It feels like the year has only just started yet we are already turning the calendar over to March. The evenings are getting lighter, Harrogate is starting to blossom and Spring is round the corner…even if that corner is currently a little bit snowy!

February has seen some great events at the Yorkshire Event Centre; providing a great mix of corporate conferences, trade exhibitions and popular public shows too.

What’s not to love about Fine Food North Show?  An amazing array of food and drink from all over the world but the heart of the show for us was celebrating Yorkshire’s finest fayre.  We tasted some amazing cheeses a wonderful truffled Palma ham, boozy cherries coated in the finest chocolate…we could go on but we don’t want to make you hungry.  Suffice to say this is a trade show not to be missed.  The speakers included Jay Rayner and Sir Garry Verity – who spoke with passion and humour.  The vibrant colours and innovative stands at Ice Cream Expo were enjoyed by a committed and large audience, who tasted ice cream from famous Belgium chocolatier Callebaut among many others.  Visitors were also tempted into buying some of the ice cream vans from vintage models to a Batman Special…what a nice life it would be to drive around selling ice cream in the sunshine.

The Ice Cream Expo left and Hall 1 was swiftly transformed into a fantastic conference and exhibition of a new range of home products.  What they achieved using clever AV and design was literally jaw-dropping for an amazing 2 day product launch.

The Spring Quilt Festival offered plenty of inspiration – if you have never seen hundreds of beautiful handmade quilts hanging up – you really should come to this show it is hard to imagine the amount of work and the creativity that go into these masterpieces.   These displays are surrounded by exhibitors selling everything you need to create your own quilt so lots of shopping bags made their way home at the end of the weekend.

We thoroughly enjoyed welcoming the Cycle Expo team with Welcome to Yorkshire, who made use of our outdoor space for a video shoot to promote their first event with us in October. It’s just a regular day at the office when you look out the window and see a bike casually hopping up the wall before popping in a fancy turn and clearing the railings!  It seems we can also provide the perfect floor surface for a spot of record breaking…full details to be revealed later.

Behind the scenes, the chillers have been serviced and are all ready to power our cooling system when the weather warms up (here’s hoping).  One of our busy catering kitchens has been treated to a posh new floor and our ops team even found time to give the hardworking, onsite setup van a makeover!

The new month brings new events, conferences and exhibitions to Yorkshire and we have a fantastic selection of trade and public events lined up.


The typical guest list at an Asian wedding is eye-popping: at many Asian weddings, there can be upwards of 500 guests. For that, you need large event space, and a grand venue, too

In search for the perfect venue location for Trade Exhibitions? Yorkshire is quickly becoming a favoured choice for hosting exhibitions and conferences. Read on to find out why…

Top tips for making the most of Exhibitions. The time has come to promote your business at an exhibition, here are some top tips for getting organised.

When choosing event space and planning an event, there’s a lot to take into consideration. So, how do you make sure your exhibition stand holds up to scrutiny? Here are our top tips for making the most of exhibitions:

1. The Look

Planning is everything. How creative does it need to be? Do you need sound, lighting or illumination? Or maybe just the minimalist look, with white walls and a logo? Once you’re set up, make sure whoever mans the space looks sharp. Remove your litter and tidy up regularly.

2. Be a Visitor

Visit an event beforehand to see what catches your eye as a visitor. Which are the best stands? Where are the different elements placed? Is everything perfectly positioned for maximum effect? Look at ways businesses have used small budgets in clever ways.

3. Say ‘Hi’

Make friends with your neighbours. If you’ve forgotten something – maybe a cable – they might be able to help you out. Or they might look after your stand while you pop for lunch. They might even be persuaded to send visitors to your area.

4. Stay Awake

Exhibitions can be long days. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep so that you stay focused and alert. Remember that you’re the face of your company. If you’re not manning the stand personally, choose carefully. Pick someone friendly and outgoing, but not someone who’ll jump in the face of everyone who wanders by.

5. Follow Up

Always follow up. Anyone who stops to talk is a potential future customer. Get their name, number and email address and follow up with an email or newsletter. A purpose-designed enquiry form can be helpful.

6. Go Bespoke

Good marketers know to appeal to every sense. Give your prospective customers things to watch, feel and even smell. Make your area bespoke with clever use of furniture, audio-visual and lighting.

7. Give a Good Brief

If you’re using an exhibition-marketing company, give them a good brief with lots of details about the venue and size of your area. Will you need exhibition walling? Display walls? Curved walls? Low walls for pathways?

8. Be an Early Bird

For a successful day, you’ll need to find a handy place to park, be able to set up without a panic and check out the venue for facilities. All this is so much easier if you get there early.

9. Stay refreshed 

Speak to event caterers about the options available in on site cafes and restaurants or whether you can have refreshments on your stand.

10. Tell the World

Once you’ve booked your space, tell the world. Put it on your website, blog about it, make use of the banners the venue will give you, and put it in your newsletters. Nobody ever did well in business by being quiet.

Here at the YEC we host a variety of public and trade exhibitions, see our What’s On listing for more details. If you are looking for a venue to host an exhibition, contact us or call us on 01423 544 544 to see what we can offer.

[vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” text_align=”left” box_shadow_on_row=”no”][vc_column][vc_column_text]Looking for versatile large event spaces? Yorkshire Event Centre is a popular choice for hosting many different types of events.

Regardless of the event you are planning, the principle aim is to fill a room at your venue to its capacity. This will create a better atmosphere. There are many imaginative ways you can fill large event venues. If you have a lot of space here are ten ways you can use it practically and successfully without necessary filling it with just people.

1. Awards dinners

Corporate awards dinners are an easy way to fill a large party venue. You will need a stage, maybe some space for entertainment and also as many tables as you can accommodate. You can invite as many people as the venue can cater for. Who doesn’t like to think they are in with a chance of winning an award?!

2. Product launches

Naturally, this depends on the type of product being launched. Usually such an event requires space for product demonstrations, maybe a stage, a video screen and space for stalls and product storage.

3. Themed parties

Some lavish parties extend to having a theme, such as a cocktail event with roulette tables, or a party with a Bucking Bronco. If your party has a theme there are various props, games and activities you can install. These take up a lot of space and can make good use of your large venue.

4. Careers workshops

Schools and colleges love to arrange visits to careers fairs. A large event venue is great for setting up stalls and workshops demonstrating different trades, skills and professions. From the army and navy, to nursing, IT, engineering and the financial sector.

5. Motor exhibitions

This could be cars and motorcycles or caravans and other mobile homes, but certainly the exhibits require a lot of space and you need sufficient room for people to wander freely between each vehicle.

6. Ideal homes exhibitions

Here you are utilising space to exhibit different areas of the home and allowing organisations to set up reproduction rooms which demonstrate bedroom, bathroom and toilet suites, dining rooms, kitchens and living rooms.

7. Clothes show

Fashion shows require space for guests, video screens, walkways, dressing rooms and stalls from different designers, make-up artists and hair and beauty salons.

8. Lavish weddings

Of course the dream wedding for many people is a huge affair with no expense spared, or a themed wedding with props and decoration. An Asian wedding venue also typically has to cater for a large guest list with extensive catering requirements. Such events require a large capacity venue that can adequately cater for your guests.

9. Food and drink shows

Another very popular event for large capacity venues is a food and drink show, where space is required for food preparation, demo areas and various stalls. Health & Safety requirements dictate that certain food prep areas need to be kept isolated which also impacts upon the space and facilities required from your venue.

10. Wedding fayre

Everyone loves a wedding, and everyone loves a nosey at what is available even if they haven’t quite got the budget for it, so wedding fayres are extremely popular. Stalls for hair, make-up, dresses, suits, decorations and flowers are required as well as demo areas and maybe even a stage.

The Yorkshire Event Centre in Harrogate is one of the most versatile large event spaces in Yorkshire and can accommodate all of the above and more, so contact us today and we will help make sure your event goes perfectly.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” text_align=”left” box_shadow_on_row=”no”][vc_column][vc_empty_space image_repeat=”no-repeat”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” text_align=”left” box_shadow_on_row=”no”][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”352425″ img_size=”full” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”352426″ img_size=”full” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” text_align=”left” box_shadow_on_row=”no”][vc_column][vc_empty_space image_repeat=”no-repeat”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” text_align=”left” box_shadow_on_row=”no”][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”352428″ img_size=”full” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”352429″ img_size=”full” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Whether you are looking for a conference centre, exhibition venue or a wedding venue. Large event venues in the UK are designed to accommodate an increased number of delegates, and often offer extensive grounds for hire.

There are various ways you can make use of a large event space, but if you have a lot of floor space to fill, it can sometimes look awkward if the wrong sized room has been chosen and there is a great expanse of un-used space. This can create an ‘empty’ or unpopular atmosphere and the feeling that something is missing, and while you can be creative with partitions, or fill space with banners, ad stands and fake palm trees (!) there is sometimes only so far you can go. On the flip side, a large floor space is a blank canvass upon which you can explore ideas and you have much more scope to be ambitious and creative. Yorkshire provides an ideal central UK location for a large scale event.

Choosing the right size venue for your event is a key consideration, but some events do lend themselves perfectly to larger venues, so how do you make the most of a large floor space? Here are five event ideas you can consider.

Fill it with people!

Okay, sounds obvious and you still need a theme, but essentially, a large floor space allows you to be more extravagant with your guest list. This could be a lavish wedding of course or a huge corporate banquet involving all the important people from one industry, or you could use the space for an awards evening. All the best awards events require room for tables, a stage and space for people to walk up for awards, so bigger event spaces are definitely better.  As glittering balls become more popular and often are an essential fund raising activity for charities, you could try and enter the Guinness Book of World Records and organise the biggest or most successful ball ever.

Team-building events

There are various team-building events you can consider, and these are great for boosting morale, learning about people’s key skills or breaking down barriers at work. Many of the better team-building exercises are physical exercises or where teamwork leads towards constructing something. For this you need plenty of space so that teams can divide into groups, and you don’t want their creativity or ideas to be restricted by a lack of space. Having a large floor space allows the groups to fully express themselves.

Product Launches

Product launches require both people and space in which to demonstrate and properly showcase your product. This might require a track or a mock-up room or involve additional apparatus or equipment, but essentially, a large floor space allows you to show the product in as close to its natural environment as is possible. And it also allows you to accommodate a sizeable audience to see the product, with separate areas for talks and exhibits.


These days, exhibitions come in all shapes and sizes. Motor shows, caravans, boats, motorhomes, camping and ideal homes all need vast space given the size of the exhibits and the space you need to leave around them for people to get a good look. Wedding exhibitions, trade shows and of course consumer shows, require plenty of space due to the sheer number of exhibitors (who often have very large exhibits) and for the number of attendees that popular events attract.  Having enough circulation space to make visiting a pleasant experience and a safe one too, is key so the larger the event space for exhibitions of any kind, the better.

Cabaret and Theatre Style Conferences

We are approaching the very ambitious end of the scale here, but certainly the bigger event spaces can cater for a stage being erected either at one end or in the middle, with banks of seating created for an audience. The more lavish the production, the more space will be needed. Large event venues in the UK provide a range of options like there are at the Yorkshire Event Centre.

For more details or to discuss your requirements contact us

By Mike Large

It’s now been 6 months since I started as Deputy Venue Manager at the Yorkshire Event Centre and I’m loving every minute. We have a great team of talented people working on sales (finding and contracting the events) and operations (making the events happen), who all contribute to the clients in equal measure.

As a newcomer to the events industry; I have spent time learning about both sides of the team. I’ve seen how hard our sales team work to bring in new and exciting events and I have learnt countless new operational skills from Richard and Colin, whose experience provides a great platform from which to learn.

I joined the YEC at a very exciting time with the new Hall 1 opening just before I started. My timing seems to have been perfect; as Richard regularly reminds me I did not have to deal with the difficulties of the temporary structure or temporary office (I’m very lucky apparently!). The new hall is a great place to work, all the facilities are top notch and we even won an award for our toilets. And before you ask, YES, they actually do give awards for the best toilets!

It’s natural to be nervous on your first day in a new job, but the fact that I’d left a job in retail to try something completely new really put an edge on it for me. However, I needn’t have worried. The whole team made me feel very welcome and I must have met 50 new, friendly faces on my first day. I was keen to get my first show under my belt and prove to the team and myself that I could successfully manage an event. My first event was the Great Create Extravaganza in August, and I was very happy when it ran without any hiccups and the organisers left very satisfied.

The highlight of the first 6 months has to be a very busy November as we hosted back to back events including 2 fantastic dinners. The new hall looked incredible and I think everyone who attended had a great time. I am now looking forward to the opportunities and challenges facing me in 2017. The sales team have worked extremely hard in securing some exciting new events, which I’m sure will be a great success. I look forward to seeing you all at some of our events over the next 12 months; please come and say hello

Have you seen the YEC’s stripy tractor? It’s the talk of the town you know…. It started its life as a normal red tractor doing really mucky but useful work, cutting grass and hauling trailers. Until one day lots of new machines arrived it became a really sad tractor; sitting lonely and unloved because everyone chose the new machines with mod cons like cabs, heaters and even radios …

One day the decision was made to paint the tractor a rather fetching shade of purple to launch our Fodder farm shop and Café. It became a bit of a celebrity strutting round the Great Yorkshire Show in all its regalia. Although eventually the novelty wore off and it again found itself gathering dust in a shed….

The new Hall 1 was near completion, and we had to plan a huge party as we had waited such a long time for our new hall, and were very excited to show it off to the world.

And so began operation “Pimp my Purple Tractor” we wanted to breathe new life into this beautiful vintage piece and we wanted it to echo our new stripy logo too. We started with a very fetching chrome base coat to all the engine, wheels, and anywhere else we couldn’t fit 13 different coloured stripes. This was the fun part….the next phase wasn’t as exciting as it involved lots of delicate brush work and masking. It took hours; it was a true labour of love.

The date of the opening was announced the Hall was given its final finishing touches and the tractor was ready to meet its public…..

The stage was set the confetti cannons were primed and some clever chaps even managed to create a giant ribbon for the Reverend Nick Baines to cut and pronounce Hall 1 OPEN! And the new stripy tractor was in pride of place and used for lots of twitter pics. When you visit Yorkshire Event Centre be sure to look out for it – all we need now is a name to make it feel truly loved.


If you frequent social media sites (which I must admit to), you will have seen plenty of photos of other people’s food. It could be an exquisite, Michelin-starred celebration meal or a quirky cake; maybe it’s served in edible bowls or comes with a pair of comedy glasses, a stunning picture ready for its spotlight on your news feed. If it fires up the imagination and the palette, it’s a guaranteed talking point for weeks to come.

Fantastic food hits the senses like a pinball machine. It looks beautiful, it smells divine and each bite tastes delicious, flavours firing in every direction. Who hasn’t been transported down memory lane or inspired to try something new by a taste or smell? It can create and stimulate powerful emotions, so it’s no surprise that food is such a popular topic in cultures all across the globe.

When it comes to events, food could easily play a starring role in helping your guests enjoy and remember a wonderful dinner, exhibition or conference they attended. We saw a wonderful example of this at Welcome to Yorkshire’s White Rose Awards in November as our catering partner, CGC Events Catering presented a unique pudding to over 1,100 guests from the region’s tourism industry.

The theme was a “A Night at the Movies; Lights, camera, Yorkshire!” After a delicious fish starter and melt-in-your-mouth fillet of beef for the main course, CGC’s chefs put a remarkable twist on the traditional burger and fries. Guests could be forgiven for thinking another savoury course was on the way as the plates were presented to the tables. However, what Welcome to Yorkshire’s guests found instead was a chocolate mousse ‘burger patty’, sandwiched in a Victoria sponge bun!  The attention to detail was amazing with the traditional sesame seeds on top of the bun were replicated by fragments of popping candy; that literally danced on the tongue. The ‘French Fries’, were delectable Madeira cake, drizzled with a raspberry ‘ketchup’ and cream ‘mayonnaise’. These elements were accompanied by a mini milkshake, popcorn and a tub of ice cream, so the theme of a ‘Night at the Movies’ was truly complete.

Judging by the delighted guests’ reactions on the night and the posts that began to populate twitter and facebook, the result was a great success.

So, whether it’s a product launch, a large dinner, a trade show or something else entirely, why not revisit the menu and think about whether there’s a way for your food and drink to reflect your event?

As I look out of the window, I see a beautiful covering of frost across our acres of lawns that surround the Yorkshire Event Centre. I think of warmer days to come and basking in the summer sunshine while enjoying a cool refreshing ice cream. I stir from my day dream, as reality hits and I realise we only have a few weeks ahead before the Ice Cream Expo 2017. There has been lots of planning and preparation but there is still more to do as this popular, trade show uses the full range of our electrical, water and waste infrastructure to cope with the installation of industrial ice cream machines, freezers (obviously!), sinks, seminar theatres, live twitter feeds – all served with a wafer and a flake!

The upcoming show will be the first time it has been hosted in the new Hall 1. As we move towards the show I’m in regular contact with the show organiser Zelica Carr, Chief Executive of the Ice Cream Alliance, who recently said “We are all excited about using the brand new hall 1 with its state- of- the- art facilities and contemporary feel, along with its flexible layout.”

The show is expected to attract over 2,000 visitors from the ice cream industry and Zelica is forecasting another successful event. She said, “The UK has a reputation for innovation and quality which is attracting a growing interest in the expo from international buyers and decision makers. Combine this with buyers from an already strong and confident UK market and the scene is set for another bumper event. Last year’s expo generated millions of pounds worth of business with some exhibitors reporting the best sales in 30 years.”

We are scheduling plumbers, electricians, forklifting, cleaning, AV and parking services ready for the event on 14-16 February. It seems appropriate that this event falls on Valentines Day, love and ice cream are the perfect combo.

Warm weather and cool refreshing ice cream is not too far away…but first we can enjoy this fascinating trade show. If I was going to re-train I think ice cream would be the industry I would chose to move in – surrounded by delicious ice cream; what’s not to love?

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