Event venues in the UK and Ireland can continue to attract business by offering customers the whole package, a panel of industry experts have claimed.
According to the panelists at The Summer Summit, venues do not need to ‘flash the cash’ to attract clients – they just need to ensure they understand their client’s needs.
The summit was a joint meeting between the UK and Ireland chapters of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO), the Meetings Industry Association (MIA) and the Association of Irish Professional Conference Organisers (AIPCO).
During the conference, attendees discussed the attractiveness of the UK as a venue for large events in comparison to what other destinations worldwide offer through the use of subvention funds. Some countries seeking to attract visitors offer state subsidaries for their venue industry, hoping to attract business through price where other factors are less competitive.
Jennifer Jenkins from the MCI UK was cited on Meetpie as saying: “Business tourism is a slight oxymoron.”
“People do come for business, so you can’t underestimate content, but associations are inherently sociable, they are looking for networking opportunities and nine out of ten times a tourism destination as well.”
“We have to get better in the UK at targeting marketing efforts more effectively- horses for courses, which destinations are good for which conferences, instead of trying to be all things to all customers. The uniqueness of each destination doesn’t always come out,” she added.
Visit London’s Tracey Halliwell added: “It’s more how can we help them through our hub of expertise to save money- on content, good speakers, access, green technology, versus throwing money at an event.”