Europe’s largest housing festival, CIH Housing’s annual conference and exhibition, has called Manchester Central it’s home since 2012.
Throughout its time at the venue, the event has continued to evolve and 2018 proved to be its most successful year to date, with a 12.5% increase in corporate bookings and growth in delegate revenues resulting in record footfall for the event.
Whilst a focus for 2018 was improving the ‘exhibitor experience’, the organisers worked with the team at Manchester Central to provide an unforgettable experience for everyone attending the event.
And as delegates, who travelled from as far and wide as New Zealand and Canada, arrived in the Manchester sunshine, they were greeted by two modular homes which we’re built in less than 48 hours in the heart of the city.
Sarah Payling, Portfolio Director at Ocean Media said: “One of the reasons for our ability to innovate, launch, disrupt and yet keep our audience on board throughout is the partnership arrangement we have with Manchester Central. They help us with every single step of the journey, we trust them, respect them and feel like they are a key part of the event team at all times”.
For 2018, the decision was taken to maximise engagement on the show floor by moving everything into Manchester Central’s iconic central hall, a converted railway station. This included building ‘pop-up’ seminar theatres, a delegate lounge and working with the venue’s IT team to deliver the best technological solutions.
And it was a decision that paid off. The floor felt alive; networking opportunities were maximised, and speakers commented the new and improved ‘fringe festival’ which was modelled on Glastonbury; with a pyramid stage and music playing throughout, including a 60 strong children’s community choir.
Sarah continued: “The most important thing for us is that our delegates, visitors and exhibitors not only love the exhibition but also love the venue, and we can safely say that they do! All the feedback that we’ve received has been incredibly complimentary about the facilities at Manchester Central and its location in the heart of the city is ideal for networking long after the exhibition has closed. We’re already looking forward to returning next year!