Birmingham ranked top UK events destination outside London

Listing reflects continued investment in Birmingham’s business tourism offer.

Birmingham has been named the top UK regional destination for conferences and events by an international meetings specialist.

Cvent, a leading global event management company, listed Birmingham 22nd in its second annual ranking of more than 2,500 EMEA cities, based on event booking activity through the firm’s supplier network. Activity was tracked from 1st January to 31st December 2015, with criteria including how often a destination is searched for by Cvent clients and the total number of room nights generated by events.

Birmingham moved up one place to 22nd in Cvent’s top 25 rankings, overtaking its nearest UK rival Manchester (23rd). The top five comprised London, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin.

Emma Gray, Director of Marketing and Communications at Meet Birmingham, the city’s business tourism programme, said: “Birmingham’s position as the preferred UK meetings destination outside London is further evidence of the consistent hard work of our venues and partners to provide the best possible experience for our many event visitors.

“It is also testament to the continued, significant investment being made to enhance Birmingham’s business tourism sector. Events play a vital role in the city’s visitor economy, which hit an all-time high of £6.2 billion in 2015. By launching new spaces including the Vox Conference Centre and accommodation providers such as Park Regis – together with redeveloped transport hubs New Street station and Birmingham Airport – we’re ensuring we remain attractive to this valuable market.”

Cvent monitors approximately 230,000 hotels, resorts and event venues in 175 countries worldwide through its Supplier Network database. The company has 16,000 customers and 2,000 employees across the globe.

David Chalmers, Marketing Director of Cvent Europe, commented: “Meetings and events are critically important to the economies of cities of all sizes around the world and we’re delighted to confirm that Birmingham has been named the top UK regional destination for conferences and events in the UK, in our list of the Top 25 Meeting Destinations in Europe.

“It’s a very competitive landscape out there and destinations around the world compete on a variety of factors including the accessibility of the destination and facilities for events, price and price flexibility, quality of facilities, quality of services, personal safety for attendees, and having a point of differentiation. Research shows that factors which have often created a difference in popularity include investments in infrastructure and hotel renovations within a city.”

The news comes as it revealed that Birmingham welcomed more than one million international visitors for the first time in 2015, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics. The 163,000 increase (17.3%) in foreign guests was the largest for any city outside London.

Birmingham will showcase the range of its business tourism offer to over 3,000 events professionals at the industry’s flagship exhibition The Meetings Show from 14th-16th June 2016, at Olympia in London.

With the aim of bringing more conferencing business to the region, Meet Birmingham will join forces with partners The ICC, The NEC, The Vox and St George’s Park in Burton. The Meetings Show – which brings together major domestic and international destinations, venues, hotel groups, trade associations and suppliers – is focused around a large exhibition, networking opportunities and professional education.