The venue won one of the main accolades at the Exhibition News Awards – the Oscars of the exhibition industry – held in London.
The Ricoh Arena was up against a string of other national exhibition complexes for the Best Venue Under 8,000sqm at the ceremony, which took place in Battersea.
The exhibition team at the Ricoh had to show an outstanding relationship with exhibition organisers, demonstrate investment into the business, as well as prove business growth.
The win is the latest in a long line of industry awards for the Ricoh Arena, which was opened in 2005.
Stuart Cain, Group Commercial Director for Wasps and Ricoh Arena, said: “The Exhibition News Awards recognise the best performers in the conference and exhibition industry so this is a real achievement for our team.
“We knew that we had a strong case because we have really driven the business forward in the last 12 months, but the awards are very keenly contested and attract the cream of the sector.
“We held 58 exhibitions in 2017, which was an increase of more than 10 per cent and in a tough and competitive market, that is a very strong performance.
“The Ricoh Arena really is a very flexible space which means as well as hosting very well established events, we can also hold smaller exhibitions and help them grow and achieve their potential, and that is widely recognised in the industry.
“We know our marketplace and provide tailored support to small event organisers, trade shows and publishers looking to develop shows.
“We have an on-going investment programme which has, for example, seen the installation of a super-fast Wi-Fi internet connection – more than 270 times the speed of the average UK home – enabling thousands of people to simultaneously stream content.
“The onsite DoubleTree by Hilton hotel has also undergone a state-of-the-art refurbishment, while the Ricoh Business Lounge has been transformed into a flexible working space with interactive whiteboards and high-speed Wi-Fi, and is tailored to different ways of working.
“That level of investment underlines our commitment to keep driving the business forward and all that is backed up by total commitment from a really dedicated team. That combination will have resonated with the judging panel.”
The 58 exhibitions included 18 new events, including the Temperature Controlled Storage & Distribution Exhibition, the automotive tradeshow Mechanex and Surfex.
The venue has also secured long-term agreements with event organisers – a six-figure deal saw media company Mark Allen Group hosting eight exhibitions over three years at the Ricoh Arena – these include the Engineering Design Show, The Manufacturing Management Show and PrintWeek Live!
The National Painting and Decorating Show has witnessed a 40 per cent increase in the number of visitors since it started hosting the show at the venue in 2007. Similarly, the UK National Midland Wedding Show has seen its visitor numbers rise by 20 per cent every year since hosting its event at the venue four years ago.