Paul Bunce has been promoted to the new role of commercial manager at Birmingham’s Conference Aston, following the promotion of Samantha Brown from sales director to head of conference centres.

The former marketing manager, who is celebrating 10 years at Conference Aston this year, officially took up the newly-created post in April and is responsible for three main areas of the business: sales, marketing and revenue. Paul’s new role will see him focus on proactive sales, ensuring the academic venue remains profitable and provides a return to the university, as well as positioning Conference Aston as Birmingham’s four-star residential conference centre.

Speaking of his promotion, Paul said: “Birmingham now has a strong reputation as a business and leisure tourism destination, and we’re seeing a lot of business coming to the city - with a noticeable increase in enquiries for national conferences. 2015 was a hugely successful year for us, particularly with the residential stay by John Lewis during the recruitment and training of its new store team. As the city’s biggest residential conferencing venue, the challenge this year is to bring in even more residential conferences - something that we’re seeing businesses increasingly looking to do.

“As the number of business venues in Birmingham increase, we need to make sure that we have the correct position in the marketplace to showcase the level of service and quality that we’re delivering. We offer a four-star delegate experience and we need to make sure that our agents and customers know what to expect from us.

“Birmingham is  very exciting as a city right now. Developments like New Street Station and Grand Central have created a gateway to the city which our customers have really started to recognise. We’re seeing delegates extend their stay with us to go shopping post-conference.”

Aston University is welcoming its new vice-chancellor this year, Professor Alec Cameron from the University of Western Australia, succeeding Julia King DBE, The Baroness Brown of Cambridge, who will be standing down from her post following 10 years of service in September.

“Our new vice-chancellor’s background in the academic and commercial sectors will spearhead an exciting new chapter for Aston University, where we hope Conference Aston will continue to play a key role in the University’s future success.” Paul added.

Paul is a marketing graduate who studied at Aston University from 2001. After graduation, Paul joined the business as a marketing assistant on the university’s management development programme, which hosted customised training courses for businesses included Biffa, Jaguar Land Rover and Carillion. He joined Conference Aston in 2006 and helped launch the venue’s new building before taking up responsibility across retail catering and hospitality.

PR by Clive Reeves PR Birmingham