Q&A with Tom Hurley, Head of Events, Virgin Media


Could you provide a little background about your recent event, including the attendee profile?

The event was the annual Virgin Media Leadership Conference for the top 450 leaders across the UK and Ireland.  Attendees are based in locations across the UK and this is the single time each year that we get all people together for a face-to-face event, so it is a really special occasion! 

Why did you choose the EICC as the venue?

As we have offices and people located across the country it is important that we vary the location of this event each year.  We have previously held this one in Manchester and London and so I was keen for us to host in a different key city, further north than we had previously.  I have delivered two events at the EICC in a previous organisation and always found it to be a great venue to work with.  The EICC was the clear winner when looking for venues in the area. The transport and connection links are excellent and we were able to match this with all guests accommodated across just two neighbouring hotels.  This made the logistics really simple and allowed us to deliver and excellent end-to-end guest experience.

Can you describe your experience of the EICC both in terms of the facilities and of the team?

We had an excellent experience throughout our time at the EICC.  The facilities are great and the spaces and formats are really flexible.  We were able to design our final agenda and experience with the excellent facilities in mind.  The ability to move walls and adjust the floor set up was really helpful in allowing us to create a variety of experiences across the two days.  From the early stages of the site visits, planning meetings and menu tastings to being on site for set up and event delivery, it was an excellent experience.  The different teams work seamlessly together – the Events team, AV teams, Security, Caterers and Duty Managers for example, all work really well together.  We were made to feel really welcome for our whole time on site and it was clear that we were in good hands.  The team worked really hard to support us as we created the agenda and responded really well to all requests and changes.  

What would you say stood out as the highlights of the event?

The flexibility of the space at the venue.  We were able to turn around the room configurations a number of times across the two days – this helped keep things fresh for our attendees as each time they went back into an area it had been reset in a completely different format.

Overall, how would you rate the EICC as a venue for an event such as yours?

The EICC is an excellent choice for an event such as ours. The flexibility of the space available and the excellent teams on site allowed us to deliver a great event and a great attendee experience.