Birmingham has been ranked the most popular destination outside London for meetings, conferences and events by the fifth annual British Meetings & Events Industry Survey (BMEIS).
The city remains ahead of Manchester, Glasgow and Leeds as the preferred UK regional events destination among industry professionals.
The BMEIS survey provides research each year into the buying trends of more than 600 event organisers from the corporate and not-for-profit sectors in the UK.
The 2013/14 survey revealed that access and location are the top influencing factors in selecting a destination, while city centre hotels enjoy more use than any other type of venue.
Ian Taylor, commercial director of Marketing Birmingham, which operates the city’s official business tourism programme Meet Birmingham, said: “Birmingham’s ranking as the preferred business tourism destination outside London highlights the wealth of event spaces that we offer across the region and the continued hard work of our partners to provide the best possible experiences for our visitors.
“The findings demonstrate the impact that events can have in educating and building important relationships with the people who organise conferences, meetings and events.
“Business tourism remains crucial to the city, playing a key role in securing a record 33.8 million visitors here last year. The current redevelopment of New Street Station and the expansion of the airport’s runway will only help to make the city even more connected and attractive to this valuable market.”
The survey’s findings follow the third annual Meet Birmingham Showcase in November. The two-day event, organised by Meet Birmingham, provided an overview of the region’s conferencing offer, bringing together more than 50 regional suppliers and event buyers, who collectively place more than 20,000 events each year.
Meet Birmingham also continued its push to bring more national and international events to the region at EIBTM in Barcelona, exhibiting with the country’s national tourist board VisitEngland and meetings venue Warwick Conferences.
Meet Birmingham joined forces with the NEC and The Belfry to highlight two of the region’s future developments. The £150 million integrated leisure and entertainment complex Resorts World Birmingham will open at the NEC site in 2015, while the £26 million renovation of golfing resort The Belfry is scheduled for completion in March 2014.