In a move to gain greater recognition for the £36 billion UK events industry, steps are now underway to establish an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) to represent the industry in Parliament.
This follows a highly successful reception at the House of Commons organised by the Business Visits & Events Partnership in October, which was attended by Members of Parliament and Peers from the House of Lords.
The new Parliamentary Group is being organised by Nick De Bois MP, Member of Parliament for Enfield North and Chairman of the Rapiergroup, a Conference, Exhibitions, Events and Communications Company based in the UK and USA.
Both the Event Industry Forum (EIF) and The Business Visits & Events Partnership are supporting the initiative and Phil Mist of the Hire Trade Alliance will co-ordinate arrangements for the Group.
Several MPs and representatives from all political parties will now be invited to join the Group and take part in a programme of activities designed to raise awareness of the Events Sector amongst influential Parliamentarians and encourage further support from Government.
Final terms of reference are yet to be agreed but are likely to include:
Support for marketing and bidding for more international events to be held in the UK.
Highlighting the value of export earnings created by the industry.
Engaging with national and local politicians in greater support for the industry.
Support for a new all embracing Event Industry Safety Guide to include operational guidelines.
Ensuring that the Events Sector achieves a lasting legacy from the 2012 Olympics.
Nick De Bois MP said “During my time working in the industry I was conscious that government have not always recognised the contribution that this industry has made to the British economy, and more importantly its potential contribution for the future. Equally, we as an industry need to have a voice to reflect the many issues we face such as TOMS, cross border VAT, government support and infrastructure development. This APPG will be an excellent start in building that relationship.”
Jim Winship, Secretary of the Event Industry Forum, said, “The events industry is a major contributor to the UK economy but really does not get the recognition it deserves, in part because it has been so fragmented. We hope that an All Party Parliamentary Group will help in addressing this and will, at the same time, help to add to the legacy of the Olympics.”
Phil Mist, General Secretary of the Hire Trade Alliance, said, “The UK Event Industry is a truly vibrant industry that has often been overlooked in the past by legislators. The establishment of an APPG for the Events industry will, I believe, be a vital means of not only raising the profile of the Events industry itself, but it will also help to emphasise the increasing level of professionalism in UK Event companies competing for major overseas events”.
Michael Hirst OBE, Chairman of the BVEP said; “The creation of an APPG for Events was one of the Partnership's manifesto pledges, and today’s announcement takes us one step closer to achieving that and to increasing the influence of the sector within Parliament and Government.”