Conference Aston, Birmingham’s largest residential conferencing venue, has recorded its best Q1 performance with a 10% increase in revenue compared with 12 months ago, as well as doubling the number of residential delegates against target in May.
The conferencing venue and hotel, which are part of Aston University, welcomed 15,000 delegates and hotel guests between January and March this year, from a wide range of organisations such as West Midlands Police and Jaguar Land Rover.
Cementing its status as a leading conferencing venue in the city, Conference Aston also recorded an impressive May, coming in at 37% ahead of budget with over 4,000 day delegates passing through its doors. The month also saw 1,284 residential delegates stay at the venue, twice its target.
Paul Bunce, marketing manager at Conference Aston, said with Birmingham enjoying a resurgence in the number of corporate and leisure visitors, as well as residential conferences, it was gratifying that the venue was playing a significant role in attracting people to the city.
“Over the past few years, we’ve seen a real increase in the number of organisations wanting to hold their training, events or meetings at Conference Aston and that has translated into ever-growing numbers of guests and an increase in revenue,” he said.
“One of the reasons for growth is an increase in residential conferencing which has been a slow part of the market since the recession. In the first five months of this year, volumes of residential conference delegates is up 16% ahead of expectation. Day meeting volumes are also up 21% against predicted volumes.
“Q1 2017 was particularly positive for us and we are thrilled that we’ve recorded our best figures yet for the quarter compared with previous years. With the proposed HS2 terminal being located very close to Aston University and Birmingham attracting increasing numbers of international events, we believe that our future as a leading conference venue in the city continues to be bright.”
Earlier this year (April), the venue attained a TripAdvisor gold GreenLeader award for its commitment to environmentally friendly practices, and is already looking forward to a bumper 2017.
Visitors from across the globe will be heading to Conference Aston for the International Conference of Urban Pests in July, while in November, the Prosthetics Event, with 1,000 delegates, returns to the venue.
Data from Marketing Birmingham’s Regional Observatory earlier this year revealed that the number of both international visitors and overnight visitors to the city have doubled in the last three years.
Birmingham has also been voted the most popular destination outside London for meetings, conferences and events for six successive years by the annual British Meetings & Events Industry Survey (BMEIS), with visitor expenditure reaching £82 per head last year, compared with £61 in 2013.