Birmingham goes Down Under to showcase latest business tourism campaign

Australia is the newest target destination for the latest phase of Meet Birmingham’s business tourism promotional campaign, ‘Where the World Meets’.

Delegates from Greater Birmingham’s events sector have been in Asia-Pacific this month as part of a sustained strategy to raise its profile in the region. This included a first-ever presence at February’s AIME 2014 (Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo) to secure a share of AU$250 million (£135 million) worth of business. The event in Melbourne brought together more than 3,800 attendees from 29 countries.

Australians accounted for 64,000 visits to the West Midlands in 2012, up 19% since 2007, spending £53 million, an increase of nearly £35 million compared with five years earlier. The number of visits is expected to significantly rise next year, when Birmingham’s Villa Park plays host to two-time Rugby World Cup winners Australia during the 2015 staging of the tournament.

Meet Birmingham’s ‘Where the World Meets’ campaign launched in 2013 to highlight the factors behind Birmingham’s leading status as a conferencing capital. Working with the UK’s principal business tourism publications, this year’s advertising activity, which includes a series of striking profile images against a backdrop of the city’s skyline, will be seen by more than 700,000 senior event organisers and industry professionals.

The campaign’s key messages, including the Greater Birmingham region’s location, connectivity and variety of world-class venues, will form the backbone of the city’s exhibition presence throughout 2014. This includes domestic events such as the BOBI (Best of Britain & Ireland) tourism trade show in March, and worldwide meetings exhibitions IMEX Frankfurt and IMEX America.

Spearheading the campaign are four leading figures from Greater Birmingham’s events sector: Julian Kettleborough, commercial director of meeting venue thestudio; Suzanna Reid Barreiro da Silva, sales and marketing manager of Searcys at the newly-reopened Birmingham Repertory Theatre; Stephen Cresswell, senior general manager of De Vere Hotels & Leisure Limited and Lisa Cook, account director at the International Convention Centre.

Commenting on his involvement in the campaign, Julian Kettleborough said: “Raising Birmingham’s business tourism profile not only enhances perceptions of the city globally, but also plays a large part in engaging civic pride. We have a great city and one we should all be very proud to promote.”

The ‘Where the World Meets’ campaign coincides with the launch of the new Meet Birmingham website (, making it quicker and easier for online visitors to search for organiser and delegate information, as well as useful information on the city region.

Named as the UK’s most popular conference and events destination outside London by the British Meetings and Events Industry Survey 2013/14, Birmingham’s growing popularity has seen visitor figures reach an all-time high of 33.8 million, an 11% increase over the past six years.

Ian Taylor, commercial director at Marketing Birmingham, the city’s strategic marketing partnership that operates Meet Birmingham, said: “Our latest ‘Where the World Meets’ campaign shines a spotlight on the people who make our business tourism sector tick – those who are passionate about the region and want to help spread the message. “From large, international events to smaller, more intimate meetings, we are regularly praised for the warm welcome that we offer our many event visitors. By highlighting some of our key venues’ top individuals as part of the campaign, we aim to inspire and encourage people to come and enjoy the region for themselves.”

For more information on the ‘Where the World Meets’ campaign and to find out more about the four individuals involved in the promotion, please visit