Raising our profile is paying off

It was the golfer Gary Player who once said “the harder I practice, the luckier I get.”

As we review our successes over the last 12 months in promoting Lancashire and Blackpool as a great place to do business, the same principle applies.

Lancashire & Blackpool Conferences & Meetings’ new business tourism initiative, which has showcased our conference and meetings facilities at a series of high-profile events this year, is really paying off.

Latest figures now show that our awareness drive has led to a 23 per cent increase in enquiries.

We launched this major initiative to challenge the ‘big city’ conference offerings by highlighting the variety and diversity Lancashire has to offer, particularly for medium-sized and smaller conferences.

To have recorded a 23 per cent increase in enquiries as a result shows that people agree with us – that the area has something different and that they want to find out more about the quality facilities we have.

The Lancashire & Blackpool Conferences & Meetings team has travelled the length and breadth of the country spreading the word about our fantastic conference and business facilities to meetings and event organisers.

Our initiative has combined a major presence at the leading events and conferences on the business tourism calendar with a successful Venue Show which attracted prospective customers from across the UK to Park Hall, near Chorley.

We’ve been spreading the message about our ability to meet the ever more demanding needs of the business tourism sector to audiences from HR professionals to the charitable sector.

We have raised the profile of Lancashire and Blackpool at events, including Event UK 2010, held at the NEC Birmingham and office* at London’s Earls Court.

Our conference facilities were also showcased at the two–day Association Congress, held at London’s Millennium Conference Centre and the HRD Conference and Exhibition for human resource professionals, at London’s Olympia.

Lancashire and Blackpool was also the only area of the UK outside London showcasing at the ‘not for profit’ sector at the Charities and Associations Exhibition (CHASE) held at the Business Design Centre in London.

The campaign has also included the launch of an Ambassador Programme, which is recruiting leading business and academic figures to promote the area.

A new venue referral scheme has also enabled venues to capitalise on the increased enquiries coming in by recommending alternative facilities when they are fully booked.

Rest assured, the work will continue in 2011 as we continue to build on the success of 2010.

Tony Openshaw
Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board