Marketing Manchester had a new format for its London workshopVisit Manchester visits London every year. This year it brought over 30 suppliers to the MICE sector and they set up shop, (well, a workshop), in the very heart of the City. They were literally across the road from the Bank of England in The Banking Hall.
The format was new. There were two hours of one-on-one appointments in a salon dedicated to these serious exchanges of business information. An organiser’s needs were matched with facilities and services on offer.
Then the hosts and visitors spilled out into the huge main hall itself, where there were drinks and canapes galore.
But Manchester is known as a hard-headed business destination and the drinks and the tasty mouthfuls of food were named after Mancunian icons. We had to gulp down reminders of why we were there. They included The Manchester Egg (with black pudding), Coronation Street Chicken and Old Trafford Mac n’Cheese – all washed down with a Manchester Margarita.
ITCM was aware of at least three other business tourism events being held in the near vicinity that night, so Manchester can be congratulated on the good number of large commercial enterprises and event agencies who attended the function as guests. There was fierce competition for visitors.
Manchester has been an international trading centre for many generations and knows how to welcome visitors. It is not at all insular. After all, Andrew Stokes, the CEO of Marketing Manchester, parent organisation of Visit Manchester, took that post in Manchester from a job in London via a stint in Liverpool.
Marketing Manchester is always ready for any challenges. In the same week that it invaded London, it actually moved its HQ in Manchster . That was literally a courageous move. They are now ensconced at: First Floor, Churchgate House, 56 Oxford Street, Manchester M1 6EU, with the same phone numbers and emails as before.