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April 16, 2008

Visit London proposes events fair pricing charter for 2012 Olympics

Last week at meetings and conference industry show International Confex at London’s Earl’s Court, the UK capital’s marketing body, Visit London, announced plans for an initiative to prevent price hiking and ensure good practice by venues and organisers during the 2012 Olympic Games.

“The challenge is to avoid the mistake previous host cities have made and ensure that we minimise any negative perceptions of both London and the UK, particularly with regards to pricing and practice,” explained David Hornby, Visit London’s commercial director.

The aim is to cut the risk of elements of the events industry taking unfair advantage of clients during the Games and risking putting off visitors from returning to hold events in the UK, which already has a reputation overseas for being expensive. The solution proposed by Visit London, with the support of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG), is a London 2012 Business Events Fair Pricing & Practice Charter.

To ensure success, key stakeholders and the wider meetings and events communities will be consulted to create a framework for the new initiative. “Our combined objective is to ensure all business events taking place up to and during 2012 reflect the values and aspirations of the stakeholders, while contributing to the overall legacy of the Games for London, the UK and the industry as a whole,” said Hornby.

Although it remains to be seen what venues, organisers and others involved in the UK events industry make of the proposals, Visit London has already received initial backing from a number of trade and marketing bodies, stakeholders and relevant delivery agencies. These include: the British Association of Conference Destinations, the Business Tourism Partnership, the Events Industry Alliance, Eventia, the International Special Events Society UK Chapter, the Meetings Industry Association and Unique Venues of London.

The final policy agreement is set to be finalised this summer.

Ian Whiteling talks to David Hornby about the proposed London 2012 Business Events Fair Pricing & Practice Charter in an in-depth video interview coming soon to MEETINGS:review

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