With under two years to go before London hosts the world's biggest event, the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Visit London the official Convention Bureau for the capital will be using the theme of 'It's Showtime…' at this year's EIBTM exhibition which takes place from 30 November – 2 December in Barcelona.
The official Visit London stand (G110) will be featuring 30 top London partners made up of London's leading hotels, unique venues, meeting spaces and DMC's.
In 2011 London is hosting some of the most prestigious business events. These include The CISCO Live event, previously in Barcelona, the event signed a deal to come to London in 2011 and 2012. The world-renowned business technology event will be held at ExCeL London and will celebrate Cisco's 20th anniversary in 2011, the event is expected to attract around 3,500 delegates. One of many Association Congresses coming to London in 2011 will be EULAR (European League Against Rheumatism) who will be bringing their conference for 10,000 delegates to ExCeL in May 2011.
Also just announced London is to host the Royal Wedding of HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton. Thirty years ago, the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana brought an additional 600,000 visitors to the capital and with the popularity of Prince William and Kate this figure could increase significantly.
As a city that already hosts a number of major events, including the famous London Marathon that itself sees over 1 million spectators, the capital is well placed to host such a historic global event, and with an average of 500,000 visitors in London per day, the Royal Wedding could see visitor numbers exceed those from 1981.
2011 is also a significant year for London with so many unique cultural and one-off sporting events taking place in the capital. Events include the first ever NBA league game ever to take place outside of North America, the Yonex World Badminton Championships taking place at Wembley Arena in August, the new Cirque Du Soleil's Totem show which is to play exclusively at the Royal Albert Hall.
London will also see a number of new hotel openings in 2011 including the first ever W Hotel in the UK – W London - Leicester Square Hotel will open in spring 2011. London will also see a brand new hotel opening right next to ExCeL ICC London with the new Aloft London Excel Hotel. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, and its new destination brand, Aloft Hotels, are due to open in late 2011. The hotel will boast 252 rooms located at ExCeL London.
Another new hotel offering is from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and The Fat Duck Group who have joined forces to create 'Dinner by Heston Blumenthal', Chef Heston Blumenthal's first London restaurant which will open at the award-winning Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London in early 2011.
Barbara Jamison, Head of Business Development Europe said:
'For business visitors 2011 is going to be such an exciting time to visit London and we really want to highlight that it's 'Business as usual' in London throughout 2011 and 2012. London is world-renown for being an events destination and we have some of the world's leading hotels, conference centres, venues and experts working in our industry. Delivering world class events, London is totally focused on offering value for money in 2011 and 2012 and with so many new opening's we're seeing significant offers and new deals for business events coming to the capital.'
Some of the significant events taking place in 2011 include:
Cutty Sark reopens
The ship was originally due to re-open in 2009 following a major conservation project but Cutty Sark suffered a major fire on 21 May 2007 which resulted in a 14-month delay on the project. Thankfully, due to heroic fire-fighting there was amazingly little damage to the ship's original material and the Conservation Project can continue as planned. With additional significant financial contributions from The Heritage Lottery Fund and Sammy Ofer, The Cutty Sark Conservation Project is back on course, due to re-open in 2011.
Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Wizard of Oz
London Palladium opens March 2011
Follow the yellow brick road over the rainbow and into The London Palladium, the capital's home of the family musical. Andrew Lloyd Webber's new production of The Wizard of Oz is an enchanting adaptation of the all time classic, totally reconceived for the stage by the award-winning creative team that delighted audiences of all ages with their recent London Palladium revival of The Sound of Music. The production will also see Michael Crawford playing the Wizard. For more information visit http://www.wizardofozthemusical.com
Cirque Du Soleil's Totem
Royal Albert Hall, January – February 2011
Written and directed by Robert Lepage, Cirque Du Soleil's new show traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. Inspired by many founding myths, TOTEM illustrates, through a visual and acrobatic language, the evolutionary progress of species. Somewhere between science and legend TOTEM explores the ties that bind Man to other species, his dreams and his infinite potential. Touring throughout 2010, the show will move on to London for Cirque's annual rendezvous with the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in January and February 2011.
The O2 becomes London venue for NBA season games in Europe
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is set to make another welcome return to London in its quest to make basketball history, when the league holds its first-ever regular-season games in Europe. The New Jersey Nets and Toronto Raptors will square off for back-to-back games at The O2 arena in London, England, on March 4 and 5 as part of NBA Games – London 2011.
Jamison concluded: '2010 is shaping up to be a particularly strong year for Visit London at EIBTM and we are extremely excited about the range and number of partners that we have on the stand. Every one of our 30 partners has a great product to offer as well as an understanding of the Global Meeting and Events Industry with a willingness to work within budget guidelines.'
Novotel London West
Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel and Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel
Wyndham Grand London Chelsea Harbour
Park Plaza Hotels
Radisson Edwardian Hotels
ILEC Earls Court
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
Rocco Forte's Brown's Hotel
Hilton London Metropole and London Hilton Park Lane
Landmark London Hotel and The Lancaster Hotel
Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott Hotel and The London Marriott Grosvenor Square
Starwood Hotels - Central London
Visit London representing City Inn Tower of London
Business Design Centre
Historic Royal Palaces
The Merlin Entertainments London Eye
Royal College of Physicians
Brook Green UK