Brighton & Hove is first choice for world-leading association’s sustainable conference

A world-leading professional association for Knowledge Exchange practitioners selected Brighton & Hove as the venue for their biggest-ever conference. 

Cambridge-based PraxisAuril chose the city after meeting VisitBrighton sales officer Lucinda Jones pre-pandemic on VisitBrighton’s award-winning stand during The Meetings Show at London Olympia.  

Brighton & Hove ticked all boxes 

PraxisAuril were looking for somewhere that ticked all their boxes: an attractive location, exclusive use of an entire building – and most importantly, a venue that would enable the organisation to put its sustainable principles into practice when welcoming delegates to this significant event. 

20th Anniversary and first in-person event  

Although delayed by lockdown, after a series of familiarisation trips, site visits, meetings, phone calls and emails, the three-day event was confirmed at the Brighton Centre for June this year – which coincided with the association’s 20th anniversary, as well as being their first in-person event since the pandemic. 

Biggest ever conference 

Maxine Ficarra, CEO of PraxisAuril, said: “We were delighted to finally be bringing our PraxisAuril conference to Brighton.   

“As it turns out, the pent-up demand from our knowledge exchange network (the amazing professionals who help ensure that university research results in benefits for society – think vaccines!) for an in-person event meant that this was our biggest conference ever. We brought over 450 delegates to the city-by-the-sea this year.” 

Brighton Centre chosen for sustainable credentials 

Brighton Centre was selected for its seafront location and its sustainable credentials. The conference centre is accredited for the Soil Association’s ‘Food for life served here’ bronze award and is aiming for Silver this year. Other sustainable measures include: 

  • Beef banned and ‘Meat-free Mondays’ introduced. 
  • Water in cans – not plastic. Delegates are also encouraged to bring their own bottles and refill them from the water fountains situated throughout the venue. 
  • Food served in Bento boxes to reduce waste 
  • LED lighting and renewable energy. 
  • Clients are provided with a sustainable suppliers list for their conference needs 
  • Brighton Centre staff organise a beach clean with the VisitBrighton team twice a year. 

Beneficial effects on economy and community 

Emma Thurlow, Business & Sales Manager, Brighton Centre, said “As a council-owned venue, I believe that community and sustainability should be at the heart of everything we do at The Brighton Centre. 

“Having spent seven years with VisitBrighton prior to this role, I am fully aware of the huge multiplier effects that large conferences like PraxisAuril have on our economy and, in turn, community.  

“I am also very conscious that we are not just paying lip service to an idea of sustainability, or greenwashing, and that it simply becomes part of our business culture.” 

City’s conference centres support its Carbon Neutral commitment 

Brighton is an ideal location for those wanting to organise their event sustainably.

Councillor Martin Osborne said: “Brighton & Hove is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030, and our conference venues are supporting the city to achieve this.  

“As one of the first councils in the country to declare a climate and biodiversity emergency, we aim to lead the way. We are proud to have won the first Gold Sustainable Food Places Award.

“Getting around the city on foot is easy: everything your delegates could want or need is within a ten-minute walk. We also have a smart bike share scheme, BTN BikeShare, that can be used by visitors, and an excellent public transport system. 

“Add to that the range of accommodation, vibrant nightlife, delightful city-by-the-sea location and beautiful countryside on our doorstep, and it’s easy to see why we have an unbeatable offer!”