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Oliver Dowden to open Major Events Virtual Summit, One Industry One Voice centre stage

Oliver Dowden, the secretary of state for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, will open the Major Events Virtual Summit with a keynote address, 2 December.

The announcement comes days after minister Dowden (pictured) confirmed a £300m support fund for UK sport.

Speaking to BBC Sport, he described the funding as “the most generous single package of any country in the world”. However, this has prompted questions from some who have compared it to larger £1.5bn support measures provided for the arts.

The difference in the scale of the packages will be discussed at the summit, alongside other topics such as returning fans to stadiums, music venues and green field sites.

Included in the 35-strong speaker line up is Simon Hughes, chair of the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP), who will explain more about the One Industry One Voice movement and its associated campaign, #WeCreateExperiences.

The campaign, which was born from an idea by creative agency Smyle’s Rick Stainton and Mash Media, will set the scene for the return of live events in 2021, reassuring the public that the events and experiences they love will be back and safe to attend as soon as a roadmap is agreed with the Government.

Michael Gietzen, MD of events agency Identity, and the primary sponsor of the summit said it has been inspiring to see the industry come together with a united voice. “Throughout the last number of months, it has been truly inspiring to witness our industry pull together and demonstrate just how powerful collaborative effort can be,” he said. “The #WeCreativeExperiences campaign is an opportunity for everyone to maintain a focus on how we, as event professionals, can venture safely back to live events. I firmly believe that together we can achieve anything, and despite the challenges of 2020, Identity is excited and optimistic about the future.”

Gietzen described 2021 as a “phoenix” year for the industry.

Andy Rice, chief operating officer of Major Events International, the organisers of the summit added that One Industry One Voice is providing the clarion call. “The Major Events Summit is pleased to provide a platform for amplification,” he said.

More information about the summit is available here.