Bright ideas in Brighton
Liz Brand, sales manager at the Brighton Centre, answers our questions on the city’s seaside appeal.
Brighton has always been a solid conference destination, what do you think is the city’s appeal?
I think the city has enduring appeal as we constantly evolve, listen and act on our delegates’ feedback and work really well as a city together. As a venue we exist to drive economic benefit to the city and everyone connected to leisure and business tourism in Brighton really gets that.
We meet up, share ideas, host trips together and always look to exceed the client’s expectations. There are so many different faces to the city and whatever it is you’re looking for you can generally find it; we have the Royal grandeur of the Pavilion, the amazing giant glass viewing pod of the i360, a huge range of great restaurants and bars and venues of all shapes and sizes.
We’re also a walkable city, which is a huge benefit for conference delegates as you can walk from conference, to social events and onto the beach in a matter of minutes.
The city, and the Brighton Centre specifically, is most famous for hosting political party conferences. What other sectors/industries are drawn there, and what is emerging?
We have a diverse range of conferences and events here. Just this year we’ve hosted international medical conferences like ICAASP (International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing) and the British Association of Spinal Surgeons, to Brighton Tattoo Convention with many other association and union conferences and we’ll be hosting the Labour Party again in September. One area we have seen grow rapidly in the last few years has been very close to our heart; creative industries, and most notably BrightonSEO.
Brighton SEO is a huge, twice-yearly search marketing conference and training event her at The Brighton Centre, which has grown from a conversation in a pub to selling out 3,500 tickets in 13 minutes.
What is the hotel scene like these days, there seems to be lots of investment?
You have so much so choice with hotels, from budget to opulent and traditional to New Age. The famous Grand Hotel had an amazing facelift last year and the Mercure has had a grand reopening and has been totally transformed. We have 8,000 bed spaces within a 10-minute walk from the Brighton Centre and 12,000 within 20 minutes.
If a conference delegate asked you for advice on three things to do while in Brighton, what would you tell them?
1. Mooch – Have a wander around the cultural quarter; see the Royal Pavilion, Dome, the Pavilion gardens, unique retail and, if you’re here in November or December, the amazing Royal Pavilion Ice Rink.
2. Eat – the most amazing place to eat (in my opinion!) is Terre a Terre, it is utter genius cuisine and nothing like you will have experienced before, the staff are brilliant too which always makes for a great experience.
3. Visit – The i360 is such a unique way to see the city, have a Brighton G&T as you glide up to 450ft with panoramic views of the sea and city.