The Business of Events Leadership Forum, led by BVEP and supported by VisitBritain, brought together industry leaders to discuss future market opportunities and challenges.
Speaking at the event, representatives from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Department for International Trade and VisitBritain spoke about how the government is working together to support and drive demand within the business events industry.
Tourism Minister John Glen said:
"I want to cement Britain's position as one of the leading countries in the world for hosting major business events. With fantastic facilities across the country there is great potential for us to grow this sector further, contributing more to the visitor economy and helping sell Britain to key international markets abroad."
Department for International Trade Managing Director Marketing Joss Croft said:
“As a significant driver of growth, the Business Visits and Events industry clearly has a role to play in helping to ensure that the UK is recognised as the best place in which to invest, and also in helping to strengthen the culture of international trade so that more UK businesses take advantage of trade and investment opportunities. This event has been a good opportunity to build stronger relationships between government and industry to achieve these aims.”
VisitBritain/VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe told the conference that after widening its remit to include business events, VisitBritain was committed to growing and working with the sector.
“This has been a great opportunity to engage with the leaders and stakeholders in the UK’s business events sector, to ensure we are all working together to drive this important industry forward, and keep it high on the Government’s agenda.
“We all want to build Britain’s global business events brand, positioning the UK as a top destination for international meetings and events, and increase the economic benefit this industry brings to the country.”
The clear message was that the Government is working hard to support the industry, and is working with business events leaders to offer support in building regional and national strategies to attract and retain international business events.
The tourism industry recently submitted a Sector Deal bid as part of the Government’s Modern Industrial Strategy. Part of the submission focused on the need for a long-term, cross departmental plan for business events, to ensure future resilience and success for the sector, as well as significant productivity gains.
VisitBritain promotes business events worldwide, under the Events are GREAT brand, part of the Government’s GREAT Britain campaign. Events are GREAT drives awareness of Britain’s great destinations and product, highlighting the UK’s long history of research, innovation and high-quality infrastructure, positioning the country as a leading destination for business events.
*Image caption: From left to right - Simon Hughes, MC. Giles Smith, Head of Tourism, Heritage & Cultural Diplomacy, DCMS. Robin Johnson, Europe Director, VB. Joss Croft, Managing Director Marketing DIT