01 December 2016, Bournemouth, UK – Bournemouth International Centre is the first major event venue in the UK to be awarded AIPC Gold certification. It joins a group of just 29 world class, AIPC-certified venues in continental Europe, South Africa, Malaysia, Australia, Canada and the US.

AIPC is the International Association of Convention Centres. It represents a global network of more than 175 leading centres in 57 countries and is committed to encouraging, supporting and recognising excellence in convention centre management.

Bournemouth International Centre is the largest purpose-built event venue on England’s south coast, hosting hundreds of cultural and business events throughout the year. The venue is managed by social enterprise BH Live, in partnership with Bournemouth Borough Council.

“Achieving the AIPC Quality Standards Certification – and especially at gold level – is a fantastic endorsement of the skills and commitment of our team to running an efficient, multi-purpose facility capable of delivering world-class conferencing, exhibition, entertainment and hospitality services,” says Pat Coyne, BH Live’s Director of Venues. “It shows that we are consistently meeting and exceeding the most exacting international standards in the event industry, and are a major player in the UK conference, exhibitions and meetings market.”  

Occupying a prime beachfront location, Bournemouth International Centre is a firm favourite among associations, promoters and corporate clients offering a refreshing alternative to similar-sized urban venues in the UK.

“We work closely with partners and stakeholders to continuously improve our facilities and create outstanding customer experiences for organisers, promoters, delegates and visitors, underpinned by the highest operational and environmental standards,” says Bournemouth International Centre’s General Manager, Steve Turner. “AIPC is the highest level of accreditation in the global events market. Achieving the gold standard gives us a unique competitive advantage and the momentum to attract yet more shows, conferences and exhibitions to Bournemouth.”

In 2015/2016, more than 600,000 people attended consumer and business events at Bournemouth International Centre and its nearby sister venue Bournemouth Pavilion. This generated more than £66 million for the local economy. BH Live was also a finalist in AIPC’s Innovation Awards for its hospitality business model, originally developed to add value to events at Bournemouth International Centre. Bournemouth International Centre also supports regional employment, its activities sustaining circa 4,000 local jobs across multiple sectors.

“The AIPC Quality Standards programme was developed as an industry-specific certification for confirming and documenting a centre’s accomplishments in key areas of convention centre performance, and is the only such specifically purposed form of certification in the industry”, says AIPC President Geoff Donaghy. “Bournemouth International Centre is to be congratulated on having achieved the gold level, as this demonstrates to owners, colleagues and clients that they are addressing international standards of performance in their management procedures”.

The program standards identified and audited the ten key areas of customer service, quality of facilities and operations, employee relations, health, safety, security and emergency response, financial integrity, community relations, environmental responsibility, industry relations and supplier relations.

“In times when competition among centres and destinations is more intense than ever, the AIPC Quality Standards programme is a valuable way for managers to ensure they are delivering quality – providing documentary evidence to serve many purposes, including the reassurance of clients” says Donaghy. “As we are increasingly confronted with other standards developed by groups outside our industry and that do not necessarily reflect the realities or priorities we face as managers, it is important to have a programme that entirely reflects our own needs”.

 The External Auditor for the AIPC Quality Standards Certification programme is Rick Knowlan, President of the Canadian Knowlan Consulting Group Inc. which specialises in strategic management consulting. Concluding his report for AIPC, he says, “The exemplary quality of the venue’s submission gives us high confidence that this is a well-managed venue fully deserving of AIPC gold certification.”

To find out more about Bournemouth International Centre and BH Live, visit bhlive.org.uk