Marketing Manchester activity update: September 2019

This month we share news about our busiest ever season for international conferences. You may remember the launch of our new business tourism strategy back in July which highlighted the importance of business tourism to Greater Manchester. It’s a sector that is currently worth £862 million a year to the city-region’s economy and we’ve set a target to grow that value by 40% to £1.2 billion and to create an additional 35,000 jobs, so the news about this especially busy conference season is very welcome. That said, there is a lot more to do to fully seize the opportunity business tourism presents, and we are currently in discussions to identify additional funding to amplify our offer.

Elsewhere, with the summer holidays in full swing and many people taking some well-deserved time out to recharge, August has provided an opportunity to plan and organise for what is set to be a very busy Autumn period.

Another element of our work that has been in full swing this summer is our media visit programme, organised by our communications team. Since the start of the financial year in April, the team has organised itineraries for over 80 international journalists from our key markets with spring/summer being a peak time to get journalists into Manchester while the weather is good and there’s lots of great events on offer. Visits this summer have ranged from group trips hooked to the Manchester International Festival and launch of the Virgin Atlantic route from Los Angles and launch of the El Al Airlines route from Tel Aviv, to bespoke visits for vegan bloggers, Chinese TV crews and Spanish culture buffs.

We have been including a monthly summary of press coverage in this newsletter for some time now and it is one of the most popular sections of the newsletter. This month is no different and below you will find a bumper list of coverage, most of which is a result of the aforementioned activity that has been delivered since April. So if you’re looking to read some nice words about Manchester from an outsider perspective, take a look – if you’re on Twitter you can also check out our Twitter Moment which is a year to date compilation of all our great media coverage in one place.

As mentioned, we’ve got a huge amount of activity coming up in September and October – across trade shows, campaigns, media visits, our own events like the Greater Manchester Tourism Conference, and a very important visit to India. Further detail on all of that and more to follow in the coming months.


News in brief


Manchester celebrates its busiest ever international conference season

It’s been a bumper period for international meetings in Manchester, with in excess of 10,000 delegates visiting for conferences held at a variety of venues and making it Manchester’s busiest ever international conference season.

Just last week the city hosted one of the largest international conferences ever to be hosted in Manchester: the European Sociological Association Conference 2019, welcoming over 3,000 delegates from across the world to discuss all aspects of sociological research. Chaired by Prof Gary Pollock from Manchester Metropolitan University, the conference was held across the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester Met and The University of Manchester.

Earlier in the summer we hosted the 58th Annual Conference of the Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group. At 1,300 delegates it represented the biggest ever global gathering of researchers in the field. In a coup for our life science sector, visiting delegates also had the chance to tour The Christie’s newly opened Proton Beam Therapy Centre between sessions.

Other key conferences over the summer included: the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution Conference 2019 and International Congress of Radiation Research – both held at Manchester Central; the European Lunar Symposium at the Science and Industry Museum; the Annual Conference of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists and Annual Congress of the European Economic Association (EEA) – European Meeting of the Econometric Society (ESEM) – both held at the University of Manchester.

This success is set to continue into the autumn, with several other international conferences – the largest being the IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference 2019, which will bring over 2,000 of the world’s top minds in nuclear science to Manchester Central in October.

For more information, contact


Record-breaking US Twitter Chat

As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, Marketing Manchester’s partnership with Virgin Atlantic and VisitBritain continued recently with the launch of our latest joint consumer campaign on 1 July. Incorporating several digital platforms and social media channels, one strand of the campaign saw the partnership work with influencer marketing agency Travel Mindset to bring five US influencers to the north of England and Wales for several days of content creation.

The culmination of the influencer campaign strand took place on 14 August when a Twitter Chat about the north of England and Wales took place via a series of questions posed that were collectively answered by Travel Mindset influencers, Visit Manchester, VisitBritain, Virgin Atlantic and the general public. Preliminary results from the Twitter Chat show that it resulted in 4,000 tweets being sent by 436 contributors, generating 178 million impressions and a reach of 3.8 million. The Travel Mindset benchmark for such Twitter Chats is around 1,500 tweets by 150 contributors and 30 million resulting impressions, making our Twitter Chat Travel Mindset’s best topic to date.

A full campaign report is available on request.

To find out more, contact


Film in North West England – #FilminNWEngland

Speaking of Twitter Chats, if you are involved in the creative industries – specifically film and TV production – or have contacts who are, you may be interested to know that we’ll be taking part in the second #FilminNWEngland Twitter Chat. Instigated by Marketing Manchester and now owned by Creative England, the #FilminNWEngland Twitter Chat is an opportunity for destinations, production companies and anyone involved in film and TV in North West England to come together and discuss the region’s fantastic assets.

The first #FilminNWEngland Twitter Chat took place in February and was a huge success, pulling thousands of people into conversations about their favourite North West filming location and stories. You can view a Twitter Moment compilation here to see the sort of discussions that took place.

The next #FilminNWEngland Twitter Chat will take place on Friday 6 September for one hour between 12:30 and 13:30. Creative England will once again host the chat with a series of questions that anyone can chip in to answer. With the transmission of Peaky Blinders – a production filmed across several parts of North West England – having just restarted for season five, expect that to be a hot topic of conversation with lots of behind-the-scenes insights.

To find out more, contact


Essential read: How Manchester is leading the world in a new era of genomics

The world’s leading practitioners in genomics – a field of biology that will be key to delivering precision and personalised medicine – are now shaping a community of experts in Manchester. Award-winning health writer and Guardian contributor, Rachel Pugh, investigates the opportunities for local patients and international investors alike.

This article was commissioned by Manchester’s Content Curator on behalf of Marketing Manchester, MIDAS and the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership. Read it in full here.

To find out more, contact


Analysing Greater Manchester’s international market profile

Following our story last month about the release of the International Passenger Survey (IPS) 2018, we promised to share what the latest data means in terms of Greater Manchester’s international market profile, where growth has come from, and how Manchester’s performance as a city compares with other cities in attracting priority markets.

The IPS 2018 confirmed that over the last ten-year period (2008-2018) Greater Manchester has seen its visitor reach expand considerably, with the number of leisure visits from Asia – that represented 9% of the leisure visitor market in 2008 – increasing to represent 17% in 2018.  China and the countries within the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) contributed to this most, with China being Greater Manchester’s fifth market for the number of leisure visits generated (third in the value of these visits) and the GCC being Greater Manchester’s ninth market for the number of leisure visits (fifth in value).

The data also showed the competitiveness around the American market particularly, as although the USA is Greater Manchester’s second most important market in terms of the number of inbound leisure visits (and the fourth in value), Scottish cities dominate the top five UK destinations for inbound leisure visits from the USA with Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness placed second, third and fourth, and Manchester placed sixth, just outside the top five.

Countries within the European Union (EU) generate 60% of all international visits to Greater Manchester, and although the leisure visitor profile has a wider geographic profile, over half of visits (53%) came from countries within the EU.  Visits from most countries within the European Union have been sustained since the Brexit referendum in 2016, with the exceptions of France and Denmark, the weak pound and uncertainties around how easy the processes will be to travel to the UK in the future, possibly supporting this.

Marketing Manchester have produced an overview of the data so that those working on developing their international profile can access such information.  The data is broken down into sections so whether you need to see the journey of growth over the last ten years, understand the key markets, know competitor cities for your prioritised markets or want to see how market development in Greater Manchester compares with the wider northern gateway market, this is intended to provide a useful reference point.

To find out more, contact


Registration now open to join The Convention of the North

At this major event – held at Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham on Friday 13 September – the North’s political, business, community and academic leaders along with young people’s groups, together will make a powerful, unified case to the new Prime Minister and Government for tangible investment in the Northern Powerhouse.

This nationally significant event will be a working convention to debate policy across a number of key themes: skills and education, housing, transport, innovation, trade and investment, and clean growth.

The event will also bring together influential bodies such as the N8 research partnership, the People’s Powerhouse, Northern Power Women, and leading think-tanks such as IPPR North and the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, and young people from across the North will set out their vision for the North’s future, and how current leaders need to work together to achieve it.

For more information and to register, see


In case you missed it: Greater Manchester Tourism Conference 2019 tickets now on sale

The fourth annual Greater Manchester Tourism Conference will be held on Thursday 17 October 2019 and is a must for anyone working within the tourism and hospitality sector in Greater Manchester and the north of England. It will return to Crowne Plaza & Staybridge Suites Manchester – Oxford Road, following fantastic feedback from delegates last year.

Tickets are now on sale priced at £75 for Marketing Manchester members (£95 for non-members) and are available here. The full format for the day is being finalised; however, as in previous years, you can expect a full programme of high-profile speakers, films, workshops, interviews, Q&A and panel sessions plus short soap box sessions. The event sells out each year so please make sure that you book early to avoid disappointment.

To find out more, contact or see


Recent press coverage wins

Marketing Manchester’s press team carry out a year-round programme of press visits and media engagement to win national and international coverage for Greater Manchester. Below are a few recent highlights that you may like to read and share:

Very cool Britannia: Manchester – Malibu Times (USA)

Manchester, England sheds its workaday skin – Sherman’s Travel (USA)

Is this northern city England’s real capital of cool? – Orbitz blog (USA)

Manchester City Guide – This Life of Travel blog (USA)

Most Instagrammable Places in Manchester – This Life of Travel blog (USA)

A long weekend in the north of England – J.Q Louise blog (USA)

Make your own gin at this distillery in England – Forbes (USA)

5 UK cities to catch great live music – National Geographic Traveller India

The other side of Manchester – Travels with Fadwa (UAE)

Manchester: the coolest places in the Northern English City – Reise Vergnuegen (Germany)

Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds in one trip – AnneTravelFoodie blog (Netherlands)

11 tips for your city trip to Manchester – blog (Netherlands)

Travelogue Manchester and Manchester International Festival – Elle dit 8 blog (France)

Best boutique hotels in Manchester – Independent (UK)

Are you Mad for it? Manchester is in the middle of a cultural rebirth – The Sunday Times (UK)

To find out more, contact


What’s new in Greater Manchester: September 2019

Distributed to consumer travel and leisure media contacts, Marketing Manchester’s monthly What’s New update is an important piece of media relations work to keep journalists and influencers from around the world up to date on the latest developments, openings and trends across the city-region. To view this month’s newsletter, click here.

To find out more, contact