Business Events Growth Programme overview

Supporting the growth of the UK’s business events sector, helping win new international business events, and growing the international profile of events in the UK. 

Business Events Growth Programme

The Business Events Growth Programme (formerly the Event Support Programme) forms part of Government’s commitment to build the business events sector, supporting the attraction of international business events which align with the Government's priority industry sectors.

VisitBritain has been tasked by goverment to promote business event tourism through the establishment of a Business Events Growth Programme for winning international events to the UK, and developing and internationalising growth events already in the UK. 

Types of event support

The Business Events Growth Programme offers three forms of support;

  • Bid Enhancement & Support to support the winning of new international business events to the UK (formerly Live Bids)
  • International Delegate Growth to support the growth of existing Business Events in the UK (formerly Internationalising Growth Events)
  • Government advocacy to support the UK’s business events industry

Financial support

Funding applications are now open for this financial year 2018/19 (to 31 March 2019).

VisitBritain is offering grant-funding of up to £20,000 per event under the following strands of the Business Events Growth programme; Bid Enhancement & Support and International Delegate Growth.

This grant funding opportunity is being operated by VisitBritain as a de minimis scheme. You will need to declare in your funding application all other sources of de minimis aid which your organisation has received over the past three calendar years. The current rolling three-year de minimis aid allowance is €200,000.

We welcome applications from various types of organisations, including but not limited to; event organisers, convention bureau/ destination management organisations, universities or associations.

    Further information, including current criteria and how to apply for financial support, can be found on the respective pages for Bid Enhancement & Support and International Delegate Growth.

    Government advocacy

    VisitBritain and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) can also provide Government Advocacy/ soft power to support the UK's Business Events sector, by working with our cross-government partners. For further information, please visit the Government advocacy page

    Please note

    The criteria for the Business Events Growth Programme is subject to change. Any changes to the criteria will be clearly stated on this website. Applications received will be assessed by the criteria stated on these web pages on the day the application is received.

    There is no guarantee that funding for the next financial year will be available, or according to the same criteria as the current funding round. To register interest in future years funding for 2019/20 and beyond, please complete this enquiry form (Word, 47KB), and return it to, with the following reference in the subject line: Enquiry/Event name

    All recipients that receive grant funding from the programme will be listed on our website, when no longer deemed commercially sensitive.

    Business Events Growth Programme - successful applicants

    Now in its third year, the programme has supported a number of UK business events and bids. The successful applicants that received funding in the first year (2016/17) and second year (2017/18) of the Business Events Growth Programme are listed here.