Almost 40 of the country’s top event organisers will gather in Birmingham this week to experience the cream of the city’s venues, accommodation, travel and event support services.
The inaugural Meet Birmingham Showcase, supported by Chiltern Railways, stands to generate thousands of pounds of revenue for some 30 of Birmingham’s internationally-renowned conference and events partners, following a series of meetings with top national buyers from 10-11 November.
Meet Birmingham – the city’s business tourism programme – is also providing venue tours across the city to showcase an industry that contributes more than £6 billion to the regional economy, according to Visit England’s Business Tourism Strategy.
The event includes a day at Edgbaston Stadium, home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club, where delegates will take part in face-to-face meetings with a range of conference providers across Birmingham. It will enable attendees to take part in more than 75 hours of pre-matched appointments under just one roof during one day.
The event follows on from the success of the recent Liberal Democrats Autumn Conference in Birmingham, the city’s seventh political conference in four years, and the prestigious Solar Power UK, which took place in October.
Ian Taylor, Commercial Director at Marketing Birmingham, the city’s strategic marketing partnership that operates the Meet Birmingham programme, commented:
“Birmingham has become a dynamic, global events destination, with a venue for every occasion. The business events sector represents a key part of the city’s lifeblood and the first Meet Birmingham Showcase will allow Birmingham and the wider region to demonstrate its world-class convention facilities, vast choice of hotel accommodation and impressive infrastructure to industry leaders – all in the space of one day.”
The Meet Birmingham Showcase will also invite event industry leaders to sample Birmingham’s changing landscape, with the city’s transport system boosted by Chiltern Railways’ new Mainline service.
The £250 million investment, which launched in September, provides two trains between London Marylebone and Birmingham Moor Street per hour, with journey times lasting from just 90 minutes.
Thomas Ableman, Director at Chiltern Railways, said:
“The number one challenge facing the conference and events world over the next decade is time and budgetary constraint. Using the new Chiltern Mainline is a cost-effective way for delegates travelling to events in the West Midlands from the capital, with £25 return fares available at peak times. In addition, they can make the most of the free WiFi on-board and tables at almost every seat, offering productive work time on the move.”
The Meet Birmingham Showcase is sponsored by Chiltern Railways, with principal partners including The ICC, Conference Aston, Edgbaston Stadium and Quadrant Media. Supporting partners include Premier Inn, Town Hall Symphony Hall, venuebirmingham and The Belfry.