The author A.A Milne once said that “Nowhere can I think so happily as in a train”. Mike Fletcher is about to discover how true that is as he embarks on a more sustainable way of reaching IBTM World in Barcelona.
As IBTM’s roving reporter, this Sunday I’ll be meeting up with Evolve Events’ Creative Director Anna Peters, London & Partners’ Head of Europe, Convention Bureau, Barbara Jamison-Woods and Eurostar’s Inge Bauwens to discover the delights of a slower, more sustainable way to travel to major congresses and events in Europe.
Following a leisurely brunch at Rotunda in Kings Place, we’ll stroll across the road to St Pancras International and board the Eurostar to Paris. On arrival, we’ll check into 25hours hotels’ Terminus Nord property and spend the evening in the French capital before continuing onto Barcelona for IBTM World the following day.
The journey time from London to Paris is two hours and 15 minutes, with passengers able to connect on from Paris to Barcelona in just over six hours by high-speed rail.
That should see us arrive in Barcelona on Monday afternoon, having experienced a taste of what Eurostar can offer MICE planners and their delegates, while having the space and freedom of train travel to make good use of our time, whether it’s for work or relaxation.
Journeying from London to European events (or vice-versa) by train is undoubtedly the more carbon-friendly option for anyone looking to travel smarter. Along the way, I’m hoping to find out just how feasible, seamless and environmentally friendly train travel in Europe really is so connect with me on LinkedIn for updates.
In the meantime, I spoke with London & Partners’ Barbara Jamison-Woods and asked her why she felt travelling to IBTM World by train was an important way to showcase more sustainable travel and what visitors can expect from the convention bureau’s stand presence in Barcelona.
This is what she had to say:
Q: What can visitors expect from the daily presentations on IBTM World’s London stand looking at What’s New?
“London is a global capital city but our 22 stand partners are located within different London “neighbourhoods” all with their own unique character and DNA. Our focus is on highlighting the new developments with 17 new hotel openings in 2022 and 439 hotels already in the pipeline. There’s new event neighbourhoods in Kings Cross and Battersea alongside cultural and historic hot-spots in the City of London, Mayfair and Westminster.”
Q: How important is sustainable event solutions to London? How is this reflected in how delegates are encouraged to travel, meet and create legacy from their events?
“London’s CVB is committed to providing clients with sustainable event solutions and has created a bespoke tool-kit. It is important to highlight the access to London with low carbon Eurostar trains, Heathrow airport (the largest user of sustainable aviation fuel in the world) and the new Elizabeth Line train line, which is both carbon efficient and cuts journey times across the city.
London is the world’s first National Park City. At present, 45% of the city is open green space and many of our event venues offer green spaces and roof-top terraces. Corporate brands are now discerning about the amount of travel they need to make and London is also a value destination where meaningful business events are created. Delegates are also encouraged to extend their stay and take time out with friends and family for pre/post leisure and well-being “bleisure” breaks.”
Q: IBTM World’s theme is year is all about culture. What does culture mean to London and how can planners leverage the city’s venues and supply chains to drive culture through their events?
“London has the largest number of free cultural venues in the world which means we believe in making culture accessible to everyone. Wonderful and inspiring venues such as our Museums, Art Galleries and Historic Royal Palaces provide iconic back drops for meetings, incentive experiences and gala dinners.
Our very own Yeoman Warder from the Tower of London will be on our IBTM World stand and, together with the team, we can highlight how these venues can create the wow factor.
Buyers can also enter our on-stand prize draw to win a fantastic London stay, which includes overnight hotel, theatre tickets, champagne afternoon tea and a behind-the-scenes tour of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.”
What’s New in London, What’s New for Associations and London for Incentives presentations will take place on the London Convention Bureau stand (F20) daily at 11am, 3.30pm and 4.30pm respectively. To book your place, sign-up on-stand.
There’s still time to register to attend IBTM World and meet London Convention Bureau, and over 2000 other exhibitors, in Barcelona. Click here to register now.
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