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Jamie Leonard

Couple of points:

- Harrogate is one of the longest standing traditions in our industry I'm a little gutted it’s moving. I love going up once a year, running into old faces, swapping old Harrogate stories and creating new ones. There’s something about being away from home with people you know that brings you closer together.

- The reason I’m most upset is not because of the location change, it’s why the location change is happening. It’s because the number of companies taking stands has been dropping for the last 10 years so they are moving it to a smaller location. The Harrogate International Centre is 16,800 ms and Manchester Central Convention Centre is 29,000 meters squared but if you look at the space they’ll be using for the exhibition, it’s only 10,350 ms.

- We’ll be filming documentary around the final days of Harrogate. The angle is we’ll never step foot into the exhibition, rather show the “other” side. And we’re doing it for no other reason than I really want to go and need to justify it to myself.

Jamie White

There's only one really compelling reason to go to the CIPD conference every year, regardless of whether you work for an traditional comms agency, a digital specialist, a job board or a media - to engage with HR specialists. The social side's always happened as a symptom of being in a small, quaint and 'delightfully dangerous after around 11pm' kind of place. Moving it to Manc will only satisfy that last one...


The reason the number of stands is dropping is very simple...ROI. The exhibition doesn't deliver the leads it needs to and as the industry has changed people have voted with their feet.

As someone once said, shift happens. The pace of change in this industry is only accelerating and getting all upset because someone can't have their annual p*ss up in Betty's Monkey (or whatever it's called) is pointless.

I say this industry should get over itself, embrace change and in so doing create new and ever changing traditions



Appols for bad spelling but writing this from a BB in the middle of the english country side with no lap top (coz I promised the misses) with no spell check.

Matt, your call for change is appriciated as usual but your fliipent views on tradition is careless. No one walks the innovation line as much as MLL but we still respect the people that went before us and the ground this industry made before you, me or anyone else on this blog was a scratch in our dads pants.Go searching for "the new", I'm with ya, but balance on the shoulders of giants, with a terminal case of "we did it first" at your own peril. You'll get thrown off.

Appriciate, respect and understand why we have the privilage to have these views.

Because some went before us and made it so.

Maybe at a bar in Harrogate.


Yeah there is being mindful of what has gone before and there is just plain living in the past. I'd say this industry has a lot more of the latter than the former


I've never been to Harrogate, never really wanted to go and never really saw it as being a hotbed of innovation or a genuine environment to facilitate meaningful debate and discussion. I think that psychologically a change of venue and agenda is just what the industry needs to move in the right direction. Perhaps I'll be mourning the change of the Manchester venue in 8 years time. Maybe, maybe not.


for those that cannot make the last CIPD annual conference in Harrogate, join me at http://www.cipd2008.blogspot.com as I live blog my experience in and out of conference.

While attendances and revenues from the exhibition MAY be diminishing, the conference appears as popular as ever, A change of venue may well help to give a 'new life' to the event as a whole. What will be missed is the fact that at 11 at night most of the people walking around Harrogate were HR people - when the move to Manchester occurs - that will not be the case!

Alex Hens

Best of luck to you Mike.

And agree - Manchester will be a far safer venue


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