UK House: Commonwealth Games Business Hub and the Commonwealth Business Forum

Birmingham’s commonwealth games will go down in history as one of the best.

The games would attract the world’s VIPs to Birmingham for eight days – a golden opportunity for our client, the Department for International Trade (DIT), to promote the UK’s position as a world-class destination for business, investment, education, and tourism.

For Bray Leino Events, the challenge would be to devise, produce and deliver a packed programme of business, trade, and investment events as part of the Commonwealth Games Business and Tourism Programme – hosting sports stars, leading diplomats, international investors, dignitaries, and businesses at the UK House: Commonwealth Games Business Hub, while the Commonwealth Business Forum at the nearby Birmingham ICC hosted a day of plenary sessions and keynotes on investment within the Commonwealth.

Throughout the games, we showcased the best of British innovation and creativity across eight key sectors – one for each day of the games – including Business and Investment, Food and Drink, Education, Data-Driven Healthcare, Sports Economy, Creative and Digital Technologies, Future Mobility, and Tourism.

UK House: The Venue

As a venue, UK House needed gravitas, style, cultural and historic value, and Birmingham’s iconic Exchange building; a former banking hall located directly on Centenary Square next to the famous mechanical bull – filled these criteria perfectly.

Bray Leino Events transformed The Exchange into a business meeting and networking centre. Inside UK House, we designed a UK Business & Tourism Programme (BATP) branded environment, where dignitaries and diplomats met by day and networked by night.

A selection of private meeting rooms, lounges, workspaces, and a special interactive experience showcased innovation and creativity from around Birmingham, the West Midlands, and the rest of the UK.

And with big screens streaming live action from the games throughout, the environment inside the Exchange was carefully designed to evoke the excitement and camaraderie of the stadium.

VIP Management

Well-known celebrities like TV journalist Samira Ahmed, Olympians Tessa Sanderson and Stef Reid, and former England football star Emile Hesky joined the stage at the ICC, while Mayors, Lords, MPs, ambassadors, and business leaders from around the world met for networking events at UK House.

Bray Leino Events managed all programming, production, security review and implementation, including the complex 24/7 security arrangements for hundreds of VIPs and VVIPs, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadhim Zahawi.

PR and communications specialists from our fellow MISSION Group agency Speed, applied integrated stakeholder communications, international press, and social media amplification, to secure 109 individual pieces of coverage (with a total reach of 2.5 billion), promoting the economic benefits of international trade and investment, as well as UK international policy priorities such as climate change, sustainability, and innovation.

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Our objective was to promote the UK as a world-class destination for trade, investment, education, and tourism. We’ll let our clients tell you how it went:

Nina Ludgate, Event Producer, Birmingham Commonwealth Association: “Throughout the last few months, you [Bray Leino Events] have all given so much energy to bring everything together – schedules, delegate registration and tracking, and then on site very efficient and slick event management, content production and AV, plus the video shoot and highlights edit team. You should be very proud of all your team.”

Rupert Daniels, Director, Services and Skills, Department for International Trade: “This was the culmination of a huge amount of work in the months beforehand and behind the scenes on the day. Thank you for the magnificent team effort, I can honestly say that this event exceeded my expectations. You should all be proud; I know that I am.”