VisitBritain has announced that its flagship annual meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions event, MeetGB, will this year be run as a virtual educational event.
The move comes in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the event now set to take place on the June 17th-23rd.
MeetGB Virtual, in partnership with MeetEngland, VisitScotland Business Events, Meet in Wales, Tourism Northern Ireland and London Convention Bureau, will see international buyers from around the world connect online to discover the diverse business event opportunities from across the UK.
For this year, the event is being opened up to UK-based event planners, who want to discover more about event opportunities in the nations and regions.
Registration for the virtual event is now open.
Tourism minister, Nigel Huddleston, said: “I’m pleased that VisitBritain is going ahead with its MeetGB event virtually.
“The event will showcase the UK’s fantastic events sector to international buyers from around the world.
“When it is safe to do so, we will work to bring the biggest and best international business events to the UK to help our tourism sector’s recovery.”
MeetGB Virtual will be split to accommodate both European and North American time zones, starting with US buyers on Wednesday, June 17th followed by European and UK buyers on Tuesday, June 23rd.
VisitBritain head of business events, Kerrin MacPhie, said: “Using tried and tested software MeetGB Virtual will provide event professionals with the opportunity to connect and forge relationships with UK suppliers, uncovering the high-calibre, world-class conventions, events and meetings products the country has to offer.
“As the events industry tackles this difficult period during the Covid-19 pandemic we want to support the industry and help them plan for the future, welcoming their events back to the UK when the time is right.
“While we can no longer connect in person we are excited to provide this digital platform and to continue to educate event professionals on the diverse offer that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland represents.”
The virtual event is hoping to connect more than 68 European and North American hosted buyers with more than 60 business event destinations and suppliers from across the UK, including convention bureaus, tourist boards, venues, hotels, events and incentive agencies and destination management companies.
Hundreds of one-to-one virtual business meetings will take place during the event with delegates also able to explore a live exhibition, with UK suppliers showcasing their products and services on virtual exhibition booths.