Supporters of the Britain for Events campaign gathered earlier this week at the Mermaid Theatre to celebrate National Events Month and the contribution the events industry makes to the national economy.
Over one hundred industry figures were thanked and congratulated on their contribution to National Events Month by Michael Hirst OBE, Chair of the Business Visits and Events Partnership.
He announced that the value of the events industry had now risen from just over £39.1bn to £42.3bn, with the help of attendances and spend at conferences, music festivals and the Rugby World Cup which alone is estimated to be a £957m contribution to the travel economy right across the country.
“What’s more” said Hirst “in the first half of this year business visits have been the best performing sector of the visitor economy. In the last published ONS figures to June, business visits were up by 11.5% year on year”.
“All of this not only contributes to the economy” said Hirst, “but to the community as well, for in the destinations across Britain that stage events, there are the benefits of employment, regeneration, inward investment, trade development, knowledge exchange as the industry’s creativity and unrivalled expertise generates business, educational, recreational and social opportunities for us all”.
Supporters of the Britain for Events campaign and National Events Month were encouraged to keep up the momentum established by last year’s efforts to make sure the events industry was recognised at the highest level during the Election.
Hirst told supporters that their efforts had ensured the Prime Minister’s continued support for the Britain for Events campaign. A new Events Industry Board has been announced by the Prime Minister to implement the first ever strategy for the business visits and events sector, aimed at bringing Whitehall Departments together to help the industry become bigger and attract more events to Britain.
Supporters also heard from James Heappey, newly elected Member of Parliament for Wells whose constituency is home to the Glastonbury festival and the Royal Bath & West Showground.
Heappey said “From my own constituency I am acutely aware of the value of events and the impact they can have all year round. I want to see the industry continue to grow and would be very pleased to support the efforts of everyone in this room as much as I can. I am keen to hear from you about ways we can promote the industry further and look forward to working with you to support the Britain for Events campaign and National Events Month”.