The 6,000 square metre structure will be used as a potential venue for exhibitions, community and sporting events, as well as large-scale banquets.
More than 3,000 visitors will be able to attend exhibitions at any one time and the TEC will also have the capacity to provide sit-down banqueting for up to 2,500 diners.
Tim Husbands, Chief Executive of Titanic Belfast said: “We have responded quickly to market demands by investing in this new city centre venue. Since planning was granted on 29th June this year, there has been a whirlwind of activity to make sure it was up and running by early autumn.
“We are all delighted that in just 80 days, the project team has turned concept into reality and this wonderful space is now open for business. Many of the team will feel that in making it happen, they have indeed been ‘around the world in 80 days’ and I pay tribute to all their hard work, dedication, enthusiasm and commitment.
“Titanic Belfast will have sales and management responsibility for the TEC, offering it for stand-alone exhibitions or in conjunction with facilities within Titanic Belfast and SS Nomadic.
“The TEC will complement the Waterfront Hall and the Odyssey’s SSE Arena and we will be working in tandem with them to provide top-class facilities for a broad range of events and organisations. We will also be promoting the venue in conjunction with partners such as Visit Belfast, Tourism NI, Belfast City Council, the Northern Ireland Event Organisers (NIEO) and a wide range of exhibitors.
“The TEC will be managed and marketed by a team with considerable experience in the conference and exhibition industry. We have a number of events already secured for the rest of this year and next - and we believe that the TEC will continue to attract business locally and expand the business nationally and internationally.”
Clive Corry, Chairman of industry body, NIEO, and MD of SelfBuild Ireland Ltd, who runs annual shows in Belfast, Cork and Dublin said: “We are delighted to see the TEC ready to open and host its first event. The venue boasts a city centre location with good infrastructure and transport links, as well as strong IT connections and lots of indoor / outdoor space. Our members feel it will provide a boost to the exhibition industry here.”
Gerry Lennon, Chief Executive, Visit Belfast said: “Investment in our tourism infrastructure is vital in our efforts to drive visitor numbers to Belfast and meet the City’s aspiration of doubling tourism spend by 2020. The development of another versatile events space provides more and more reasons for a wide range of audiences and sectors to choose Belfast, thereby ensuring that Belfast maintains its position as a leading events and exhibitions destination.”
John McGrillen, Chief Executive, Tourism NI said: “The TEC will help to put Belfast firmly on the map as a top-class destination for a wide range of shows and events. In so doing it will bring more visitors to the city and provide greater benefits for the whole Northern Ireland economy.”
Wynn Penton, Director of The Wedding Journal Show said: “We are delighted that The Wedding Journal Show will be the first event in this exciting new venue. With the closure of the Kings Hall, Belfast was in need of a centrally located, dedicated exhibition space on a par with other major cities in the UK. We are confident that the TEC meets those needs. Our 250 exhibitors will transform the TEC into a wedding wonderland and we are anticipating 10,000 visitors to the Show across the weekend.”