All change for business conference for independents

iDay and NEG conference expand into larger venue in Coventry for 2017 following requests from delegates at inaugural joint event

Ricoh Arena

A change of venue and location has been announced for the Independents Day (iDay) business symposium and the National Eyecare Group (NEG) conference in November.

Following the success of last year’s conference collaboration attended by over 260 delegates, the team behind the annual event for independents held an industry launch this week (22 March) attended by past event sponsors and exhibitors.

The launch was held at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, where PTR director, Nick Atkins, and NEG’s director of business development, Phil Mullins, announced that this would be the new venue for their combined conference in 2017, instead of the Hilton Birmingham Metropole.

The meeting included a tour of the conference and exhibition facilities, as well as revealing new sponsorship opportunities available at the venue.

The iDay and NEG alliance announced that the new format will see closer integration of the two conferences theme, however, NEG will continue to run its day as a free-to-attend conference for all independent practices on Sunday 5 November, with iDay following on Monday 6 November.

Commenting on the announcement, Mr Atkins said: “We are delighted to continue delivering a combined event with NEG and thus continue to provide fantastic business support to the independent sector. We are also pleased to have found an exciting new venue for an optical conference.”

Mr Atkins added: “Both delegate and exhibitor feedback was to find an alternative location to what seems to have become optics ‘go to’ venue in recent years – the Birmingham Hilton Metropole. Now wholly owned by Wasps, the Ricoh Arena has undergone major improvements recently and is a great step up in size and facilities, with a great conference and exhibition space and an excellent hotel on site."

“It is still only 20 minutes from Birmingham Airport and has its own train station,” he emphasised.

Mr Mullins said: “It is with great enthusiasm that we embark on the next stage of our combined events history. The Ricoh is a great venue and offers the ability for the event to grow and expand into the must-attend event for all independent practices.”

He added: “Both the PTR team and NEG aim to offer delegates real tools and action points that they can take back to their practices and make a real difference to their business, while at the same time enjoying the company of likeminded independent professionals, all in the great surroundings of the Ricoh Arena.”

For more information, visit the Independents Day website.