Best of Britain & Ireland – www.bobievent.com - the UK’s premier annual trade show for domestic tourism and business events experienced a 15% increase in footfall to approximately 2,300 over the two days of the show – Wednesday 12 – Thursday 13 March.
The organisers also reported an increase in total exhibitors by 25% to 317, resulting in the show moving to a larger hall this year.
Best of Britain & Ireland officially opened by Manon Williams (centre) Chief Executive Officer, Tourism & Marketing Wales at the Welsh Government. Flanked by left to right by Mark Griffin, Best of Britain & Ireland Event Director; Angela Byrne, Head of Tourism Isle of Man; Gregory Yeoman, Executive Director Tourism Society; Louise Stewart, Strategy & Development Director VisitEngland; Dave de Carteret, Director Tourism & Marketing, Jersey Tourism; Vanessa Markey, Head of Great Britain Tourism Ireland; and Bernard Donoghue, Director Association of Leading Visitor Attractions
Commenting on the figures, Event Director Mark Griffin said: “I am absolutely delighted with the quality of attendance at Best of Britain & Ireland 2014. An increase in visitors is extremely welcomed but what is even more pleasing is the quality of buyers we have attracted and the number of genuinely positive leads and contacts that exhibitors have made.
“The success of the show highlights a growing upturn in business confidence and the demand for an event that showcases and celebrates the value of business tourism to the economies of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The business outlook is strong for this sector and that has to be positive news for everyone”.
He adds: “We have invested significantly in delivering a quality showcase with new initiatives and features that have been received extremely favourably by both exhibitors and visitors. These have included the commissioning of the first Best of Britain & Ireland Travel Trends Report, a keynote address by Andrew McMillan formerly at John Lewis on the topic of ‘What the industry can learn from John Lewis’ and a Historical Gems feature area.
The show also saw the staging of NEC s Open House event. The exhibition venue hosted a behind-the-scenes Open House event for industry representatives, to shift perceptions and highlight its versatility for live events.
Guests from event agencies - including representatives from Smyle, Line Up, Emu, Logistik Group and HRG Worldwide - visited the NEC’s sister venue the LG Arena, to hear owner Genting’s plans for a £150m leisure and entertainment complex, Resorts World Birmingham, due to open in spring 2015.