In a number of surveys about the top business cities of Europe, the top four or five have not changed for a number of years. The biggest changes and progress seems to be made by cities around the middle of the table. It is an area of business, which takes time to develop, as the reputation of the city is very important.
The most recent study about the top business cities in Europe threw up few surprises. London, Paris and Frankfurt remain the top destinations for business conference visitors and trade fair hosts according to the annual survey of business leaders, European Cities Monitor, conducted by Cushman Wakefield. The only change is that the gap between London, in first place, and second placed Paris has widened.
It seems that the cheaper British pound is having a wider influence on the business sphere than expected. The most important factors for choosing a location for a conference are the availability of qualified staff, the standard of telecommunications and transport links. The reputation of the city is also of prime importance.
Normally it takes 10-15 years for a city to build up a significant reputation and enhance its stance in the business field. This time has come for cities such as Birmingham, Munich, Milan and Leeds. Cynics would say that businesses are simply looking for cheaper options, yet the progress is still impressive.
Apart from the completion of the famous Bull Ring shopping centre in 2003, there is not a lot of change in England’s second city. Indeed, business people are hardly likely to go shopping during meetings. It is all about the reputation. It is also no coincidence that Birmingham and Leeds are central to the UK, making them a fair solution for those travelling from around Britain.
These cities must continue to promote themselves and must understand that business tourism is extremely important. Business people tend to spend a lot more than leisure tourists, especially as the money they spend is often not theirs. If the company is paying, a taxi always wins over a bus and fine restaurants win over take away pizzas.
Europe"s best business cities (European Cities Monitor)