UK Events Industry Board readies for inaugural meeting

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

The board will be chaired by ex-MP 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 consists of several 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).
Tourism minister, Tracey Crouch, said: “The UK boasts a world-leading events industry that contributes around £40bn 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 mix of government and some industry bodies responsible for influencing and attracting international events to the UK and growing existing event activity, as well as some of the individuals whose experience of international competitiveness in the sector should be invaluable as the EIB seeks to implement the recommendations of the Business Visits and Events Strategy, published in April last year.

The list of industry members of the EIB are:

Nick de Bois – chair

Michael Hirst (pictured), 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

PR agency Davies Tanner has been appointed as special advisors to the EIB, with responsibility for communications and industry relations.

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.”

While 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 be expected 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.

Emily King

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Emily King

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