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April 16, 2008

Events become part of government strategy

It appears that the Government is finally acknowledging the importance of the events industry to the UK, following a recent green paper which recognises the sector's role within creative economy.

The move follows a continued campaign by the Business Tourism Partnership to include events as a key part of any programme promoting Britain as the world’s creative hub.

The inclusion of events in the strategy follows on from the Partnerships’ representation to ministers at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and active involvement in responding to the Creative Enterprise Green Paper Working Group reports. The events sector is now recognised alongside many other creative sectors, such as advertising, design, fashion, media, TV, film and other internet technologies.

The strategy proposes the initiation of an event, a World Creative Business Conference, and working with the Mayor of London and other partners to champion London’s many creative events, as well as forging better links with important fairs, festivals shows and events around the country.

“This is an important first step to getting the events industry into mainstream Government strategic planning," said Michael Hirst, chairman of the Business Tourism Partnership. "It is heartening to see that Ministers have listened to our arguments. It will give extra impetus to our plans to widen the Partnership’s coverage to all types of events, including sporting, cultural and festivals in addition to business meetings, conferences and exhibitions, when we shortly become the Business Visits & Events Partnership.”

Meanwhile, the group chief executive of the Events Industry Alliance, Trevor Foley, hailed the report as “another important step along the road for live event marketing in our efforts to stand shoulder to shoulder with the big traditional media", adding: "The more that ‘events’ are discussed by Government, media agencies and big brands, the more they will be considered and recognised as fast and efficient medium, delivering real outcomes. Now let’s see the Government’s delivery.”

The events sector represents a creative, dynamic and significant economic activity worth over £22 billion in visitor expenditures. Estimates indicate that around 450 major events take place in the UK annually contributing more than £1 billion to the creative economy. Total UK marketing spend on ‘events’ is £3 billion.

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