A message from Grant and Susan Johnson as published on the Horizons Unlimited website today:
Grant and I have news about the HUBB UK 2015 – we know that the announcement of plans is eagerly awaited. But first, our thoughts on the HUBB UK 2014. The feedback has been fantastic! So many positive comments about the Presentations, the Demonstrations, the Skills Course, Slow Bike Race, the Trail Rideout, the Competitions and all of the other activities over the weekend. Just about everyone said how excellent it was, and helpful. Attendance was up again but thanks to the size of the Donington venue it never felt overcrowded. We were delighted to see so many long term attendees, and how many people were coming for the first time. Just goes to show that Overlanding is growing wonderfully and that Horizons Unlimited is successfully continuing its tradition of helping to get enthusiasts together where they can be inspired and informed. We’d like to thank all of the presenters, volunteers, exhibitors, authors and you. You all helped make this all happen.
We’d also like to thank everyone who completed the Feedback Questionnaire or put a slip into the Feedback Box at the HUBB UK. We really value everyone’s thoughts about all the things that went so well, and are grateful for the encouraging feedback about how the event can be further improved. It’s your feedback which has set us to reviewing the event as a whole, and the location – there were inevitably comments about the aircraft noise, with a good number of people saying that they wouldn’t be back until a change in venue.
Alongside of the feedback, we have been reviewing the figures from the HUBB UK. Donington is a very expensive venue for us; in part the site costs and the additional equipment required such as the very expensive 400 seat cinema marquee. This year’s event ran so smoothly and with so much going on, at a cost. We did little more than break even and that’s a problem for us. The events are our main source of income, so they need to contribute to paying our rent and food and keeping the website running.
With all this in mind, we started looking for another venue, and have looked at and rejected quite a few possibilities in the last few months. Although we still have some possibles, none of them are available for 2015. Good venues book out over a year in advance.
We’ve given Donington 2 years and Grant and I aren’t enthused about being there for a third year, so we have reluctantly decided to leave 2015 as a fallow year. We are going to spend the next month’s looking for a venue that we can afford and will be happy to settle in for a few years. We also want to refocus the event to ensure that the event is a win for all of us – attendees, presenters, exhibitors, volunteers, and ourselves. We want to keep the event as the best place in the UK that you can go to learn the tips of the overlanding road, to be inspired and to be able to link up with scores of like-minded people.Can you help? We are interested in any suggestions for a new venue. The requirements are here. If you know of any venues that meet all the requirements, please let us know and we’ll take it from there.Meanwhile, for 2015 you can keep the travel bug alive at other HU events in the UK (Ireland, Haggs Bank, the UK Mini-Meets), France, Germany, Montenegro, or further afield in Canada, USA, Australia, South Africa, South America and Asia!
Thank you once again for all the amazing feedback about the HUBB this year. Hope to see you in 2016 and meanwhile, best wishes for a happy, healthy and adventurous 2015! :)