We have now closed the Business Events Growth Programme (BEGP) for 2021/2. This fund offers three types of support:
- Government advocacy to support the UK’s business events industry by working with our cross-government partners such as DCMS, DHSC, DIT, DfT and BEIS
- Bid enhancement and support for the winning of new international business events for UK
- International delegate growth to support the growth of existing business events in the UK
In total BEGP has supported 24 International Association programmes across all three pillars, working with our city partners in locations such as Brighton, Glasgow, London, Leeds, NewcastleGateshead, Manchester, Belfast, Bristol, Liverpool. From those congress that are coming to the UK between now and 2023, we estimate that this could equate to 16,960 delegates with an estimated spend of £24.4m. All these association congresses also align with key HMG sector priorities, such as healthcare and life sciences, engineering and manufacturing, technology, renewable energy, creative industries.
Government advocacy has been particularly important in helping cities confirm international association events, for example Ecocity World Summit which BEGP supported in 2020. Working alongside London & Partners, our team secured compelling advocacy from DCMS, MHCLG and DEFRA – all creating a strong proposal to give the capital a better case to succeed working alongside some of their city partners.
In January Ecocity announced London as their city of choice for 2023 (against European competitors), with an estimated delegate spend of £877k. Reputationally this is a strong event to win, bringing together urban stakeholders from across the world to focus on how cities and citizens can rebuild our human habitat in balance with living systems. It leads on well from hosting COP26, showcasing the UK as the key host in important business events that drive societal progress in tackling climate change. The congress also has a strong legacy programme, supporting local school children and businesses gain access to key components of the congress, and a proposal to develop a new piece of green infrastructure for London working with New London Architecture. Business event legacy is a key strategic item now for cities and countries to develop in all business event proposals and delivery.
For the first time this financial year, we were granted a one off Domestic Support Fund. This was designed to offer financial support to kick start the return of live and hybrid business events during 2021/2, showcasing the industry’s ability to create safe environments and support hospitality businesses. All successful applicants of the fund were from not-for-profit organisations, including associations and charities. This fund has now concluded, with 29 events supported in locations such as Glasgow, Manchester, Aberdeen, London, Sheffield. Birmingham. Bristol, Leicester, Harrogate, Durham, Nottingham, Southampton. In total these events were attended by 6,845 delegates with an estimated spend of £3m.