Mind Body Spirit Festival aims big in Manchester
05-Nov-10by Annie Byrne
The director of the Mind Body Spirit Festival at Manchester Central is expecting a bigger and more profitable show following efforts to embrace social media and attract more international speakers. The 2010 Manchester festival will take place from 19-21 November and is expected to attract 12,000 visitors, up from 9,000 at the last iteration of the show in 2008. It follows the larger five-day London event held at The Royal Agricultural Halls in May. Festival organiser, Melvyn Carlile, claimed a stronger list of speakers and workshops, coupled with a social media strategy, were key elements of its strategy to rejuvenate the 34-year old event. Carlile, who joined in 2008 to oversee both Manchester and London, said one of his first points of focus had been to attract a younger (16-30-year old) crowd. “We needed to breathe new life into the show as we were appealing to the same market. As that market gets older, it loses the thrill of attending,” Carlile explained. “We wanted to respect our existing audience but also to attract younger people.“We have embraced social media, and placed more focus on the free live events, which has brought the younger crowds in.”In addition, a decision to create purpose-built workshop space for the Manchester event to attract international speakers should also boost the Festival’s appeal and increase revenues by up to 300 per cent on 2008, Carlile said. Visitors pay £12-20 to attend the workshops on top of the £7 entry fee. Speakers lined up for the Manchester Mind Body Spirit Festival include Angel massage practitioner, Diana Cooper; eyesight expert, Peter Grunwald; and Daily Mirror astrologer, David Wells. “We are bringing in much larger international names, which is what it’s all about,” Carlile said. Mind Body Spirit was last held at Manchester Central before its £30m redevelopment as an exhibition and conference facility. The Mind Body Spirit Festival will be held in London from 25-30 May 2011.