Spotlight On: Our Incubator Programme

In 2022 we launched our ‘Incubator by Manchester Central’ programme as part of our ambition to drive change and innovate within the sector.

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The Programme

The programme encouraged organisations and businesses of all sizes and sectors to submit their plans to bring a new event concept to life. Looking to support new entrants to the industry, the programme offered a support package worth tens of thousands of pounds.

We also partnered with the GC Business Growth Hub to offer wider business support as part of the initiative. Their services include programmes for start-ups, scale-ups and innovation.

Submissions were shortlisted and those applicants presented their plans to our panel of judges. One of the key criteria was that the events were unique and had the ability to scale up in future years.

The Events

Following this process, two events were chosen: Northern Sustainability Show by Elevate and PlannerFest by Becki Cross.

Northern Sustainability Show (NSS) was a one-day exhibition and conference designed to help businesses at all stages of their sustainability journeys. By taking part in the programme, Elevate were able to hold an event on a much larger scale than they could have achieved alone, and the additional support meant they were able to test out new ideas.

PlannerFest was a combined event with three unique streams - the main consumer exhibition, StationeryFest, and then two full day VIP workshop experiences: PlannerFest and JournalFest. Becki’s participation in Incubator allowed her to realise her vision of bringing these three themes together to create an event that was appealing and accessible to a wide range of people.   

What’s next?

Both organisers were delighted with how their events went and we are excited to see these concepts grow as we welcome them back in 2024.

Incubator by Manchester Central is believed to be the first programme of its kind for the events sector, if you’re interested in taking part in our next phase of the programme, please register your interest below to be the first to know more.


You can find out more about both events in the following case studies

NSS - Elevate - Exchange Hall
Northern Sustainability Summit
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