Top UK Event Destinations Outside London With Pip MacFarlane (Spotlight Episode)

Top UK Event Destinations Outside London With Pip MacFarlane (Spotlight Episode)

DE Pip Macfarlane | Event Destinations


As great as London may be, it tends to be where most people go – and stay when they visit the UK. If you need event destinations outside the capital, consider these cities (which are easily accessible by air). Join Todd Bludworth in this Spotlight Episode as he explores the best place to host your next event with Pip MacFarlane.

Watch the episode here.

Top UK Event Destinations Outside London With Pip MacFarlane (Spotlight Episode) 

London is the typical choice for those who host business and corporate events. It is the center of the entire United Kingdom, after all, a complete package for anyone who plans to launch a new product or gather business partners from all over the world. But looking beyond its borders, you can find other beautiful and historical cities that will make your next event even more memorable. Outside London, you will discover new cultures, exciting cuisine, and rich history you won’t find anywhere else.

Todd Bludworth explores these areas with the help of Pip MacFarlane, who grew up in Kent and has visited some of these cities herself.


  1. Edinburgh

The Scottish capital and a place rich in history, Edinburgh offers spectacular views of old buildings and a traditional experience. One thing that makes it a memorable place to visit is the hospitality of its people, who traditionally open their doors to everyone. Celebrating parties here is not easily forgotten.


What’s in Edinburgh?

  • Potential  venues in the historic Old Town, with The Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle, or in the bustling, neoclassical New Town
  • Unwind with scotch and classic Scottish dishes during the evening, such as haggis, black pudding, or Scottish smoked salmon.
  • Fun, bonding activities like the traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing (pronounced kay-lee)


  1. Manchester

Hailed as the UK’s “second city,” this vibrant place north of England is home to more than 200 languages. Manchester even has a large international airport, making it a perfect destination to welcome global guests.


What’s in Manchester?

  • One of the world’s best-known soccer clubs, Manchester United
  • Great nightlife with amazing bars, ideal for unwinding after a busy day of meetings
  • Close to Liverpool, the Music Capital of the UK


  1. Brighton

Often called London-By-The-Sea, Brighton is only an hour and a half away from central London, and only 30 minutes away from the international airport at Gatwick. It is an arty seaside town, not quite the Florida Keys, but a great example of a British seaside town.


What’s in Brighton?

  • The Brighton Festival season, a big arts festival showcasing music, dance, theater, performance art, and more
  • The Brighton Pride in August. Brighton is considered the “LGBTQ+ capital of the UK” and is known for its open-minded community and fun atmosphere
  • Event venues on the seafront with views over the English Channel
  • Amazing nightlife that attracts loads of stags and hens across the country
  • Britain’s oldest cinema


  1. Birmingham

Birmingham is a huge, multicultural city that is only around an hour northwest of London by train. Mainly an industry area, this is mostly familiar to those who have watched the acclaimed series Peaky Blinders.


What’s in Birmingham?

  • Cadbury World, home to the most famous British chocolate
  • The city center, cultural hub Digbeth, or the historic Jewellery Quarter for the best event venues in the middle of the action
  • A huge array of different cuisines and the most Michelin-starred restaurants outside of London in the UK
  • A lot of canals, even more than Venice, where most of the trade in the city takes place



Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland and just a short hop across the sea from Great Britain. It is a lot less busy than the big English cities, perfect for events that need a more laid-back atmosphere.


What’s In Belfast?

  • The Ballyhackamore district, the “brunch capital of Belfast”, earning the nickname “Ballysnackamore.”
  • The popular Titanic Museum that retells how the ship was constructed in Belfast in 1912
  • The Giant’s Causeway in the north of Belfast, where you can see one of the country’s most striking natural features


About Pip Macfarlane

DE Pip Macfarlane | Event DestinationsVice President of Business Development at American Meetings, Inc. Pip is a highly successful and dynamic sales and business leader who delivers truly memorable customer experiences through innovative events. Pip is hardworking and results-oriented, with strong leadership, problem-solving, and communication skills. Proven track record in creating and leading projects, teams, and partnerships that build revenue and brand equity and make a positive impact. Industry-specific knowledge includes pharmaceutical, healthcare, and meeting services. Pip is passionate about delivering spectacular in-person, virtual, and hybrid events for clients and contributing to diversity and inclusion within organizations.


Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!

The Top 5 Business Destinations Around The World

The Top 5 Business Destinations Around The World

The best business destinations are those that can offer you more than lovely venues for meetings and formal transactions. Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth present the top five business destinations around the world, as chosen by the American Express Global Business Travel. Together, they dissect these beautiful cities in terms of culture, leisure, tourism, and history, making the business travel to these places not only memorable but also worth your money. They also share their personal experiences when visiting some of these areas, highlighting their most interesting aspects.

Todd Bludworth and Andy McNeill are travel and hospitality entrepreneurs and owners of the global meetings organization, American Meetings Inc. From sourcing hotels to corporate event management, their team sources corporate event venues and have a team of corporate meeting planners for their clients. They provide ideas for convention themes and how to run global meetings and events around the world. For more information go to

Watch the episode here:

The Top 5 Business Destinations Around The World

And Where To Find Them

Recently, American Express Global Business Travel published an article discussing the top global business destinations. After reading which cities made it to the list, Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth decided to look into why they are worth a visit for companies and organizations.

In North America, Chicago and Las Vegas are included as runner-ups, but the one that reigned supreme is Orlando, Florida, a desirable city for businesses to visit. There are spaces for rent for private tours and golf courses perfect for unwinding.

Orlando, Florida highlights:

  • Offers over 450 resort options
  • Home to one of the largest convention centers in the world, the Orange County Convention Center, with theme parks and dinner spaces available for rent
  • Accommodation to the Hyatt Regency, which is connected to the convention center
  • The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at Disneyworld, a great place to hold a meeting
  • Loews Portofino, a place of high luxury

In America’s northern neighbors, Canada, the best business destination is Toronto, Ontario, beating the lovely cities of Montreal and Vancouver. With almost half of the entire US population having easy access to a 90-minute flight to Toronto Pearson International Airport, this city is one of the most multi-cultural on the planet.

Toronto, Canada highlights:

  • Metro Toronto Convention Center, the largest convention center in the region, has more than 36,000 hotel rooms
  • A beautiful walking experience
  • An immersive shopping district

In the Asia-Pacific, picking the best business destination may be impossible, but that’s the mindset 30 years ago. With globalization changing the game, this region is where many progressive cities in the whole world can now be found. The only one that could beat Bangkok, Thailand and Sydney, Australia in this title is one of the largest financial centers in the world – Singapore. They take pride in their cutting-edge meeting technology, a step ahead of the rest of the world.

Singapore highlights:

  • Singapore Changi Airport, which has a butterfly garden, two 24-hour movie theaters, and a swimming pool
  • Located right next on the water and offers a magnificent atmosphere and sights all year-round

In Europe, Berlin and Barcelona are all considered for the title. Berlin is a hidden gem, a historical city that connects people not only emotionally but also both coasts to one another. Barcelona draws its uniqueness in its local cuisine and gorgeous neighborhood. But unsurprisingly, London, England takes the cake. Hotels in this city showcase both historical and modern aesthetics, catching the hearts of a huge number of people. Thanks to tubes and taxis, getting around London is never a difficult task.

London, England highlights:

  • Has six international airports
  • Offers more than 1500 hotels choices
  • Provides the most elegant suites with their own private theaters inside for rent, available for both personal and business purposes at the region of Mayfair

In South America, Mexico City and Cancun are considered. Mexico is great for its historical significance and centralized downtown that has a lot of hotel options. Cancun is known for its affordability and excellent business meeting places, each one highlighting the beauty of Riviera Maya. In the end, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil takes the crown. As one of the most industrialized cities in South America, its energy concentrates on oil, energy, consumer goods, finance, and media.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil highlights:

  • Home to a major university system, making it a cradle of research and development
  • The most beautiful beaches in South America
  • An international airport that had an under $600 million renovation
  • The main venue of the 2016 Sumer Olympics
Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Join the Destination Everywhere Community today:




From famous movie sets to afternoon tea, Sophie Malerba shares her Blue-Badge Guide knowledge on all things London for your next corporate meeting or event planning. Plus, from the official hotel of London Fashion Week and London Film Festival, The May Fair Hotel’s Anjie Keegel shares some insider tips.

Together with Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth see London as you’ve never seen before, for business, pleasure or both. Curating unforgettable experiences for your next London trip, this episode will give you a glimpse of the London scene through the eyes of locals.

Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth are travel and hospitality entrepreneurs and owners of the global meetings organization, American Meetings, Inc. From sourcing venues in London, to corporate event management around the world, their team selects corporate event venues and meeting planners for a wide array of enterprise business clients, providing ideas for convention themes and strategies for running global meetings and events. Learn more at

Watch the episode here:


London. Official Blue Badge Guide Sophie Malerba Shares Best Things To Do In London, And Catch Iconic Events With The May Fair Hotel’s Anjie Keegel

There is a reason why London is simply a must-visit travel destination. From its medieval history to pop culture, this United Kingdom capital has something to offer every traveler. From famous movie sets to afternoon tea, Sophie Malerba joins this episode to share her Blue Badge Guide knowledge on all things London. Plus, as the official hotel of London Fashion Week and London Film Festival, hear from The May Fair Hotel’s Anjie Keegel. Together with Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth, they take us into a view of London as we’ve never seen before, be it for business or pleasure or both.

Starting with the basics, Andy and Todd dive deep into the world of tour guides. Bringing you only the best experience, they talk to Sophie Malerba to share the prestige that comes with being a Blue Badge Guide.

A Blue Badge Guide stands out from all other guides in the city. One, it is not just a summer job; it’s a profession. People wearing this badge have to go through a tough and competitive 2-year course with roughly 30 people a year. From entry exams to written and practical, the Blue Badge ensures that any traveler, no matter where they come from and what language they speak, is getting high-quality standards.

Kicking off this tour in the most English way, Sophie gives us an insider perspective of London, revealing some of the city’s secrets.

Her top three places to visit for an afternoon tea are:

  •     The Goring Hotel – This hotel is a family-run hotel just outside Buckingham Palace frequented by the Royals.
  •     Ham Yard Hotel – This hotel offers design-oriented, beautiful interiors. They do afternoon tea for £25, which is a steal in London.
  •     Fortnum & Mason – This final entry serves not only the three tiers but after you finish them, they then bring along the cake trolley with more cakes to choose from.

From there, Sophie takes us to the streets, but not just like any other streets out there, because for her, “Whenever you’re in London, don’t stay on the main streets. Go to the side streets.” Everybody knows Piccadilly, but not many know the treasure that is St. James. If you want to shop where the Royals go, then this is the place to be! A lot of shops here have Royal Warrants, which means they produce goods and services for the Royal Family.

If you’re into the arts, then Sophie recommends the East End of London’s Shoreditch, London’s creative hub. Most people nowadays are familiar with this area as the place where street artist Banksy started. Since then, this has become the holy grail of the world’s best street artists.

Moving on from the Royals to A-listers, Andy and Todd also sit down with Anjie Keegel of The May Fair Hotel, which is the official hotel of the iconic London Film Festival and the London Fashion Week. She shares some insider stories, celebrity encounters, and high-end events that take place in this great hotel.

Going deeper, Anjie tours us to some of the little gems around The May Fair area, where musicians, celebrities, and the Royals also love to visit:

  •     The Coach & Horses – One of the oldest pubs in May Fair
  •     Shepherd’s Market – Located just at the back of the hotel where you can visit a few galleries, pubs, and restaurants

Curating unforgettable experiences for your next London trip not only with a great hotel but also with equally great bucket list items to match, listen to this episode and have a feel of the London scene—be it the lifestyles of the rich and famous or exploring the city through the eyes of locals.

About Sophie Malerba

DE 22 | Iconic London EventsSophie Malerba has been a Blue Badge Guide of London for 5 years and absolutely loves it! She mainly works with the US market, both private bookings (families and couples) and Incentives.

Her past experience is in the travel industry, where she worked for an Italian DMC for 8 years, before returning home to London.

She then worked for a London DMC, before fulfilling her dream to be a guide, which takes 2 years training.

About Anjie Keegel

DE 22 | Iconic London EventsAnjie Keegel has been in the industry for over 20 years.

She started out in operations (reservations, reception/ front of house) prior to moving in to reactive sales, then proactive sales.

Some of her previous roles includes, Corporate Sales Manager, Director of Leisure & Group Sales, Business Development and Director of Sales (property based) for hotels in London, Heathrow and Manchester UK.

Originally from Sri Lanka, Anjie moved to the UK over 25 years ago and never looked back.


Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Join the Destination Everywhere Community today: