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 business events in the UK. 

Business Events Growth Programme

The Business Events Growth Programme forms part of Government’s commitment to build the business events sector. The programme supports the attraction of international business events, which align with the Government's priority industry sectors, and the growth of the international profile of business events in the UK. 

VisitBritain promotes business event tourism through the establishment of the Business Events Growth Programme, supporting all organizations in the winning of international events and the development, growth and internationalization of events that already take place in the UK.

Types of event support

The Business Events Growth Programme offers three types of support;

  • Bid Enhancement & Support for the winning of new international business events for the UK
  • International Delegate Growth to support the growth of existing business events in the UK
  • Government Advocacy to support the UK’s business events industry by working with our cross-government partners

Financial support

Funding applications are open for this financial year 2020/21 (to 31 March 2021).

Proposals are accepted for support of up to £20,000 per event/bid. However, support can be requested beyond this amount but must be backed by a strong business case. In exceptional circumstances we may consider proposals requiring less than £5,000.

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.

Future enquiry

The Business Events Growth Programme can support events take place in future financial years, however all expenditures have to be annualised in the relevant financial year in which they are allocated. Therefore, if your event is in future financial years but the activity you are requesting funds for will occur by 31 March 2021, please apply to the programme as soon as possible.

If the event activity will occur between April 2021 and 31 March 2022, please complete this Enquiry form to register interest for potential future event support grant funds. Please note, there is no guarantee of future funding.

Soft power support

This programme can also provide Government Advocacy (soft power) through VisitBritain and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support the UK's Business Events sector by working with our cross-government partners. Applications for Government Advocacy can be received on an ongoing basis.

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 in the guidelines on the website. Applications received will be assessed by the criteria stated on the day the application is received.

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

Successful applicants

Now in its fifth year, the programme has supported the winning of a number of events and the growth of others. View the successful applicants that received funding in the first year (2016/17), second year (2017/18), third year (2018/19) of the Business Events Growth Programme on our successful applicants page. Successful applicants in the fourth year (2019/20) will be published soon.