Bournemouth International Centre, the South Coast’s largest and most versatile conference and exhibition venue, has announced a string of major events for 2015 that will generate millions of pounds for the local economy and enable thousands more professional delegates to experience Bournemouth’s unique brand of hospitality for the first time.
The town is currently the focus of more than £220 million in infrastructure investment, boosting its attraction as a business destination and encouraging more businesses, associations and event organisers to feature Bournemouth International Centre in their event rosters.
BH Live Director of Venues, Pat Coyne says,
“Our event programme for 2015 is packed with many high profile events, including the Liberal Democrat Autumn Party Conference, the Association of Breast Surgery Conference and AGM and the Royal College of Nursing Congress.
“Over 53,000 delegates will visit the Bournemouth International Centre during 2015 and contribute around £50 million to the local economy through business tourism.
“Bournemouth International Centre’s dynamics are the right fit for today’s blended conference and exhibitions model, as demonstrated by the diverse events already booked for the next couple of years. I am particularly pleased to see newcomers for 2014 already rebooking for next year and to be welcoming yet more new clients in 2015.”
The year gets off to a flying start with the UK Dance Championships on 20-22 January 2015, where rising stars and professional Latin and ballroom dancers compete for top national prizes. Running alongside, the UK Dance Shopping Mall brings top European designers to Bournemouth with a lavish display of couture Latin and ballroom dresses, men’s evening and dancewear, practice and competition wear, accessories, shoes, fabric, CDs and videos. Couture dresses are bought, adjusted by the designers and then worn in the competition throughout the week.
The 2015 BIC Wedding Show returns to Bournemouth International Centre for 6-8 February 2015, with exhibits from more than 130 wedding and civil partnership experts, from cars and bridal gowns, to cakes, florists, and everything in between. This is the largest event of its kind in the South, bringing together hundreds of inspiring ideas for couples planning their big day.
The first newcomer for 2015 is the Fry IT! Annual Trade Show on 1 March 2015, run by fish and chip wholesaler Friars Pride, presenting the latest products and services in the industry, with exclusive show discounts.
Next comes the Association of Cultural Enterprises Annual Convention, with its Best Product Awards and Gala Dinner on 3-4 March 2015. ACE promotes commercial best practice in the cultural and heritage sector with training and networking opportunities. The organisation is planning a packed programme of speaker sessions and topical keynotes, and a bigger trade show than ever with over 80 stands this year.
Also here for the first time, the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes Conference on 22-23 April 2015 will be hosted by Margaret Green Animal Rescue, promoting best practice in animal welfare for dogs and cats and engage with members dedicated to animal rescue and re-homing.
In the summer, TV, film and comic celebrities will be turning up for the first Bournemouth Film and Comic Con on 29-30 August 2015, many in full costume, to pose with visitors for photo shoots, take part in panel shows and interviews, and sign autographs. There’ll also be hundreds of stalls there, full of TV and film memorabilia.
And, after a hugely successful first visit in October 2014, Skipper Expo Int. Bournemouth will be back for 30-31 October 2015. Organiser Mara Media says that exhibitors are already signing up to attend. Seafish hailed this year’s expo as one of its ‘most successful shows ever’ after its stand was jam-packed on both days as the team processed applications for free Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs).
Bournemouth has always been popular with public sector organisations and professional associations, and in 2015 will be welcoming many of them back to Bournemouth International Centre. They include the Liberal Democrat Party Conference, the RCN Congress, Communication Workers Union, and key influencers in the health and social sectors.
The British Transplantation Society Annual Congress, on 10-13 March 2015, is run jointly with the Dutch transplantation society, Nederlandse Transplantatie Vereniging. The event promises an exciting and stimulating programme of expert clinical updates and the latest in laboratory science, presented to an audience of physicians, surgeons, laboratory scientists, nurses, transplant coordinators and all those interested in all aspects of organ transplantation. The three-day meeting will attract around 700 delegates.
The Care Show returns on 25-26 March 2015, one of a series regional shows dedicated to providing education, products and services for organisations responsible for the care of older people.
The Royal British Legion Women’s Section Annual Conference will be back for 14-16 April 2015, to bring together branch delegates from all over the country to review the work of the organisation and vote on resolutions that define the Women’s Section policy and welfare. The conference, last held at Bournemouth International Centre in 2007, gives members a chance to meet, socialise and have a bit of fun! There’ll be guest presentations from novelist and screenwriter, Julian Fellowes – creator of the Downton Abbey, and Chelsea Pensioner Brian Cumming. The conference will also be marked on 15 April by a remembrance parade through Bournemouth Gardens followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the Bournemouth Cenotaph.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU), the biggest union for the communications industry in the UK, will be back for 25-30 April 2015, using the event to highlight and debate issues relevant to the union as a whole, as well as to specific industry sectors and job roles.
The Association of Breast Surgery will hold its annual conference and AGM in Bournemouth on 14-16 May 2015, to encourage the research and implementation of new treatments, and develop better models for training, service delivery, data collection and patient care. The ABS is the most rapidly growing subspecialty organisation in the UK, with more than 1200 members responsible for treating the thousands of women who develop breast cancer every year in the UK and Ireland.
RCN Annual Congress 18-25 June 2015. Around 4,000 delegates attend this event each year, providing an opportunity for members to inform the RCN agenda and influence nursing and health policies through debate. Generating around £5.6 million for the local economy, Congress is the RCN’s major annual debating forum and frequently makes the headlines with the issues it raises. Running alongside is a large programme of professional, educational and social events – plus the UK’s largest exhibition of nursing products and services.
The Trading Standards Annual Conference on 29 June-2 July 2015 will be a diverse event, with the main plenaries supported by 46 mini-theatre sessions run by individual companies, government departments and other bodies and covering everything from product launches and award ceremonies, to discussion groups and product updates.
The Liberal Democrats will attract more than 4000 delegates to its party conference in Bournemouth on 17-23 September 2015, representing a single contribution of £10 million to the local economy. It will be business as usual – with lively speeches and debate, as the party sets out its vision and agenda for the future.
Bournemouth University, with a national reputation for the quality of its courses, regularly hosts its prestigious graduation ceremony at Bournemouth International Centre in November. BU is home to over 18,000 students and almost 2,000 staff, contributing over £1 million a day to the local economy. Respected by some of the biggest names in industry, BU is an incubator for innovation and enterprise, and its alumni occupy senior positions in organisations across the globe. The BU graduation ceremony is a major, six-day event for Bournemouth and has been hosted by Bournemouth International Centre since 1992. “Graduation is one of Bournemouth University’s most important events of the year.” says Press and PR Manager James Donald. “It is a chance to celebrate all that our students and staff have achieved, and to share this with family and friends. It is also a chance for BU to share our success to a wider audience through press and PR and the BIC is a fantastic location for this, with the amazing backdrop for photographs of our graduates and honorary doctorates.”
Finally, and looking further ahead to 2016, after a gap of more than 25 years, Bournemouth has been chosen as the venue for the 99th GMB Congress for 5-9 June 2016. This is the first time the Congress has come to Bournemouth since 1991. Their event is estimated to contribute £1.5 million to the local economy through business tourism and will be a major draw for over 800 delegates, exhibitors and visitors from across the UK.
To find out more about conferences and exhibitions at the Bournemouth International Centre visit www.bic.co.uk
Notes to the editor
About BH Live
BH Live is the South Coast’s leading operator of leisure and event venues – a social enterprise that designs and builds engaging experiences to inspire people and enrich lives. With over 2.5 million visits a year and over £31 million turnover, the organisation is changing lives – placing it at the heart of the UK’s growing social economy. In 2013/14, BH Live hosted 423 shows, sold over half a million cultural, sporting and entertainment tickets, clocked up 1.8 million leisure centre visits and welcomed 88,000 conference and exhibition delegates which contributed over £45 million to the local economy.
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PR & Corporate Communications Executive, BH Live