5 reasons to choose Blackpool as the next destination for your business event

There’s a reason Blackpool has retained its title as the UK’s most popular seaside destination, attracting more than 18 million visits a year. The town has long been synonymous with entertainment and classic British seaside holidays. But it’s not just about leisure – Blackpool’s business meetings and events sector is undergoing a revival thanks to its unique blend of contemporary venues, iconic heritage, cutting-edge technology, and innovative infrastructure.

  1. Unique event spaces

Blackpool is home to a new £30m Conference and Exhibition Centre, a state-of-the-art space that merges seamlessly with the magnificent architecture of the historic Winter Gardens Blackpool, which includes the Empress Ballroom; Spanish Hall; the Pavilion & Horseshoe and the Opera House, giving a total event capacity of over 7,000.

The high-tech, high-spec conference centre is the largest of its kind in the North of England, with a total of 2,400sqm across two floors offering flexible spaces for meetings, conferences, exhibitions and trade shows. The new conference centre means that Blackpool can now cater for every style of event from small meetings to large association congresses, and even the 2022 Conservative Party Spring Conference, which was the first event of its kind to be held in Blackpool for 15 years.

  1. Dedicated conference and exhibition arm

Meet Blackpool, a joint venture between the Winter Gardens Blackpool, Visit Blackpool and Blackpool Council, was recently launched to highlight the town’s cutting-edge offer for business events. Under this new conference and exhibition arm, key stakeholders and partners across the region’s meetings and events sector have merged together to deliver a unified offering, simplifying the management and delivery of conference and visitor enquiries through a single point of contact.

Since launching in July 2022, Meet Blackpool’s collective approach has led to a number of business wins among partner venues, which include the Winter Gardens Blackpool, Blackpool Conference and Exhibition Centre, Village Hotel Blackpool, and The Imperial Hotel Blackpool, and ranging from large-scale conferences, private dinners and lunches, exhibitions and AGMs, to dance competitions and charity music weekends in 2024.

  1. Easily accessible and great location

The town is among the UK’s flattest and most easily navigated destinations. Blackpool offers excellent transport links to the rest of the UK and beyond with multiple means of travel from bike, to foot, to car or taxi, to train. Delegates can make the most of the regular train services from Blackpool North station to Manchester Victoria, York, and Liverpool Lime Street, and the daily service to London Euston and Manchester Airport means enhanced connectivity for the global business events audience.

Blackpool’s electric tramway means delegates looking for more sustainable transport options can explore the 11 miles of coastline, visiting many of the town’s meetings and events venues, restaurants or hotels, or exploring Blackpool’s distinctive attractions. In an effort to encourage sustainable travel and respond to the needs of delegates, Meet Blackpool is also looking to partner with some of the UK’s leading rail services to offer discounted train fares for delegates.

  1. Unbeatable delegate experience

When it comes to incentive travel, delegate extender stays or team-building experiences, Blackpool’s longstanding reputation for entertainment and delight is unparalleled. With Blackpool widely regarded as the home of ballroom dancing, Meet Blackpool is also launching Strictly inspired FAM trips, working with key resort partners to showcase the destination’s offer and to add some sparkle to the delegate experience.

The town’s attractions include the iconic Blackpool Pleasure Beach, which has seen an investment of £24.35m since 2007, Hot Ice, the only remaining purpose-built ice theatre of its kind in the world, Blackpool Tower, coined as the ‘Wonderland of the World’ when it first opened in 1894, and Blackpool’s three historic piers, not to mention the colourful International Dance Festival which takes place at the Winter Gardens Blackpool each year. Recent investments also include ‘Backlot,’ a multi-million-pound cinema complex that’s currently under construction and due to launch in 2023, creating an ‘all day’ experience at the Houndshill Shopping Centre.

  1. The centre of digital innovation

Recent investments in state-of-the-art digital infrastructure have made Blackpool one of the best-connected digital hubs in the UK. The old tram line – as well as carrying over 4.5 million passengers each year – links the UK to the rest of the world digitally thanks to its partial repurposing to create an underground super-fast, fibre-optic internet network that runs the full length of the coastline.

This network means that Blackpool not only boasts some of the best WiFi speeds in the UK, but the cable network joining America to Blackpool and the rest of Europe, Aquacomms, puts Blackpool firmly on the digital map and boosts its status as a serious data-processing destination. This is why the region can cater for growing sectors and businesses that rely heavily on cloud-based work, streaming services, or the ‘internet of things’, and contributes to Lancashire’s up-and-coming technology economy which has grown by 28 per cent over the past five years.