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Meetings Industry Association hosts first Destinations Summit

The mia's inaugural Destinations Summit at the Old Ship Hotel in Brighton has been hailed a success
13/02/2018

Pictured: Paul Szomoru, head of business events at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau

The Meetings Industry Association’s (mia) inaugural Destinations Summit at the Old Ship Hotel in Brighton has been hailed a success.


The two-day event saw representatives from 20 UK destinations coming together to discuss how to attract more international events and run successful convention bureaux.


Paul Szomoru, head of business events at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau and destinations chair for the mia organised the event. He said: “We were absolutely delighted by the number of destinations in attendance at our first ever Destinations Summit, and the fantastic quality of the speakers on both days.


“There was a huge amount of insightful knowledge shared, and having the opportunity to meet and network with peers and discuss challenges, successes and best practice, will hopefully prove invaluable for all who attended.”


Following an opening address from Tony Rodgers, who provided an overview of the fundamentals of running a successful convention bureau, the conference split into two streams for marketing and communications and business development.


Attendees of the marcomms stream heard from Kirsteen Scott from Discover Britain and Ireland, discussing how to win international business as well as the strengths and challenges of marketing UK destinations. This was followed by a session on exhibition excellence, with Richard Allchild from IMEX Group and Jack Marczewski from The Meetings Show.


Elif Balci Fisunoglu, the new European regional director of ICCA, also joined the summit to talk about how destinations can make the most out of the ICCA database and collaborate with other members.


Other speakers included Lesley Williams from Caeliam Ltd, Chris Gibbs from Pincus Solutions, Jaime Bennett, sales and marketing director at Conference Partners, Sally Greenhill from The Right Solution, Kerrin MacPhie from Visit Britain and Tracey Halliwell and Barbara Jamison from London & Partners.


The event was sponsored by Visit Britain, Visit Brighton and British Airways i360.


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