Conservative conference latest to bring steep revenue stream to local community

3rd October 2008

<p>Major business and political conferences can be integral in bringing substantial revenue streams to local businesses near the hosting venue, and the Conservative Party conference has continued this trend in Birmingham.</p><p>The main opposition party took the decision to convene in Birmingham, rather than in the seaside towns of tradition, perhaps in a bid to signify David Cameron's intention to oust Gordon Brown's ailing government at the next general election. The conference was estimated to be worth around £20 million to local businesses in the centre of Birmingham, owing to the immense influx of delegates, members of the press and other attendees, all of whom were eager to hear the Tory leader's challenge to the prime minister.</p><p>The city and conference organisers were expecting 15,000 people to descend on England's second city. All these people required a place to stay over the four days of the event, resulting in a lucrative few days for Birmingham's hospitality sector, while restaurants and bars would be catering for culinary needs and providing much-needed venues for down-time between rousing political speeches.</p><p>Ian Taylor, commercial director at Marketing Birmingham, told a day or two before the event: "With up to 15,000 attendees expected, the hotels in Birmingham and the surrounding area are rapidly filling up. City centre hotels, and those in others areas such as Solihull, have seen a good response in bookings in the lead up to the conference."</p><p>The right kind of press attention is an important factor in the conference sector, and can bring immense benefits to the venue and its community as much as it can for the conference organisers. With major events such as the Conservative conference, outlets from all sections of the media were in attendance and they came from both national and international publications. Such is the appeal of a party lead by an individual who many believe will be the next prime minister.</p><p>With attention levelled on Birmingham, the city had a real chance to shine beneath the full glare of the media, while local firms seized the opportunity to promote their businesses as they fed and watered the journalists alongside the politicians. </p><p>One of the greatest successes for any conference city is the ability to make an indelible positive impression that will prompt visitors to return, whether it is through a future conference or perhaps as a short break with the family. While there are the clear short-term benefits of welcoming thousands of visitors, repeat customers can help ensure longer-term financial rewards for local businesses. Indeed, venue cities are undoubtedly keen to foster a feeling of popularity that will endure through the years.</p><p>In an interview with, Andrew Mitchell, the only Conservative MP in the Birmingham area, was keen for delegates to view the city as a "buzzing metropolis", inviting comparisons with London or New York. The city has certainly received a big promotional push in the last week, and the authorities will be doing their best to maintain it.<br/><img alt="ADNFCR-1753-ID-18810510-ADNFCR" src="" /></p>