BVEP - Business Visits and Events Partnership

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BVEP 2019 Review

Dear BVEP supporters,

In wishing all those in the Events Industry a fabulous Christmas and a busy and successful New Year, I am pleased to report the progress made by the Partnership during the current year and our plans for next year.

New Terms of Reference were agreed at the meeting in NewcastleGateshead on the 14th October. These include a new vision, mission and key objectives. The Terms of Reference also set out the structures of the Partnership, which include an Executive Committee and the procedures for other working group which will focus on the Partnership’s action agenda.

The Partnership’s vision is to support sustainable growth for the UK’s Events Industry and its mission is to achieve this through advocacy, networking, collaboration and a collective voice. Key objectives are to ensure the interest of all member organisations are promoted; to advance the standing of the Industry; forge closer and stronger links with key government departments and the creative industries, as well as encouraging joint events and increasing the focus on professionalism and skills.

Our links with supporting Government Departments and agencies have remained strong throughout the year. 2019 has, not unsurprisingly, been dominated by issues surrounding Brexit. The Partnership has continued to canvass Partners of impacts this may cause and relate these to Government departments. Indeed, one of the most important reasons of having a collective voice and sharing concerns and potential solutions is at times like now of change and uncertainty. Our report “Opportunities for Global Growth in Britain’s Events Sector” remains a blueprint for how the Industry can play a major role in Britain’s economy post Brexit.

The announcement by Government of a Tourism Sector Deal, in which events feature strongly as a means of increasing productivity, spreading business across the UK and extending seasonality was welcomed by the Partnership as further recognition of the role of the events sector in Britain.

The Partnership has significant representation on the Events Industry Board which saw the publication of the International Business Events Action Plan. This sets out how Government will work toward its objective of ensuring that the UK maintains its position as a leading European country for hosting business events. This is a major step forward in the Government’s recognition of the strengths of the Events Industry.

The Partnership supports the Government’s aims to help create new international events, attract more existing events to the UK, grow the already successful events and retain those that might be thinking about leaving. In this regard, the VisitBritain Events Support Growth Fund, underwritten by the GREAT programme, has been instrumental in winning new events and increasing attendance at others.

The recommendations for the Industry from the Talent Taskforce, set up by the Events Industry Board have been discussed by the Partnership. We are continuing to work to find ways of ensuring the recommendations are implemented.

The Events Industry Board’s report into Infrastructure is expected in the early part of 2020. The Partnership will look to play a part in ensuring that the UK has the right infrastructure in regard to event venues, supported by the right investment, to meet future demand.

The update of the “Events are GREAT” report is nearing completion and the expectation is that this will be published in the first quarter of 2020. The content has been revised to relate to the Government’s Industrial Strategy. This will show how events play their full part in the life of the community and are an essential part of the economy.

As we end 2019, the UK enters a new phase, as the outcome of the General Election becomes clear and the new Government adopts new policies. The Partnership has published a Manifesto, entitled “EVENTS DELIVER GROWTH, JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES” which sets out how a now £70 billion industry, employing 700,00 people can help position Britain as the leading European country for staging events.

This will form much of the policy agenda for the Partnership in 2020, as the Partnership seeks even closer collaboration with government and lobbies for a more competitive tax regime and less regulation, supports the skills agenda and greater investment in the industry.

I want to thank all Partners for their continued support during the year. My appreciation to the Vice Chairs, Samme Allen, Simon Hughes, Caroline Jackson and Chris Skeith for their commitment and invaluable advice. A special mention of the efficient administration and website management by Gaëlle Connolly and my gratitude to Robert Wright and his team at Davies Tanner who relay our important story to the Events community.

My best wishes to you for the holiday season. Let us hope we will all experience a New Year of sustainable growth and greater success.

Michael Hirst OBE
Chairman – Business Visits and Events Partnership

Image: Thursford Christmas Spectacular, Norfolk (VisitBritain Images Library) VB34179006.