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North American meeting and event planners show a strong appetite for London


London is a hot spot for North American meeting and event planners, with latest data from the London Convention Bureau showing that bookings for 2018 are already up 20 per cent compared with the same time-period last year(1).

The UK capital continues to attract a number of meetings and conferences from high profile North American brands such as Google, Adobe and Salesforce. London’s largest conference venue, ExCeL London, is also reporting its busiest year for meetings bookings from North America with a 50% uplift in 2018(2).

As demand from North American meeting planners increases, the London Convention Bureau has announced the opening of new offices across North America in Chicago and Toronto, bolstering its existing presence in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

London was recently ranked as the top EMEA destination for meetings and event planners by two separate independent industry reports, with the UK capital claiming top spot in the 2018 Cvent Top 25 MICE cities report and the Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) Top 10 EMEA cities for corporate meetings and events in 2019. Both reports highlighted London’s strengths including range of venues, hotel capacity, infrastructure, cultural attractions and the city’s position as a leading global business hub.

The UK capital’s attractiveness to North American planners will be further boosted by an exciting range of new venues, hotels and restaurants set to open by the end of 2018.

In a year that has already seen the Royal Wedding of Megan and Harry, a number of new venues opening later this year have a royal theme including an event space at Victoria & Albert Museum and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Walkway at Westminster Abbey. They join some of the existing meeting venues at the Historic Royal Palaces such as the Tower of London and Kensington Palace – now home to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. If you are looking for a more modern venue with a focus on innovation and creativity, by the end of the year you will be able to host meetings and events at London’s Design Museum and Here East, an innovation hub located in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

2018 will also see a number of hotel openings, providing a further boost to the 150,000 hotel rooms already available in the capital. The former US Embassy in Mayfair will be transformed into a world class Rosewood Hotel and the opening of the Curtain Hotel in Shoreditch will see a slice of Manhattan brought to London’s East End.

Joshua Novick, VP for Business Tourism in North America at London Convention Bureau comments: “London is a world class destination to host meetings and conferences, offering an array of creative and innovative event ideas. With a fantastic mix of venues, hotels, cultural attractions and restaurants, it is no surprise that we are seeing a high number of bookings from North America so far this year. The London Convention Bureau team is looking forward to the opportunity to tell you about how you can unlock London’s fantastic events offering at IMEX AMERICA.”

Andrew Swanston, Head of Sales at ExCeL London added: “We are delighted that an increasing number of North American planners are choosing ExCeL and our city. London is a beacon of stability and a driving force for successful events. A world leader for technology, finance and life sciences, London provides event organisers with instant access to inspirational speakers, new business partners and a talent pool of 14 million people. ExCeL has welcomed global brands including Adobe, Salesforce, and Google as well as hosting record-breaking medical events for the International Association for Dental Research, European Association of Urology and the Alzheimer’s Association. With the support of London and Partners, we can help our clients to grow their attendance and deliver on their commercial objectives, so there has never been a better time to choose our city.”

1. Based on London & Partners Conventions Bureau bookings data from 2017 to August 2018. Sourced, August 2018.
2. Based on ExCeL London bookings data for North America. Sourced, August 2018.


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