Meet Birmingham, the city’s official business tourism programme, has joined forces with partners the ICC, NEC, the Vox and Town Hall Symphony Hall for the event. They will be highlighting the impact of new multi-million pound retail, infrastructure and events space investments on the city’s meetings sector.
Significant investment across Birmingham’s accommodation, transport and leisure offer has created a transformed landscape for events organisers, with the city voted the Most Popular Conference & Events Destination outside London for the sixth consecutive year (British Meetings & Events Industry Survey 2014/15).
The city will welcome an impressive nine new accommodation providers within the next two years, including the 4-star Park Regis, Resorts World Birmingham’s boutique hotel boasting 4- and 5-star rooms, suites and spa, and the launch of the landmark Grand Hotel, currently undergoing a multi-million pound refurbishment. The new developments will bring an additional 1,700 rooms to Birmingham’s booming hospitality sector by 2017, which has enjoyed record occupancy rates in recent months – reaching 85% in November 2014. Mid-week stays saw a marked increase of 3.7% year on year in the final quarter of 2014, as a result of the city’s busy events and conferencing schedule.
In addition, this autumn sees the arrival of new events venue, the prestigious Vox Conference Centre. Conveniently located within the new £150 million Resorts World Birmingham development at the NEC, it has five fully flexible suites and is able to accommodate any type of event, from a small meeting or seminar to a banquet for 850 or a conference for 900 delegates. It is the latest addition to an established range of venues that include the ICC and the NEC.
Further developments in the city’s offer includes Symphony Hall’s innovative Next Stage development which allows it to transform its space through the creation of a floating floor over the stalls area. The Next Stage creates a banqueting area for over 600, offering world-class acoustics and an impressive events space.
Together with improved connectivity, through the £600 million transformation of New Street Station and the £128 million Midland Metro extension, 2015 also sees the culmination of £800 million of retail investment, adding to the city’s appeal to delegates.
Emma Gray, Director of Marketing & Communications at Meet Birmingham, said: “Birmingham is an established and natural home for meetings and conferences, and has a strong track record of attracting high profile repeat events, including the Conservative Party Conference. The city is continuing to invest to reinforce its position as one of the UK’s leading event hubs. Its new developments are central to Birmingham’s transformation, placing us on the international stage to compete for global events.”
James Elston, Sales Director for the ICC and the Vox, added: “Our build is progressing smoothly in line with our autumn launch, and the impressive scale of the Vox’s offer is already clearly visible. With high profile events already booked in, including Tropic Skincare, Peugeot Retail Group and the British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS), we are looking forward to launching the venue – which will carefully complement and enhance Birmingham’s already exceptional conferencing credentials.”
The Meetings Show 2014 generated £3.5 million of leads for the city, with Meet Birmingham and its partners looking to build on this total at this year’s event.
Catherine McGlone, Commercial Hires Manager at Town Hall Symphony Hall, added: “The Meetings Show is the industry’s flagship event, attracting key players from across the sector. It is a prime opportunity for the region’s meetings sector to come together, and prove that we have more to offer our visitors than ever before.
“This will be our first time attending The Meetings Show and we can’t wait to get out there and showcase the incredible offer we present to the events market.”
Meet Birmingham and its partners the ICC, NEC, the Vox and Town Hall Symphony Hall will be at the Meetings Show, London Olympia, from 7th to 9th July, on stand D28.