Visit Kent encourages businesses to think local for team away days and experiences with new business events campaign, Meet in Kent

Visit Kent has launched a new campaign as part of the next stage of the EXPERIENCE project, co-funded by the Interreg France (Channel) England Programme, which seeks to boost visitor numbers across the county in the off-peak season.  The campaign, entitled Meet in Kent, extends a year-round invitation for local businesses in Kent – and neighbouring areas of London – to consider Kent venues, experiences and attractions when booking their next corporate or team event.

The campaign will use existing B2B channels and databases to share information on Kent venues, attractions and experiences, creating business event specific listings on the Meet in Kent website, supported by social media, direct email, active business engagement and promotion through local, business and trade press media.

The business events sector was one of the worst affected during the Covid-19 pandemic, with both domestic and international business events coming to a halt. The ongoing tough economic climate globally means there is still a lot of uncertainty with an expectation that international business events will be slow to return to pre 2020 levels. The Meet in Kent campaign is part of a drive by Visit Kent to support business events suppliers in the county to rebuild relationships with their local clients, as well as helping them to attract a new audience.

A recent MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) survey (Dec 2020) survey conducted by Visit Kent looked at some of the key trends within the sector that were emerging prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, including a push for sustainability, and increasing investment in training and development. The Meet in Kent campaign will be looking to tap into this, including the continued demand for incentive and personal development activities to increase staff wellbeing, promote personal growth and skills development.

Deirdre Wells OBE, Chief Executive at Visit Kent, said: “With the Meet in Kent campaign, we want to deliver a project that helps to strengthen consumer confidence in business events and create off-peak business opportunities by encouraging local businesses to book their away days, corporate events and team building experiences with business events suppliers that they may not realise are located near to them – here in Kent. We need to continue to assist venues, attractions and experience suppliers in the face of continued tough economic times. We know through our research that the business events market offers a great opportunity for suppliers to capitalise on new trends with the potential to add income, diversify and grow their business.

“Kent has a wide range of venues and experiences to choose from and it’s clear from the listings that will be on our Meet in Kent website that our offer here in the county is strong, diverse and unique. We know that there is strong demand in the meetings and events market and plenty of competition, but this promotion will show how Kent has a compelling offer for businesses looking for ways – with a rise in remote working and growing awareness of the value of staff wellbeing – to bring their staff together to collaborate, learn and motivate.”

The Meet in Kent campaign will provide a free platform for business event suppliers based in the county, including hotels and attractions with meeting spaces as well as dedicated purpose-built conference and meeting venues. In addition, local experiences or attractions, including foragers, golf courses, cookery schools and other activity providers will also participate.

It will seek to amplify existing marketing activity of venues, attractions and experience providers and bring them to the attention of new audiences or existing ones that may require a reminder.  All businesses that create a free listing will benefit targeted B2B marketing activities that will run over the course of the campaign.

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