APPG inquiry findings reveal lack of industry responses


A total of 21 written and verbal responses from the UK event sector were submitted to the first All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) Events Inquiry into the industry's international competitiveness.

The lack of submissions was highlighted yesterday (16 Dec) at an event at De Vere Venues' Altitude 360 in Westminster, which attracted more than 60 industry leaders. 

Nick de Bois MP and chair of the inquiry, voiced his concerns over the level of responses as part of a Q&A panel session, moderated by the Business Visits and Events Partnership's (BVEP) vice chair Richard Foulkes.

He said: "One of the strengths of our sector is the diversity, but trying to bring that together and represent it is also one of our weaknesses. It might be that companies have been acknowledging whether it is worthwhile, whether it is important to them and what's in it for them. We need to address all sectors of the industry that are not fully engaged."

He added that on many ocassions associations were speaking on behalf of the members it represented, but this was not enough to get the drive and engagement from the event industry.

One of the key recommendations suggested for the industry in the inquiry report was a single professional organisation, funded by the event sector, including representatives from leading bodies to help develop a unified and more coherent voice.

The inquiry’s key findings included the recognition of the event industry and its potential to be a key driver of the governments growth agenda by attracting high growth industries to the UK. It found the sector favoured the reduction of interventions that decrease its international competitiveness over additional financial support.

Key recommendations for government included a special events visa to be created; the inclusion of the impact of taxation within the event industry in future economic impact studies; and a cross departmental approach with representation from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.

Other industry recommendations included sharing best practice; the formation of regional partnerships; embracing the Ministerial Support Bid initiative and closer relations with the UKTI; and further embracing sustainability and apprenticeships.

Michael Hirst, chair of the Business Visits and Events Partnership, gave a speech in support of the inquiry and said: "The group has delivered a report from which we can move forward to exert greater pressure on policy makers and other influencers.

"This will help to secure improved policies towards the sector, whilst also using the findings to emphasise just how much events contribute to the economic and social landscape of our economy and to the well-being of communities across Britain."

He also highlighted new research conducted by the BVEP, which is set to be published in early 2014, shows the UK event sector is on its way to achieving and exceeding £48bn for 2020.

Read more about the APPG inquiry and its findings tomorrow on

What are your thoughts on the APPG inquiry's findings? Did you submit a response? Let us know by commenting below.

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