London continues to be a leading destination for European meetings and event planners with a host of exciting new hotels, venues, restaurants, incentive experiences and transport links helping to strengthen the UK capital’s MICE offer.
From leading international association meetings and exhibitions to top global brand events, 2019 is set to be another big year for London’s MICE industry. Latest bookings data from London’s largest conference venue, ExCeL London, shows that London remains a hot spot for European event and conference planners, with a 25% uplift in bookings from European clients so far this year.
London’s attractiveness as a place for global meetings and events has been further boosted by the news that it is the most connected city with Europe and the rest of the world, with new research commissioned by the London Convention Bureau showing that the UK serves more European and Global flight destinations than any other European city.
According to RDC Aviation, which analyses city flight data, the latest figures show that London has direct air connections to 401 destinations around the world and more connections with Europe (243 routes) than any other European city1.
London’s connectivity with Europe is also strengthened by its high-speed train links, with Eurostar routes to cities across France and Belgium, as well as a new service between London and Amsterdam. Other new transport infrastructure such as the upcoming Northern Line extension and the launch of the Elizabeth Line will make it even easier for business travellers to get across London.
Taking advantage of the strong transport links between the two regions, London’s Convention Bureau recently announced a new partnership with the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau that will see the two cities join forces to offer a new range of exciting, two- in-one incentive travel products.
European Association meetings are flocking to London with the return of the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers conference in 2019 and the European Society of Cardiology’s, ESC Congress coming back to London in 2021. This follows the recent news that the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) has chosen London as its destination for the International Liver Conference in 2020.
A number of global brands such as Adobe, Salesforce, Amazon Web Services, Oracle, Google and Microsoft will also be hosting large scale corporate events in London this year. 2019 will also see the city welcome over 55,000 visitors for London Tech Week in June and around 11,000 delegates to Sibos, one of the world’s leading financial services conferences.
Barbara Jamison, Head of Business Tourism for Europe at London & Partners said: “London is a truly global city and our strong links with Europe and the rest of the world make it a top destination to host an international conference or event. We’re excited to see the fantastic range of new venues, restaurants and hotels openings across the city. From blank canvas warehouse spaces and trendy pop ups, to purpose-built meeting rooms, conference centres and state-of-the-art-auditoriums, London is a place where creative and innovative event ideas and concepts thrive.”
James Rees, Executive Director for Conferences and Events at ExCeL London added: “The number of high-profile associations and corporations that are now choosing London is an endorsement of the city’s position as a world-class location for meetings and events, as well as being a global centre for learning. The world-renowned attraction of London is responsible for delivering record breaking attendance with events at ExCeL seeing an average delegate uplift of 20%.”
Chantal Vanes, Head of Sibos said: “We are very excited to be bringing Sibos to London for the first time, this year. London is one of the world’s great financial centres. It’s a city where business, creativity and innovation converge – and that’s why it’s the perfect place for Sibos 2019. While providing a great venue to do business, London’s ever-changing cultural offering, spanning world-class museums, theatre and the arts, will also allow delegates to enjoy their experience at the world’s premier financial services event to the fullest.”
From royal palaces and world-class museums to high tech venues and outdoor spaces, London is home to a diverse range of over 1,000+ venues, 20,000+ restaurants and 1,600 hotels to suit all budgets and tastes.
Some of the latest hotels, venues and restaurants set to open in London over the next few years include:
• The Londoner - Edwardian Hotels London is transforming the London Hospitality sector with the opening of the world’s first Super Boutique hotel, The Londoner, in spring 2020. The property will boast 350 luxury bedrooms, concept eateries and a variety of bespoke event and meeting spaces - including a state-of-the-art ballroom accommodating up to 864 guests - alongside an urban spa and two Odeon cinemas available for private hire.
• Rosewood Hotel - Rosewood is to open its second London property in the former US Embassy, situated in Mayfair. The hotel is expected to be ultra-luxurious and will feature 137 guest rooms and suites, as well as five restaurants. The property will also include a spa and several retail spaces, and a ballroom capable of accommodating up to 1,000 guests. British architect Sir David Chipperfield will oversee the renovation project and the property is expected to open in 2023.
• Hard Rock Hotel London Built in one of London’s most iconic locations – on the corner of Oxford Street and Park Lane – this new hotel from the legendary US chain is set to be a musical haven. Catering to the needs of both business and leisure travellers, Hard Rock Hotel London boasts 900 stylish rooms and suites, together with two vibrant bars and a lively Hard Rock Cafe®.
• Magazine - Magazine is a new 3,000 venue from the group behind the club Printworks and will open on the Greenwich Peninsula in the summer of 2019.It will be a multi-purpose space, suitable for hosting concerts, conferences, exhibitions and more. An outdoor space, The Showground, will accompany the venue, adding the option of a further 7,000 capacity and offering panoramic views of the Canary Wharf skyline, as well as opening up the possibility of festival-style events.
• Battersea Power Station This iconic Grade II*listed building and its surrounding area are being brought back to life as one of the most exciting developments in London. The new complex, which has already welcome a number of openings, features a mix of residential spaces, shops, restaurants and bars. London’s first art’otel is expected to open in the Station in 2022. Battersea Power Station will also benefit from two new Tube stations in the Nine Elms area which are due to open in 2020. The Station offers several spaces for hire, including The Venue at Battersea Power Station which boasts 50,000 sq ft of flexible space.
• Bob Bob Cité If you’re looking for something a little quirky and memorable for your stay, venture to Bob Bob Cité, the follow-up to cult Soho restaurant Bob Bob Ricard, famed for its ‘press for champagne’ buttons on the tables and lavish interior. A glamorous, yet fun addition to a business trip.
• ARBORETUM: Launching in late spring in central London, ARBORETUM is an independent members’ club like no other. Focused on sustainable development, social wellbeing and environmental stewardship, it is designed to foster the growth of ideas and collaboration. The club will feature two spacious main lounges, a work and play room, five meeting rooms and conference facilities, all with state-of-the art equipment, plus serviced offices and owned desks available for an additional fee.
The London Convention Bureau will once again exhibit at IMEX Frankfurt along with a host of venues, accommodation and service providers from the capital.
Visit London & Partners at IMEX Frankfurt on stand F400.