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Authorities in Croydon push to treat credit crunch as an opportunity

Jan 12, 2009 | Blog

Authorities in Croydon are pushing to take advantage of the credit crunch by treating the global financial crisis as an opportunity and using it to stimulate the local economy, reports

Many organisations in the town feel that Croydon could make a significant impact on the UK conference industry by utilising existing conference centres and event venues through a more unified drive. The town offers an assortment of facilities which cater for a diverse range of business needs and events, but in the past the region has lacked the unification which has made more established conference venues in places such as Blackpool and Brighton that much more effective.

Croydon Business is looking to establish the town as a market leader in the conference sector by appealing to businesses which are looking to alternate event venues in a bid to reduce expenditure. Brian Stapleton, chief executive of Croydon Business, believes that many firms prefer to set their conferences in smaller towns, while the region's excellent transport links from central London would be a major advantage for many visitors.

Mr Stapleton told the website: "We want to publicise this and believe once people realise how easy it is to get to Croydon and the range of venues we offer for conferences of all sizes, they will think about choosing it as a venue."

The campaign will centre on more effective promotion of existing facilities rather than braving the credit crunch by initiating new builds. The facilities in Croydon simply lack the profile of more famous conference venues. Now, however, businesses across Britain, and indeed the world, are looking to avoid paying premium rates for landmark conference centres. As a result, Croydon Business believes that the town could truly benefit from clients seeking quality facilities for lower rates, and a new marketing campaign is likely to take that perspective.

Initial moves to raise Croydon's profile will include the production of a Conference Croydon handbook which will summarise all the various facilities available to businesses at event venues such as Addington Palace, the Aerodrome Hotel, Fairfield and Jury's Inn. The handbook will also promote local restaurants, bars and additional event venues where business tourists can go to unwind after a day in the meeting room. In this way, promotion of the conference sector in Croydon will also benefit the wider local economy as delegates will be encouraged to experience a vibrant town as well as more reasonably priced conference facilities.

Croydon will also be reintroduced on the global stage through representation at Confex, an exhibition held at Earls Court which is specifically designed to cater for the needs of conference organisers. Held in late February, the exhibition will be an ideal opportunity to sell the town to the wider world.

The BBC recently reported that major high street retailer Marks and Spencer will be closing several stores after a fall in sales, including one in Croydon Valley Retail Park.

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