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Access visits Hampshire to take in its event and hotel offerings…

New event vision

A new events facility at the Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre is open for business, and its famous air show, the Farnborough International Airshow, is set to benefit.

At 20,000sqm, and able to accommodate up to 10,000 guests, this £30m purpose-built centre is located at the home of the Farnborough International Airshow. It is 35 minutes by train from central London and accessible from the M3 and Heathrow Airport.

Account director for Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre & president of ILEA UK Carlo Zoccali told Access that the new centre is a permanent replacement for the temporary structures that featured at the air show. “Hampshire County Council and Rushmore Borough Council were among the funders of the project, and, were hoping to target the wider South East of England market. They can see the economic drivers for a venue this size that’ll be here 365 days a year outside of the airshow. This is a ten year plan, and venue suppliers GES and Sodexo provide revenue too.”

“Being permanent means you can still scale it for the airshow, and add additional space if needs be.”

“By 2020 we’ll have another 900 beds. Infrastructure wise, CrossRail will hopefully give us a Woking link to Heathrow, meaning we’re 25 mins off, and just 35 mins from Waterloo. People can fly in too, and lots of VIPs have their own private jets.”

“Meanwhile, being inside a perimeter fence is good for security, and the closest you can get is 65 metres away.

“Our data is secure too, thanks to our partnership with DB Systems.”

The suppliers

Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre’s suppliers list:

Sodexo Prestige Events and Venues: Caterers and service management services; DB Systems” Responsible for the technological servicing and site networks; GES: Event planner and marketing company; CBRE: Looks after the site’s facilities.

Where to stay in Hampshire?

The Aviator Hotel, Farnborough pays attention to the finer details. Its accents of walnut and leather, and use of granite didn’t go amiss, nor did its Airdrop ready televisions and space-age chic staircase. Meanwhile, its locally sourced fine dining options tick the eco boxes. For events, there are eight spaces for up to 130 people, and an outside terrace and lawn.

Hampshire event focus: International Autojumble at Beaulieu

Beaulieu events manager Judith Maddox says: “Our biggest event, the International Autojumble, will of course be back next September (1-2).

“In the 70th year of the Morris Minor, we’re welcoming back the Morris Minor Owners’ Club with a display at Spring Autojumble. Bringing plenty of summer fun and a Vintage Village will be the colourful Hot Rod & Custom Drive-In Day and Simply VW, for a retro-themed Father’s Day weekend.

“Our Simply season of rallies achieved record numbers this year. We are building on that again for next year, so look out for a Simply season announcement soon.”