Group to assemble for first official meeting today, January 20th 2016

The members of the first UK Events Industry Board (EIB) have been named ahead of their inaugural meeting today, January 20th 2016.

The board will be chaired by Nick de Bois, who will report into the Minister for Tourism and subsequently the Inter-Ministerial Group on Tourism, and the GREAT programme Board and will consist of a number of highly senior and influential members of the UK events industry. The EIB will also be joined by a further number of senior officials and representatives from government departments, including the Department of Culture Media & Sport (DCMS) and UK Trade & Industry (UKTI).

Commenting on the boards formation, Tourism Minister Tracey Crouch said: “The UK boasts a world-leading events industry that contributes around £40 billion to the economy and draws hundreds of thousands of business visitors to our shores every year. “This board will bring together leaders from across the sector to help us build on the success of this growing industry.”

The make up of the EIB represents a strong mix of leading government and industry bodies responsible for influencing and attracting international events to the UK and growing existing event activity, as well as individuals whose experience of international competitiveness in the sector will be invaluable as the EIB seeks to fully implement the recommendations of the Business Visits and Events Strategy, published in April last year.

The current industry members of the EIB are:

Nick de Bois:                Chair

Michael Hirst OBE:        Deputy Chair and Chair of the BVEP

Martin Lewis:                 Founder of Intellectual Capitals and Managing Editor of CAT Publications

Mike Rusbridge:            Former Chair of Reed Exhibitions – attending in a personal capacity

Simon Gidman:             Head of Business Visits and Events – Visit England

Joss Croft:                   Marketing Director – Visit Britain

Paul Bush OBE:            Director of Events – Visit Scotland

Manon Antoniazzi:         Chief Executive Officer Tourism and Marketing for Wales

Naomi Waite:                Director of Marketing – Northern Ireland Tourist Board

Tracy Halliwell MBE:      Director of Business Tourism and Major events – London and Partners

Chris Skeith:                 Chief Executive of AEO and Vice Chair BVEP

Simon Hughes:             Director of EVCOM and Vice Chair BVEP

Ufi Ibrahim:                   CEO of British Hospitality Association

Will Whitehorn:              Chair of the Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre

To further support the work of the board, industry communications agency Davies Tanner has been appointed as special advisors to the EIB, with responsibility for communications and industry relations.

Commenting on the official launch of the EIB, Chair Nick de Bois said: “It’s been a long time coming, but I am delighted that the business events sector has the opportunity to work closely with government to help identify and drive new business for the sector and for Britain. I am grateful to the new board members who have so willingly given up their valuable time to support this exciting opportunity. Now the work begins.”

Whilst the EIB will have a broad remit its key objectives will be;

  • To increase effective cross-working across government departments
  • To identify international events that can be attracted to Britain
  • To support existing events that have the potential to develop further

In addition, the EIB will seek to consult and advise on what barriers may currently exist in bringing major business events to the UK, and that government can assist in removing, either through further legislation or influence, and which will ultimately help support their business growth agenda.

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