EventCity in Manchester has experienced its busiest half-year to date with a record 217,000 visitors passing through its doors, after hosting a string of high profile events including the X Factor auditions and the Ideal Home Show.
The venue was the only venue chosen outside London to host the X Factor Judges’ Auditions, welcoming over 15,000 X Factor devotees over two days to the arena.
Record numbers also attended the Ideal Home show in June, where 37,000 visitors, spent almost £10m across 300 exhibition stands. Future high profile events scheduled include a utilities conference with over 3,000 delegates, Play Expo and Winter Wonderland in December.
The venue management is forecasting an annual total visitor number of 598,000, which will represent a 32% increase on last year.
Management also claims that EventCity’s economic impact has been measured for the first time and points to independent research by AMION Consulting which shows EventCity generates a further £11.9m in visitor spend each year in nearby hotels, shops and other attractions.
EventCity MD Andy Orr said: “Anecdotally we knew that there was a direct correlation between a major event here and higher footfall and increased spend in stores including Asda and within intu Trafford Centre, as well as within our neighbouring hotels.
“The fact our visitors can build retail and leisure time into their trip is part of the attraction. Equally, our exhibitors recognise the advantages of hosting their events in such a unique location that is easily accessible via the motorway network.”
EventCity directly employs 212 individuals, and supports 324 full time jobs off site within a range of service industries generating £16.6m GVA (Gross Value Added) into Manchester’s economy each year.
Orr added: “We’ve had an incredible first six months of the year and to be able to see the measure of our success fiscally is very rewarding. It’s not just about numbers through doors but creating real tangible benefits to the local economy through the people we employ directly and indirectly.
“We’re starting to turn heads on a national level and to be the only venue outside London to host the X Factor judges’ auditions has given us huge kudos. We want to keep attracting more ‘firsts’ outside the capital, as well as appealing to a variety of market sectors.”