Birmingham to showcase its offer at Conservative Party Conference

Birmingham will be promoted at the four day Conservative Party autumn conference next week (2-5 October) ahead of its arrival in the city next year. Meet Birmingham, which promotes the city as an events and conferencing destination, will be joined by ‘Team Birmingham’ partners in Manchester.

‘Team Birmingham’, which brings together the city’s leading companies and agencies to host major events, will promote the city’s lead on key initiatives on the conference agenda, including HS2 and the Big Society. Partners attending the conference include Birmingham City Council, Centro, and the University of Birmingham.

Meet Birmingham, operated by Marketing Birmingham, will highlight the city’s dynamic visitor offer and provide information about accommodation booking for next year’s event at stand 101 - 102 at Manchester Central.

Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:

“The economic and reputational effect of major events, such as political conferences, to Birmingham cannot be underestimated and the city needs to do all it can to maximise their impact.

“The Conservatives’ return in 2012, following successful autumn events in both 2008 and 2010, is very good news for the city. Last year’s event injected £20million into the local economy, while media coverage was valued at an estimated £29million.

“With the US and Jamaican teams training in Birmingham for the Olympics and the Conservatives returning for conference, Birmingham is set for a high profile year in 2012 that will bring real economic and reputational benefits to the city.”

Team Birmingham will host a series of fringe events at the conference, each designed to offer a platform for some of the city’s leading thinking and initiatives. The University of Birmingham will host a debate on creating the next generation of public servants while Geoff Inskip, Chief Executive of Centro will be joined by the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, Secretary of State for Transport and Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council, to discuss the benefits HS2 could bring to Birmingham and the wider area.

Professor David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, said:

“The Conservative Party Conference offers a real opportunity for Birmingham to talk to influential figures and stakeholders about what it is doing to address the issues that are affecting its population. It is also a chance for the city to highlight its strengths and promote itself to delegates and media alike, as a place to visit both during and ahead of the party’s return next year. Birmingham is a dynamic and youthful city that many are discovering by attending major events – the city has to make the most of its reputation as the UK’s meeting place.”

The 2012 Conservative Party autumn conference will be the third to be hosted in the city and the eighth political conference to be staged in Birmingham in five years. The event is currently scheduled for 8-11 October 2012.

Ian Taylor, Commercial Director, Marketing Birmingham, which operates Meet Birmingham, said:

“Birmingham’s reputation as the UK’s natural meeting place has made it a favourite on the political conferences circuit. The city’s presence at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester will get the ball rolling for its autumn event in Birmingham next year. After two successful Conservative conferences in the city, delegates are keen to reserve their accommodation and find out more about the city’s changing offer in what will be an extremely exciting year for the UK and its events and visitor economy.

“Birmingham is the perfect host for major events, including political conferences, with excellent facilities and accommodation for delegates as well as great bars and restaurants. The city is a unique and welcoming destination for visitors and we are looking forward to hosting the Conservative Party here next year.”

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