Conference News January 2018 - Page 42

42 South West A fifth straight year of profit for hotels in Bristol has left them cautiously optimisitc for 2018 FBI National Academy Associates The FBI National Academy Associates (FBINAA) worked closely with Visit Bristol to host a successful European training conference in Bristol in 2017. The event was attended by 300 serving and retired senior police and law enforcement officers and their partners from 40 countries. Bristol was chosen because it has something for everyone, with good transport links to Europe, the US and globally. The team at Visit Bristol provided support, guidance, ideas and contacts. The team also attended the event to offer real time advice to guests and showcase the best of Bristol. Plymouth he south west of England has long been a popular destination for holidaymakers; a veritable smorgasbord of sandy beaches, rugged coastline, rolling hills, and quaint villages. While the region remains a family favourite, it also boasts a welcome selection of MICE offerings. Plymouth Plymouth is Britain’s Ocean City, offering the picturesque benefits of a city on the sea, while also delivering an impressive corporate location. Nestled between the sea and the moors at the heart of Devon and Cornwall, Plymouth is a thriving city, with an outstanding quality of life enjoyed by many, with its many marinas, waterfront bars, historic buildings and strong modernist architecture. The city is home to one of the largest music, entertainment and conference facilities in the South West, Plymouth Pavilions. Boasting a capacity of 2,500 for conferences, and hosting banquets for up to 700. GMB Union are regular visitors to Plymouth and chose Pavilions to host their 100th Congress in 2017. Steve Short, GMB executive officer, said: “GMB Congress is a key event for us. Consequently the union’s executive council takes great care to find venues that are suitable for the event. Plymouth ticks a lot of boxes as a destination and we always receive positive feedback from delegates who stay in the city. The Plymouth Pavilions' location makes it easy to get to and, as a purpose built venue, it has the range of flexible space needed to accommodate a varied programme and accommodate all delegates, including those with access needs.” Plymouth is now three hours from London by rail, 55 minutes flight from London City to Exeter Airport, and Plymouth’s International ferry port links the city with Roscoff and Santander. Bristol Bristol has been quietly developing a stronger offer for international conferences. The city works collaboratively with its assets. Connectivity and services to event organisers available through Bristol Airport and special rate fares for conference delegates through GWR for those travelling by rail make the city an appealing prospect. Bristol is the home of mysterious artist Banksy, and street art has become a popular sight in the city and at its venues. Mercure Grand Hotel has been transformed with influences of street art and the Bristol Marriott City Centre Hotel has an urban roof terrace. There are even street art tours and corporate experiences. Bristol was recently named as a UNESCO City of Film. It hosts a number of prestigious film events such as Encounters and Go (South) West CN casts its eye over England’s scenic South West