We hope you had an enjoyable and productive visit to Best of Britain & Ireland 2013 whether that be as an exhibitor or buyer.
All pages will be updated in the coming weeks to reflect our plans for 2014, but in the meantime have a look at the 2013 Testimonials. Pictures from this year’s event will be loaded shortly, so watch this space!
We look forward to welcoming you to Best of Britain & Ireland 2014 on March 12 & 13 at the NEC, Birmingham!
The BoBI Team
Quality Shines Through!
Quality buyers, quality exhibitors, quality meetings, quality business – that was the over-riding message coming through from attendees at Best of Britain & Ireland 2013.
As the must-attend tourism trade event of the year for tourism professionals from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales wound up for another year, Expo Management, the organisers of the annual trade show at the NEC Birmingham, issued their preliminary attendance figures.
“Our initial data, subject to verification, shows total attendance at the show was just over 2000 – slightly down on last year, and mirroring national trade show trends,” said Sam Warnock, Best of Britain & Ireland Event Director.
“But by far and away the strongest universally positive message we have received is that the quality of buyers has more than made up for the slight reduction in numbers, with exhibitors stating that they have had extremely productive meetings and signed up new business from both existing and new buyers.
Miriam O’Connell, Industry Activation Manager, Tourism Ireland said, ” BoBI is a fabulous opportunity for our partners from the island of Ireland to meet with both new and existing buyers from Great Britain and overseas.”
“We have had an extremely productive day, helped by our great stand location and a show in Birmingham that is easy to get to. We’ve made lots of good quality contacts; there are no brochure grazers here. We will definitely be back again next year.” said Stephen Broughton, Director, Mountain Goat Tours & Holidays.
James Wright, The Castle & Gardens of Mey commented, “We’ve already met with six new coach operators eager to include to us on their itineraries and there is still a whole day left to go. This is one show that is certainly living up to expectations.”
Roy Church & Catherine Lewis, South West Wales – West is Best! say, “It’s been very good .We’ve made lots of useful contacts with real quality visitors who are focussed and know what they want. Unlike so many other shows we’ve done there’s been no need to grab people off the aisles as they pass by, instead they come to us.”
“We have been kept very busy with interest shown in all 15 of our hotels around the UK. We’ve also managed to make reservations onsite which we don’t always get the opportunity to do and the overall number of enquiries has more than paid for the stand.” said Jackie Taylor, Travel Trade Sales Manager, Menzies Hotels
Overall, the mood and feeling of attendees reflected a very positive outlook for the industry going forward. Buyers and exhibitors at the show held more than 3,900 one to one meetings over the two days aimed at developing new business.
Best of Britain & Ireland 2013 was officially opened by Simon Gregory, Director of Markets at Tourism Ireland following the always lively Tourism Question Time with representatives from England, Ireland, Wales and Isle of Man, while attendees at the seminar slots on the Main stage were brought up to speed on a range of topics including how to gain business from the shoulder season, how tourism can create more jobs, how to tap in to the gay market and customer care initiatives.
There were also a number of destination and attraction presentations on new initiatives such as Ireland’s ‘The Gathering’ and Derry~Londonderry as the first UK City of Culture, and the latest on Isle of Man repositioning itself as the Isle of Thrills, and an in-depth update on the imminent opening of the new Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth & Gosport.
“We continue to invest substantial resources in our domestic and international buyer programme, ensuring Best of Britain & Ireland continues to deliver quality, fully-accredited buyers. This programme is valued and appreciated by our exhibitors, and something that we will continue to deliver.” continued Sam Warnock.
“This positive exhibitor feedback is also reflected in extremely strong re-bookings for next year by 2013 exhibitors, and that confidence is reflected across the board – accommodation providers, destinations and attractions.
“Best of Britain & Ireland has been, is, and will continue to be a key date in the tourism calendar for exhibitors and buyers, and Expo Management will continue to remain committed to delivering a show that the industry wants and values. Next year’s show is already confirmed to take place at the NEC Birmingham on March 12 and 13.
|To enquire about exhibiting at Best of Britain & Ireland 2014 please contact:|
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BoBI TV – check out what people are saying about the 2013 event!
I have been very impressed by both the depth and breadth of people attending from the industry - right from grass root supporters through to policy makers and a government minister.
Luke Pollard, Head of Public Affairs, ABTA.
It is really encouraging to see just how BoBI has developed over the past few years. This is our first time as a show sponsor and it is proving to be a great way to discuss key issues and meet our members face-to-face.
Kurt Janson, Policy Director, Tourism Alliance
BoBI is the ideal way for destination, accommodation and attraction providers to look at the market and reach out to tour operators, GTOs and international buyers.
Kara ter Morsche, Scottish Borders Tourism Partnership
BoBI has proved to be an extremely useful place to distribute our two day itinerary tour - they have been extremely well received.
Lynda Denton, Gretna Green Famous Blacksmith Shop
As well as renew contact with our more familiar customers we have started to develop some new relationships and sales leads.
Stephen Broughton, Mountain Goat Tours & Holidays
We have had an extremely productive day, helped by our great stand location and a show in Birmingham that is easy to get to. We've made lots of good quality contacts; there are no brochure grazers here. We will definitely be back again next year.
James Wright, The Castle & Gardens of Mey
We've already met with six new coach operators eager to include to us on their itineraries and there is still a whole day left to go. This is one show that is certainly living up to expectations.
Eileen Cox, Guild of Registered Tourist Guides
We are delighted to be hosting the Welcome Desk and Meetings Area for the fifth consecutive year. The best around, Blue Badge Tourist Guides and BoBI make the perfect combination!
Ronnie Berri, Scottish Blue Badge Guide
We've seen lots of people all serious about doing business - exactly what we want.
Maggie McLeod, Scottish Blue Badge Guide
The visitors have really appreciated our hands-on approach and the way we have been able to handle specific queries and point them in the right direction. Based on intimate local knowledge we have been able to spot links with other neighbouring destinations, we are able to offer more holistic customer solutions, promoting complete whole packages rather than individual attractions and destinations.
Miriam O'Connell, Industry Activation Manager, Tourism Ireland
BoBI is a fabulous opportunity for our partners from the island of Ireland to meet with both new and existing buyers from Great Britain and overseas.
Shelly Barratt, Destination North Wales
We're really pleased with the way the show is shaping up. It has been a great opportunity for us to introduce tour operators to the less familiar parts of north Wales like Flintshire and Denbighshire.
Tara Robinson, Eden Hotel Collection
The quality of visitors, in particular the number of overseas agents who are very difficult and expensive for us to reach, has been great. We have also been impressed by the all the after show activities like Warwick Castle and the Networking Dinner, these add-ons really help us to build relationships with new customers and contacts.
Katie Wilson, MAD Museum
This is our first time at BoBI and is proving to be the perfect way to promote our new museum and get our name out there. We've had lots of enquiries from a whole range of groups, from those representing children and schools right through to pensioners and the retired market.
Yasmin Estaitih, Encore Tickets
We've seen lots more international buyers than last year, my particular area. BoBI is good show for us.
Penny Dyer, Cadbury World
It has been steady all day with good quality visitors keen to build relationships and high level tour operators looking for multiple trips throughout the year.
Jonathan Godson, Condor Ferries
We've seen a good combination of new and existing customers all great quality and all with strong interest in the Channel Islands. Our destination products have also attracted a lot of interest. We will definitely consider re-booking for next year.
Beverley Davis, De Vere Venues
Participation at BoBI 2013 is proving both productive and beneficial. De Vere Venues has forged a name for itself with the travel trade through this show. Sponsorship of the hospitality area has been a great success; it has been busy the whole time - so far we have provided over 1,000 cups of coffee alone!
Adele Godden, Hospitality Line
There's been a steady footfall all throughout the day of really top class visitors.
Roy Church & Catherine Lewis, South West Wales - West is Best!
It's been very good .We've made lots of useful contacts with real quality visitors who are focussed and know what they want. Unlike so many other shows we've done there's been no need to grab people off the aisles as they pass by, instead they come to us.
Gregory Yeoman, The Tourism Society
Tourism Question Time was an important opportunity to demonstrate the importance of The Tourism Society to the overall industry not least because of the exceptional calibre of the speaker panel. The variety of exhibitors at this year's show has been very good and the Meeting Planner proved a particularly effective means of setting up meetings in advance.
Andrew Fraser, Distinctive Systems
BoBI has been a great PR exercise for Distinctive. As well as meeting a number of new prospects we have been able to bring people up-to-speed on some new developments.
Rachel Tooley, Jurys Inn
We've had some very good meetings with a variety of coach operators, wholesalers and travel agents. The online Meeting Planner worked well too.
Ann Lines, Hilton Worldwide
It has been right through with a strong combination of quality appointments and new leads.
Sue Shapiro, Shapiro Travel Resources, USA
BoBi is an extremely useful way to meet a large number of people in a short space of time. I've made some good contacts for my clients and spoken to all the right people which I'm sure as a result will lead to lots of business.
Jay Munro-Michell, ETOA
It's the variety of suppliers and regional operators that make this a unique mix. I look forward to being here again with our members in 2014.
Chris Robinson, Chris Robinson Associates, Canada
This has been a wonderful way to make connections, many of which have been completely unplanned, for stories for my radio show. It has also been very time efficient - I have managed to see a lot of people in a short space of time.
Jackie Taylor, Menzies Hotels
We have been kept very busy with interest shown in all 15 of our hotels around the UK. We've also managed to make reservations onsite which we don't always get the opportunity to do and the overall number of enquiries has more than paid for the stand.
Annette Gallagher, The Rezidor Hotel Group
A very busy and productive show for us, we have met with both new and existing clients. There have been definite dates from in-bound clients such as Germany and Denmark. We have also detected a distinct air of optimism and renewed confidence for 2014.
Martyn Stagg, Warner Leisure Hotels
This has been a great opportunity to showcase what Britain has to offer the travel trade. We have done some good business which has more than covered the cost of our participation at the event.
Mark Smith, Best Western Hotels
The show has been excellent with some cracking leads from new as well as existing customers. Our Dutch, Belgium and French teams have also had promising conversations with a number of outbound operators. We'll be back for 2014!
Paul Steele, Virgin Trains
It has been very productive; we've met lots of clients we wouldn't otherwise have met. It has opened up lots of potential new markets for us such as travel agents, leisure groups, Irish rail tours, Chinese and US tour operators some of which may become future Virgin Trains partners.