Every year we organise events and exhibit at trade fairs to build the knowledge of Britain and England among key influencers and buyers. Discover some of the highlights from our recent activity.
Promoting England and Britain at IBTM World
The UK and England was out in full force at IBTM World in November 2018. The VisitEngland stand had a record 39 stand partners, with a busy three days of appointments with international meeting and event planners. VisitEngland celebrated our ‘Literary Greats’ theme, capturing the imagination of buyers by exploring the possibilities for events and incentives whilst being immersed in the world of English literature. As part of the theme, VisitEngland celebrated with its ‘Mad Hatters Tea Party’, transforming the stand into an Alice in Wonderland extravaganza, attendees were surrounded by the well-loved characters from Lewis Carroll’s classic book. The VisitEngland stand won the Best Use of PR award by IBTM World, for our Alice in Wonderland efforts.
The inaugural VisitBritain stand at IBTM World celebrated ‘Great launches in Great Britain’, showcasing the major MICE product launches. This includes three major convention centre openings – ICC Wales opening in July 2019, The Events Complex Aberdeen (TECA) opening Summer 2019 and the Winter Gardens Conference and Exhibition Centre in Blackpool. VisitBritain also welcomed a new Eurostar and Virgin Trains partnership to offer a united travel service, giving international event planners the freedom to book multi-stop journeys from mainland Europe to British destinations on the two train networks through a ‘one-stop-shop’.
New website positions Britain as leading events destination
We’ve launched our new Events are GREAT website, raising awareness of the UK as a world-class business events destination. Promoting the event capabilities across 21 UK cities, the new site also enables conference and event organisers to submit their request for proposal for prospective events.
MeetGB China hosts over 600 one to one business meetings
27 meeting and incentive suppliers from across the UK attended our inaugural MeetGB China event on 28 September where over 600 one to one business meetings with Chinese buyers took place.
The event was preceded by educational trips around the UK for the Chinese buyers who visited leading China- ready attractions, venues and destinations for the incentives and meetings sector.
Engaging with hosted buyers at The Meetings Show
We showcased Britain as a leading events destination at The Meetings Show, the UK’s leading meetings and events industry exhibition attracting over 5,000 event professionals. Taking place from 26-27 June 2018, we were the official sponsor of the Hosted Buyer’s lounge, where we welcomed and engaged with 400 international event planners.
During the exhibition, we delivered educational presentations to the UK events industry and launched our new industry partnership programme, which will enable us to create stronger partnerships with the UK business events sector.
Showcasing Britain to Business Events buyers
On 18-20 April 2018 we held our first flagship MeetGB event, the event provided 80 UK business event destinations and suppliers a platform to meet and do business with 120 senior international event planners and agencies. The event was opened with a Ministerial roundtable, chaired by the Events Industry Board and attended by Tourism Minister, Michael Ellis. At the Roundtable the UK government and destination representatives met with ten senior association congress organisers, to discuss the UK’s international competitiveness, and the opportunities and barriers to growth.
During the two-day workshop 6,700 meetings took place between international buyers and UK suppliers to discuss future event opportunities in the UK. We also hosted five journalists from international business events trade publications, and offered buyers educational sessions on the latest trends in events management.
The event was preceded by three days of educational visits around the UK for the international buyers and included site visits of the UK’s leading venues, including the new venue developments at Farnborough International, ICC Wales and Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.
Skift Report on UK business events
A new report has been launched by Skift on how UK cities excel at hosting conferences in advanced and creative industries.
The report, produced in collaboration with VisitBritain, looks at a number of areas including how city leaders are supporting conference planners, and how the UK convention bureaus and cities are bringing value to attendees.
Targeting European International Association Conference organisers
In December 2017 we hosted three European lunch events in Paris, Geneva and Brussels to provide a sales platform for UK destinations to meet International Association Conference organisers with strong potential of bringing events of 200 to 6000 delegates to Britain.
The lunches helped facilitate business meetings between 34 organisers and UK destinations from across Britain to discuss the potential for hosting international conferences
This marks the beginning of our new Business Events presence in Europe, selling the UK’s business events product to international association and corporate event planners and agencies.
Reaching Business Events buyers at IBTM World
We were joined by 24 English suppliers at IBTM World in Barcelona 28-30 November 2017.
We welcomed over 650 buyers from the Meeting, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibition (MICE) industry to the stand that resulted in 400 unique buyer leads for our England stand partners, a new record for any of our business events.
We were also delighted to receive the Best Stand Personnel Award out of 150 exhibitors at the event.
Visit Wales also partnered with us as part of the wider British stand.