Photot Credit: ©VisitBritain, Luca Micheli

The UK is ready to welcome you

With an abundance of industry expertise, over 37 international convention centres and an unparalleled accessibility network, there is no surprise why the UK continues to have success in hosting some of the world’s leading global events.

In 2021, despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, the UK welcomed two globally significant conferences. The G7 Summit, which took place in the coastal destination of Cornwall in June, and Cop26, a two-week conference that was hosted in the city of Glasgow in November, welcomed thousands of delegates to the UK, highlighting not only that the country was ready to meet again, but also demonstrating its ability to host large-scale business events in a safe, high-quality and inspirational environment.

This was further supported by the country’s hugely successful vaccine rollout. At the beginning of 2021, the UK became one of the first countries in the world to approve a COVID-19 vaccine and a year on almost 120 million doses having been administrated across the country. Due to the success of the vaccine rollout, the UK has been able to significantly reduce travel restrictions, making it easier for planners and delegates to travel the country. The UK also continues to expand its expertise in key sectors, including Health & Life Science, Fintech and Advanced Manufacturing, to position itself as a leading destination choice for future association conferences.

As we look ahead to 2022 and beyond, the UK is ready to welcome back delegates to discover the endless possibilities available when they meet here. Take a look at some of the international events that will be taking place across the UK this year:

One Young World Summit – Manchester

In February 2022, it was announced that the UK city of Manchester will play host to the One Young World Summit – the annual global forum for young leaders. This prestigious event will bring together over 2,000 of the world’s brightest young leaders from every country and sector, working together with the aim of accelerating social impact. Delegates will participate in four impactful days of speeches, panels and workshops with over 190 countries, getting the opportunity to be counselled by influential political, business and humanitarian leaders, to harness the knowledge and skills needed to bring about impactful change in the future.

One Young World (Photo:

The 2022 Summit will be held at various venues across the northern city, with the world-renowned Opening Ceremony taking place in the famous concert venue, Bridgewater Hall – home of the BBC Philharmonic. The award-winning international convention centre, Manchester Central, located in the very heart of the vibrant city, will also play a huge part in the conference, welcoming delegates and special guests for a transformative three days of speeches, panels, workshops and networking events.

This isn’t the first time the global summit has taken place in the UK. In 2019, thousands of delegates attended the 10th global forum when it took place in London – nine years after the first annual summit took place in the UK’s capital. Venues such as The Royal Albert Hall, QEII Centre and Central Hall Westminster participated in the forum, showcasing on a global platform the variety and quality of the products on offer in capital city.

And in 2023, the summit will return to the UK to host its annual event in the Northern Irish capital of Belfast. Delegates at the global forum will be joined by political, business and humanitarian leaders, including Sir Bob Geldof, Sir Richard Branson and the Duchess of Sussex. The city, known for its bustling energy and ambition, has invested over one billion pounds over the past decade in its infrastructure, which, combined with its impressive venue portfolio and energetic nightlife, makes it a leading choice for international conferences and events.

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World Congress on Railway Research 2022- Birmingham

Following a competitive global bid process, the 13th World Congress on Railway Research (WCRR) will take place at the ICC in Birmingham from 6-10 June 2022. Held every three years in a different host nation, over 900 delegates are expected to attend the flagship congress for a five-day educational programme, championing technical development and inspiring the next generation of rail professionals. On behalf of the UK rail industry, the RSSB and the University of Birmingham will jointly run the international congress, promoting the value and benefits of railway research.

The ICC Birmingham, Panoramic view at night of Centenary Sq

Home to the oldest railway roundhouse in the world and located in the heart of the UK, Birmingham has a rich history of hosting globally renowned events thanks to its two leading convention centres. Having attracted incredible investment and regeneration over recent years, the region offers unrivalled connectivity and an array of venue options that leave a lasting impression on delegates.

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World Federation for Mental Health Biennial Congress – London

With an exciting cultural life and vibrant atmosphere, the English capital of London will play host to a number of global conferences this year, including the 23rd World Federation for Mental Health Biennial Congress. Expecting to welcome over 5,000 delegates, the annual event will take place between 28th June to 1st July at the historical Central Hall Westminster – an iconic Grade II listed Edwardian venue that offers 23 versatile spaces over four floors. The four-day conference held in collaboration with the World Dignity Project will bring together experts, carers and professionals from all fields to promote the advancement of mental health awareness. Central Hall Westminster plays a significant role in global mental health advocacy, having hosted the first International Congress of Mental Hygiene (later transformed into the World Federation of Mental Health) in August 1948.

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Society for Melanoma Research International Annual Congress– Edinburgh

From 17 – 22 October, the historical and culturally diverse Scottish city of Edinburgh will host the Society for Melanoma Research International Annual Congress. This global event unties melanoma clinicians and researchers from across the scientific community to focus on the multidisciplinary management of skin cancer.

Over 1,200 delegates will attend the 19th international congress, which will take place in the region’s leading convention centre, The EICC. The 2,000-capacity convention venue already has a proven track record of hosting conferences and events on a global scale, having welcomed around 1.5 million delegates from more than 120 countries since its 1995 opening.

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Photo Credit: ©VisitBritain, Andrew Pickett

Looking ahead

This year the UK will also host major events that will be significant global tourism draws. These include HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and ‘UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK’ 2022 – promoting the UK’s creativity and innovation to the world. And as we move towards 2023, the country will continue to play host to some of the world’s most influential association conferences and global events, including the European Congress on Sport Management in Belfast, the European Congress of Psychology in Brighton, and the Meetings of the European Society for Radiotherapy & Oncology in Glasgow.

With the UK once again open and ready to host large-scale events, discover how VisitBritain is inspiring planners to ‘do events differently’ at

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