Top 10 Conference Destinations

More and more businesses are looking to conferences as a way to deliver important company messages, generate new business, and provide valuable networking opportunities to employees.

However, choosing a destination that will suit the wants and needs of attendees can be difficult, with a multitude of factors affecting the success of a conference.

After delivering conferences all over the world, we know a thing or two about the destinations that are perfect for a conference or business event. Keep on scrolling to find out our ‘Top 10 Destinations for Successful Conferences’ to ensure that your next event is one to remember!

Before deciding where to hold your conference, you might find it useful to read our article on Event Technologies to Boost Your Event’s ROI, which will help you plan how to set up your event space to engage delegates through the latest technologies.

Top 10 Destinations for successful conferences

1. Liverpool

Year after year, we continue to use Liverpool as our number one option for conferences due to its outstanding potential for business events. The world-class ACC and ECL provide a wide range of event spaces that can be adapted to suit your needs, and the city itself is a vibrant metropolis with accommodation, dining, entertainment, and shopping to ensure that all delegates are catered for.

Stephanie MacFarlane, Senior Corporate and Agency Sales Manager at the ACC, says:

“We are fortunate to be located on a beautiful waterfront, within a city that never stands still and is connected to rail, road and air networks, making the whole event experience seamless.”

Read more about what makes Liverpool great for business events HERE, or read our case study to find out more about our work in the city.

2. Malta

Having benefited from its status as the European Capital of Culture this year, Malta is a beautiful island with a lot to offer for conferences and business events. Combining both a desirable Mediterranean climate with a short-haul flight time, it provides the best of both worlds to those seeking a sunny location that isn’t too far from home.

3. Paris

After recently being ranked as the top most competitive city on the International Convention Destination Competitive Index (ICCA), Paris is Europe’s most desirable destination for international conventions. The size of the city alone is a testament to its potential to host multiple large conferences or business events at any one time, and an abundance of world-famous tourist attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, and Notre Dame make it appealing to those wanting an immersive cultural experience to go alongside their business trip.

For more information on who made it onto the ICCA, click HERE.

4. London

The dreaded B-word (Brexit) means that many businesses are debating whether to take the risk of hosting their events in Europe, with a lot of them making the choice to stay in the UK. More specifically, London. There’s no doubt that one of the world’s most visited capital cities is a top choice for conferences and business events due to its endless amount of stunning venues, facilities, and frankly, its status.

However, the hidden treasures and quirks of London are becoming more utilised in order to provide unique, new and exclusive event experiences, meaning that even delegates from the city could be exploring completely unknown territory during their next event.

We recently delivered a client event in the centre of London – the first of their events to be hosted in Europe! Read more about how they got on in our case study.

Read our case study

5. Singapore

Having previously been considered by some as merely a ‘stop-off point’ for connecting flights, Singapore has more recently become recognised for the incredibly modern and diverse city that it is, striking the perfect balance between a cosmopolitan lifestyle and Southeast-Asian tradition. Due to its high percentage of expats, compliance with emerging technologies, and bilingual population, Singapore is an exclusive location with incredible potential for conferences and business events.

Our Operations Director, Dawn Mitchell, recently visited the city and believes that its facilities in particular could sway the decision to host an event there:

“Both the Marina Bay Sands and Fullerton Bay Hotel are phenomenal. The brand ambassador for the Marina Bay is David Beckham – which immediately tells you of its status. The Fullerton Bay is stunning from the offset, sitting on the waterfront with a grand exterior and outstanding lobby area.”

We recently published an article about Singapore’s potential for incentive events, which you can read HERE.

6. Leeds

Now it may seem like we’re blowing our own trumpet, what with both of our office locations making an appearance on this list, but our hometown of Leeds just had to be included in the line-up. Recent years have seen the city go through an outstanding digital transformation, with Channel 4 recently announcing the city as the location for its new headquarters.

One of the city’s many venues includes the First Direct Arena, which hosts a wide range of conferences and exhibitions every year. These range from tattoo exhibitions and digital marketing conferences, to the annual Conference and Hospitality Show.

Lisa Turton, Head of Sales and Hospitality, has experienced much more interest in events hosted in Leeds since it has become more technologically advanced over the past few years:

“The arena is a great, modern and versatile space. We can accommodate small meetings for 10 people, up to large scale conferences for 12,000 delegates. It’s become one of the go-to places in Leeds, a city which is constantly developing.”

For more information on the First Direct Arena, visit their website here.

Find out more about the Conference and Hospitality Show, and how you can attend, HERE.

7. Budapest

Sitting on the UNESCO World Heritage River Danube, Budapest is an architecturally magnificent capital city that is easily and internationally accessible, budget-friendly, and is home to a wide range of facilities that can accommodate a variety of group sizes.

Accompanied with dinearounds, river cruises, and city tours, conferences in Budapest can be adapted to ensure that your delegates get the most out of both exploring a new culture, and attending important conference sessions.

One of our repeat clients hosts a bi-annual client conference for 450 delegates, which we delivered in Budapest last year. Click HERE to read the full case study and find out why we chose Budapest.

8. Las Vegas

Viva Las Vegas!

This vibrant city is renowned as a ‘bucket-list’ destination for many, with the infamous strip and Grand Canyon National Park attracting millions of tourists every year. However, the outstanding facilities that this sought-after location has to offer means that it is equally as capable of hosting successful conference and business events.

Its wide range of hotels and resorts sit in the heart of the action on the Las Vegas strip, meaning that attendees can enjoy the lively culture of the city along whilst having access to informative conference sessions, workshops, and networking opportunities.

9. Northern Italy

Northern Italy is well-known for its tourism value, with millions of visitors to its large cities such as Milan, Venice, Verona, Turin and the three famous lakes - Como, Maggiore, and Garda – every year. This year alone, we have delivered two large client conferences in both Lake Maggiore and Venice, due to the outstanding facilities and accommodation on offer, as well as the commercialised yet beautiful scenery that the two locations provide.

Arriving to a workshop on a gondola? Who else can say they’ve done that? The short-haul privilege of Northern Italy is another reason it is so suited to conferences and business events, and is well connected by both rail and air.

10. Birmingham

Last but not least is the ‘capital of the Midlands,’ Birmingham. Its central location provides convenient access from all over the UK, not to mention an international airport with daily flights to destinations all over the world.

The city is also home to an array of diverse venues that can cater for a wide range of group sizes and preferences. These include Birmingham Town Hall and Symphony Hall, and The NEC Birmingham – the latter of which hosts a wide range of high-profile events every year.

Martin Clarke, Managing Director at The NEC Group, comments on changes to the venue that have transformed it into a thriving corporate event destination:

“We have seen our NEC campus change radically over the past three years. We began our journey as an exhibition venue, and are now a thriving 24/7 business and leisure destination. We are attracting more and more seven million visitors each year as the amazing content hosted by our exhibitions, conferences, live events and attractions – both on campus and within the NEC – develops.”

We recently organised a 200th Anniversary Celebration at Birmingham Town Hall for one of our repeat clients. Read our case study to find out more.

If you’d like to find out more about how these top conference destinations could work for your budget and event needs, or you’d like event more destination options to set your events apart, feel free to contact the First Event team who will be happy to help you. Give us a call on 01943877444, or head to our Contact Us page to get in touch online.

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