A new regional Convention Bureau has been launched today representing Bristol, Bath and the surrounding area.

The Bureau’s key objectives are to proactively promote the region for business events, working with local partners to secure new business for the region. Building on the success of the existing Meet Bristol Convention Bureau, this new partnership, with Visit Bath, will benefit local businesses who wish to attract conferences and business events, helping to boost the visitor economy.

The development of a regional organisation in this way will help aid recovery from the pandemic, targeting business events that have a positive economic impact.

Simon Hughes, Chair of the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) said of the partnership:

“The BVEP is delighted to learn of this initiative. The importance of strong local resources to represent and facilitate growth for business events should never be understated. Bristol and Bath and the surrounding region offer some of the best amenities for meetings, conferences, and exhibitions in unique locations. Combining the two cities will undoubtedly create a more efficient and effective marketing platform."

VisitEngland Head of Business Events, Kerrin MacPhie, said:

“The launch of the new convention bureau, Meet Bristol & Bath, is an exciting development for the business events industry in England. Both destinations offer a wealth of opportunity and leading business events facilities which, combined, will make an unforgettable visitor experience. 

"We are excited to promote this new convention bureau to event planners at MeetEngland Virtual alongside 29 other leading English destinations, showcasing the many ways future events can be reimagined in England.”

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Meet Bristol & Bath will target a global audience, focusing on developing association, corporate and incentive travel business with a strong focus on developing working relationships with event planners and agents all over the world.

During a pilot event in December, the concept of the two complementary city destinations, together with the surrounding countryside and nearby coast, proved an attractive proposition to an international audience booking multi-day events and incentive trips.

Amy Bramhall, Convention Bureau Manager of Meet Bristol & Bath, commented:

“Representing two cities with such varying offers, plus their surrounding areas, is hugely beneficial and gives us a competitive edge when bidding for events. We are working hard to put plans and actions in place to aid recovery after what has been an extremely difficult year for the industry.

"We are well connected, and welcome all enquires however large or small, and are dedicated to maintaining and developing working relationships with all of our stakeholders”.

As well as delivering a very proactive role in attracting business, the new Convention Bureau will offer a one-stop shop for event planners considering booking business events in the West of England. A range of services will be available, including venue and accommodation booking, connections with local suppliers and industry specialists, together with expert knowledge and insights to support those bringing their event to the region.

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Bath's Freedom Auditorium

There are also several exciting new business developments planned for the region, including, in Bath, the Freedom Auditorium, adding to its conferencing offer. The impressive auditorium, on Lower Bristol Road, offers space for up to 500 delegates, breakout space and a private mezzanine level. The experienced in-house technical team specialise in hybrid events, and live-streaming is provided with top-of-the-range equipment.

There will also be more opportunities to host team-building and social events in Bath, with the upcoming opening of Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein, a world-first visitor attraction opening in spring, which will include an escape room experience for groups. Mary Shelley wrote the majority of this timeless classic while living in lodgings situated in Abbey Churchyard in 1816, where the iconic Pump Room is now located.

In Bristol, the YTL Arena is due to open in 2023. The venue will consist of three interlinked arenas including a multi-purpose, flexible hall with 11,000sqm flat floor space for exhibitions, trade shows and conventions, plus a 17,080-seat arena, which will make it the third largest arena in the UK.

The Ashton Gate Stadium Sporting Quarter Development is a proposed new development of a state-of-the-art 4,000-capacity sports and convention centre, adjacent to their existing venue, which is currently the largest conference centre in Bristol and the surrounding area. The development will include a four-star hotel and a new urban village development.

In addition, there are more hotel rooms coming to Bristol over the next few years, including the Leonardo Hotel scheduled for 2021, and the Clayton Hotel which will have 255 bedrooms and extensive meeting space, due to open in quarter one of 2022.

To discover more about business event opportunities in Bristol, Bath and the surrounding area, please visit the Meet Bristol and Bath Venue Finder websites, until the new Meet Bristol & Bath website is up and running.




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