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Meet me in…Bristol

Industry survey shows a surge in popularity of Bristol as a conference destination

Bristol is attracting a bigger share of British conferences and events than ever before.  
The newly-released British Meetings & Events Industry Survey (BMEIS) 2015/16 reveals the top UK cities and towns for hosting conferences and events in the last 12 months based upon interviews with almost 500 conference organisers from the corporate and not-for-profit sectors.

Bristol has climbed from 7th to 6th position – its highest ever position over the seven years that the survey has been running. Only London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow now rank above.  

Bristol’s status as European Green Capital 2015 has helped it to attract international conferences including the Fair Trade Towns conference and the 52nd International Making Cities Liveable conference. This year has also seen new events facilities open, including No.1 Brunel Square at Brunel’s ss Great Britain and Hampton by Hilton hotel right in the city centre.  

Kathryn Davis, Head of Tourism at Destination Bristol, said: “This is great news for Bristol. We have a diverse mix of unique venues that are an attractive and competitive option for conference organisers. Things like access, location, capacity, price and the quality of service and facilities really matter to organisers and we have something to suit any event. Exciting state-of-the-art event facilities opening next year and beyond will make us an even more desirable choice.”  

Next year the new Ashton Gate Stadium – home to Bristol City Football and Bristol Rugby – will become the biggest conference events space in the South West of England when it completes in September. The 27,000 capacity stadium will include a split-level sports bar and restaurant, a pitch-facing corporate hospitality lounge, corporate hospitality boxes and will double as a 32,000 capacity concert venue.   

Bristol Aerospace Centre is hotly anticipated for summer 2017, whilst planning permission has just been granted to transform the historic, Grade II listed Guildhall and Assizes Courts in Bristol's Old City into a luxury 5-star, 91-bedroom spa hotel with rooftop swimming pool. It’s expected to open in December 2017.  

BMEIS Publisher Steve Lewis said: “Our annual BMEIS editions have shown that Bristol has been improving year-on-year and is now in the top league of UK meetings destinations.”  

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