VisitBritain announces first seven successful applicants from Event Support Programme

Manchester’s ESOF, Newcastle’s BIM Show Live 2017 and Liverpoool’s Global Symposium on Health Systems Research 2018 
are among the first successful applicants to receive year one funding from the VisitBritain Event Support Programme.

The national tourism board announced the seven-strong initial list, 7 December. The announcement follows a competitive application process, and also includes two event bids that will join the list of year one recipients.

The four-year Event Support Programme offers financial support and advocacy for growing and developing the UK’s international business events industry.

The successful applications support events that put the spotlight on some of the UK’s top industries and academic strengths.

VisitBritain head of business visits and events Chris Foy  (pictured) said: “We are thrilled to have chosen some excellent winners and look forward to working with them as they plan and execute their world class events.”

Phase 1 of the Event Support Programme is focused on boosting the value of existing events as well as supporting live bids. Successful applicants were determined by a panel that included representatives from the Department of International Trade, the Business Visits and Events Partnership and private sector specialists from the event industry.

Applications for year two of the Event Support Programme will open in January 2017 with further information to be available on VisitBritain’s website in the New Year.

The programme is open to Destination Management Organisations (DMOs), as well as venues and event organisers who are collaborating with DMOs, and offers the chance to apply for funding from a pool of £1m annually.

Organisations can also apply for non-financial support in the form of endorsement from advocates including government ministers, overseas diplomatic missions, the Department for International Trade and other influencers.

For more information about the Event Support Programme click here:

The successful applicants announced 7 December include: 

 Marketing Manchester – EuroScience Open Forum 2016 

The EuroScience Forum, held in Manchester this year, attracted 3,500 delegates and media to the city. The Event Support Programme funded a five-week billboard campaign in the arrivals area of Terminals 1 and 3 at Manchester Airport as well as the distribution of brochures from a welcome booth in Manchester Piccadilly train station.

Newcastle Gateshead Initiative – BIM Show Live 2017 

BIM Show Live, the UK’s foremost event for the building information modelling industry, is being held in Newcastle next February and is expected to draw more than 450 delegates to the city. The Event Support Programme will help develop the BIM website into a wider platform for showcasing and sharing UK BIM expertise and offering support to specialist international delegates from key markets.

Marketing Liverpool – Global Symposium on Health Systems Research 2018

The Liverpool Convention Bureau, along with ACC Liverpool, has successfully bid to host the Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in 2018. The event, which will be promoted to a global community from the health systems research industry, will draw at least 2,000 delegates to Liverpool. The Event Support Programme will help Marketing Liverpool boost pre-event registrations by attending this year’s symposium in Vancouver where it will host a destination stand and a farewell lunch at the event and distribute promotional material.

Destination Bristol – VR World Congress 2017

Since its inception in 2015, VR World Congress has brought together buyers, sellers, developers and the virtual reality (VR) industry for an annual three-day conference in Bristol. 1,500 delegates attended the event in 2016 and Destination Bristol wants to grow attendance by an additional 500 delegates at next year’s congress. The Event Support Programme will help attract new international delegates through advertising and editorial support, and website development.

Heriot Watt University – European Robotics Forum 2017

The European Robotics Forum will be held in Edinburgh in March 2017. The event organisers want to increase year-on-year delegate attendance from 550 to 800 next year and to raise the profile of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh as a centre of excellence for robotics research. The Event Support Programme will assist with advertising and publicity to attract new delegates, thus helping the promoters secure further funding for the robotics centre and encouraging industry investment.

Plymouth City Council – Cybercon 2017

Cybercon is a niche annual event for the global cyber security community held in Plymouth. The event currently draws 120 delegates and is aiming to increase its international delegates by another 250. The Event Support Programme is helping the event to gain traction by supporting digital advertising initiatives. It is also helping the event attract key speakers and bespoke media to attend and profile the event. Cybercon will be a key event in a series of international events designed to showcase Plymouth’s credentials across the world in the run up to the Mayflower 400 celebrations in 2020.

Midlands Aerospace Alliance – Aero Engine Forum Birmingham 2017

Aero Engine Forum Birmingham is a new event for the global aerospace industry. It will position the Midlands as a prime aerospace industry region for trade and investment and will facilitate B2B meetings between UK aerospace suppliers and international buyers. The Event Support Programme will assist with placing advertising in key industry press and across specialist industry networks which will aim to increase the number of international delegates attending.

Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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