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November 5, 2008

Merger boosts BACD membership

The impending merger with UK meetings and events trade body Eventia is helping to drive new membership of the British Association of Conference Destinations (BACD).

Two leading destination marketing organisations, Marketing Birmingham and Llandudno Conference Solutions (LCS), have just been accepted into membership, and further applications for membership are anticipated over the coming months.

Marketing Birmingham rejoins BACD after an absence of three years. “Birmingham has enjoyed an extremely successful 12 months in business tourism, with political parties and international associations choosing the city to host their events,” said Rhena Holt, operations manager for Birmingham Convention Bureau, which is operated by Marketing Birmingham. At a time when the spotlight is very much on the city, we decided that now is the right time to rejoin BACD.

“One of the key benefits of membership for us is the opportunity it presents for networking with our regional partners, as well as cementing our position as an industry leader and demonstrating our commitment to continuing to grow the market in the UK,” she continued.

LCS,  which formed earlier in 2008 following the closure of North Wales Conferences, represents a more defined destination with a strong track record in attracting association and government sector conferences.

“As a membership organisation, Llandudno Conference Solutions is driven very much by our trade members,” said Adrian La Trobe, LCS Partnership Manager. “Our Board felt strongly that an involvement with BACD was important to Llandudno, especially at a time when there were so many developments taking place. Apart from our membership benefits, it’s all a part of showing potential buyers we are serious about their business and the market in which we work.”

Hamish Reid, BACD chair and Eventia board member, welcomed the new BACD recruits, saying: “BACD has experienced a challenging few years through consolidations and mergers among its membership. The advent of these two significant destination players into membership indicates that we have turned the corner and confirms that BACD’s plans to merge with Eventia are perceived as a very positive step for the destinations industry.

“We look forward to welcoming other new members who will benefit from enhanced membership packages as part of an enlarged Eventia.”

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