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Business of Events kicks off in Wales

Senior leaders will today, 5 October, discuss how Wales can earn a greater market share of business events from the UK and the rest of the world, at the first Business of Events Wales conference.

Delegates will hear that the country is facing a g’olden opportunity’ to increase the economic benefit derived from hosting more conferences, meetings and events. But national and worldwide competition is tough and a joined-up approach by government and the private sector is essential if Wales is to succeed in its ambitions for the sector.

The Business of Events Wales will feature a wide range of national and international speakers who will set out both the opportunities and challenges facing the Welsh business events community.

Speaking exclusively to CN reporter Stuart Wood, Michael Hirst OBE, chair of the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP), said: "We have a tapestry of medium sized venues, but are we competing with the massive venues in Italy Germany vegas? Post-brexit we may need to change strategy to continue growing the industry, and look at some of the bigger venues and capacity mapping. This is something we're working on now with Visit Britain." 

"ICC Wales is just the beginning. Today is about promoting Wales as a destination for the whole country. We have to ensure that the whole country is collaborating to grow the whole Welsh business events sector."

Lord Elis-Thomas, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, said: “This inaugural event is another way in which we’re looking to be more active in the business events sector and an excellent opportunity to speak to senior leaders to see how we can increase our market share and work together to provide real opportunities to attract business events to Wales. As a compact connected country, Wales can open doors to innovators, industry experts, professors and scientists with genuine insight into their individual field.”

Kerrin MacPhie, head of business events at VisitBritain, said: “VisitBritain is working closely with Visit Wales and its partners to support their business events growth strategy, helping to attract more international business and increase their share of meetings, events and conferences.

“The Business of Events Wales gives VisitBritain an excellent opportunity to work with the Welsh business events community to heighten the importance of business events in Britain, and the benefits that the sector brings to the economy”.

Ian Edwards, chief executive of Celtic Manor Resort and the forthcoming International Convention Centre Wales said: “The opening of ICC Wales next year is an important milestone not just for the local area but for Wales more widely as well. Our ambition is to lead the way in putting Wales on the national and international map for business events. We won’t achieve that on our own, so it’s important to us that as many people as possible get behind this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and really sell the benefits of hosting all sorts of events in all parts of Wales.”