Guests from across the events industry gathered recently at Methodist Central Hall in central London, to hear the latest strategic developments in promoting the UK as an events destination.

James Heappey MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Events, outlined the work of the group in keeping up the profile of the events industry amongst Parliamentarians and the government. He encouraged the audience to keep lobbying on issues of concern, particularly at a time of uncertainty following the referendum on leaving the European Union. He argued that events can help to make strong connections with trade and inward investment and should be a key part of the discussions around Brexit.

Nick De Bois addressed the audience on the work of the Events Industry Board. Comprising event industry representatives from the public and private sector, the Board acts in an advisory capacity to the government. The Board looks for ways to improve and promote the UK events sector as well as guiding the government on the implementation of is strategy for business visits and events. Nick stressed the “soft” power of government in providing support to bids for events and felt that the UK could be much better at co-ordinating the resources of both government and industry. “We need to demonstrate how hungry we are for what events can do for Britain and to help us achieve commercial success” he said.

Finally, Head of Business Visits & Events at VisitBritain, Chris Foy, updated the audience on VisitBritain’s newly re-appointed role in promoting Britain as a destination for business visits and events. Announcing an expansion to the VisitBriain team, Chris also revealed that VisitBritain now had a fully-fledged strategy for putting Britain at the forefront of the global business visits and events market. 

Chris outlined two main strands of work for the team Firstly to seek sustained demand for Britain as an events destination, principally in the North American & European markets. Secondly by supporting bids to grow or win international events that would bring economic benefit to the country.

He also promised a programme of industry engagement to ensure the Events are GREAT campaign continues to enjoy support from a wide range of event businesses. Further events would be announced soon to keep industry representatives up to date and involved in the bid to keep UK plc high on the list of event organisers from all over the globe.

Davies Tanner manages communications for the Events are GREAT Britain campaign on behalf of VisitBritain, is the official secretariat and advisors to the All Party Parliamentary Group, communications advisors to the Business Visits and Events Partnership, and Special Advisors to the Events Industry Board.