The place to talk politics

David Cameron The Conservative Party is returning to Birmingham following the success of their first conference in the city two years ago. The 2008 conference attracted some 10,000 delegates with more set to attend this year. A comprehensive delivery team has been established to deliver the event which takes place 3–6 October at The ICC. This includes representatives from Marketing Birmingham, Birmingham City Council, The NEC Group, Broad Street BID, Brindleyplace, Centro, Network Rail, Chiltern Railways, Virgin Trains and West Midlands Police. 
   
Ian Taylor, commercial director at Marketing Birmingham, comments: “The delivery team ensures a targeted method in attracting and delivering a successful conference. Working together with key partners ensures we can establish a unified Birmingham approach to all elements of hosting a conference such as logistics and communications.
   
“The Conservative Party Conference will generate huge opportunities for Birmingham, generating considerable economic impact and attracting substantial media attention. Some of the UK’s most influential figures will be in the city for four days and Birmingham is set to be well and truly in the spotlight.”

High profile conferences

Geoff Fenlon, General Manager, The ICC Birmingham, says: “With our central location, connections to the UK transport network, award-winning facilities and an experienced, dedicated team, The ICC is an attractive location for high-profile conferences.
   
“The ICC is already long-established as the venue of choice for government bodies, associations, corporate conferences and niche events, and as the only UK venue to have hosted events by all three main political parties in the last two years, is rapidly being recognised as the home of the political conference.
   
“We are working with numerous government bodies, to name just a few – National College, Ministry of Defence, NHS and The Home Office, all of which have been with us over the past five years.”

Returning to Birmingham
The Conservative Party has also announced that they will return to hold their autumn party conference in Birmingham in 2012, with Marketing Birmingham and The NEC Group responsible for negotiating and securing the deal. The event will be the third Conservative Party Conference to be hosted in the city and is currently scheduled for 8-11 October 2012.
   
Mike Whitby, leader of Birmingham City Council, welcomes the announcement: “The decision by the Conservative Party to hold a third conference in Birmingham, with success in 2008, followed up by 2010 and now 2012, is undoubtedly confirmation of our reputation as the UK’s natural meeting place for political conferences. I am confident that the Conservative Party Conference in 2012 will enhance that reputation.
   
“The Conference not only has an economic impact on Birmingham – the 2008 Conservative Party conference contributed £28 million in economic and media impact to Birmingham – but brings to our city some of Britain’s most powerful politicians and civil servants who will help shape policy affecting the next 20 years, and understand the role our city can play in complimenting that agenda.
   
“The city will also feature prominently on the international stage with the US and Jamaican teams training in Birmingham for the Olympics. Together with the Conservative Party conference, this ensures 2012 will bring real economic and reputational enhancement to our city.”
   
Eric Pickles, the Chairman of the Conservative Party, says: “We’re delighted to be returning to Birmingham for our autumn conference in 2012. Birmingham proved to us in 2008 that it has an exceptional conference venue in the ICC and Symphony Hall, a good range of accommodation and a well-developed transport infrastructure. Whilst these are all important issues for our delegates it was the welcome we received that made a lasting impression.  Birmingham clearly goes the extra mile to look after its visitors and we are looking forward to being there both this year and in 2012.”

Going Green
Birmingham’s party political credentials have been further strengthened with the recent announcement that the Green Party is staging its autumn conference in Birmingham from 10 – 13 September. Around 500 delegates are expected and the event is estimated to be worth around £500,000 for the local economy.
   
The conference takes place at Birmingham Conservatoire and is the first time it has been staged in the city.  Marketing Birmingham is working with the Green Party to facilitate the conference, by providing accommodation booking and event support.
   
A bespoke website – www.greenpartyconferenceinbirmingham.com – has been created for delegates to book accommodation, and obtain information on travel and leisure activities in the city, as well as special discounts for activities in the city and wider region.
   
Caroline Lucas MP, Green Party leader: “We’re delighted to be coming to Birmingham for our autumn conference. This year has been a significant one for the Greens, culminating in the election of our first MP to the UK parliament. This conference will be an important opportunity to celebrate our successes, and to debate the way forward for Green politics in Britain.
   
“This is the first time we have held our conference in the city and we have been impressed with what Birmingham is offering. It’s well connected by public transport, allowing easy access for our delegates travelling in from around the country. The Conservatoire’s central location places our delegates right in the heart of the city, so they will have excellent opportunities to unwind and explore after a busy day in conference.”

A host for major events

Ian Taylor comments: “The Green Party Autumn Conference is the third party political conference to take place in the city this year and forms part of a busy month for Birmingham with major events taking place in the city. This includes the Pope’s visit and the British Science Festival, one of the largest festivals of its kind in Europe.”

This is a clear sign of the confidence that the major political parties have in the city’s ability to deliver a world-class event, and it is certain that the months ahead will bring further economic and reputational enhancement to the city.

For more details on Birmingham’s conference and event offering including free venue location, head to www.meetbirmingham.com