12 distinct venues, all under one roof, offering a total of 4.9 acres of connected conference, meeting, event and exhibition space.
Over the last five years, Blackpool has benefitted from £500 million investment into the resort. It has seen three brand new purpose-built hotels built, with more under construction or in planning, offering over 400 bedrooms of 4-star standard and above.
The seafront tramway has also seen significant investment in new tracks and European commuter-style trams that run alongside the resort’s world-famous heritage trams.
The next phase will see the tramway extended to Blackpool’s central rail station, ensuring a seamless transition from arrival to hotel check-in. The national rail network has also gone through a significant investment programme, meaning direct trains from most major towns and cities.
Launched in 2013, the annual Meetings Show brings thousands of event professionals together, welcoming exhibitors from the UK and around the world including hotels, destinations, destination management companies, conference centres, venues and technology suppliers.
Organisers say this year’s programme will focus on innovations and trends, event marketing and research, meetings design, technology in events, sustainability and diversity and inclusion, with 49 sessions, over 85 speakers, and 22 hours’ worth of content across the two-day event.