U.K. Meetings Industry Thrives in 2019

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Author: Sarah Beauchamp       

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The International Convention Centre Wales (ICC Wales) in Newport is expected to open in 2019. (VisitBritain)

This year marks an exciting one for the meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) industry in the United Kingdom. With several new event venues expected to open —including the Event Complex Aberdeen (TECA) in Scotland and the International Convention Centre Wales (ICC Wales) — and VisitBritain’s flagship business event, MeetGB, returning for its second year, the MICE industry is thriving.

The $430-million TECA, opening this summer, will offer more than 500,000 square feet of multipurpose event space, including conference and exhibition halls, an arena, and a high-end restaurant. In addition, the $100-million-plus ICC Wales will provide more than 270,000 square feet of floor space, a 1,500-seat auditorium, and a 25,000-plus-square-foot plaza with additional networking and exhibit space. In addition, England later this year will see the new nearly $32-million conference center at Blackpool Winter Gardens, which will feature a two-floor-plus-mezzanine complex, accommodating more than 1,500 delegates and providing direct links to the 3,000-capacity Empress Ballroom, the Opera House Theatre, and Empress Buildings.

“We are excited to be welcoming three new venues into our already comprehensive portfolio,” VisitBritain Head of Business Events Kerrin MacPhie said, “demonstrating once again that the U.K.’s business events offering is thriving.”

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The two-day MeetGB event will offer attendees one-on-one B2B appointments, workshops, and networking events. (VisitBritain)

Alongside these major developments, VisitBritain’s MeetGB is returning this year and will take place at the De Vere Beaumont Estate in Old Windsor April 11-12. The event showcases the best of U.K. business events and incentives, with more than 80 U.K. suppliers meeting with hand-picked international meeting and event planners from North America and Europe. The two-day event will offer attendees one-on-one B2B appointments, workshops, and networking events.

“We are looking forward to bringing MeetGB to Windsor in 2019 after the success of our inaugural event in 2018,” MacPhie said. “This flagship event connects global planners with the U.K.’s best suppliers, giving a platform to create important business relationships.”

Ahead of the business workshops at MeetGB, planners will get to experience first-hand some of the best of the U.K.’s conference and events products, as they take part in three days of educational site visits across 10 locations.

“MeetGB is a wonderful opportunity for international planners to have an exclusive insight into how their events could thrive if held in the U.K.,” MacPhie said. “This event, along with the exciting venue openings, signposts what will be an incredible year for business events in the U.K.”

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Event Complex Abderdeen (TECA)

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The Central Square is highlighted in this aerial view of Event Complex Aberdeen (TECA) in Scotland. TECA is expected to open in 2019. (VisitBritain)

Blackpool Winter Gardens

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A mezzanine complex in the Blackpool Winter Gardens will accommodate more than 1,500 delegates and provide direct links to the 3,000-capacity Empress Ballroom, the Opera House Theatre, and Empress Buildings. (VisitBritain)

MeetGB

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VisitBritain’s MeetGB returns in 2019, taking place April 11-12 at the De Vere Beaumont Estate in Old Windsor. (VisitBritain)