The reception, held on Wednesday 13 September at the Institute of Directors, brought together 50 attendees including British nations, cities, local ambassadors, industry stakeholders and representatives from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
British Tourist Authority Chairman Nick de Bois CBE officially opened the reception followed by a welcome from Sir John Whittingdale, Minister of State jointly in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology. Both highlighted the integral role and importance of ambassadors and their cities in securing new business events and the significant economic and social impact they have, not only in their priority sectors but also the regions they represent and their support in the industry’s growth.
Two panel sessions were also held during the reception, moderated by Martin Fullard, Associate Director at The Business of Events. The first welcomed three city convention bureaus –Glasgow, Wales and Leeds – who discussed their experiences of creating leading ambassador programmes to secure new business events. The second panel saw three city ambassadors from London, Sheffield and Edinburgh discuss their experiences of working in partnership with British cities and the impact these events bring to their regions. President of the European Society of Association Executives Mike Morrisey also presented and shared his thoughts from a pan continental perspective.
Chairman of the British Tourist Authority Nick de Bois CBE said:
“I was delighted to host VisitBritain’s first Ambassador Reception, a hugely valuable opportunity to connect with leading industry representatives who have played a crucial part in the recovery and growth of the industry. It is important that we come together to recognise the enormous value of our world leading business events sector and the critical role our cities and ambassadors play in bringing new events to Britain. The sector not only drives visitors and investment to Britain but also facilitates innovation, expands our business sectors and shares thought leadership on global issues.”
VisitBritain Head of Business Events Paul Black added:
“We hosted this event as a way of thanking and recognising the hard work and impact our local ambassadors have had on our sector. From promoting Britain’s own businesses to an international audience to supporting regional development and showcasing cutting edge expansions in our business sectors, their work conducted on a voluntary basis has had a fundamental and undeniable impact on bringing global events to Britain.
“This was also an opportunity to recognise the tireless work our sector has undergone following a challenging few years and come together to celebrate the many successes that have been achieved. We are extremely grateful to all our cities, ambassadors, DCMS and industry figures who took the time to attend and we look forward to this discussion continuing in the future.”
The event concluded with a networking session where guests were invited to enjoy a selection of canapes and drinks.