The West Midlands is a thriving destination for tourism, business and events.
Comprising three major cities Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton, and towns and boroughs including Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull and Walsall, the region is the place where endless routes meet. It is the most accessible part of the UK for domestic and international event attendees – its central UK location can be reached by more than 90% of the UK population within a four-hour travel time.
A wide range of facilities
The West Midlands offers a wide array of venues that can accommodate events of all types and sizes. Whether you’re planning a conference, trade show or exhibition, the region’s facilities can cater for any need.
Birmingham, known as the second city of the UK, and the largest city in the region, boasts a variety of renowned event spaces. Within the city centre, the International Convention Centre (ICC) hosted several high-profile events in 2022, including the Conservative Party Conference and World Congress on Railway Research (WCRR).
The West Midlands is also home to the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Solihull. Spanning over a vast 611-acre site, the NEC offers over 186,000 square metres of flexible event space and is a powerhouse for exhibitions, trade shows and conferences. Ideally located less than 20 minutes from Coventry and Birmingham via train, and just a stone’s throw from Birmingham Airport, the NEC is the UK’s number one venue of choice for organisers, exhibitors and visitors.
Coventry, the oldest city in the region, is home to the Coventry Building Society Arena (CBS Arena) and contains within it a 32,000-seater stadium and more than 20,000 square metres of meeting space. The arena also features on-site hotels, restaurants and parking facilities, and is in close proximity to the city centre.
Wolverhampton, a vibrant city in the West Midlands, offers a range of impressive event facilities for various occasions. The Grand Theatre hosts cultural events, including theatrical performances, concerts and comedy shows. With its stunning architecture and state-of-the-art facilities, the Grand Theatre provides a captivating atmosphere for both performers and audiences.
Hanging your hat
After one of the West Midlands’ busiest summers, having hosted the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the region’s hotel sector is well placed to welcome guests at a range of luxury or budget options. With over 36,000 bed spaces, there is plenty of choice.
The NEC campus offers several hotels, including the Hilton Metropole, which has recently refurbished its facilities, including more than 600 rooms and 6,000 sqm of event space. The second-largest hotel outside London, it also now offers three restaurants and bars on-site, making it the ideal location for events.
In the centre of Birmingham, the historic Grand Hotel has recently had a £50 million refurbishment, reopening after 20 years, with 185 rooms and 10 meeting and event spaces for up to 500 people.
A foodie hot spot
The West Midlands is a culinary capital for visitors, from fine dining to casual bites. The region’s food scene is one of the best in the country, home to more Michelin Star restaurants than anywhere else in the UK outside London. Away from fine dining, the region boasts a diverse selection of cuisines from across the world. A host of independent restaurants, cafes and bars pepper the region, with the Balti Triangle, some of the UK’s biggest foodie festivals and Digbeth Dining Club among visitors’ favourites.
There’s nowhere better to bring your team together than in the West Midlands. Filled to the brim with an incredible range of exciting group activities, the region promises a trip to be remembered.
Inject excitement into your team day out with high ropes, archery or climbing at the unique Bear Grylls Adventure or bring history to life at the Black Country Living Museum, backdrop for the TV smash hit Peaky Blinders. You can also explore the region’s canals by getting active on the water with a Roundhouse Birmingham kayak tour, the home of British chocolate at Cadbury’s historic Bournville site, or step behind the scenes at historic sporting stadiums such as Villa Park, Molineux and Edgbaston Stadium.
The Birmingham and the West Midlands Convention Bureau celebrated its 40th birthday in 2022. Working alongside event organisers, the Bureau offers expert advice, guidance and insight with invaluable support to ensure that both organisers and delegates receive the best experience and welcome.
The Bureau, part of the West Midlands Growth Company, provides industry professionals with a range of free services to deliver successful events in the region. These include accommodation booking, venue location and social programme planning.
To learn more about the West Midlands Convention Bureau, call 0121 202 5100, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.meetbirmingham.com.