A show stealing, 50 sq m mural was created at the Invest in Bristol and Bath stand at MIPIM to grab attention for the range of opportunities presented by this region.

Beginning with a blank canvas at the start of the exhibition, the stand was decorated throughout the show by visual artists, creating a stunning backdrop for the launch of the Invest in Bristol and Bath service.

Through their artwork illustrators represented key themes of the region, including innovation, creativity and connectivity.

Joe McGeehan, Chair of Invest in Bristol and Bath reports that the stand was very effective in attracting attention. “We wanted to achieve maximum impact from a modest scale stand. Our visual artists certainly achieved that. Our stand became a talking point at MIPIM.

“Our aim was to explain how this region is different. We didn’t want to look corporate – we wanted to reflect our region’s creativity and energy.”

Joe McGeehan is delighted with progress achieved at MIPIM: “In demonstrating that this region is open for business it was extremely important that the Mayor of Bristol and Leader of B&NES were present as well as senior representatives from South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.

“These individuals worked extremely hard from dawn to dusk. Our delegation took part in some 200 meetings over the three days. There was a real sense of collaboration and partnership. Individuals from our four local authorities promoted the whole of the West of England.”

Strong private sector support was a real strength of the West of England presence: “Our private sector delegates were really impressed that the unitary authorities were working together.

“They stressed the need to demonstrate collaboration and scale to be visible and taken seriously across the world. Our private sector partners liked the stand and the concept. They were able to hold their own meetings here.

“A number of West of England companies have already asked to sign up as supporters next year. We have a target that through self financing, that the whole of our MIPIM presence will be cost neutral to the public sector within three years. We are on track to achieve this.”

Joe McGeehan believes that there was real resonance in the presentation of the regional offering: “The feedback is that people liked the combination of Bristol and Bath – two of Europe’s most admired cities, with superb transport links, flourishing high growth industries, offering an unrivalled quality of life and cultural appeal, reflecting in their attracting and retaining a skilled workforce and the brightest graduates.

“But, as we continually stressed at MIPIM, it isn’t just a tale of two cities. Behind Bristol and bath lies a rich, well-connected and compact region, vaunting world-beating aerospace, advanced engineering, micro engineering, creative industries, environmental technologies and services as well as scope for distribution and logistics facilities.

“It is a fantastic story that we have to tell – and we have only just begun telling it!”