13 January 2022

The New Year gives us all the perfect opportunity to make a fresh start and that is exactly what we are doing at International Convention Centre Wales as we relaunch our brilliant venue to the world.

Timing has not been on our side after opening this spectacular venue in the autumn of 2019 – just a few short months before the pandemic struck two years ago.

As we learn to live with the COVID-19 virus, now is the time to once again embrace the enormous opportunities that ICC Wales can bring to the visitor economy in Wales.

This week we have launched a new marketing campaign inviting our clients to ReImagine, ReEngage and ReConnect with events and our versatile venue as we all look forward to brighter times ahead.

Brilliance Uncovered was the tagline we used to launch ICC Wales in 2019 and, as we barely had time to unveil the facilities back then, we can now talk about Brilliance Rediscovered as we reintroduce the marketplace to our amazing facilities.

Still the UK’s newest and most exciting meetings venue, ICC Wales can play a huge part in the country’s economic recovery.

Business events are worth £31 billion to the UK economy and, prior to building the new convention centre, Wales benefited from only a 1.6% share of this lucrative market.

Most of the visitor spend comes not to the venue itself but to the surrounding area as large events for up to 5,000 delegates fill hotels and delegates make use of bars and restaurants, shops and visitor attractions, travel companies and taxi drivers. Business visitors typically spend three times more than leisure tourists and 60% of people who visit a destination for a business event return for another trip.

The events industry has a wide and varied supply chain including many independent freelancers and the colossal impact of the pandemic has served to raise awareness of the sector’s broad reach. 

Far beyond the direct spend, business events facilitate £165 billion worth of trade in the UK, as the most significant business is done when people gather together to exchange ideas, forge connections and create opportunities. Conferences and conventions showcase our industrial, scientific, academic and innovative skills to international markets, and bring cultural, social and commercial benefits to local communities, businesses and universities.  

ICC Wales puts the whole country on the map as a destination for staging these business events and the blue chip companies, business leaders and international organisations that visit bring with them opportunities for trade, exports and inward investment.

As a joint venture partner in ICC Wales, Welsh Government has shared our vision about how business events can be a game-changing driver for the economy in Wales.

Business Events are identified as a key priority for the visitor economy strategy and Event Wales established a Subvention Funding Scheme in 2020 which provides grants of up to £25,000 to support business events. I would encourage all business event owners and organisers to look at how their next event could be enabled in Wales with grant aid from this scheme. Details can be found here.

Thanks to support like this, we can all look forward to working together to kickstart recovery in 2022.

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