London has branded itself The Capital of Cutting-Edge, focusing on its world-leading expertise in the technology, finance, life sciences and creative industries in a bid to attract major conferences, talent, and investment.

The initiative was launched at business events trade show IMEX Frankfurt (19 April), where London & Partners showcased the city’s intellectual capital and its relevance to meetings planners.

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It is the latest instalment in London & Partners’ ‘Love the Event & Love the Experience’ campaign, based on the insight that deciding where to hold an event is based on both rational and emotional factors. A new report produced by London & Partners highlights how the city’s leading clusters, including finance, technology, life sciences and the creative industries, have proved key in attracting major conferences in those areas. Those four clusters converging in one city have inspired cross-sector innovation and make London an attractive destination in which to hold a business event, giving meeting planners access to the best talent and minds, and delegates the opportunity to network and do business in the capital.

Tracy Halliwell MBE, Director of Business Tourism and Major Events at London & Partners, said: “London is at the forefront of rapidly innovating and converging financial, tech, life sciences and creative industries, making it a cutting-edge business event destination. Hosting an event in a city which is a global hub of excellence for that sector can provide a wealth of added value and return on investment. London provides unlimited access to research, innovation and ideas, meaning talent gravitates towards London.”

Matt Scheckner, Managing Director at Advertising Week Europe, said: “London is a melting pot of creativity and is building an exciting future tied to the creative industries. It’s at the crossroads of creativity and technology which is re-defining our future. For our purposes, it is the capital of Europe and major agencies and AdTech players have their EMEA headquarters in London.  

“It is also an aspirational place that people want to visit. Our growth in the last three years from 14,000 in 2013 to an anticipated 35,000 delegates this year, is very much tied to having selected London as our host city.”

In recent years, London has been very successful in attracting medical congresses, such as the European Association of Periodontology and the record-breaking European Society of Cardiology congress in 2015, and this year’s European League Against Rheumatology and European Respiratory Society congresses. Its life sciences sector continues to expand and the opening of ground-breaking facilities such as The Francis Crick Institute will also add to the city’s competitiveness.

Dr David Roblin, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Scientific Translation, The Francis Crick Institute, said: “London is home to a winning combination of academic excellence, great universities and cutting-edge research. It’s a fantastic place to do science, boasting both award-winning scientists and innovative business people to translate science for health and wealth benefits.”

London’s status as a global financial centre, combined with its emergence as the world’s biggest financial technology (FinTech) hub, has helped the city to win Sibos 2019, bringing an estimated 9,000 financial services professionals from across the globe to the city.  

Sven Bossu, Head of Sibos, said: “Fintech innovation is being led from London, making it the most compelling host city for Sibos 2019. The expertise in the sector means we can create a great experience for our delegates. We look forward to bringing Sibos to the financial heart of Europe for the first time – and to making it a great experience for our entire community.”

On the tech front, TechCrunch Disrupt arrived in London in 2014, following its launch in Berlin in 2013, drawn to the British capital by the vibrant tech start-up community and access to top talent.  

Leslie Hitchcock, Director of Events at TechCrunch said: “There is great access to the start-up community in London which is very productive, there are great contacts in the city that attendees can speak to, allowing them to meet investors and get business done outside the event.”