As the events industry continues to grow throughout 2011, major cities around the UK are fast becoming the preferred location of choice for event organisers. Cities like Birmingham which offer excellent routes in and out of the region, can have huge benefits for national or international delegates and by using alternative destinations to London, particularly during the Olympics, there are good savings to be made.
With only a year to go until the London 2012 Olympics, the focus of the events and hospitality industries is naturally on the capital. However, the opportunities aren’t just limited to London, and venues and events professionals in other major UK cities should also be looking to capitalise.
For a start, there will be a total of 7.7m tickets for the games, yet only around 120,000 hotel rooms in London. In addition, Olympic venues are not just limited to London, with many event locations situated in the surrounding counties. For example, Weymouth and Portland will be used for sailing and other major cities including Coventry, Glasgow, Cardiff and Manchester will be hosting the football. This suggests that there will be plenty of opportunities for venues in other cities to run corporate hospitality and profit from the games.
Despite these opportunities, the majority of corporate hospitality will take place within the official host city, but this also provides an opportunity for venues in other cities to capitalise. With travel to and from London likely to be harder to book and more expensive during the Olympics, coupled with increased demand for venues, organisers of events unrelated to the games are likely to be open to other options. By marketing themselves as an easy and affordable option to get away from the Olympics, venues in other cities could win business they may not have in the past, and keep it in future by providing an excellent service.
– Mark Bourne, Venue Manager, IET Birmingham: Austin Court