first international award

05 April 2017 Jenna Hadley

The NEC has won its first international award after securing the 2017 UFI Operations and Services Award.

UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, offers awards as a platform for sharing best practices and honouring outstanding activities within the exhibition industry, with the Operations and Services Award focusing on the best exhibition industry initiatives to enable a perfect customer journey to and in the venue.

Finalists were invited to the UFI Operations and Services Focus Conference, held in Utrecht, Holland, on March 23rd to present to delegates who then voted for who they deemed offered the best customer journey.

Competing against Messe, Frankfurt and Suntec, the NEC was announced as the clear winner with 74% of the votes.

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At the UFI Awards (L to R): Jana Hofmann – UFI Events Manager, Nicolette Elia-Beissel – UFI Programme Manager, Martin Clarke – NEC Marketing Director, Stefan Eckert – Senior Vice President Services, Koelnmesse, Richard Mann – NEC Market Development Director , Andreas Winckler – (Operations & Services Committee Chair) Managing Director of Messe Frankfurt Medien and Service GmbH and Vice President Services at Messe Frankfurt Venue GmbH, Sonia Thomas – UFI Operations Director

Commenting on the win, Kathryn James, Managing Director of the NEC Group Conventions and Exhibitions, said: “At the NEC, we put the customer experience at the heart of everything we do and we believe we have the perfect recipe to offer a truly great customer journey. It starts with our people who live and breathe our business values, but also our relationships with our event organisers and service partners. We all have the same focus - which is to deliver fantastic events for our customers.

 “We are delighted that we have been recognised in this area on the global stage as it helps to further demonstrate what we, as a team, deliver daily for our customers.”

Kathryn continued: “Overall, we have had an extremely successful year and this has been echoed in our award achievements. It is no coincidence that we have won an award for our customer journey whilst also being recognised for our work, by both our clients and our peers, within the industry. The customer experience is essential to everything we deliver as a venue, so if we are performing well on this level then it will feed through to all areas of our business.”

Less than a week after claiming its first international award, the NEC was named Best Venue over 8000sqm” at the 11th annual 2017 Exhibition News (EN)Awards on Thursday, 30th March. This followed scooping “Venue of the Year” at the prestigious AEO Excellence Awards in June and taking top place as “Best Venue” on the EN Elite list in December.

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NEC team collecting Venue of the Year at the 2017 EN Awards

Kathryn added: “We wouldn’t be where we are without the hard work of our venue team behind the scenes – which I truly believe is the best in the industry. We have been experiencing fantastic growth and are now looking forward to the future and building on our success.”

NEC Marketing Director Martin Clarke, has been integral in driving the awards strategy and he explains why awards and exceptional customer service is so important to the business, saying “We have been focused on delivering a successful award strategy and to win several awards, not just within the UK but also in the international market. It puts us ahead of our competition by providing recognition from our customers but also the events industry on a global scale.”

“With exciting developments for the NEC on the horizon, we are confident we will continue to be recognised as Best Venue in the future.”