The UK’s biggest gaming festival, Insomnia, is relocating to Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC) having outgrown its current home at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry. As part of the deal, the first event will be held from 11-14 December 2015 and will return to the venue three times a year from 2016-2018.
Insomnia, which has recently been acquired by the UK’s leading games retailer – GAME Digital Plc, is a 24-hour event combining all the best bits of video-gaming. LAN gaming areas, Q&A sessions, e-sports tournaments and an exhibition hall will be key elements of the show.
Speaking of the relocation, Craig Fletcher, Founder and CEO, Multiplay said: “The Insomnia Gaming Festival has enjoyed an incredible journey in recent years. Ticket sales have soared in the last three years and we are expecting to welcome a total of over 100,000 visitors through our doors in 2015. The event has continued to broaden its offering and appeal over that time and has experienced a rapidly growing presence from both global YouTube stars and international publishers.
“The move to the NEC, the UK’s largest exhibition venue, is another exciting step forward for Insomnia, providing us with the room we need to further expand its unique brand. The move opens up a number of opportunities to engage both existing and new fans on an even greater scale – allowing us to continue our growth trajectory and remain an increasingly popular destination for every type of gamer across the UK and beyond.”
For the first time ever at the NEC, exhibition halls will be kept open 24 hours so that gaming can continue into the night. The venue is working closely with the organisers to arrange the logistics of this process and also decide on 24-hour catering options.
David Gallagher, New Business Development Manager for NEC Exhibitions, said: “Insomnia is already a unique event because, like a festival, it combines so many different elements. We wanted to enhance the festival-feel and keeping our halls open throughout the night does just that. It will also add an extra element to the show that visitors to the Ricoh don’t currently get to experience.
“We are expecting around 25,000 visitors across the four days of Insomnia56 in December but have already started working closely with Multiplay on how, as a venue, we can help this figure grow. NEC hosted shows regularly demonstrate year on year growth, so we’re confident we can do the same for Insomnia.”