Multi-national, multi-stakeholder, multi-purpose - how we built a global events hub.
Harrogate Convention Centre has been hosting events since 1835. The series of venues and event spaces are world-renowned and attract shows, exhibitions, fairs and performances of all types; filling a busy, year-round schedule.
When the team at Harrogate Convention Centre asked us to create something that appealed to and worked for their hundreds of thousands of visitors and various stakeholders, we jumped at the chance.
With that in mind, we needed to create a site that could cater to visitors, organisers and exhibitors alike.
Giving the user experience an upgrade
The existing site was dated; insights showed it was mainly used as a ‘what’s on’ guide, rather than as a tool geared towards selling these world-class venues to the organisers of major events.
Crucially, the site had also fallen out of step with Harrogate itself. With the town attracting many vibrant new restaurants and bars, both indies and chains, the centre wanted to reflect its own vital role in boosting the local economy through a diverse schedule of events which appeal to broad audiences.
The quest was to utilise an investment in new branding (and a new name) and shift focus onto, but not completely away from, the events calendar approach. Our team set about redefining the user experience both aesthetically (to ensure the site could compete and outperform its competitors) and through a completely reorganised sitemap, making it easier for visitors to the site to access the most relevant information simply and effectively.
It was crucial for us to provide the team at Harrogate Convention Centre with the elements they needed to manage the wealth of information the site requires. Being able to amend, update and upload new information regularly was essential. We also equipped the site with a CMS that was capable of delivering the increased flexibility required by the team; enabling them to easily shift, amend and prioritise content. There are very few fixed templates. Pages can be built up from a wide range of content elements which gives the team a huge amount of control without sacrificing the quality of design.
We invested heavily in bringing increased prominence to key pages that would highlight the superior offering of Harrogate Convention Centre.
Design that delivers...
Nothing is ever accidental. Every facet of the site was carefully considered to meet the client aims which, to this end, meant marrying the old and the new and, of course, boosting sales.
The colour palette for the site was derived from the new look logo and fed into every area; noticeable through the colour wash used on some of the imagery and any section where block colour is used.
While Harrogate Convention Centre is a contemporary event space, it also boasts a venue steeped in history. A stunning Edwardian theatre, The Royal Hall, is the jewel in Harrogate’s crown. Harrogate Convention Centre wanted to ensure that the new site, while looking forward, was able to reflect its strong heritage and the unrivalled beauty of this special venue.
The Royal Hall went on to offer many of the subtle design elements that feature throughout the site. The colour palette and delivery of the site’s design may be, in the most part, contemporary, but look closely and you can see hints of this Edwardian heritage.
On inspection, you’ll see touches like the ‘pointing finger’ ahead of section headers, inspired by the old fashioned signage still visible inside the venue today. Inspiration was also taken from the Hall’s ornate ceiling to create a pattern featured as a watermark in the background of some of the site’s sections.
“Once again you have exceeded my already high expectations.” BRIAN DOBSON, HEAD OF SALES & EVENTS AT HARROGATE CONVENTION CENTRE
The Harrogate Convention Centre team are thrilled with their new site. As the site is still shiny and new, check back for the latest stats!