BACD hit hard as two major cities pull out

Major UK cities London and Birmingham have pulled their membership from the British Association of Conference Destinations (BACD). Visit London and Marketing Birmingham were among its biggest members and their withdrawal means a revenue drop of £5,500 per annum for the BACD. It comes at a bad time for the board, which wrote off £26,000 of bad debts at its recent AGM. The association’s deficit now stands at £28,000. Marketing Birmingham commercial director Ian Taylor said the decision to pull out was purely financial. “We found other marketing activities that could give us a greater return than the BACD membership fee,” he said. “For example, we shared a stand at Imex with Visit Britain for a very similar sum and already have two pieces of international corporate business confirmed,” he added. BACD chief executive Tony Rogers was philosophical about the move. “Obviously, it’s disappointing to lose members like that but they had their reasons,” he said. “We are still in talks with Visit London to see how we can add value with specific services, and we’re undergoing a membership audit to pinpoint better what benefits members want.”

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