Driving demand for events

Supporting winning bids
Growing the value of events
Attracting more international business visitors
£19.2bn estimated direct spend for business events in the UK economy from trade fairs, conferences and corporate hospitality

From trade fairs to conferences, the international business events industry is booming. Already worth £19.2 billion to the UK economy, we’re committed to building its value even further. 

An aerial night view of Britain with lines of light flowing in representing inbound flight paths

Building demand to support Britain’s competitive position

Since 2015 we’ve laid the foundations for an ambitious plan of activity to take Britain’s business events sector to new heights. Co-ordinating campaign partners and industry influencers, while using our connected position across Government and on the Events Industry Board, we’ve developed an approach to position Britain as one of the most desirable business event destinations and increase the impact of world-class business events held here.

Alongside the national tourist boards, destination partners and Britain’s events industry, we want to build overall demand for holding events across Britain, and target international business events that are in the UK’s strategic interest to host. As a result, our work will deliver a measurable and attributable benefit to the UK economy.

Our strategic goals to boost the business visits and events sector
  • Build demand for hosting events across Britain
  • Target identified international business events aligned to the UK’s strategic interest and support efforts to secure them
  • Share and grow our insights to improve customer and competitor understanding
  • Develop strong connections across the UK events industry to achieve these goals

In line with the Government’s business visits and events strategy and the work of the Events Industry Board, we launched a four-year Event Support Programme earlier this year.

Open to Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) or venues and event organisers collaborating with DMOs, the programme provides a range of financial and non-financial support to help win new bids and boost existing events.

From funding and ministerial endorsement at bidding stage, to marketing which increases international delegate numbers, the programme will help secure strategically important events aligned with Britain’s industrial and academic expertise, develop new events, and maximise the economic impact of existing events.

delegates at Scottish stand at Imex America 2015
Sharing key messages through international exhibitions
Events are Great logo
Positioning Britain as a desirable business event destination
delegates at EIBTM 2015
Connecting English suppliers with international event buyers

Connecting English suppliers with international event buyers

Our business and events strategy for England builds on all this, drawing on the last seven years of activity to increase the volume of events, delegates and spend in England. At the same time we are working with industry to facilitate product and capacity developments that will improve the competitive position of English destinations.

Our exhibition success in numbers
  • 300 companies met with at IMEX America, up 150% on 2014 and more meetings than ever before
  • 354 buyers hosted at IMEX America, up 70% on 2014
  • 175 new business leads generated at IBTM World
  • 406 buyers registered at our England stand at IMEX Frankfurt

England conference stand at EIBTM 2015As part of our marketing activity, we attended three global business events exhibitions this year, IMEX America in Las Vegas and Frankfurt, as well as IBTM World in Barcelona where we connected English suppliers with buyers through our England pavilions.  

Working with a range of partners including DMOs, conference bureaux and DMCs, we promoted specific opportunities for future meetings and events in England, pushing our key messages and gaining market intelligence. Through our efforts we saw significant numbers of buyers registering and generate high-quality business leads.

The Event Support Programme will help secure, grow and develop strategically important business events for the UK.