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Conferences attracted to popular Centre

Conferences attracted to popular Centre

DESPITE the credit crunch, Torbay's conference business is said to be holding up well this autumn.

Torquay's Riviera International Centre will be busy with conferences and events through to December attracting some 2,250 people.

Managing director Barry Cole said none had cancelled to date.

The centre has just finished hosting a trade show and conference for Decco Ltd, the UK's leading wholesaler of DIY, gardening and houseware products to the independent sector.

Mr Cole said: "I have been anxious as to how the current economic climate might effect our conference and events business.

"To date we have not had any cancellations nor have we suffered any drop in attendance. However. in respect of any charitable and purely entertainment events we are seeing numbers slightly down

"In contrast, and perversely, our numbers for Christmas Party nights are well up on last year and bookings are flowing through to the Bay Brasserie as well."

Other events lined up this autumn include: HM Customs and Excise business advice event, October 22 to 24 for 500 delegates; South West of England Brass Band Championships, November 15, 1,000 delegates; Torbay Chess Congress, November 21 to 23, 200 delegates; South West Grid for Learning Conference, November 24, 400 delegates.

Some 700 delegates and exhibitors attended the recent Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland annual congress.

Staff at the centre were praised by organisers from the association which is a leading representative body for anaesthetists in the UK and overseas and is one of the UK's largest single grant providers for anaesthetic research.

They singled out Viki Thompson, conference and events coordinator, as a big factor in the conference being so successful.

Nicola Heard, senior educational events coordinator, said: "Viki made my job very easy and was always on hand if we needed anything. I would very much like the opportunity to work with her again."

Courtesy of Herald Express
Monday 20th October 2008

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