The Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) is calling on the government to support the events industry and help ‘make Britain the natural destination choice for all sectors of the event industry.’
The BVEP’s events manifesto which was recently sent to 350 MP’s, has appealed to the government to support the events and meetings industry through investment, business incentives and tax changes. The manifesto, is to be presented again at the House of Commons in October, during National Meetings Week.
The document features 10 reasons why the events and meeting industry is imperative to the UK’s economy. Key points included in the manifesto ask the government for greater recognition of the events industry’s contribution to tourism, trade and cultural enterprise and for the government’s help in attracting more events to Britain.
BVEP chairman Michael Hirst said to online meeting portal Meetpie: “We sent it out on Friday and we have had feedback already. The launch of this manifesto is one of the most significant events for our industry and begins the process of ensuring this vital sector achieves the voice it so critically needs.”
With government cuts already threatening the public sector, Hirst acknowledged that it might be quite difficult to get the support from local authorities.
Hirst continued, saying: “The beauty of this document is that there are very few requests for money, we are asking for recognition of our industry, support for bids and for local authorities to take events seriously.”
The BVEP have already requested meetings with Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Culture and Media, John Penrose the Minister for Tourism and Ed Vaizey the new Minister for Culture and Creative Industries, to discuss the manifesto.
A recent study has revealed that event managers are increasingly using social media to promote their events, with 65% of those who took part in the poll on evocos.co.uk saying they often used the tool.
According to Evocos – a producer of event management software – social media is now an important tool used by professionals to keep delegates and partners up to date with changes made to event spaces, times and logistics, as well as to promote the events themselves.
Only 35% of event managers who responded to the poll said they do not use social media as part of their event management. Speaking in Event Industry News Kate Oxton of Evocos said that she expected this figure to fall over the next 12 months, with the significant figure attributable to the fact that “many businesses are just coming around to the idea of Twitter and Facebook as a marketing tool.”
“Some event managers may be daunted by these new mediums or may be unsure as to the relevancy of it to their organisation,” says Oxton, “However, with more people signing up to Facebook and Twitter every day, it is something that we feel should be considered as part of an event management plan.”
The Met’s Assistant Commissioner has warned that venues for hire could be at risk during last-minute celebrations of the 2012 London Olympics.
Event Industry News reports that Chris Allison, the Assistant Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police, has raised concerns over how the security needs of bigger celebrations and events will affect smaller party venues. London is likely to see hundreds of small-scale events organised at short notice says Allison, and with the emergency services stretched by celebrations across the city organisers will need to be alert.
Mr Allison’s warning comes as the Greater London Authority draws up plans for managing the 2012 Olympics and the surrounding cultural and celebratory events. Already detailed plans have emerged for everything from the deployment of officers to the number and allocation of safety barriers throughout the nation’s capital.
“It is important for the Greater London Authority to get people to sign up to say they are not going to do something last-minute because that could be dangerous,” said Allison, speaking to the London Assembly’s Health and Public Services Committee. “[Event organisers] need to see that there will be a challenge for us in 2012 and need to self-regulate.”
London being chosen to host the 2012 Olympic Games, should raise its profile among businesses searching for event venues.
During the International Special Events Society (ISES) forum, some senior figures within the industry expressed concerns about London’s ability to host large events.
Mike Kershaw, MD of Concerto Group told the group that not enough was being done to promote events in London. He is cited in Meetpie as saying: “We’re not making people understand events are incredibly good things for the economy as a whole.”
The meeting between the ISES and the London Mayor’s office was held to discuss the city’s position as a centre of excellence for hosting major business events.
President-elect of ISES Richard Foulkes, said he did not believe enough was done to promote the London 2012 Games at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, this year.
Dan Ritterband, director of marketing for the Mayor of London, explained: “Visit London gets £14m from the chancellor of the exchequer in comparison to Visit Scotland which gets £40m. The Olympics are a great opportunity to position ourselves in people’s mind.
“Research we’ve done in emerging markets show that people still think we all ride Penny Farthings and have Monocles! What we have to do is make people come and see the city and see we’re getting ready for the Games. During that build up is the time to showcase stuff,” he added.
However, it would appear that being the city chosen to host the Games has had some good influence. Amanda Jobbins, vice president of European Marketing at Cisco admitted the lure of the Olympics was enough to make her company host its annual Cisco Live event in London for the next two years.
“We will be taking people to see the Olympic facilities; it’s very exciting,” she said.
Event venues and conference centres should see an increase in business over the next year, according to a new survey that reveals the mood among the corporate events management community has dramatically improved.
A survey by industry magazine Special Events has revealed that 18% of respondents to its ninth Corporate Event Marketplace study said that they expected to stage more events in 2010 than they did last year. 35% also predicted that 2011 would see even more work for venues for hire, a huge improvement on the 2009 study when some 35% said they expected to stage far fewer events in 2009 than in 2008.
This positive attitude has also been matched to expectations on how budgets will be invested in special events. Nearly a third of respondents believe that their company’s budget for such events will remain the same in 2011 as in 2010, whilst 41% said that their company is likely to allocate more money to special events in 2011. Only 19% said they expected that location hiring would get less budget funds in the coming year.
According to respondents, there has been an increase in the number of event managers who attempt to measure the ROI on their special events. In 2002, when the survey started, only 28% said they attempted to measure the ROI of events. This year 57% said they would attempt to measure ROI, the highest in the surveys history.