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NEC Group bounces back with first tri-venue campaign  

by Joe Gallop

The NEC Group is launching an ‘Event Space Hoppers’ campaign for agencies this May as the events industry bounces back from the pandemic.

For the first time ever, the ICC Birmingham, the NEC Birmingham and Vox Conference Venue will be featured together in a playful campaign to highlight the potential for clients to ‘hop’ between the three venues to suit their event requirements.

This week several agencies will receive an Event Space Hoppers kit, featuring games to take part in within their teams. Entrants will also have the chance to enter a Space Hopper Sweepstake to win prizes, determined in a space hopper race taking place at the NEC on 7 June.

“It was clear to us as we looked at our pandemic recovery strategy that we needed to place more importance on the extensive options we offer,” said Kelly Haslehurst, marketing director – conventions and exhibitions, at the NEC Group

“We want to get the message out about the venues, but in a fun way. We have a core team of technical, sales and events expertise managing our venues which allows our clients to enjoy a smart, consistent approach, but with the flexibility of different spaces and locations.”

The NEC Group said one example of ‘event space-hopping’ was the move by the Ticketing Professionals Conference (TPC) from the ICC Birmingham to the Vox Conference Venue, due to the event’s growth in size post-pandemic.

“We started small in 2016, and every year we extended our agreement with the ICC, either the rental periods, how we configured the halls, and then to taking more halls, until we physically ran out of room,” said Carol Thomas, co-founder of TPC. “At first, we were not interested in the Vox as we thought the city centre and its hotels were too important. Our first visit changed that. I knew I wanted our event to go there.

“We had delegates coming from New York, Canada, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and many other countries, so the proximity to Birmingham Airport for the event at the Vox was perfect. It takes no time to walk to the conference venue from the airport and it meant delegates could stay at the conference until around an hour before their flight left.”

Donna Cunningham, NEC Group Conventions sales director, said: “We are in the bounce-back period, with a range of clients returning or coming to us for the first time.

“However, the strategy for us is to look at the spaces we have and how we can best service the client in question. Our ‘one team’ approach does allow us to be more creative in the solutions we can provide, as well as efficiencies for the client.

“We have a regional corporate client moving from the Vox to the ICC Birmingham this summer, and also a national corporate client moving from the ICC to the NEC as their corporate event now demands far greater scale, and with the NEC the possibilities are endless.”

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