When the Commonwealth Games begins 28th July, it will be recognition of not just what a great events city Birmingham is, but also what a brilliant sporting city it has become. Home to two major football teams, one Premiership, a national cricket ground, national athletics, and indoor arenas for gymnastics, swimming and cycling. Outside of the city centre there are Forests for off road cycling, and lakes for outdoor swimming and triathlon.
These arenas and spaces are already in use by the people of Birmingham and being upscaled through the games to offer a true legacy for a city that loves sport.
In fact, ask any sports fans, or competitor, and they will talk about the unique atmosphere of coming to Birmingham. From the roar of the Holte End at Aston Villa FC to the uniquely charming, and often humorous, character of an Edgbaston Test, the quality of talent coming out of the city is only surpassed by the passion and personality of the fans.
It’s this attraction to sport, and the arrival of the Commonwealth Games, that many event organisers should be considering when bringing an event to Birmingham, and especially within The Eastside Rooms. The venue offers a blank canvas, with hints of Birmingham style and a back wash of Brummie influence, where organisers can paint their values though the events they put on.
At The Eastside Rooms we have been passionate advocates of drawing on the local characteristics of the area; connectivity, education and knowledge, food and industrial heritage. However, as we get closer to July 2022, the games give us another string to the creative bow.
Now we can look at sport achievement, goal setting, health, fitness, motivation, even nutrition. Now is the time to align the values of the meeting with the story the city is telling at this point in time. Sports people make great motivational speakers, running tracks and netball nets make for dramatic theming, past glories create emotion. And let’s not forget that the Commonwealth itself is an international institution that brings voices and cultures from around the world to a central location. Great content can be hung from these hooks.
Finally, increasingly, event organisers are taking more responsibility for the health of their delegates. As we focus more on wellbeing and nutrition, event organisers can utilise the positive messages of the games to influence delegates and show a layer of care. Depending on the event, and the business involved, menus can be created that show off logos and bring to life values, but they can also be created to support both nutrition and warm hospitality.
Birmingham is known for many things, its culture, its personality, its food. But next year, in 2022, Sporting Birmingham will rise to the top as the city sits at the centre of the world and puts on a games that everyone deserves to enjoy.
A great event needs a great atmosphere, and many are looking forward to seeing the people of Birmingham bring it to life.