Shakespeare’s England, the Destination Management Organisation for Warwickshire, recently hosted a group of nine event organisers from America, Canada and Europe to showcase why the region should be their destination of choice for conferences, meetings, business events and incentives.
The Familiarisation (FAM) was organised by ‘Meet Shakespeare’s England’, the Business Tourism part of Shakespeare’s England DMO. The group took part in a two and a half day-long FAM trip showcasing a range of top hotels, venues and sights including the Royal Shakespeare Company, Dallas Burston Polo Club, Compton Verney, Warwick Castle, Hill Close Gardens, Warwick Racecourse, Warwick Conferences, The Stratford Hotel, Ettington Park and Billesley Manor with transport provided by Johnson’s Coaches. The trip was part of the itinerary for MeetGB, VisitBritain’s London-based showcase of 80 meetings and event suppliers from across the UK who were brought together with 120 global meetings, events and incentive planners to do business at the event, held from 19 - 20 April.
Thousands of one-to-one business meetings between UK conference product suppliers and international event planners took place at the two-day event, with buyers from France, Germany and North America attending, as well as Belgium, Austria, Spain and Switzerland.
VisitBritain/VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said: “MeetGB showcased to global buyers the breadth and quality of the UK’s meetings and events industry, demonstrating our fantastic infrastructure, our ease of access and the quality on offer across so many destinations for the international business events market.”
“The regional FAM trips were very well received and are a fantastic way for local convention and visitor bureaus such as Shakespeare’s England to showcase their world-class offer directly to a high-profile audience of international event buyers and planners. This flagship event gives our suppliers and local destinations the chance to forge valuable business connections and ultimately bring more international conferences, meetings and business events to the UK, boosting the economy.”
Helen Peters, Chief Executive of Shakespeare’s England stated: “Shakespeare’s England was delighted to host this successful FAM trip. It was a great opportunity to showcase some of our first class conference and meeting facilities. Some of our guests admitted that they were not aware of our broad offering and the FAM was fundamental in changing people’s perceptions and encouraging more businesses to book events and meetings in our region”.
One of the event organisers, Pamela Burkes from Williamsburg Travel Management said: “I’m a first time traveller to London and Shakespeare’s England so this region has been new for me to experience. It has been an amazing trip, especially to learn about alternative destinations that I can suggest to my clients”.
MeetGB, hosted by VisitBritain in partnership with London & Partners, VisitEngland, Visit Wales, VisitScotland and Tourism Northern Ireland was held at Hilton London Bankside. As well as doing business, delegates attended seminars and networking events on innovations in the sector, boosting their knowledge of the UK as a business events destination. A programme of accredited education sessions for buyers also ran during the event on GDPR and data security, technology and wellbeing.