In research commissioned by Destination Bristol and delivered by RJS Associates as part of the ‘UK Conference and Meeting Survey’ (UKMAS), Bristol’s business event market grew in 2014 to reach its highest level since the study was first commissioned in 2011.
As well as a rise in the number of events, there was a slightly longer event duration and an increase in the average reported event size.
A business event, for the purpose of the report, is defined as an ‘out of office meeting, conference or other business event of at least four hours duration involving a minimum of ten people’ and covers everything from training courses to product launches. Approximately two thirds of the city’s venues took part in the research.
Head of Tourism Kathryn Davis said, “We are delighted with the results of the latest survey. Over the last few years, we have made changes to the way in which we promote Bristol as a conference and meeting destination, largely led by development of venue space in the city and by focussing on what we can deliver well, using local expertise and key sectors as hooks.
Using our own venue finding service as a benchmark, we have just had our most successful year, and what’s really exciting for us is that we are seeing even higher levels of enquiries in 2015 than 2014. While it is clear that some of this has been driven by Bristol status as European Green capital, it is also due to the increased availability of international scheduled flights into Bristol and the incredible breadth of venues and accompanying corporate experiences we have to offer. And it’s only going to improve with the development of Ashton Gate Stadium, the new Arena and other major investment into new and existing business.”
This news came quickly after Bristol had retained its position in the International Passenger Survey as the 8th most visited town or city in the UK. The IPS Survey shows a rise in the number of overseas visits to Bristol in 2014 to its highest estimated level since 2008.