Bristol has taken 2018 by storm! The city has already been listed as a top UK destination by the World’s Best Cities, coming second only to London. Bristol has also been awarded the UNESCO City of Film status in recognition of its work as a world-leading film centre. Celebrations for this took place at the beginning of the month at Watershed, located next to Bristol’s picturesque Harbourside.

In the spirit of positive change, Destination Bristol has now relaunched its convention bureau services that promote the Bristol city region as a destination for conferences, meetings and business events as ‘Meet Bristol’. Meet Bristol sits alongside the Visit Bristol brand, and offers professional services to conference and business event organisers, including the operation of a free-to-use accommodation and venue finding service. At this exciting time, we invited a group of event planners from the UK and Europe to Bristol for a weekend of local experiences, venue visits and culinary delights.

M Shed Harbourside

Guests arrived in Bristol on Friday evening. Those travelling by train via GWR routes were provided with return tickets courtesy of GWR, others arrived by plane into Bristol Airport, just a 20-minute drive out of the city centre.

The guests stayed at the The Bristol hotel for the duration of their visit. A popular venue for leisure as well as meetings and events, the hotel boasts a large ballroom, overlooking the Harbourside that can seat up to 300 guests for dinner. After settling in, the first stop was a visit to the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel. This property has recently completed a major refurbishment and has worked with local Upfest artists (Upfest is Europe’s largest live street art and graffiti festival that takes place in Bristol in July) to give the hotel its own unique style. After enjoying pre-dinner drinks in the quirky Keepers bar, the group took a short walk to the bistro at Hotel du Vin where a delicious 3 course meal with wine was served. Hotel du Vin (the Sugar House) is a restored collection of Grade II* listed former sugar warehouses, transformed into a unique and rustic boutique hotel. The venue is home to 40 bedrooms and suites - all named after wines from around the world - as well as 3 meeting rooms and a private dining room seating up to 12 people.

A chilly Saturday morning began with a street art walking tour with Graft, exploring the streets of Bristol city centre to find some hidden away, beautiful pieces of art. Heading up to Mercure Bristol Holland House Hotel and Spa, the group explored the conference facilities and spacious bedrooms.

Graft

The afternoon’s activities began with a visit to M Shed to see their versatile events space with stunning views over the harbour. Next up was the historic Brunel’s SS Great Britain, where there was the opportunity to ‘Go Aloft!’ and climb the ship’s rigging. 

Over at We The Curious, an impressive planetarium show was viewed followed by dinner at the Harbour Hotel.

The final day of the trip was centred on three fantastic properties. Ashton Gate Stadium, just a short journey away from the city centre is the largest conferencing venue in the South West, seating up to 1000 delegates theatre style and 850 for dinner, as well as offering a concourse perfect for exhibitions.

Ashton Gate

We took an informative and exciting guided tour of the new Aerospace Bristol, an industrial heritage museum, which is home to the Concorde Alpha Foxtrot. Designed, built and tested in Bristol, she was the final Concorde to be built and the last to fly.

Dinner can be served for up to 550 guests under its wings.

Aerospace

Finally a delicious afternoon tea was provided at the Grade II* listed De Vere Tortworth Court, which underwent a multi-million pound refurbishment in 2017. The hotel offers 201 bedrooms including 55 bedrooms in the Mansion House as well as a unique meetings and events offering.

Tortworth court

  • If you are an event planner and would like to participate in any future trips please send your details with information about your company to conference@meetbristol.co.uk.

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