Birmingham 2022 is a golden opportunity not just for the West Midlands but for the UK. With a third of the world’s population tuning in, this is a chance to show that post-EU Exit Britain is open for business, support economic recovery from COVID-19 and to provide a shop window for Britain’s economic engine. 

London 2012 and previous Commonwealth Games demonstrate the potential to drive tourism, trade and investment alongside the sport and culture. Funding has been secured to deliver a major programme to attract visitors, investors and events to the West Midlands and the UK, and grow export opportunities. This will be delivered in partnership at regional and national level, with funding secured in the Spring 2020 Budget and match funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA). The programme is currently being developed – so an exciting time to join and help shape what will be delivered. 

A central programme team supports the programme delivery partners (West Midlands Growth Company (WMGC), Department for International Trade (DIT) and VisitBritain (VB)). Based in central Birmingham at the WMGC offices on Centenary Square, the team will delivery cross-cutting activity and ensure integration within the programme, with the Birmingham 2022 Organising Committee (OC) and with relevant regional / national initiatives.

The programme has a diverse range of markets (UK, Australia, Canada, India, Singapore and Malaysia) and audiences including Commonwealth leaders, investors, event organisers and leisure visitors. Alongside the core budget, the programme will be amplified working with sponsors, with IP being parts of their rights packages. 

We are recruiting for a Senior Executive Business Development Business Tourism and Sport who will support the delivery of a successful regional conference proposition by generating and converting enquiries  within the meetings, incentives, conference and exhibitions (MICE) industry and Major events and sporting industry that runs alongside the Business and Tourism Programme. Sales activity will be aligned to key markets and sectors, with particular focus given to attracting sizeable national and international association, major and sporting events.


Role runs from May 2021 to March 2023. 

This is a remote working opportunity until a date is agreed for the West Midlands Growth Company workforce to return to the usual place of work at Baskerville House, Birmingham.

Main responsibilities and key activities 

The Senior Business Tourism & Major Events Executive will support the implementation of the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) and sporting events attraction work stream for the tourism programme. You will have an active role in the business development team to achieve relevant KPI’s/targets.  The role will focus on supporting the following areas:

  • Business Tourism/MICE Attraction – WMGC will work with the industry to strengthen the region's image and increase the volume and value of business events coming into the region, by stimulating future growth within the sector and supporting markets that produce high value.
  • Sporting Events - Major sporting events will help to achieve a city or region's objectives, especially in the areas of tourism and economic development.  
    • The Commonwealth Games will provide a showcase to national and international federations of the venues and destinations that they will be able to take advantage of over future years. The TTI programme will support this event tourism to maintain the visitor economy legacy and give visitors further reasons to return for future national and international sporting triumphs.
  • Ambassador Programme - A refreshed Ambassador Programme will unlock local networks to activate events aligned to the region's sector strengths.  The programme will offer the support and partnership necessary to inspire and enable individuals to host prestigious national and in the long-term international conferences, growing the region's reputation for high quality conventions and sporting events. Ambassadors are experts in their field and are drawn from key academic and industry sectors. Ambassador-led bids for conferences have a higher conversion rate and generate substantial economic impact for the region: they also raise the profile of the region's institutions and research areas.

Key accountablities

Lead Generation:

  • Supporting a proactive bid strategy maintaining and converting opportunities (pipeline targets in partnership with the wider business tourism, major and sporting events teams. 
  • Attend key national and international sales missions and hosted buyer educational visits to raise profile of the West Midlands position as a leading global events destination.
  • Support the wider team with the production of event bids through sourcing venues and accommodation so that our bids are competitive and attract new business visitors to the region.
  • Working with Visit Britain to proactively promote the region and communicate national campaigns with our partners.

Client Services Delivery: 

  • Responsible for generating client proposals and maximise conversion through the following areas of delivery: 
    • Venue location services; 
    • Accommodation booking services;
    • Generate and convert enquiries so that the Business Convention Bureau (BCB) grows its revenue across key markets and sectors.

Attraction and Retention Schemes:

  • Support the retention and attraction programmes that are designed to support corporate, association, sporting federations, agencies and industry clients holding their events in the region. These include;
    • Birmingham Ambassador Programme, working closely with universities in the region in order to strengthen and promote the academic ambassador programme. 
    • Welcome to Birmingham - Event Support Package.  Work with accommodation suppliers and event organisers so that the event support package is delivered and visitors / clients receive a good customer experience.

Stakeholder Management:

  • Working closely with partner venues across the region to understand the regional markets and translate this into more conference and events business.
  • Communicate relevant industry campaigns and engage with partner venues that feed into WMGC and Visit Britain.  
  • Ensure joined up co-ordinated delivery of activity, and where appropriate joined up systems, across partners.

Industry Development: 

  • Ensure that WMGC develops strategic relationships and collaborates with industry partners (regionally, nationally, and internationally) and represent the Convention Bureau and the destination at conference, exhibition and event industry forums to establish and develop a leading position for the WMCA project area within the industry.
  • To record competitor activity and marketing Awareness of competitor cities 

Sales Effectiveness 

  • Implement administration updates across the Convention Bureau systems and Zoho our CRM so that all systems are up to date with partner and associated information.
  • Ensure sales leads and pipeline information is recorded within the CRM system.
  • Attend meetings and update others of issues and concerns, in particular when there is a risk of not meeting programme demands or where there are over-capacity concerns
  • Build strong cross-functional relationships to ensure a collaborative approach and drive for combined programme activity, e.g. sales/trade missions.
  • Close work with internal teams to achieve successful outcomes in the following areas: business attraction, marketing and communications, research, monitoring and evaluation.
     

Dimensions

  • Travel: attendance at events / meetings within the UK and attendance at international events
  • Budget responsibility: None
  • Key relationships:
    • Head of Business Growth
    • Senior Business Tourism Manager
    • Business Tourism Manager
    • Sports and Major Events Manager

Key Skills and Competency Requirements

Area     Essential  Desirable 
Qualifications
  • Professional qualification or relevant degree, or equivalent experience
  • Evidence of continuous professional development
Skills and attributes
  • Excellent communication / relationship management skills
  • Able to work in a fast-paced environment and manage multiple projects, self-motivated and deadline-driven
  • Organised, with strong attention to detail and ability to work under pressure, ability to prioritise and good sense of initiative. 
  • Experience of working within a commercial environment supporting pipeline activity, targets and the successful delivery of KPIs.
  • Thorough understanding of the sales environment and an appreciation of the pressures and drivers associated.
  • Used to working in different markets
  • Excellent negotiation skills to secure best value from venues etc.
  • Focus on developing others - coaching and mentoring approach
  • Creative approach and thinker
Knowledge and experience
  • Hands on delivery of high profile events, working without an events agency
  • Working in a multi-stakeholder / delivery partner environment
  • International events, organised from the UK
  • Significant experience within a similar role 
  • Practical experience developing conference and event ambassador programmes
  • Has worked within a sporting & major events environment
  • Working with sponsors 
  • Working with embassies and relevant stakeholders
  • Producing a cultural showcase
  • Experience of working within primary target markets (India, Australia, Canada, Singapore and Malaysia)
  • Experience with relevant audiences – leisure visitors, business events, investors etc.

If you wish to apply for the Senior Executive Business Development – Business Tourism and Sport position, please email ben.williams@wmgrowth.com with your CV and a cover letter detailing why you think you would be right for the role.