Harrogate Convention Center married with a benchmark event for the bridal industry.
- More than 4,000 visitors
- More than 1,000 exhibitors, vendors and models descend on the spa town
- September 11 to 13, 2022
The convention center signed the event to return to the site for the next four years, bringing an economic impact to the district of around £1,200,000.
The show has a rich 35 year history with Harrogate.
Wendy Adams, Director of Bridal Week at Ocean Media, said:
Harrogate is truly a market leader. The event combines business and pleasure, and each year the industry takes over the city presenting the largest collection of wedding dresses in Northern Europe.
Over 250 exhibitors showcasing 350 collections will come from the UK, USA, Australia, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, Poland and Canada; a truly international event.
Wendy, who has worked in the exhibition business in Harrogate since the 1980s, said the event grew from a cottage industry starting in Harrogate hotels before moving to the convention center in 1995.
It has grown enormously since I worked there. I go to wedding shows all over the world in Chicago, New York, Milan, Barcelona, Dusseldorf – and they’ve all heard of Harrogate, because of the show.
Wendy also hosts a sister show at Excel London each March as it was important for Ocean Media to have a more international presence in the capital, known for being the fashion capital of the world.
Our London show has particularly grown with international visitors, but Harrogate still enjoys a reputation as the UK’s leading bridal show. Everyone loves to visit Harrogate.
The facilities at the other exhibition centers are great but they are out of town and lack the atmosphere of Harrogate. One complaint we get is that there is nothing to do at night, and no one can ever complain about things to do at night in Harrogate.
Our trade loves coming to Harrogate – it’s a beautiful spa town, with plenty of parks and gardens, good shopping and an abundance of restaurants and bars for evening entertainment. Visitors love Harrogate’s environment and what it has to offer, and above all feel safe moving around the city, especially at night.
Last year we didn’t expect to have any foreign visitors, but surprisingly around 9% were international.
I think it was the desperation of a face to face event as there were very few shows in all of Europe. Harrogate was the first major bridal show across Europe, so we still manage to attract international visitors who were prepared to tackle travel restrictions.
Wendy attributes her success to the Harrogate Convention Center and its central location, with the majority of visitors being women between the ages of 30 and 60 who own bridal shops.
The wedding industry is gearing up for its busiest year ever after two years of uncertainty for couples looking to get married during the pandemic.
The Harrogate Convention Center had to go completely dark as an events venue as it was redeployed by the government as the NHS Nightingale hospital. In September 2021, Bridal Week held its first event at the venue since its closure, which was a huge success and brought business back to town.
Paula Lorimer, director of the Harrogate Convention Centre, said:
It’s great news that this loyal exhibit will be so firmly anchored in our venue for years to come, and that there will be such a strong rebound for exhibits and live events.
The financial impact on our hotels, bars, restaurants and retail businesses is significant after the end of the tourist season in the summer. Bridal Week is taking Harrogate’s name around the world as a business and leisure destination.