Partnership, collaboration and inspiring confidence were just some of the key themes emerging from The Business of Events Wales held this week at the newly-opened International Convention Centre Wales (ICC Wales) in Newport.
A packed audience comprising Welsh venues, products, hotels, destinations and event planners heard from a wide range of expert speakers who presented on topics as diverse as developing a business events sector strategy to the emerging opportunities to further build Wales as a business events destination.
Michael Hirst OBE, Chair of the Events Industry Board said:
“The Business of Events Wales provides a perfect opportunity for collaboration amongst Welsh businesses and with government at all levels. Wales is uniquely placed in the UK to increase its market share of business events both nationally and internationally. It’s an exciting time for the country and I’m hearing more and more positive feedback about both the warmth of the Welsh welcome and Wales’ desire to bring even more business into all parts of the destination.”
Heledd Williams, Head of Business Events at Welsh Government, urged the audience to help communicate the extensive range of venues and services that make Wales’ business events offering so unique. She said:
“Our job is to be storytellers – to tell the world why Wales is a great destination for all kinds of events. We need to be bold, confident and proud of not just our landscapes, culture and heritage but also the innovation, expertise and cutting-edge research that is shaping the perception of Wales as a great place to do business. There is a huge opportunity to grow business events in Wales and we are grabbing it with both hands.”
Delegates were also given the opportunity to look around the recently-opened ICC Wales which hosted more than 8,000 delegates during its opening two weeks, including visitors to the three-day UK Space Conference.
Speaking at The Business of Events Wales, Ian Edwards, CEO of Celtic Manor Resort and ICC Wales said:
“ICC Wales is a game-changer for Wales and establishes the whole country as a true destination for business events. We listened to our clients and the experts in this industry when we planned this amazing venue and it is fantastic to hear them now say, ‘Wow, you’ve really delivered what we need.’ We have really hit the ground running delivering events like the UK Space Conference which achieved record delegate numbers for this year’s event, something they attributed to the accessibility of ICC Wales. This is just the beginning of the journey, however, and we need everybody to work together to make the most of this unprecedented opportunity for Wales.”
The Business of Events Wales was preceded by a stakeholder dinner hosted at ICC Wales. Guests included Eluned Morgan, Welsh Government Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language, Sir Terry Matthews, owner of the Celtic Manor Resort and industry influencers from both within Wales and from the rest of the UK.
The Business of Events is a not for profit series of independent cross sector events designed to engage, support and promote the UK events industry.16:30:39