EXHIBITION NEWS May 2017 - Page 35

WINNING FORMULA Clockwise from top left: the winning YEC team, a gala dinner at the venue, the trophy comes home, Hall 1 at night, Hall 1 under construction and the Toolfair show fl oor rewarding relationships. As one of the largest horticultural shows in the country, the new space demonstrated its natural ability to easily host large numbers of visitors.” Ashton adds: “More so now than ever, it’s crucial that venues and event organisers are so close in terms of working so we can realise our aspirations as much as we possibly can. “It’s a very competitive world, whatever business you’re in and it’s only going to become more competitive so it is critical that we work together to put those relationships in place.” Having a focus It is evident from talking to both Parry and Ashton that exhibitions are not only core to the business at YEC but also to the team at heart, it’s been where they started. “All the clients have come with us and gone through having a temporary structure when we had the build are still here which is great and are still our lifeblood,” says Ashton. “The beauty in this industry is the variety. That’s what keeps it interesting and keeps it fresh. Striving to make different ways of using the space and trying to encourage clients as much as possible to be creative. “We are now a fantastic blank canvas to paint their picture on and that’s what we’d love to be able to accommodate and facilitate.” In terms of events, Ashton says he particularly loves trade exhibitions. “It’s so important that people still have that opportunity – regardless of their industry – to come together to meet each other, see new products, ‘touch it, feel it, see it’, as the old saying goes – you can’t beat that face-to-face in the fl esh interaction. “For us as a venue and for us as an industry, it’s rather critical that that attitude and belief continue, because if it doesn’t, we’re all going to be in a bit of trouble. Which is why it’s really gratifying that our peers and judges recognised our hard work and achievements with the award.” Parry admits that being given £11m from a 35 charity is a huge investment but the team have really committed themselves and have really gone for it. “It’s working and that’s just the most amazing feeling, then to have that EN Award win on top of that is just the dream on what has been a very successful year,” she tells EN. “I’ve worked here for so long because I’m passionate about what we do as a charity. I’ve worked here since 1993. They were just starting out really and saying we need to be more commercial and do stuff to get money and at that stage, we were getting in £40k a year through non-Great Yorkshire activities and now it’s over £6m. “It’s changed a lot, and we’ve made a lot of investment and worked really hard. We have a team of over 100 people and it’s fantastic. Every day is a joy and every day I learn something different. Every day we make someone go home with a smile and that’s what is so lovely.” EN exhibitionnews.co.uk | May 2017