Meet the Team: Leila Heller, Meetings and Incentives Director, The Americas at VisitBritain

Monday 13 January 2020

 

Leila Heller, VisitBritain

How did you come to work at VisitBritain?

I began working in the business events industry at a CVB representation company in New York City, after receiving my Master’s in Tourism and Hospitality Management from NYU. There I worked with convention bureau from all over the world, including London and Scotland. I then moved to San Diego where I was responsible for bringing meetings and incentive programs to Latin America at a Destination Management Company (DMC).

Throughout my time in the industry my focus has always been on helping North American planners select the best destinations for their next program and therefore, when the opportunity came to work at VisitBritain, it seemed like the perfect fit. I am looking forward to showcasing the UK’s great destinations, venues, experiences and expertise to the North American market.

 

What is your favourite thing about working in the events industry?

My favourite thing about this industry is being able to show meeting planners all that we have to offer in the UK. It is a great feeling being able to see an event or program that started from a mere idea or conversation at a trade show right through to completion. Watching it take shape and come to life is one of the perks of my job.  

 

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced?

One of the difficulties in our industry can be the plethora of choices, and our job as events professionals is to bring awareness to all of those options and uncovering the hidden gems that the North American market would otherwise be unaware of. Although it is a positive thing to have so many options for meetings and events around the globe, it is important for us to be able to highlight what sets the UK apart. Right now this happens to be great value for money and an excellent selection of venue choices which continues to be a major selling point in the North American market.

 

What do you love about the UK?

I love the diversity of the product available in the UK and how easily convenient it is to travel from each fantastic city is to the next. It offers a winning combination of great accessibility, warm people and so many options very close together which I think makes it a winning destination.

 

Why should international event planners consider the UK as the next destination for business events?

With over 30,000 venues and 37 convention centres for planners to choose from, the UK offers quality options for any type of event. From iconic and diverse cities to beautiful countryside locations, there are so many options to choose from. Additionally, the UK has unrivalled expertise and innovations that make it attractive for the association market. Depending on the client’s needs, with our knowledge and impartial advice, VisitBritain are able to help guide planners in selecting the best options for them.

 

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