The event - described as “the Crufts of the budgerigar world” - coincides with the 90th anniversary of the Society, and is set to attract representatives of more than 30 countries from around the globe.
Held only once every five years, the 2015 Convention has been two years in the planning. Stoke-on-Trent has been chosen as the host venue due to its central location and ease of access for Society members and members of the public who want to see the eye-catching “Show of Birds” featuring more than 200 budgerigars on the Saturday afternoon.
Organizer Terry Jukes however, also hopes that the event can help to showcase The Potteries as a whole.
“Stoke-on-Trent is a hot bed of budgie breeding,” says Jukes, who lives close to the City, in Packmoor. “As well as staging the Convention here, we’d also love nothing more than to tell the story of The Potteries to everyone who attends.”
The event is free to members of the Budgerigar Society, which has taken 147 bedrooms at the Convention’s main venue, The Moat House Hotel at Festival Park.
A former professional footballer (who was also a ball boy at Wembley Stadium in 1972, on the day when Stoke City won the League Cup) Jukes plied his trade with Wolverhampton Wanderers, and at Macclesfield Town where he was named Player of the Year in 1977. Injury cut his playing career short, but Jukes turned his competitive instinct to breeding budgerigars ever since. He was elected to the Budgerigar Society seven years ago.
He has also been working closely with Staffordshire Stoke-on-Trent Conference Bureau Manager, Claire Williams, during the build-up to the Convention.
“It’s a great example of what we can do to bring more business to the area,” she says. “Our aim is to boost conference, meeting, events and business travel to Staffordshire by offering everyone involved in the industry an opportunity to find out more about the 35 meetings venues and associated services which we now represent.
“And we’re delighted to be supporting Terry and the Society in staging their 2015 Convention here, in Stoke-on-Trent.”
The full programme includes the Society’s AGM as well as a series of talks and lectures - featuring guest speaker Daniel Lutolf from Switzerland. A vintage coach has been hired for the Saturday morning when Society members will be taken to Gladstone Pottery Museum and The Trentham Estate.
Former Olympic athlete and World’s Strongest Man Geoff Capes will be just one of the budgerigar breeders attending the event.
The general public can attend the Show of Birds for free, and prizes for the best in show will be made from local ceramics.