New report values UK events industry at £39.1bn

The UK events industry is now worth £39.1bn, according to the new Events are GREAT Britain report from the Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP).

Introducing the report at International Confex, 13 March, BVEP Chairman Michael Hirst, OBE, said the events industry now provided a major platform for Britain’s greatness.

“The report attempts to put a value on all events in the UK and shows they can be a key driver of economic policy,” said Hirst, who noted business visits and events now accounted for over 30 per cent of the whole UK visitor economy.

“Britain is onto a winner when it backs its events industry,” said Hirst who added that the new £39.1bn figure was “minimal” and pointed out “the contribution from business tourism also to GDP, employment, taxation and the input of unquantifiable knowledge”.

The new industry value figure represents a £3bn jump from the Britain For Events report in 2010. The latest report, produced and presented by Tony Rogers, showed the following breakdown of value across the broad events sector:

  • Conferences and meetings – £19.9bn
  • Exhibition and trade fairs – £11bn
  • Incentive travel and performance improvement – £1.2bn
  • Corporate hospitality and corporate events – £1.2bn
  • Outdoor events – £1.1bn
  • Sporting events – £2.3bn
  • Music events – £1.3bn
  • Festivals and cultural events – £1.1bn.

Other key data from the research included:

  • The top 10 leading event agencies in the UK having a turnover of more than £2bn
  • The events sector now employing 530,000 people in 25,000 events businesses.

There are now around 1.3m meetings held in the UK each year. International business travellers spend £611 on average per visit.

Rogers did note there were areas where the events sector was not realising its potential. “We’re not doing as well as we could for music tourism,” he said.

The full report is available via the BVEP website.

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Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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