The UKinbound Annual Convention 2020 was hosted in Bristol in partnership with Visit Bristol and Meet Bristol  following a successful bid to the organising committee the previous year. The event encompassed three days of business appointments, networking, workshops, fam trips and business discussions, plus an informal networking event and a gala dinner, incorporating UKInbound’s annual awards .

The UKinbound Team
Credit: UKinbound

UKinbound is a trade association that represents the interests of the UK’s inbound tourism sector and ensures it’s recognised as a leading economic and employment driver in the UK.

Over 200 delegates travelled to Bristol by different means of transport including by train into one of Bristol’s mainline rail stations (Bristol Temple Meads or Bristol Parkway) using the reduced GWR delegate rail fares or by air to Bristol Airport, located just 20 minutes outside of the city centre.

The main event took place at the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel, one of Bristol’s key conferencing hotels with 8 function rooms and 182 bedrooms. Guests also stayed at the nearby Mercure Bristol Holland House Hotel that offers 275 city centre bedrooms. Transport was provided by Peter Carol coaches throughout the event.

Delegates in the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel
Credit: UKinbound

Local Bristol businesses exhibited on day two, to showcase what they can offer the travel trade market. Exhibitors included Bristol Museums De Vere Tortworth Court, Doubletree by Hilton Bristol City Centre, Mercure Bristol Holland House Hotel, Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel, John Wesley’s Chapel – The New Room, Berkeley Castle, Graft and Bristol Insight

Welcome reception

The welcome reception was hosted at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, a unique landmark venue nestled in the beating heart of Bristol. This impressive venue has beautiful glass vaulted ceilings, a grand staircase, sweeping balconies and chandeliers.

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
Credit: UKinbound

The evening took on a film and TV theme, in keeping with Bristol’s status as a UNESCO City of Film and being home to many top companies in the industry such as Aardman Animations, IMDb, Bottle Yard Studios and the new Channel 4 Creative Hub. There was a prize for the best fancy dress costume chosen by tourism marketing company Made and guests went all out! The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter were also in attendance and delighted guests with actual costumes from the Harry Potter Movies.

Costumes from The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter
Credit: UKinbound

All of the evening’s AV solutions were organised by T.H Collective, a Bristol based production company. Their professional team were on hand whenever needed and provided a fantastic service, from the initial brief to the event itself.

The guests enjoyed locally produced drinks and food platters provided by the museums catering team. After dinner guests took part in a Bristol-themed quiz hosted by Colin Moody and arranged by another local company, ACF Teambuilding and Events LTD – one of the UK’s leading building and event management brands. Post quiz, live music from the Uptones ended the evening on a high. The band were sourced by Trevor George Entertainment, an entertainment agency with regional offices across the UK.

Delegates enjoying The Uptones
Credit: UKinbound

Gala dinner – Awards of Excellence

The final day of the convention ended with an awards evening at Aerospace Bristol, offering guests the opportunity to step aboard and have a first-class dining experience under the wings of an iconic piece of British aerospace history – the Concorde Alpha Foxtrot. This was the last Concorde ever to be built and the last to fly.

Aerospace Bristol
Credit: UKinbound

After dinner the awards, including ‘Tour Operator of the Year’ and ‘Individual Attraction of the Year’, were presented by Bristolian comedian and actor James Redmond, followed by drinks and dancing with music provided by Kieran Clarke Entertainment.

Familiarisation trips hosted by Visit Bristol ended the week. Themes included Bristol’s Harbourside attractions, history and culture, and exploring historic Bath.

FAM Trip to Brunel's SS Great Britain
Credit: UKinbound

Feedback from UKinbound CEO Joss Croft:

“Bristol as a city shone – the welcome and the people, the product and the experiences. The venues were fantastic, and delegates were wowed with the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery and especially Aerospace Bristol – what a place to hold a gala dinner.  We had a great time experiencing the best of the city and no doubt we shall be back – Bristol has a bright future ahead of it particularly as a tourism destination.”

UKinbound Destination Partners
Credit: UKinbound

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