Coventry and Warwickshire is taking centre stage at the UK’s industry-leading events show in a bid to attract further investment into the region as the city prepares to take to the world stage.
Organisations such as Ricoh Arena and Wasps, Coombe Abbey Hotel, Shakespeare’s England, Conference Coventry and Warwickshire, and Birmingham Airport will be representing the area at International Confex at Olympia London on Tuesday 26 February and Wednesday 27 February.
International Confex sees more than 350 exhibitors and 8,000 events industry professionals come together to strike deals and build relationships.
The delegation’s presence at the show – backed by Birmingham Airport for the first time – comes as Coventry prepares to become UK City of Culture in 2021, as well as hosting a Rugby League World Cup match in the same year, and netball matches at the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
Ricoh Arena has attended the show each year since it relaunched as International Confex, with 2019 including special guest appearances from Wasps player Ross Neal, and Wasps Netball and England Roses international Rachel Dunn on Wednesday 27 February between 12pm and 2pm.
The Coventry and Warwickshire delegation will also be hosting a networking event on Tuesday 26 February between 4pm and 5.30pm where visitors can find out more about opportunities in the region.
Stuart Cain, Managing Director at Ricoh Arena and Wasps, said: “International Confex is the perfect platform for Coventry and Warwickshire to be shouting about what is happening in the region, and the infrastructure that we have in place to support events.
“Attending this show is a must for any destination that is serious about succeeding in the events industry – Ricoh Arena held 712 conferences and exhibitions last year with a range of these events coming about from leads generated at International Confex.
“Coventry as a city has three global events that are being hosted on its doorstep over the coming years with UK City of Culture in 2021, the same year that the Rugby League World Cup will be hosting one of its games at Ricoh Arena. Then nine months after that we will also be hosting the netball for the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
“These are incredibly attractive selling points to the event industry’s supply chain, as are the events we have lined up in the summer with Monster Jam, two Spice Girls dates and the return of Bon Jovi.”
A range of competitions and giveaways have also been organised by the delegation, including an overnight stay and Go Ape treetop experience at Coombe Abbey Hotel, as well as tickets to see Wasps Rugby and Wasps Netball.
Helen Peters is Chief Executive of Shakespeare’s England, the not-for-profit Destination Management Organisation (DMO), for South Warwickshire, which promotes tourism in Coventry and Warwickshire and its members include Coombe Abbey Hotel and Birmingham Airport.
She said: “We are extremely pleased to be working with all of these partners to showcase what Coventry and Warwickshire has to offer to a national and international stage.
“We will all be working together to make sure that we showcase the very best the region has to offer to the conferencing and events industry.
“It’s particularly significant to have Birmingham Airport on board for the first time, as it is the Midlands gateway to the world, serving almost 400 direct or one-stop flights from across the globe with 50 airlines.”