Featured Business: Yorkshire Event Centre

Jessica Shay, sales executive at Yorkshire Event Centre, gives us an insight into her company including recent successes and aims for the coming year.

  About Jessica

I joined the Yorkshire Event Centre as Sales Executive in August 2009 after graduating from Leeds University. I am responsible for sales at the YEC which involves liaising with existing clients, handling and looking for new business and promoting the YEC.


  About Yorkshire Event Centre

The Yorkshire Event Centre (YEC) is a versatile venue located on the Great Yorkshire Showground in the spa town of Harrogate. The YEC comprises of two Halls offering near 5,500m² of level access event space set in 250 acres of outdoor space, offering the ideal setting to host a diverse range of events.


  What makes Yorkshire Event Centre ‘stand out from the crowd?’

We are fortunate to have a high repeat business rate of 85% which is testament to the high quality facilities and service we offer. We are fortunate to be in a central location with excellent transport links, including close proximity to the A1 motorway and Leeds Bradford International Airport. Being located in Harrogate means we have a large audience on our doorstep with 6 million people located within an hour’s drive, and due to its spa town heritage Harrogate attracts approximately 3 million visitors a year.

We offer thousands of free car parking spaces on our 250 acre site and visitors can view the spectacular views across the Crimple Valley.

  Recent successes at the Yorkshire Event Centre

On Tuesday 5th June 2012, we hosted our first concert and Elton John’s first concert in Harrogate! Over 11,000 visitors attended and the concert received fantastic reviews in the national and local press.

We have hosted an increasing number of new large scale events including the TR Register International Weekend, The Big Camp and the International Citroen Car Club Rally (ICCCR). The Big Camp welcoming over 5,000 beavers, cubs and scouts over the May bank holiday weekend and the ICCCR is the first time the event is being held in Yorkshire.

Conferences and awards dinners have been confirmed by new corporate clients and  new exhibitions this year include the Harrogate Baby Fair & Family Day, Get Going Live! and a Bakers & Butchers trade exhibition. Long standing existing exhibitions have seen record visitor numbers, such as the Great Yorkshire Show, which attracted a record 135,086 visitors in 2011 compared with 131,382 visitors in 2010. Several existing clients have opted to take more event space by moving into our largest Hall, Hall 1, or by taking both Halls.


  Things that irritate you, personally, within events...

Increasingly shorter lead times for booking the venue. This adds time pressure to ensure everything is ready for the event, but we have seen an increase in bookings which keeps us busy and motivated.

Client’s changing their event dates at short notice can cause issues with availability but we are flexible and do try to offer alternative dates.

  What are the current issues facing the events industry?

Event budget cuts throughout the industry are prevalent and cost is a main concern. However we offer flexible payment terms and we can help with various event elements such as furniture, staging and access equipment as we have these on site. We also use and recommend local suppliers to save on transportation costs. We offer a free marketing service to assist with the success of client’s events, this includes free listing on local tourist websites and inclusion in our charity member’s quarterly newsletter, which goes out to over 10,000 members. We welcome over 500,000 visitors on site each year which provides the ideal platform to promote upcoming events.

New venues being built and existing event venues expanding their existing floor space create an even more competitive event market. To maintain ourselves within the competition we have plans to replace Hall 1 in the near future with a larger, clear span Hall offering client’s greater flexibility and event space.


  What are the current trends within the events industry?

There has been an increasing use of video conferencing and social media has become the norm to assist with promoting events. We launched our twitter and facebook page earlier this year which allow us to keep visitors and clients up to date with upcoming events, news and competitions.

When looking for a venue clients have a stronger focus on sustainability. We are a member of the Association of Event Venues (AEV) which means we contribute to the ‘eGuide’ (a health and safety guideline for major UK exhibition venues) and we play an active role in the AEV sustainability group. We have recently invested in a waste compactor unit which has assisted in achieve a higher recycling percentage rate of 84% in 2011.


  Forthcoming events

Our largest event of the year, the Great Yorkshire Show, is now in its 154th year and attracts over 130,000 visitors over the 3 days. The show takes place from 10th – 12th July 2012. The Harrogate Flower Shows take place in April and September each year, with the upcoming Autumn Flower Show attracting approximately 45,000 visitors over 3 days.  The second half of 2012 currently is set to host over 30 events with more to be confirmed. May 2012 was our second busiest May on record with June looking to closely following the same trend. 


  What are the aims of Yorkshire Event Centre for the next 12 months?

Continue to offer fantastic service and facilities to our new and existing clients to increase our 85% repeat business rate. We are ongoing research into the new Hall development by corresponding with new and existing clients through discussing their requirements.

YEN would like to thank Jessica for taking the time to give us an insight in to the company and her thoughts on the events industry. 

If you would like to feature your business just like Jessica has, please email Jackie Mulligan: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



  Contact Jessica

Jessica Shay, sales executive

Call  01423 544544

Email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Click www.eventcentre.co.uk

Visit  Yorkshire Event Centre Ltd, Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG2 8NZ