Blackpool Continues To Boom With Partnership Approach To Conference Delivery
Blackpool’s continuing regeneration and transformation into a modern conference destination is set to get a major boost with the launch of a new connectivity initiative across the resort.
Facilitated by tourism bureau VisitBlackpool, the town’s major venues, hotels, leisure attractions and key service providers are set to work closely together to deliver a hassle-free and seamless event management experience.
At the heart of the ‘connected Blackpool’ offer will be the resort’s new Conference and Exhibition Centre, which is now taking bookings from summer 2019.
The new venue will able to accommodate 2,000 delegates across a 6,150 square metre footprint. It will be available to book as a standalone venue or can be integrated with the wider Winter Gardens exhibition and events venues - to which it will be directly linked - creating an overall capacity of 7,000.
The unique nature of Blackpool’s Winter Gardens complex will also be central to the new connectivity campaign.
First opened in 1878, the Winter Gardens features some of the country’s most distinctive conference and convention spaces including the Empress Ballroom, Spanish Hall, Opera House and the Olympia Exhibition Hall.
It is also a multi-functional venue and the different rooms and auditoriums can be used together, in isolation, or in whatever configuration is required.
With the addition of the new Conference and Exhibition Centre, the Winter Gardens will become a hub of 12 distinct venues, all under one roof, offering a total of 4.9 acres of connected conference, meeting, event and exhibition space.
Improved transport connectivity will be another major element in Blackpool’s connected campaign.
Following the electrification of lines between Preston to Blackpool new quicker trains, and more direct routes from across the UK, will make the resort easier to reach from May 2018.
In parallel to improvements to the rail network, Blackpool is also extending its modern, efficient tram service. This will see visitors by train being able to transfer to a tram direct from the station, allowing quick and easy access to the resort’s major hotels, landmarks, leisure attractions, piers and seafront.
The expanded tram service will also link up Blackpool’s six new hotels, including a five- star development, which will add 700 premium rooms to the town’s existing stock.
Bringing these new and improved amenities together to deliver an end-to-end service for event organisers will be head of Blackpool’s Business Tourism team, Mandy Tythe-McCallum.
She said: “Blackpool has enjoyed over £500m of new investment and improved infrastructure over recent years, much of which has been carefully planned to create an integrated and hassle-free experience for visitors.
“However, we have also been working hard behind the scenes to bring the resort’s key partners together, both from the private and public sector, to ensure conference and exhibition organisers can enjoy a bespoke, one-stop-shop approach when they come to us.
“Further, the VisitBlackpool team can pick up the phone to any hotel GM, leisure attraction manager or service provider in the town to get the information which a client requires to guarantee things run smoothly.
“This combination of new facilities, transport links and hotel stock, together with a joined-up, pragmatic approach to delivery, plus a friendly Northern welcome, is at the heart of our connectivity offer.”
Michael Williams, Managing Director of the Winter Gardens and Blackpool’s new Conference and Exhibition Centre, said: “Blackpool’s ability to facilitate partnerships and create strong links between all the resort’s venues, hotels, attractions and visitor services is something very few locations can achieve.
“VisitBlackpool’s connected philosophy also completely mirrors the way the Winter Gardens operates where every meeting room, hall or exhibition space can be utilised for different needs without delegates having to leave the complex.
Much of the recent investment in Blackpool, including the Conference & Exhibition Centre and new tram network, has been supported by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal fund.