2 November 2016

Special event to win more conference business

Brighton & Hove’s qualities as a conference destination are being showcased to some of the UK’s top event organisers, in a bid to win business for the city.

Delegates representing 55 convention organisers from all over the UK will arrive this weekend (Friday November 4, Saturday November 5) to see first-hand its appeal.

The event called UnConventional Brighton is part of the council’s continuous work with local businesses to attract visitors and conferences..

VisitBrighton, the council’s tourism arm, has teamed up with local conference venues and business partners  to organise the two-day event. It aims to highlight the range and quality of venues available – as well as other city attractions conference-goers can enjoy in their free time.

Conference organisers attending represent a range of sectors, both public and private.  The British Airways Ai360 will be providing all attendees with a free flight followed by a welcome reception.  Major  hoteliers will be offering everyone a complimentary two night stay.

On the Saturday the Brighton Centre hosts a gathering where local venue representatives will be on hand to chat to conference organisers.  Venue operators present will include Brighton & Hove City Council, the British Airways i360, Brighton Racecourse,  the Dome complex, major hotels, Sussex County Cricket Club, the Amex stadium, and the University of Sussex.

Chair of the council’s economic development and culture committee Cllr Alan Robins said:  “This is part of continuous work we do with businesses to sell the city as a conference venue.  That’s how the Brighton Centre has welcomed 35,000 conference delegates this year. 

“We want to get conference organisers here in person to see the city for themselves, rather than judge by what they might read.  Meeting them in person, we’re far more likely to convert that into business that will benefit the city and sustain jobs here.”

This year the city has welcomed 4,500 delegates to the Liberal Democrats’ conference in September, 3,500 from the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases in May and 1500 from the National Union of Teachers in March. 

In September 2015 the Labour Party Conference brought 8000 delegates to the city.

Next March VisitBritain’s Explore GB event hosts 800 delegates.