London tops as the perfect European destination for meetings and events: 2024 Global Forecast

Unveiling the hidden gems that elevate London as a prime event destination.

London has been named the top European destination for meetings and events according to the American Express GBT Meetings & Events 2024 Global Forecast. It’s no surprise that the city is one of the biggest players on the international meetings and events stage.

London's City Hall
London’s City Hall

This sought-after destination has it all: a rich cultural scene with numerous museums, theatres, galleries, and historic landmarks, an array of versatile accommodation options, incredible transport links, multiple international airports, an extensive public transportation system, world-class universities, and access to a pool of unparalleled local talent.

London is undoubtedly a smart choice for business events, but beyond the obvious reasons, what are the sometimes-overlooked factors that give the city the edge? 

Diane Waldron, Director of Sales and Marketing, at The QEII Centre, in central London, explains some of the lesser-known features that make London one of the foremost cities in the world for hosting exceptional events.

 Diane Waldron, Director of Sales and Marketing, at The QEII Centre, London
 Diane Waldron, Director of Sales and Marketing, at The QEII Centre, London

A global hub

The city is a multicultural hub with over 300 languages spoken and people from all corners of the world living and working in the city. This diverse population not only serves as a welcoming and inclusive destination for global conferences, but also the different range of perspectives and cultures can help to foster an environment of creativity, openness, and honesty. In a business event setting, this diversity can spark new ideas and solutions, and enhance the quality of discussions.

Culinary capital

London's Broadway Market
Broadway Market

It is home to a dynamic and eclectic restaurant scene and is second only to Paris for its number of Michelin-starred establishments. From the curry houses of Brick Lane and the traditional British pie and mash shops of South and East London to Moroccan, Vietnamese, and Persian cuisines and so many more, as well as the numerous food markets, including the renowned Borough Market and fashionable Broadway Market, there really is something for everybody.

QEII Taste is the QEII Centre’s award-winning caterer. From gala dinners to finger buffets and exquisite canapés, QEII Taste is renowned for creating exceptional quality bespoke dining experiences with 80 per cent of ingredients sourced from within the UK as well as an extensive range of plant-based options.

Old meets new

QEII Centre, London
QEII Centre

London seamlessly combines rich history and tradition with cutting-edge technology. East London Tech City is clustered around Old Street in the East End and is home to over 2,000 tech start-ups. This enterprising corner of the capital is known as Europe’s leading tech hub and is second only to Silicon Valley globally. Aside from tech, fintech, health care, and proptech start-ups are also thriving in London.

Some of the world’s largest tech companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft have established significant bases in London, and the city is known for its world-class universities and research institutions, making it a hub for AI and machine learning research. All this technological expertise makes it a perfect destination for tech events, with access to a huge pool of world-class innovation and expertise right on the doorstep.

Hidden gems

No matter how many times you visit, there is always something new to be discovered here, from historic libraries to rooftop gardens, and from Victorian music halls to little-known museums.

London Attractions: Big Ben
Big Ben

The city has many iconic attractions of course – from Big Ben to the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament – but there is something special about discovering one of the capital’s hidden gems and spending some time off the beaten track. London’s quirky and lesser-known attractions can add a touch of uniqueness to corporate gatherings and offer a different perspective of the city for attendees to take home with them.

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