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HIC retains key exhibition and conference business

Harrogate International Centre (HIC) has retained the business for a long running consumer exhibition and an academic conference. The two events will bring in excess of an estimated £500,000 in economic benefit to Harrogate and the region.

The Knitting and Stitching Show has rebooked HIC for a three day exhibition in November this year. The show, which has been held at HIC for 20 years, is one of three the organisers hold across the country. It is expected to attract around 10,000 visitors each day. As well as a wide range of exhibitors, the event also features demonstrations, workshops and artist galleries.

Andrew Salmon, managing director of The Knitting and Stitching Show, said: “We are delighted to have confirmed our return to Harrogate. This show is now the second largest textile show anywhere in Europe – the largest being our own event in London.”

“I think the reason our Harrogate show has grown consistently since the early 90s, is that special magic we think the town affords any event. Certainly, the exhibition is the most popular of those we stage among the artists we deal with. They can step out of the halls at the end of the day and enjoy wonderful Yorkshire hospitality. Everything and everyone is so close to ‘home’ – making a stay in Harrogate a truly memorable experience.”

The International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) will be returning to HIC for its 48th annual international conference and exhibition in 2014, after the venue fought off stiff competition to host the event. IATEFL decided to return to HIC following the success of the event at the venue in 2010. The four day event, which uses a wide range of HIC’s flexible spaces, including the main auditorium, is attended by more than 2,300 people from around the world, and through the use of technology and live web-based seminars, its audience could exceed 60,000 people.

Glenda Smart, IATEFL executive officer, stated: “This will be our third visit to Harrogate, which is very popular among our delegates, who come from all around the world. As organisers we feel we get very good service from HIC staff and are looking forward to coming back in 2014.”

HIC’s director Angus Houston has welcomed the news. He said: “It is a credit to the hard work of the team at HIC that two big events have decided to return to the venue. We pride ourselves on offering our clients the highest levels of customer service, and when they make the decision to return to HIC because their events here have been successful it is recognition we have achieved this. We are particularly pleased that IATEFL chose HIC following a competitive pitch. It is an international organisation and the event will attract delegates from around the world. The use of innovations in technology will allow thousands more to participate in its sessions.”

“The news that these events are returning to Harrogate will also be welcomed by the whole region as business tourism is central to the local economy. With thousands of people visiting Harrogate during these events it will greatly benefit local businesses. Harrogate is a unique destination and we work in partnership with many other organisations to promote the best the region has to offer alongside the first class facilities at HIC. This reinforces the message that Harrogate is the place to hold conferences, events and exhibitions.”

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