Blackpool conference centre in sales team drive

Left to right,  Rebecca Thompson, Julie Vincent , Michael Williams
Left to right, Rebecca Thompson, Julie Vincent , Michael Williams

Blackpool’s Winter Gardens has taken on new faces to head the sales team for Blackpool’s new £28m Conference and Exhibition Centre.

Both, Julie Vincent and Rebecca Thompson are former employees of Blackpool’s Hilton Hotel, which has been a major part of the resort’s corporate travel offer since it was first opened in 1982.

With more than 30 years’ experience at the Hilton, Julie was previously the venue’s senior event sales manager.

Rebecca, who joined the hotel in 2005, was also part of the Hilton’s sales operation, specialising in group bookings, meetings and business events.

With just over a year to go before completion on the project the pair will work alongside the Winter Garden’s senior management team, and the town’s tourism agency VisitBlackpool, to promote the conference centre being built adjacent to the Winter Gardens complex.

They will be specifically targeting conference organisers, exhibition producers and event managers across a wide range of sectors including political parties, trade unions, business associations, academic symposiums and national membership organisations.

Michael Williams, managing director of the Winter Gardens, said: “Despite the fact we will soon have a fantastic new conference and exhibition centre being added to the existing Winter Gardens site we know we are in a very competitive events market regionally, nationally and globally.

"We have therefore been looking to recruit a dedicated sales team who not only understand the needs of the markets we are targeting, but also who have an unrivalled knowledge of Blackpool itself.

“Both Julie and Rebecca are from the local area and between them they have nearly 50 years’ experience within corporate travel, meetings and events management.

“They will now both be using their expertise gained at the Hilton to highlight to potential clients the amazing opportunities which the new conference and exhibition centre will offer, as well as the £500m transformation Blackpool has enjoyed over recent years.”

Funded through Lancashire’s Local Growth Deal, Blackpool’s new Conference and Exhibition Centre will able to accommodate 2,000 delegates across a 6,150 square metre footprint.

It will be available to book as a standalone venue or can be integrated with the wider Winter Gardens exhibition and events venues - to which it will be directly linked - creating an overall capacity of 7,000.

With the addition of the new Conference and Exhibition Centre, the Winter Gardens will become a hub of 12 distinct venues, all under one roof, offering a total of 4.9 acres of connected conference, meeting, event and exhibition space.